2019 Summer Reading Assignment

2019 Summer Reading Assignment

A summer read book has been part of the Wagner Tradition for many years.  Offering a stimulating and enjoyable discussion point for students, faculty, and the entire Wagner community, the summer read serves as a resource for all to learn about each other and the world around them.  When students come to campus for the first time as Wagner students, they will become part of the Wagner community and part of the city. This year’s book choice will be a wonderful way for the students to become part of both!

Your First Year Program faculty carefully selected Nonstop Metropolis (https://nonstopmetropolis.com/about) as your summer reading book because it touches upon the experiential learning in all Learning Communities and is a resource about the very city in which you will spend the next four years. The book is part history, part geography, part social commentary, and offers visually and intellectually stimulating material for you to think about as you get excited for the college experiences ahead of you. Learn about New York City through the diverse eyes and minds of musicians, ethnographers, urbanists, journalists, scientists, and others. Your First Year Program faculty will select particular chapters for you to focus on, but we encourage you to read the book in its entirety. As you move through the Wagner plan during the next four years, and engage with the many boroughs of New York City, Nonstop Metropolis will be a useful resource.

You can order your copy from our Bookstore here: wagnercollegeshop.com.   Click on books (textbooks), choose the term ‘Fall 2019,’ and department ‘summer reading, section 101.’ Enter submit and it will bring up the book along with instructions on how to order online so you can have it mailed to your summer address.

(Image from: https://nonstopmetropolis.com/about)

The faculty in the First Year Program are excited to meet you all and begin a shared learning experience starting at Orientation.  By mid-July, as long as you have completed your ‘New Student Form’ you should have your course schedule and know what Learning Community you are now part of.  While you should all read the book in its entirety, each pair of professors that you will work with has chosen specific parts of the book on which you should focus for your first class meeting during Orientation.  Please look over the instructions below, and be sure to have all things completed for your Learning Community by the beginning of Orientation.  We all look forward to meeting you and having great conversations about the book!

Your Learning Community (LC) number is located in the Reflective Tutorial course number (say, RFT-LC4). That’s what you can use to determine the LC and the corresponding reading assignment below.

Be sure to have any prepared work in hand when you arrive on campus.

Thanks to Dr. Jelly Shapiro for his visit with Wagner on Monday 10/28.  Students and fans can contact him with questions at: jellyschapiro@nyu.edu.

Please review your Learning Community assignment below:

Take detailed notes as you read through the chapters below, focusing on the questions following.

Introduction: “Centers and Edges”
Chapter 4: “Riot! Periodic Eruptions in Volcanic New York”
Chapter 8: “What is a Jew?”
Chapter 10: “City of Women”
Chapter 12: “City of Walkers”
Chapter 18: “Mysterious Land of Shaolin”
Chapter 23: “Planting Liberty”

  1. What are the three most interesting things you learn from reading these chapters and maps?
  2. How do you think ethnic, racial, cultural, gender, economic and/or religious diversity have shaped New York City neighborhoods described in the readings, such as the Lower East Side or Park Hill (on Staten Island)?
  3. Explain this quote: “If you live in New York…you are Jewish. It doesn’t matter if you are Catholic, you’re Jewish…Jewish means pumpernickel bread, black cherry soda and macaroons. Goyish means Kool-Aid, Drake’s cakes and lime jello.”–Lenny Bruce, 1957.
  4. Is there another chapter you are tempted to read?

Introduction
Solnit (2016) describes New York City several ways. Choose one of her descriptive sentences and use it as a model to describe your home town or a place you have visited.

Chapter 2 Capital of Capital
Jelly-Shapiro (2016) provides several cause-and-effect explanations for why New York City became a center of capitalism. Identify one of these and describe one of the sentences from the chapter in your own words (paraphrase) or summarize one of the paragraphs into a single sentence in your own words.  Identify at least one place listed on the map that you would like to visit and briefly describe why it interests you.

Chapter 3 Crash
Taylor’s (2016) perspective is controversial; some thoughtful scholars may agree with her and others are likely to passionately disagree with her. Identify at least one statement in this chapter that might be controversial and quote it. Place quote marks before it and after the last word, and then follow with an APA-style citation (name of author, year of publication, page number).  Example with APA-style citation: “We were dressed in blue and would soon parade uptown to symbolize the rising tide and to protest the financial sector’s profiteering from an antiquated energy policy at the expense of the public good” (Taylor, 2016, p. 39).  Examine the map of the Wall Street area. Our plan is for Learning Community 2 to visit this area on Orientation Sunday.

Chapter 4 Riot!
Select one of the riots mentioned in the chapter and use your own words to summarize the description of it in a single sentence.        Choose one of the riots listed on the map and conduct a quick internet search to learn more about it. Summarize what you found in a sentence.

Chapter 8 What Is a Jew?
Identify at least one word that you did not previously know that seemed critical to understanding the sentence. Look up the definition of the word and then paraphrase the sentence in your own words to explain the meaning of the sentence.  Identify at least one word that you did not previously know that you were fairly confident you understood from the context of the sentence. Look up the definition of the word to check whether you were correct in the assumption you made.  Which four of the five boroughs of New York City are featured on the second page of the accompanying map? Which borough of the city is not depicted on the map? A survey in 2011 reached out to Jewish people in eight counties, including all five boroughs of New York City and three additional nearby counties. https://www.silive.com/news/2013/04/staten_island_jewish_leaders_c.html

Chapter 10 City of Women
Select one of the women mentioned in the chapter or listed on the map and look up bibliographical information about her in a quick online search. List her name, briefly describe her biography, and make a short argument for an ideal way to commemorate her, such as with a statue, or by naming a street or a bridge after her.

Chapter 16 Makers and Breakers
Identify an aspect of the chapter that you found surprising or alarming.

Select an additional chapter
For our first meeting, please choose one map that we have not assigned that intrigues your or that you find interesting and prepare to tell the class why you chose it.

Take detailed notes as you read through the chapters below, and come with questions to ask and discuss about each of them.

Introduction: “Centers and Edges”

Chapter 1: “Singing in City”

Chapter 4: “Riots”

Chapter 18: “Mysterious Land of Shaolin” For this chapter specifically, be prepared to discuss how the personal and political experiences of Wu Tang Clan shaped their music and lyrics.

Take detailed notes as you read through the chapters below, focusing on the questions following.

Introduction: “Centers and Edges”
Chapter 6: “Water and Power”
Chapter 16: “Makers and Breakers”

  1. Why was, and why is Central Park an important part of New York City?
  2. How did the need or desire to control water help to shape the landscape of the city? How did it ultimately shape the inhabitants of the city?
  3. How do you think the personalities and beliefs of Olmstead, Moses, and Jacobs inform their motivations for their lifework? What is the most important legacy of each?  How do you think each would define the ideal city?

Take detailed notes as you read through the chapters below, and come with questions to ask and discuss about each of them.

Introduction: “Centers and Edges”

Chapter 5: “Carboniferous: Climate Change and the City”

Chapter 6: “Water and Power: The Reach of the City”

Chapter 17: “Trash in the City: Dumping on Staten Island and Beyond”

Take detailed notes as you read through the chapters below, focusing on the questions following.

Introduction: “Centers and Edges”
Chapter 2: “Capital of Capital: The New York of Dreams”
Chapter 5: “Carboniferous: Climate Change and the City”
Chapter 6: “Water and Power: The Reach of the City”
Chapter 10: “City of Women”
Chapter 17: “Trash in the City: Dumping on Staten Island and Beyond”

  1. Describe one interesting fact or idea that you learned reading each essay. Why do you find this interesting?
  2. Use Google to research the author of each essay.
    1. Who is the author?
    2. What is their educational background, training and experience?
    3. Why do you think the author was chosen to write this essay?
    4. How does the author’s training and background affect how you view the information you read?

As you read Nonstop Metropolis this summer, pay particular attention to the Introduction and Chapter 17 (including the map): “Trash in the City” (pp.140-146). Write up one to three pages (typed only) of thoughts about the following questions:

  1. Identifying one main idea in the chapter that is especially significant and explain its significance. Support your ideas with evidence or examples from the text itself and your own personal
  2. Do you think the Staten Island landfill can be turned into a successful and healthy ecosystem?
  3. Do you foresee an effect on population health? In what way? What are some diseases that our community should be concerned about? How can we prevent further damage?
  4. What’s your take-away from this assigned reading?

Take detailed notes as you read through the chapters below, focusing on the questions following.

Introduction: “Centers and Edges”
Chapter 8: “What is a Jew?”
Chapter 12: “City of Walkers”
Chapter 14: “Our Latin Thing”
Chapter 24: “Mother Tongues and Queens”

Be sure to spend some time looking at the maps and thinking of how each gives a very different view of life in NYC. For our first meeting, please choose one map that we have not assigned that intrigues your or that you find interesting and prepare to tell the class why you chose it. Please also think about the following questions as you go through the book:

  1. What can a map tell us or show us that prose writing cannot?
  2. If you could add one of your own maps of NYC, what would it be? Why? (This can be anything, i.e. “Film Lovers’ New York”, “Sports NY”, “Hip-Hop NY”, “Fashion NY”, anything!
  3. What are the two most important things you feel you have learned about the city by reading and looking at this book?
  4. In many ways this book could function as a travel guide for someone who is visiting New York City for the first time. What kind of a traveler are you? Do you prepare for trips by reading guides and looking at maps, or are you more spontaneous and adventurous?

Take detailed notes as you read through the chapters below, focusing on the questions following.

Introduction: “Centers and Edges”
Chapter 16: “Makers and Breakers”
Chapter 13: “Wildlife”

  • Why is Central Park an important part of NYC—both now and in the past?
  • How do you think the personalities of, and the beliefs, of the NYC Makers and Breakers—namely, Olmstead, Moses, and Jacobs—inform the architecture found in their parks or projects in NYC? What are their most important legacies?
  • Do you think that the humanized habitat of Central Park, along with its Zoo, benefits or harms the animals?  Do you think that the Horse Drawn carriages have a place in the park?

Take some notes as you read through the chapters below, and come with questions to ask and discuss about each of them.

Introduction, p. 1-13
Chapter 8: “What is a Jew?”
Chapter 10: “City of Walkers”
Chapter 14: “Our Latin Thing”
Chapter 15: “Burning Down and Rising Up”
Chapter 18: “Mysterious Land of Shaolin”
Chapter 24: “Mother Tongues and Queens”
Chapter 25: “Black Star Lines”
Chapter 26: “Oscillating City”

Take detailed notes as you read through the chapters below, and come with questions to ask and discuss about each of them.

Chapter 2:  “Capital of Capital: How New York Happened…”

Chapter 17:  “Trash in the City Dumping on Staten Island and Beyond”

Take detailed notes as you read through the chapters below, focusing on the questions following.

Introduction
Solnit (2016) describes New York City several ways. How would you describe it? What are at least two reasons you decided to attend college in New York City?

Chapter 2 Capital of Capital
Jelly-Shapiro (2016) provides several cause-and-effect explanations for why New York City became a center of capitalism. Identify one of these and describe one of the sentences from the chapter in your own words (paraphrase) or summarize one of the paragraphs into a single sentence in your own words.

Chapter 3 Crash
Taylor’s (2016) perspective is controversial; some thoughtful scholars may agree with her and others are likely to passionately disagree with her. Identify at least one statement in this chapter that might be controversial and quote it. Place quote marks before it and after the last word, and then follow with an APA-style citation (name of author, year of publication, page number).  Example with APA-style citation: “We were dressed in blue and would soon parade uptown to symbolize the rising tide and to protest the financial sector’s profiteering from an antiquated energy policy at the expense of the public good” (Taylor, 2016, p. 39).  Examine the map of the Wall Street area. The plan is for Learning Community 12 to visit this Lower Manhattan on Orientation Sunday.

Chapter 12 City of Walkers
Identify at least one place listed on the map, mentioned in this chapter, or that you know of otherwise that you would like to visit and briefly describe why it interests you.

To prepare for our first meeting on Thursday, August 22 and your first trip into Manhattan on Sunday, August 25, we ask you to focus on the following chapters from Nonstop Metropolis, and be prepared to discuss:

Introduction, pp. 1-13
Chapter/Map 2: “The Capital of Capital: How New York Happened,” pp. 21-31
Chapter/Map 3: “Crash: Crises and Collisions in 21st-Century Lower Manhattan,” pp. 32-39
Chapter/Map 12: “City of Walkers”, p. 94-101

Take notes as you read through the chapters below, and come with questions to ask and discuss about each of them.

Introduction: “Centers and Edges”
Chapter 2: “Capital of Capital:  How New York Happened….”
Chapter 6: “Water and Power”
Chapter 4: “Riot! Periodic Eruptions in Volcanic New York”
Chapter 12: “City of Walkers”
Chapter 15: “Burning Down and Rising Up: The Bronx in the 1970s…”
Chapter 16: “Makers and Breakers:  Olmstead, Moses, Jacobs Shape the City”

Take detailed notes as you read through the chapters below, and come with questions to ask and discuss about each of them.

Introduction: “Centers and Edges”

Chapter 2: “Capital of Capital: How New York Happened”

Chapter 3: “Crash: Crises and Collisions in 21st Century Lower Manhattan”

Take notes as you read through the chapters below, and come with questions to ask and discuss about each of them.

Introduction: “Centers and Edges”
Chapter 9: “Archipelago: The Caribbean’s Far North” and “Of Islands and Other Mothers”
Chapter 16: “Makers and Breakers: Olmsted, Moses, Jacobs Shape the City” and “Ways and Means”
Chapter 20: “Brooklyn Villages” and “Free but Not Free”
Chapter 24: “Mother Tongues and Queens: The World’s Languages Capital” and “Tower of Scrabble”
Chapter 26: “Oscillating City: Manhattan, Day and Night” and “Schleptropolis”

Take detailed notes as you read through the chapters below, focusing on the questions following.

Chapter 9: “Archipelago: The Caribbean’s Far North”
Chapter 18: “Mysterious Lands of Shaolin: The Wu-Tang Clan’s Staten Island”
Chapter 23: “Planting Liberty: 350 Years of Freedom in Flushing”
Chapter 24: “Mother Tongues and Queens: The World’s Languages Capital”

  • Why did they choose to illustrate the book with maps?
  • Why are there so many chapters focused on immigrant experiences in and of the New York?
  • How do our racial, ethnic, religious, gender, immigrant, etc. identities shape the way we experience and understand New York? The world?

In an essay respond to the following question: How do you think ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious diversity and immigration have and continue to change New York City neighborhoods? Do you think there are similarities between these changes in New York and your home town?

Format: 3 pages, double-spaced, 12 pt font, 1-inch margins

Take notes as you read through the chapters below, and come with questions to ask and discuss about each of them.

Chapter 1: “Singing the City: The New York of Dreams” and “Our City of Songs”
Chapter 4: “Riot! Periodic Eruptions in Volcanic New York” and “The Violence of Inequality”
Chapter 10: “City of Women: The Power of Names”
Chapter 16: “Makers and Breakers: Olmsted, Moses, Jacobs Shape the City” and “Ways and Means”
Chapter 18: “Mysterious Land of Shaolin: The Wu-Tang Clan’s Staten Island” and “Breathing Space”
Chapter 26: “Oscillating City: Manhattan, Day and Night” and “Schleptropolis”

Take notes as you read through the chapters below, and come with questions to ask and discuss about each of them.

Introduction: “Centers and Edges”
Chapter 2: “Capital of Capital: How New York Happened”
Chapter 6: “Water and Power: The Reach of the City”
Chapter 14: “Our Latin Thing”
Chapter 18: “Mysterious Land of Shaolin: The Wu-Tang Clan’s Staten Island”
Chapter 24: “Mother Tongues and Queens: The World’s Languages Capital”
Chapter 26: “Oscillating City: Manhattan, Day and Night”

For our LC read as much as you can and feel free to skip around to sample the different points of view and find at least two chapters (and maps) that interest you the most. Be prepared share with the rest of the class about one of those chapters, why you chose it, and maybe add some additional information or perspectives on that topic that you already knew before or decided to investigate on your own after you read it.