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History
Open to students in Classes I and II, the elective course “Modern Boston” will examine the development of Boston since 1900. Art, music, literature, and film will inform an analysis of what have been the forces most important for shaping the city. This course features a particular emphasis on the contributions of Boston’s immigrant communities to the development of its neighborhoods, and will explore whether the experiences of recent immigrants to Boston, from places like Somalia and Vietnam, have been similar to those of their counterparts from Italy and Ireland, a century ago. Additionally, we’ll examine how the Great Migration of African Americans to Boston both strengthened the development of the city and brought new urgency to the push for equity and access to Boston’s schools, neighborhoods, and public spaces. Along with the study of what are the things that bring Bostonians together in celebration, the course will include a discussion of how Boston has grappled with poverty, violence, and racism. Finally, the course will allow for an ongoing examination of how Boston has grown from, adapted to, and at times, struggled with some of the major political, economic, and social developments of the 20th century.