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    Macalester College
  Feb 25, 2018
College Catalog 2014-2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENGL 385 - Los Angeles and the American Dream

One out of eight Americans lives in California; Los Angeles has become the second largest city in the country; and United States history involves a steady movement of people both East to West and South (Latin America) to North. This course examines the growth and nature of Los Angeles (its need for water, its automobiles, its film industry, its ethnic makeup, its lurking potential for disaster) and this city’s relationship to the evolving identity of the nation as a whole. It is a study in the significance of place, in the human and environmental impact of urban development, and in America’s destiny as made manifest by reality and by dreams. The focus is on literature, including such authors as Carey McWilliams, Nathanael West, Chester Himes, Raymond Chandler, James Ellroy, Joan Didion, Mike Davis, Anna Deavere Smith, Walter Mosley, Karen Tei Yamashita, Brando Skyhorse, and D. J. Waldie. A companion film series includes both feature films and a range of documentaries. Art and music from and about Los Angeles also form a component of the course. Every year. (4 Credits)