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IDSEMUG 2009 - Underground Histories of the New York Waterfront

Description
In this course, we’ll explore waterfront landfill as an important category for historical analysis, with special attention to those marginalized and buried histories of race, class, and gender at the shoreline. In New York, landfill has been an important tool of urban growth. Today’s Manhattan is 30% larger than the island the Lenape inhabitants knew, and as a whole, the city has an added 9,000 acres of new land since European settlement. Through various texts, archival maps, and several site visits, we will explore histories of New York’s waterfront communities in the largest sense of the term, de-centering the human at times, for conversations about human and non-human species relationships and urban ecologies more broadly. Considering the intersections of environmental and social justice, we’ll analyze the liminal space between land and water - the beach, the piers, the bridges, etc. in order to advance historical and contemporary treatments of these man-made geographies. Final projects may take the form of a research paper or an urban intervention (social practice, a public program, a performance, an installation… etc) that develops new ways of seeing and engaging with a New York waterfront site. Class Notes: Instructor: Ayasha Guerin.
Credits
4
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Recent Semesters
Spring 2019
Offered
TuTh
Avg. Sections
1