Geography 429: Urban Political Geography of Durham, NC

martin class 152014-11-22 12.04.39Looking for a unique learning opportunity that brings together the “real world” with in-depth academic and policy analysis? Then join us to learn about cities and their political issues by studying Durham, North Carolina.2016-01-25 09.28.48 2016-03-13 14.27.02 2015-11-07 14.42.56

The course will give students an interdisciplinary understanding and analysis of urban social problems, by bridging the literatures on urban politics with that on urban geography. The complexity of urban issues calls for diverse perspectives in order to imagine creative responses. Approaching the urban experience from qualitative and quantitative perspectives will help students address structural as well as individual solutions to the problems urban residents face.

The class will take advantage of our proximity to Durham, NC by incorporating a service-learning component. Durham provides a fascinating case study of urban decline and a nascent resurgence. Recently named the most “creative” city in the United States by urban consulting guru, Richard Florida, Durham has entered the spotlight of urban studies circles. But Durham is also the fifth most unequal city in the United States. How do we make sense of a city that seems increasingly divided between the “have’s” and “have not’s”?

This is an Experiential Learning Course. You are required to complete 30 hours of service to an organization in Durham that addresses an urban issue.