EGMT 1530: Restrictions, Redlining, "Renewal": US Racial Geographies

Years Offered: 
Quarter Offered: 
Day | Time: 
TR 11:00am-12:15pm
Session: 
Spring Quarter Three: January 19 – March 15
Years Offered: 
Quarter Offered: 
Day | Time: 
TR 3:30pm-4:45pm
Session: 
Spring Quarter Four: March 16 – May 3
Instructor: 
How have ideas about racial difference shaped the geography of the United States? What made the suburbs white, and why do modifiers like “inner city” and “urban” signify people of color? How has residential segregation functioned to further entrench systemic racial disparities? In this course, we will explore how racial restrictive covenants, redlining, and urban renewal projects purposefully segregated American residential space throughout the 20th century. We will focus especially on interacting with, analyzing, and comparing a variety of primary historical documents (e.g., essays by James Baldwin and Richard Wright, the Federal Housing Authority’s Underwriting Manual), digital archives of original redlining maps and restrictive covenants, and maps of contemporary demographic data. As we do so, we will analyze the legacies of these policies, from the racial wealth gap and educational inequality to increased impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic on historically redlined communities. This course will teach students to approach the study of differences through a geographic lens, and it will engage the racial geography of the city of Charlottesville so that we can better understand our present context.