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Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Fall 2016-2017
* DAN 310 / ARC 380 / THR 323 / URB 310 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

The Arts of Urban Transition

Judith Hamera
Aaron Landsman
Aaron P. Shkuda


This course uses texts and methods from history, theatre, performance studies, and dance to examine artists and works of art as agents of change in New York (1960-present) and contemporary Detroit. Issues addressed include relationships between artists, changing urban economies, and the built environment; the role of the artist in gentrification and creative placemaking; the importance of local history in art interventions; and assessing impacts of arts initiatives. Fall break trip to Detroit, and visits to key sites in New York and Philadelphia, are included. Students will use data and methods from the course to produce final projects.

Sample reading list:
Thomas J. Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis
Brent D. Ryan, Design After Decline: How America Rebuilds Shrinking Cities
Aaron Shkuda, The Art Market, Arts Funding, and Sweat Equity
Dora Apel, Beautiful Terrible Ruins: Detroit and the Anxiety of Decline
Anne Markusen and Anne Gadwa, Creative Placemaking (2010), Executive Summary
Jan Cohen-Cruz, The Problem Democracy is Supposed to Solve

Reading/Writing assignments:
The course requires between 75 - 100 pages of reading a week, two short essays, a grant application for an artistic intervention in contemporary Detroit, an audio, visual, or scripted walking tour, and a final group performance based on methods and data gathered over the semester.

Papers - 35%
Class/Precept Participation - 15%
Other (See Instructor) - 50%

Other Requirements:
United States Travel Required

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
None. No prior dance or theatre experience is necessary. To apply, send a paragraph detailing your reasons for taking the course, including any experience(s) that make you interested in investigating relationships among art, artists, and the redevelopment of deindustrial cities, to Professor Judith Hamera,, with "Arts of Urban Transition" in the subject line by April 14, 2016.

Other information:
Grading: 50% Other = Audio, Visual or Textual Walking Tour (15%), Group Performance (35%)


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
22983 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm F   Nassau Street, 185   207   Enrolled:11 Limit:15