This course is inspired by the Secret [city name here] series of travel books that pride themselves on being “local guides by local people.” As such, the class offers you the chance to embrace the viewpoint of these books by striving to “look more closely at the urban landscape and to see your own city with the curiosity and attention that we often display while traveling elsewhere.” We’ll be visiting sites (parks, museums, industrial remains, etc.) all over Pittsburgh, learning how to “read” and record the places we visit. We’ll draw on literature (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) and cultural theories of space, representation and archiving to frame our on-site experiences in writing and in digital forms. We’ll also be testing how the skills of a literature classroom translate to these “real world” urban explorations. The final project will involve assembling a multi-authored on-line guidebook to Secret Pittsburgh.
On-going, student-produced website: