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Los Angeles: Past, Present, and Future

In the latter part of the 1800s, San Francisco was the great urban center in northern California, while in southern California, most observers regarded San Diego as the region’s premier city. And yet, Los Angeles rose to become one of the largest and most powerful cities in the world. In addition to its best-known exports and industries—including mass entertainment—Los Angeles has been an incubator of ethnic diversity and political radicalism on the left and on the right. Los Angeles offers us a fascinating window into the history of urban and suburban America. This one-day course explores the political, legal, economic, cultural, and spatial issues that have animated LA’s rise, and it delves into what the future holds for the city. Readings may include selections from Mike Davis, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles; Eric Avila, Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles; Daniel Hurewitz, Bohemian Los Angeles and the Making of Modern Politics; and Jerald Podair, City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of how Los Angeles became one of the largest and most powerful cities in the world
  • Greater familiarity with the issues that have shaped Los Angeles and those that will dictate its future

Ideal for

  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
  • The curious and creative
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.