On Location 2018: Portland beyond Portlandia: Creative Cities and the New Economy

Jennifer Gallinat

October 18th, 2017

AMCS (L98) 479: On Location: Portland beyond Portlandia: Creative Cities and the New Economy (3.0 credits)

May 21 - June 5, 2018

Portland, Oregon is a city that is at the forefront of a national trend affecting many urban centers -- from Brooklyn to Detroit, Nashville to Austin. In Portland, as in other cities, the emergence of a class of artisan entrepreneur -- people who produce local organic food, sustainable fashion, hand-crafted beer, third-wave coffee, artisanal furniture, and so fort -- is driving population growth and dynamics of demographic recomposition and gentrification. Housing and rental prices are soaring. Neighborhoods are changing. Working-class and immigrant groups and people of color are being displaced from central neighborhoods, which are being redefined by the establishment of high-end grocery stores, maker spaces, boutique shops, coffee shops, and a generalized aesthetic of hipster enterprise and consumerism.

This on-location course investigates the creative culture and new forms of work, enterprise, do-it-yourself-ism, and consumption that are associated with urban change and economic development in American cities today. Over the span of two weeks spent in Portland, the course will cover topics including the history of gentrification and displacement in the United States, urban planning and the racial politics of space, Portland's lengthy history of do-it-yourself art and creation (e.g., punk, grunge, indie), the emerging "maker movement," relationships between localized consumerism (e.g., craft beer, farmers markets) and identity, critical perspectives on ethics and entrepreneurship, including claims about sustainability in enterprises ranging from farming to fashion, an analysis of hipster aesthetics and whiteness, and intersections between gender and the changing meanings of work and labor in America.

These topics will be explored via numerous guided tours, field visits, and conversations with business owners, practitioners, and local experts, in addition to readings and classroom discussions. Students will engage in participatory and group learning and conduct independent research projects, incorporating qualitative methods from cultural anthropology, such as interviews and participant-observation. "Portland beyond Portlandia" provides an introduction into strategies for research in interpretative social sciences and the humanities and trains students in contemporary thinking in the fields of urban anthropology and cultural studies.

This course will be of particular interest to students in Performing Arts, Urban Studies, History, African and African American Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studie -- all of which fall under the broad umbrella of American Culture Studies.Graduate students and advanced undergraduates are welcome.

The course runs from May 21 to June 5. We will be in Portland beginning May 23 through the end of the course. Attendance is mandatory for the duration of the course and for each day's activities.

Students must apply to be considered for this course. APPLICATIONS DUE FEBRUARY 1, 2018. Selected candidates will receive a comprehensive financial package that covers most costs associated with this course, including travel and tuition.

To apply, please complete the On Location Application form found here and return to Jennifer Gallinat (gallinat@wustl.edu) by 11:59pm Central Time, Thursday, February 1, 2018. The application should be typed out (no hand-written applications please). If you have any trouble opening or accessing the PDF file for revisions, please contact Jennifer Gallinat for a MS Word document version.

** Applications will be available in mid-December 2017.**

key contacts

Peter Benson


Associate Professor, Sociocultural Anthropology


Kedron Thomas

Assistant Professor, Anthropology


Jennifer Gallinat

Administrative Coordinator


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