Place & Perspective

College Writing, L59 116

Place & Perspective is a writing course featuring readings on the subject of our environments, whether social communities, physical spaces, or even virtual realities. As a class and as individuals, students will be asked to respond to these sources with writing of their own, practicing the academic traditions of interpreting, analyzing, criticizing, and researching. Most importantly, students will have the opportunity to write original works synthesizing and offering new views on what it means to live here in this world, to have a place in an ecosystem or a city, a house or a hospital. We’ll study our local community, from perspectives in our classroom to the wider conversations across the St. Louis region as we discover and write about our surroundings. We’ll foreground diversity in both in our class conversations and the writers we’ll read, from issues of inequality to concerns of access and the responsibilities of citizens. The class will feature multidisciplinary perspectives in conversations with our faculty as they reflect on their experiences writing within and about places. We will consider how place-based thinking thrives across academic fields, from design thinking in art to systems science in engineering, from environmental policy in business to ethnographic writing in anthropology, to name a few possibilities.

Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide

Place matters. Where people live in St. Louis has been shaped by an extensive history of segregation that was driven by policies at multiple levels of government and practices across multiple sectors of society. The effect of segregation has been to systematically exclude African American families from areas of opportunity that support positive economic, educational, and health outcomes.

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