Last Updated: Sunday 4/2/17

The week-by-week calendar below includes all readings and assignments for each class meeting this semester. This schedule is a plan, and is subject to change depending on our conversations and developments over the course of the semester. Students will be made aware of changes via the course blog and your QC email via the Blackboard listserv (in addition to in-class announcements). Please check both regularly.

Most of the readings are freely available online and have been linked here. Some of the readings – those marked ‘BB’ – are only available through our course Blackboard site because of copyright laws.



GO DIRECTLY TO Post Midterm Content


Monday 1/30/17: Introduction to Course

  • Introduce course and review syllabus.

Wednesday 2/1/17: Measuring Poverty

Topic summary: Discuss and compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of competing measurements of poverty, (official poverty measure, Supplemental poverty measure, self-sufficiency measure) and discuss why it matters how we measure poverty.

Monday 2/6/17: Theorizing Poverty and the American Dream

Topic summary: What is the American Dream, can everyone achieve it, and if so, how? Zeroing-in on theories that help explain why poverty – as a social phenomenon – exists and how people (if they) can become un-poor. What are the (3) different theories, what do they argue and how do they differ, what evidence do they point to to support their view, what solutions do they propose to solve the issue of poverty, and what is problematic about each viewpoint.


CROWDSOURCE: “Top-Down Economics and Bottom-up Politics” by Goldsmith and Blakely: Comment by 12n, Sunday 2/5/17

Assignment 3 will be introduced and groups will be assigned.

Wednesday 2/8/17: Using Tech to teach and learn

Topic summary: Today we will meet in a computer lab and review the back-end of WordPress and will upload our first assignment posts.

ASSIGNMENT 1: Bring a digital copy (USB drive, attached email file) Assignment 1 to class today.

Monday 2/13/17: NO Class

Wednesday 2/15/17: Economic Inequality

Topic Summary: What is economic inequality? How is it distributed across the population of the United States?

CROWDSOURCE: General discussion of the intersections of income and wealth inequality based on all readings. Comment by 12n, **Monday 2/13/17**

Monday 2/20/17: No Classes

Wednesday 2/22/17: Historical Development of Cities – HOUSING

(FYI – Classes Follow a Monday schedule)

Topic: Today we’ll begin pulling back the layers that explain these inequalities by race and class that exist today. We will focus first on housing discrimination, which relates most directly to contemporary wealth inequalities. An important ‘take-away point’ for this class is to understand the role of government policy in creating these inequalities.

  • BB: Ross, Byron and Myron Levine. 2012. Urban Politics, Cities and Suburbs in a Global Age, Chapter 2. NYC: ME Sharpe.
  • BB: Josh Freeman. 2000. Working Class New York, “The Fiscal Crisis”, Chapter 15. New Press.


CROWDSOURCE: There are two options this week: ‘The Making of the American Ghetto’ and ‘Fiscal Crisis and Economic Restructuring’. You must choose one, feel free to comment on both.

Monday 2/27/17: Historical Development of Cities – ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING

Topic: During the 1970’s, the New York City found itself on the brink of fiscal collapse. The ‘fiscal crisis’ has had profound effects on the distribution of power in the NYC (and other cities!), which in turn has deeply affects the economic policy direction of the city, the city’s course of development, and relationship between city government and resident.

CROWDSOURCE: “The Politics of Bread and Circus” by Eisinger: Comment by 12n, Sunday 2/26/17.

Wednesday 3/1/17: Continue ‘Economic Restructuring’

Monday 3/6/17: Guest Lecture on Environmental Sustainability

Wednesday 3/8/17: Globalization and Privatization of Risk and Well-being

Topic: Here in the United States, the changes that took place in NYC during and after the fiscal crisis were compounded by shifts towards privatization of risk and well-being at the national level. These changes were the result of the unraveling of New Deal policies and new trends in labor relations, which continuously lessened the protections the state offered citizens from globalization and capitalism.

Monday 3/13/17: Guest Lecture on Environmental Sustainability

ASSIGNMENT 3: Poverty Perspectives Debate Due by 11:59pm, Tuesday 3/14/17.

Wednesday 3/15/17: Shifts in welfare and low-wage work


  • BB: Collins, J. (2008). The specter of slavery: Workfare and the economic citizenship of poor women. New landscapes of inequality: Neoliberalism and the erosion of democracy in America, 131-151.

ASSIGNMENT 4: Urban Dictionary Entries Due by 12n, Friday 3/17/17.

Monday 3/20/17: Catch-up Day

Wednesday 3/22/17: Midterm Review


  • Watch the following video at home:


Monday 3/27/17: Midterm


Wednesday 3/9/17: Persisting Segregations

Monday 4/3/17: Gentrification & Segregation

READ 1 of the Following 3:

1) Rotondaro, V. and Ewing, M. The Ins and OutsNarratively, January 15, 2013.

2) Adams, Micheal Henry. “The end of Black Harlem”. New York Times Sunday Review, May 27, 2016.

3) Bontemps, Johnny. Southside Story”. Narratively, January 14, 2013.



 Wednesday 4/5/17: Unpacking the ‘Affordable Housing Issue’


ASSIGNMENT 5: Blogs Due 11:59pm Friday 4/7/17, Commenting due by 12n Sunday 4/9/17
(Matt, Raiaan, Victoria, Ashley, Shannon, Asko)

SPRING BREAK 4/10/17 – 4/18/17

Thursday 4/20/17: ‘Educating the Public’

Today, Assignment 6 groups will convene to discuss their projects.

ASSIGNMENT 6: Proposals are due 11:59pm Friday 4/21/17

Monday 4/24/17 & Wednesday 4/26/17: Whose Public Space?


Re-visit: BB: Peter Eisinger 2000. The Politics of Bread and Circuses : Building the City for the Visitor Class. Urban Affairs Review 2000 35: 316-333.

ASSIGNMENT 5:Blogs Due 11:59pm Friday 4/28/17, Commenting due by 12n Sunday 4/30/17
(Vahe, Chris, Shevin, Melody, Michelle, Jake, Ariful)

Monday 5/1/17 & Wednesday 5/3/17: Criminal Justice

ASSIGNMENT 5: Blogs Due 11:59pm Friday 5/5/17, Commenting due by 12n Sunday 5/7/17
(Lauren, Aalya, Daniel, Kylle, Nicole, Keith)

Monday 5/8/17 &Wednesday 5/10/17: Immigration Policy


BB: Kwong, Peter 2009. “What’s Wrong with the US Immigration Debate?” Fields, Jeff, and Ida Susser,eds. Rethinking America: the imperial homeland in the 21st century. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers. Pp. 300-312.

Economic Policy Institute. 2010. Immigration and Wages

ASSIGNMENT 5: Blogs Due 11:59pm Friday 5/12/17, Commenting due by 12n Sunday 5/14/17
(Sara, Rafael, Mishel, Jerry, Xiaowei, Henry)

Monday 5/15/17: Peer Review

Peer workshopping of final projects: You should have someting prepared to share. A strong cenceptualization of your project based on research on your topic and thinking about how to share this information.

Wednesday 5/17/17: FINAL REVIEW SESSION

Wednesday 5/24/17: Final Exam

Final Projects Due 11:59pm, Friday 5/26/17

ASSIGNMENT 7: The Urban at 2nd Glance, Due 11:59pm, Friday 5/26/17

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