good kid maad city

Several reviewers compared Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city to James Joyce’s modernist novel Ulysses, in that both of them chronicled the twists and turns of a day in the life of a young urbanite. The comparison wasn’t lost on Adam Diehl, a professor at Georgia Regents University, who built an entire English course using Lamar’s album as a prism to explore other similar stories in film and literature. As USA Today reports, “Good Kids, Mad Cities” will touch on works by Joyce, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Spike Lee among others. Here’s how the course is described at the university’s website:

Taking its name from Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 album, this course will examine the role of urban living on the development of young people. In Kendrick’s case, “the streets sure to release the worst side of my best” (Lamar 58). By studying and analyzing various literature, films, and K. Dot’s album, we will consider what effects our characters’ surroundings have on who they become as adults. The cities we will be visiting, in our imaginations, are Dublin, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Assignments will include a substantial research paper, stemming from the topics inherent in our texts; students should also expect other writing assignments, such as short papers and online discussion posts. ​

Sounds like fun. Good idea, Adam Diehl!

Comments (7)
  1. File this under “classes I wish I could have taken in college” along with that one Harvard sociology class on The Wire.

  2. Some people consider Georgia Regents University to be the “University of Phoenix of the South!”

    • Right, what does that mean?

      • The course description was written by an English professor. Naturally, because he’s quoting the source material directly, he is citing his references so as to avoid plagiarizing. Common source citing format is what was used: Open Parenthesis> Last Name of Author> Page Number the Quote Can Be Found On> Closed Parenthesis. I can only assume that the professor must have taken the lyrics from the album and compiled them into a book configuration of some sort, hence the “58″.

  3. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  4. “Open your textbooks to page 213, section 80.”

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