URBS 350: Cities of the Third World 
(Spring 2002)
Urban Studies Program
California State Univerity, Northridge
Ganapati Sukumar 
Email: sg61795@csun.edu
Telephone: (818) 677-2904 
Office hours: W, F:  10.30-11.00 a.m. 
Office:  Sierra Hall, 214D
Days: M, W, F 
Time: 11.00 a.m. - 11.50 a.m.

 
 
 
COURSE OBJECTVE AND OUTLINE
Course Objective A cultural analysis of Third World Urbanization and counter-urbanization with particular emphasis on aspects of urban life and social change in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeastern Asia.
Course Outline The central purpose of this course is to understand the urbanization of Third World countries in a comparative perspective.  The course will expose students to the rich diversity of Third World cities and the lessons they hold for other contexts.  While we will deal with the general issues of urbanization in the Third World, we will examine the specific issues of different continental regions in great detail.

The course is organized in three major sections.  The first section deals with the idea of the Third World.  While the term “Third World” was originally coined to indicate an alternative development path, it has been adapted to indicate status of countries in the "ladder" of development.  We will examine political, cultural, ideological, and economic basis of the term's different meanings.  We will also look at Third World population growth and the urbanization process.  The second section deals with an in-depth look at urban issues facing each of the continental regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.  While these regions face common issues with respect to poverty, transportation, housing and informal sector, we will see how some issues are also particular to certain regions (e.g. population growth in Asia; AIDS in Africa; and debt crisis in Latin America).  The third section deals with urbanization strategies of the Third World in the face of globalization and technological advances.  In this section, we will examine the importance of national strategies with respect to certain major urbanization issues.  We will also see to what extent globalization and information & communication technology are critical for sustenance of Third World cities.

TESTS AND ASSIGNMENTS
Schedule  First Test:  20 points (on 1 March)
 Second Test:  10 points (on 5 April)
 Project:  15 points (8 April to 12 April)
 Final Paper:  15 points (due on Finals Day, May 22)
 Third Test:  10 points (on 17 May)
 Article Reviews: 10 points (two reviews, each due on 15 Mar, 22 Apr)
 Class attendance and participation: 10 points
 There will be NO EXTRA CREDITS.
In class tests In class tests will consist of three parts: multiple choice questions, short question answers, and an essay question. Duration will be 75 mins.
Project Students will pick an issue (e.g. slums, poverty, pollution, etc.) or cultural artifact (e.g. cinema, lifestyle, custom, tradition, etc.) related to a Third World City and make a presentation in the class. The presentation should have at least one visual component (e.g. a model, a poster collage, video, photographs, maps, Internet Web page, etc.) and a written component not exceeding 2 (two) pages. Proper acknowledgements of the sources should be indicated.
Final Term Paper The Final Term Paper will deal with the comparative study of the Third World urbanization.  Students can pick the same topic that they selected in their Project, or a new topic depending on their choice, and depict it in a comparative light with a different urban setting.  You can include Los Angeles for the comparison.  The presentation should be in the form of a write-up, not exceeding 6 pages.  References to other publications should be done in a consistent style.
Article Reviews Choose a full length article from an acclaimed newspaper (e.g. LA Times) or magazine (e.g. National Geographic) (do not use articles from websites, unless they belong to reputed newspapers or journals).  The article should broadly relate to the class’s concern.  Choosing the article, by itself, is a major task.  Do not choose a short news-piece or a piece from “Letters to the Editor.”  Make a critical review of the article.  For op-ed pieces, structure the review as follows:  first, you summarize major points of the article; second, you highlight the strengths and weaknesses of author’s claims; third, you offer your insights on issues addressed by the author.  For reports, news pieces and other articles, do the following:  first, summarize the major points of the article; second, you highlight the significance of the issues/ problems/ solutions; third, offer your insights on the issues.  The review should not be longer than 3 pages.  Two such reviews are due during the semester.