OrchardStTOPICS COURSE - Honors Course

New York’s Lower East Side may be the most studied and storied neighborhood in America. Since its emergence as the city’s most densely populated immigrant neighborhood in the mid-19th century, the Lower East Side has been the subject of extensive scrutiny by journalists, reformers, photographers, urban planners, and of creative engagements by visual artists, poets, novelists, and filmmakers. Over the past century and a half the Lower East Side has witnessed waves of demographic shifts and changes to its infrastructure, and its image has been transformed from a locus of poverty, crime, and social turmoil to a site of American heritage tourism and urban gentrification. This seminar will trace the neighborhood’s trajectory through an interdisciplinary approach to an array of materials, including a field visit to the neighborhood.