Readings for Week 2 (2/1)
Please read the following for discussion in class on Tuesday:
- Colin Gordon, Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City (Penn, 2008)
- O'Sullivan, David, and David Unwin, “The Elements of Statistics” in Geographic Information Analysis, 384-411. (John Wiley & Sons, 2003)
A few words on Mapping Decline. It's a bit dense. Don't get lost in the details. Try and read for argument, terms, and methodology. Many of the subjects Gordon discusses — decline, urban renewal, blight, and so forth — we'll be discussing intensively over the next few weeks of the semester. The key here is not for you to become experts on St. Louis, but to familiarize yourself with the way in which Gordon approaches historical inquiry and the post-war city.
Regarding “The Elements of Statistics”, this is mostly definitions and descriptive statistics, which we'll talk about as we use them in class. Reading in advance will help but if you find it heavy going it may be more effective for you to skim it and then read it in detail after the class.
These response pages should be thoughtfully conceived and constructed and should address the following issues:
- What is the central argument of the reading?
- How does the author support those claims?
- How does this author’s point of view intersect with other readings we have encountered throughout the course?
- Please propose and elaborate on one issue raised by the reading you believe should be included in our class discussion.
We look forward to reading your thoughts!