This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session

Syllabus Archive

The following syllabi come from a variety of different terms. They illustrate the evolution of this course over time, and are intended to provide alternate views into the instruction of this course.

Spring 2010, Robert Fogelson (PDF)

Spring 2008, Robert Fogelson (PDF)

Spring 2005, Robert Fogelson (PDF)

Course Description

This course is a seminar on the history of institutions and institutional change in American cities from roughly 1850 to the present. By exploring a selection of primary and secondary documents, students learn to see the institutions that impact cities from a varied historical perspective. Among the institutions to be looked at are political machines, police departments, courts, schools, prisons, public authorities, and universities. The focus of the course is on readings and discussions. Students are also expected to write a term paper on the subject of their choice (within the scope of the course) using a variety of primary and secondary documentation.