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Welcome to the course!  This entirely on-line class explores the history of post-war New York through the paired lenses of law breaking and law enforcement. We will follow crime’s trajectory in the city from its startling explosion in the 1960s, through its equally unanticipated plunge in the 1990s, and then end  the course with an study of the highly-contested nature of policing recently.

Structure of Course

Class “meets” every Friday in the sense that (starting on 2/07) there will often be a timed, on-line test on the week’s material–generally a reading and/or a film (and there is an attendance policy; see below) While you can start these tests anytime from Friday at 6 AM until Saturday at 6 AM, you will have only a limited amount of time to take the test once you start. Tests will never be less than 30 minutes long and never more than two hours.

Some weeks, however, there will be written homework in the form of short-answer questions or a two-to-three page essay.  These assignments will usually be due Saturday morning at 6 AM, although you will be able to turn them in anytime from Friday at 6 am until Saturday at 6 AM. Details can be found on the syllabus.

There is an exception to this general pattern and it comes early.  As you will see on the syllabus you will need to watch a video and answer questions by 11:59 PM of 2/19.

Class Policies

All policies can be on our “handouts” page

Websites and Materials

We will use two websites for this course: (1) this one and (2) Blackboard. The Bb site will largely be for submitting homework, taking exams, and finding readings. The syllabus, assignment instructions, contact information, and other such things will all be here on this site (see buttons above).

Communication with Prof. Umbach

To avoid spam, I communicate only with JJ e-mail addresses.  See above for all contact info.

Field Trips
For those of you who live in New York City, I will also be offering an extra-credit walking tour of organized crime in Little Italy and Chinatown. If I can get funding from Student Activities, I will (as I have done for the past six years) lead a kayaking tour on the Hudson of waterfront corruption.