CMN 307

Urban Communication

Winter 2006

 

Dr. Daniel Makagon                                                              

Office: SAC 596

Office Hours: Monday 1:00-2:00 and by appointment                     

Phone: (773) 325-7376

e-mail: dmakagon@depaul.edu

home page: http://condor.depaul.edu/~dmakagon/                    

                       

Course Objectives

 

The rise of the metropolis has been one of the most important and engaging stories in the twentieth century and into the new millennium. Great hopes and fears are mapped onto the city. These hopes and fears are reflected in cinematic, photographic, and televisual images of the city; songs about urban life; talk about the metropolis; and cultural practices that take shape in urban neighborhoods. The city is ultimately understood via a complex mix of everyday cultural experiences, Intercultural interactions, and engagement with symbols (verbal and mediated). We will pay special attention to relationships between the material (land, labor, and capital) and the symbolic in an effort to more fully understand the city as a site of communication. Further, we will focus on the construction of public spaces that facilitate a more active and engaged public life.

 

Required Texts

 

Daniel Makagon, Where the Ball Drops: Days and Nights in Times Square

Richard Sennett, The Conscience of the Eye

 

All other course readings are available on-line. Download and print the files.

 

http://condor.depaul.edu/~dmakagon/student

 

 

Course Assignments

 

Class participation                           10%

Quizzes                                          30%

Mid-term Paper (4-6 pages)            30%

Final Group Project                          30%

 

 

You are required to complete the reading assignments before you attend class. This will lead to more fruitful discussion.

 

Mid-term Paper

 

This assignment asks you to write an analysis of some key issues raised in the first half of this class (likely 2-3 issues given the paper length). The objective of this paper is to assess the ways in which communication allows us to more fully understand contemporary urban life. In general, you should develop a thesis that identifies important issues pertaining to urban life, as raised in course materials. The body of your paper should (A) describe the issues, (B) flesh out the reasons why those issues are important, and (C) discuss how viewing those issues through a communication lens helps us understand the issues better.

 

Your paper should be 4-6 double-spaced pages in length, and you must advance an argument. Merely summarizing a reading or stating that a reading is correct (or incorrect) because it speaks (or doesn't speak) to your own personal experience is not an argument. Further, this paper requires you provide more than a description of your experiences. You need to write an essay that establishes a claim about the relationship between urban culture and communication and then develop support for that claim. This paper is due February 13th.

 

All papers must be typed, double-spaced throughout the entire essay, and use a consistent style (e.g., Chicago, MLA, or APA). Use one-inch margins and 12-point font. Do not send me electronic copies of your work. See the syllabus addendum (available in the folder that contains pdfs for this class) for a description of my grading policies and expectations as well as further details on written assignments.

 

For assistance with your writing contact or visit the Writing Center: Lincoln Park at 802 W. Belden, 150 McGaw Hall, 773-325-4272. The Loop at 25 E. Jackson, 1620 Lewis Center, 312-362-6726. wcenter@depaul.edu.

 

Final Group Presentation

 

You and your group will be responsible for one group project and presentation during the semester. This project will focus on the design of public space. These projects will be presented in class. (A description of the assignment details and rationale is available in the folder that contains pdfs for this class.)

 

Pop Quizzes

 

Quizzes will be short answer and will allow me to gauge how well you understand the arguments made in the readings. Unlike your papers and class discussion, where I am interested in your opinions about the issues and the strength of the writer's argument(s), the quizzes are designed for you to state the author's argument only. In other words, I am not striving to understand what you think about the issues; rather, I am interested in how well you understand the construction of the author's argument. If we do not understand what s/he's saying then our critique of her/his work will not be properly grounded. Possible points for each quiz question will be listed after the question (usually 10 or 20 points per question and usually 1-3 questions per quiz). Answers will be graded based on your ability to clearly summarize the author's argument(s) and use examples from the reading to support your answer(s).

 

Course Policies

 

Attendance and Active Participation are expected and required. Excessive absences will result in a lower final grade.

 

Promptness is expected as a general rule. If you are consistently late to class, your grade will be negatively affected.

 

All assignments are due on assigned days. There will be NO MAKE UPS. Documented illnesses or documented emergencies are the only exception to this policy. Changes in work schedules, personal celebrations (e.g., birthdays), or vacations are NOT considered to be legitimate reasons for missing assignment deadlines or class meetings. If you miss a quiz and have documentation for your absence then you will take the quiz on the next date you attend class. Similarly, if you have an excused absence for a class session when you would turn in a paper then you can give me the paper on the next date you attend class. (Note: If you will be missing a class because of a religious holiday, let me know in writing at least two weeks before the holiday so we can make arrangements to make up missed work.)

 

If you have a cellular phone or pager, turn it off or set it to vibrate. Plagiarism will be discussed below but for now you should note that all cell phones must be put away during quizzes and you should not be sending or reading text messages during class sessions.

 

Plagiarism

 

I have often found that plagiarism becomes tempting if students are feeling pressured. Remember, when in doubt quote. If you are quoting somebody directly then you need to list the information within quotation marks and cite a page number. If you are paraphrasing then you need to cite the person and a page number. Never copy and paste entire documents into your paper and do not quote others to the point where your ideas become indistinguishable from your source's ideas. There is no reason to plagiarize given the resources available to you (e.g., opportunities to meet with me; coaches in the writing center; my handout on writing for the class; and DePaul's policy on academic integrity, which can be found at http://studentaffairs.depaul.edu/handbook/code16.html). If you do plagiarize, you will automatically receive a grade of "F" in this class. Moreover, the Academic Affairs office will be contacted.

 

 

Grade Scale

 

93-100      A                78-79        C+                  

90-92        A-              73-77        C                    

88-89        B+              70-72        C-                   

83-87                       60-69        D

80-82        B-               0-59          F