CCCC 7010:

City, Culture, and Community (CCC)

Pro-Seminar I

Fall 2011 Newcomb Hall, Room: 314

Wednesdays, 2:00 - 4:30


Professor Kevin Fox Gotham, Ph.D.

Sociology: 220 Newcomb Hall          

Office Hours: By appointment only

Phone: (504) 862-3004



Professor Charles Figley, PhD.

Graduate School of Social Work

Office Hours: By appointment only

Phone: (504) 862-3473


Course Description

This pro-seminar is for first-year CCC doctoral students.  The course will cover a wide range of topics central to their professional development, including finding and working with an advisor/mentor, developing a program of study and dissertation focus, developing a research agenda, building skills related to time- and information-management, publishing one’s work, making professional presentations, and creating and writing an annotated bibliography.  In addition, workshops on bibliographic software and reference databases will provide students with practical information about conducting literature reviews as the foundation for doing research.  CCC faculty members will come to class each week to provide an expert's perspective on these and other topics.


Course Objectives / Learning Outcomes

This course contributes to the CCC doctoral program by introducing a variety of topics central to professional development, such that the student will be able to:

1.      Integrate, synthesize, and apply disciplinary, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary perspectives on city, culture, and community as demonstrated by classroom participation, and writing assignments.

2.      Describe the process of searching for and working with an advisor/mentor as demonstrated by classroom participation and direct questioning.

3.      Describe how to search, select, and evaluate the merit of scholarly articles, books, and other works as demonstrated by classroom participation, and writing assignments.

4.      Explain how information gained from workshops on bibliographic software and reference databases  can  assist in developing a research topic  as demonstrated by classroom participation, and writing assignments.

5.      Develop a research agenda with research questions, synthetic literature review, and annotated bibliography as demonstrated by writing assignments

6.      Develop skills in time-management and information management , as demonstrated by their turning assignments in on time and being prompt to class, classroom participation, and writing assignments.

7.      Demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge about the logic and process of publishing articles and books as demonstrated by classroom participation, and writing assignments.

8.      Demonstrate proficiency in planning and organizing an oral presentation of a research topic as demonstrated by classroom participation, and writing assignments.


Educational Activities

To enable students to reach these educational objectives the instructional team has developed five educational activities.

1. Class Participation

Each student will attend class on time, participate fully in all discussions, without being distracted by various communication devices. The professors are especially happy with graduate student discussions that center on scholarship, research methods, or other scholarly discourse. Active and consistent participation is worth 40% of the final grade.

2. Completing an Annotated Bibliography

Students will receive further guidance on the selection of scholarly works and the detail of the annotation. This can be the first step to developing a dissertation research topic and agenda.  The annotated bibliography is worth 20% of the final grade.

3. Presentation of a Research Topic

The purpose of the oral presentation is to present a research topic to an audience of peers and clearly communicate an argument, results, and scholarly contributions. The presentation is worth 10% of the final grade.

4. Completing a Literature Review

The purpose of a literature review is to establish a theoretical framework for a research topic / subject area; define key terms and concepts; identify studies, models, methods, and so on supporting the topic; and state clearly what empirical and theoretical gaps the research intends to fill.  The literature review is worth 30% of the final grade.


Class Participation                                                                  40% of grade

Annotated Bibliography                                                         20% of grade

Oral Presentation                                                                    10% of grade

Literature Review                                                                   30% of grade


The CCC program requires that graduate students familiarize themselves with the Unified Code of Graduate Student Conduct: (accessed August 16, 2011). 


Tentative Schedule


Week 1: Introduction to CCC Program (Aug. 31)



·         Provost's Office. Tulane University. "Innovation and Interdisciplinarity in Graduate Education at Tulane 2010-11."

·         "Multi/Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in City, Culture, and Community (CCC).  A Proposal in Response to the Innovation and Interdisciplinarity in Graduate Education RFP."  Tulane University. Fall 2009.  


Week 2: Disciplinary, Multi-Disciplinary, and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Sept. 7)


Guest Professors:

·         Professor Diane Grams, Department of Sociology

·         Professor Joel Devine, Department of Sociology and Urban Studies



·         Stember, Marilyn.  1991. “Advancing the social sciences through the interdisciplinary enterprise.”  Social Science Journal, 28(1). 

·         Bruce et al. (2004) “Interdisciplinary Integration in Europe: the case of the Fifth Framework Programme.”Futures 36 (2004) 457–470

·         Grams, Diane 2010. Introduction chapter and chapter 1 (“Theory of Local Art Production Networks”). Producing Local Color: Art Networks in Ethnic Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Read at least one of the following articles:

·         Griffin, Larry J., Wallace, Michael, and Devine, Joel A. 1982. "The Political Economy of Military Spending: Evidence from the United States." Cambridge Journal of Economics 6 (1): 1 - 14.

·         Devine, Joel A., Sheley, Joseph F., and Smith, M. Dwayne. 1988. "Macroeconomic and Social-Control Policy Influences on Crime Rate Changes, 1948-1985." American Sociological Review 53 (3): 407 - 420.

·         Devine, Joel A., Plunkett, Mark, and Wright, James D. 1992. "The Chronicity of Poverty: Evidence from the PSID, 1968-1987." Social Forces 70 (3): 787 - 812.

·         Devine, Joel A., Brody, Charles, and Wright, James D. 1997. "Evaluating an Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program for the Homeless: An Econometric Approach." Evaluation & Program Planning 20 (2): 205-215.


·         Devine, Joel A. and Sams-Abiodun, Petrice. 2001. "Household Survival Strategies in a Public Housing Development.” Critical Perspectives on Urban Development 6: 277-311.

·         Overstreet, S., Devine, J., Bevans, K., & Efreom, Y. 2005. “Predicting Parental Involvement in Children's Schooling within an Urban African American Sample.” Psychology in the Schools 42(1): 101-111.



Week 3: Disciplinary, Multi-Disciplinary, and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Sept. 14)


Guest Faculty:

·         Professor Richard Campanella, Geographer, Urban Studies Program

·         Professor Mimi Schippers, Department of Sociology



·         Peruse Campanella’s website  to see how his work demonstrates the trans-disciplinary nature of geography, as well as a variety of methods/tools/approaches that researchers can use to characterize and explain spatial patterns.

·         Schippers, Mimi. “Recovering the Feminine Other: Femininity, Masculinity, and Gender Hegemony.” Theory and Society 36. 2007: 85-102.


Week 4: Finding and Working with Faculty Mentors (Sept. 21)


Guest Faculty:

·         Professor Stephanie Arnett, Department of Sociology

·         Professor David Ortiz, Department of Sociology


Readings: TBA



Week 5: Developing a Research Agenda (Sept. 28)


Guest Faculty:

·         Professor Qingwen Xu, School of Social Work

·         Professor So'nia Gilkey, School of Social Work






Week 6 – (Oct.  5). Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Latin America


Guest Faculty:

·         Professor Tom Reese, Latin American Studies Program.

·         Professor Carol Reese, School of Architecture and Urban Studies Program



·        TBA


Week 7: Workshops on Bibliographic Software and Reference Databases (Oct. 12)

1. "Refworks"

2. "Managing Your Research Materials"

3. "Comprehensive Literature Review"

4. "Keeping Current with the Literature"



Week 8: Developing Skills of Time-Management and Information-Management (Oct. 19)




Assignment: first draft of reference list for annotated bibliography (organized into categories)



Week 9: Writing Synthetic Literature Reviews (Oct. 26)


Guest Faculty:

·         Professor Richard Ager, School of Social Work

·         Professor Michele Adams, Department of Sociology



·         Richard Reis. November 24, 2000. “Getting Published as a Graduate Student in the Sciences.” Chronicle of Higher Education.

Behavioral Sciences. Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing.


Assignment: First draft of annotations for five or more sources


Week 10: Publication Process (Nov. 2)


Guest Faculty:

·         Professor Katie Acosta, Department of Sociology

·         Professor Carl Bankston, Department of Sociology


Readings: TBA



Week 11: Professional Development Strategies (Nov. 9)


Guest Faculty:

·         Professor Yuki  Kato, Department of Sociology

·         Professor Jade Miller, Department of Communication



·         Kato, Yuki. 2011. “Coming of Age in the Bubble: Suburban Adolescents' Use of Spatial Metaphor as Symbolic Boundaries.” Symbolic Interaction. 34(2):244–264.


Assignment: final version of annotated bibliography



Weeks 12 - 13: Dissertation Proposal Development (Nov. 16 and Nov. 23)


Guest Faculty:

·         Professor Fred Buttell, School of Social Work



·         Levine, Joseph. 2011. Writing and Presenting Your Thesis or Dissertation.

·         Article from Chronicle of Higher Education


Week 14-15: Peer Review Workshop and Research Presentation (Nov. 30 and Dec. 7)