Courses on Urban Politics often focus on issues such as local government structures (e.g. “weak” vs. “strong” mayoral systems), the relationships between cities and other levels of government (county, state, and federal), budget allocations, bureaucracies, economic development policies, and the composition of electoral coalitions. While important, this top-down and narrow view of politics misses many of the most pressing problems impacting inner-city residents. As such, this reading intensive and student-led seminar will take a different approach by instead examining some of the most critical issues affecting people who live in ghettos and barrios—“the hood”—across the United States. Throughout the semester students will be required to think about how race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship status impact and are impacted by the various topics we investigate, including the politics of: Poverty, Gangs, Schools, Drugs, Prisons, Segregation, Violence, Policing, Criminalization, Gentrification, and Activism.