This course studies the cultural life of San Francisco from its days as a Spanish settlement named Yurba Buena to the present. It treats the historical and cultural life of the city as coextensive with modernity (modern capitalist development, including "progress" and its ideologies, which we generally refer to today as globalization). Because the City of SF is bound-up with modernity, it remains something that is still happening, something we are all in and working through. In short, this course traces A History of the Present of SF Modernism.

    This is a fun class where we learn all the gossip—sin, vice, murder—from the 19th century, including some of the unique characters who made this place. But we will also think seriously about place and exclusion, the genocide of native peoples, and the history of race in the city, particularly with regard to  Chinatown and the Chinese Exclusion Act. We will also study gender and its constructions, sexuality, trans history, nature, commodification, prostitution, image and spectacle as they relate to everyday life in SF modernities. Significant cultural works, places, and events, will be studied in relation to the material history of the city.