Below is a series of questions I've written to help guide your reading for our meeting next week (September 18). From time to time throughout the semester I'll post these reading guides, both as an incentive to check the course blog (and hopefully to comment on it) and to help you make sense out of complicated readings.
This week's readings focus on newspapers and their role in 19th-century politics and urban space. These are complicated chapters, so don't be discouraged if you find yourself confused or lost at times. The key, I think, is to remember that these are NOT textbooks meant to convey a list of facts, but are instead one author's interpretation of certain specific developments in the past. Thus, I encourage you to dispute the authors, argue with them, agree with their argument, etc. Just don't take these chapters as a transparent and undisputed account of the past (which, I would argue, doesn't exist). Finally, I'd encourage you to grab a dictionary and look up any words with which you're unfamiliar. I noted "discourse," "homology," and "simulacra" as ten-dollar words used by Henkin.
That's my two cents. I welcome you to use the comments of this thread to ask your own questions about these readings, post your own opinions, etc. Any posts on the blog will contribute to your class participation grade.