An Economic History of Portland Neighborhoods
Fall—EN 101, College Composition
Spring—EN 200, Advanced Composition
How can we work to create neighborhoods that are diverse, affordable and sustainable in the long-term?
Everyone comes from somewhere and that history has an impact on you and your story. In this Learning Community, students will be able to enter into an analysis of other places by first recognizing what they have to offer through their own experiences. The city provides a wonderful context for exploring place and its effect on our lives, as well as the structures that influence the places people live and the resources to which they have access.
Walking the streets of Portland, students will begin to ask questions about what they see, hear, and smell, in the spaces that surround them. They will be able to draw on these experiences in their writing and reading, as they develop an authoritative voice and learn to speak from expertise. This skill can then be transferred and applied to reading and writing about others’ ideas on a variety of topics including, neighborhoods and gentrification. Finally, the course will offer an opportunity for students to think about future choices that are relevant to everyone: where will you choose to live? Why? What are the implications of that choice on the community of others around you?
Christ-Centered: Asking questions about the justice or injustice of structures, like housing and the distribution of connected resources, in our society and their relationship to spiritual forces is an important task for followers of Christ and for a Christ-centered college.
Urban: The neighborhoods of the city of Portland, their history, people, and transformation both physically and economically, will be the foundation of our course material. We will experience it together and learn how to ask and answer questions about the places we inhabit and encounter.
Liberal arts: A liberal arts education includes learning to think, read, and write well, while also learning how to engage the local community and larger society as a citizen. This course will develop students’ toolbox for thinking about the places we live in critical and justice-oriented ways. Moreover, it will equip them to know about and think about what civic participation looks like at a neighborhood level, and why that matters.
Diverse: This course invites diverse experiences and backgrounds, recognizing that different people are affected by the different places from which they come. Those different places, however, are also interconnected in important ways. We will not privilege any particular experience, but demonstrate the interconnectedness of people’s choices about where they live.
- Students will draw on their experiences of their own neighborhoods to learn about one another and how places affect us as people
- We will spend time walking through and observing several neighborhoods of Portland to learn about what makes them “work” as well as what makes them pleasurable or difficult to live in
- We will learn about justice and equality issues related to neighborhoods and think about how we might begin to address them