isp 102, fall quarter 2003
Professor Peter Vandenberg

An introduction to the phenomenon of graffiti in the city of Chicago, Explore Chicago Graffiti is a course in DePaul University's Chicago Quarter, a component of the First Year Program. We will examine the history of graffiti and responses to it, situating Chicago graffiti in a larger national context, and learning about how graffiti functions in Chicago today. Graffiti is typically understood as "the unauthorized production of text open to public view"; while we will explore perspectives on graffiti that consider it as crime or vandalism, we will also view it as purposeful communication--cultural production reflective of lived social and economic circumstances in the Windy City.

This particular section of ISP 102 has a service learning component; we will work with the University of Hip Hop, an affiliate of the Southwest Youth Collaborative that works with Chicago kids on elements of Hip Hop--inlcuding break dancing, emceeing, graffiti mural painting, and djaying--after school and on weekends across the city.

student projects

John, Julie, Theresa
L-Train, Mondiddy, J to that Izzo
Alexis, Justine, Marj
Mari, Jess, Ania
Jennie, Adam, Lena
Sherryl, Chris, Christine

course tours and guest speakers

Hyde Park Tour with Lavie Raven and students of Kenwood Academy, 9/22/03

Graffiti Blasters Demonstration with City of Chicago Streets and Sanitation, 9/29/03

Graffiti Tour of Humboldt Park with Pam Izvanariu, DePaul senior and HP resident and community activist, 10/6/03


Class visit by UIC Professor Ralph Cintron, author of Angels' Town and gang graffiti expert, 10/13/03


Class visit by Detective Rose Gordon of the Chicago Police Department's Gang Unit, 10/29/03

community partners
university of hip hop chapters, chicago

Southwest Youth Collaborative
Senn High School
Marquette Park High School