Courses for Fall 2020

Title Instructors Location Time Description Cross listings Fulfills Registration notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Theme
URBS 010-401 Homelessness & Urban Inequality Dennis P. Culhane F 02:00 PM-05:00 PM This freshman seminar examines the homelessness problem from a variety of scientific and policy perspectives. Contemporary homelessness differs significantly from related conditions of destitute poverty during other eras of our nation's history. Advocates, researchers and policymakers have all played key roles in defining the current problem, measuring its prevalence, and designing interventions to reduce it. The first section of this course examines the definitional and measurement issues, and how they affect our understanding of the scale and composition of the problem. Explanations for homelessness have also been varied, and the second part of the course focuses on examining the merits of some of those explanations, and in particular, the role of the affordable housing crisis. The third section of the course focuses on the dynamics of homelessness, combining evidence from ethnographic studies of how people become homeless and experience homelessness, with quantitative research on the patterns of entry and exit from the condition. The final section of the course turns to the approaches taken by policymakers and advocates to address the problem, and considers the efficacy and quandaries associated with various policy strategies. The course concludes by contemplating the future of homelessness research and public policy. AFRC041401, SOCI013401 Cultural Diversity in the US Course is available to Freshmen.
Freshman Seminar
URBS 018-401 Music in Urban Spaces Molly Jean Mcglone F 02:00 PM-04:00 PM The primary goal of the freshman seminar program is to provide every freshman the opportunity for a direct personal encounter with a faculty member in a small sitting devoted to a significant intellectual endeavor. Specific topics be posted at the beginning of each academic year. Please see the College Freshman seminar website for information on course offerings: http://www.college.upenn.edu/requirements-courses. MUSC018401 Cultural Diversity in the US Course is available to Freshmen.
An Academically Based Community Serv Course
Freshman Seminar
URBS 104-401 Transformations of Urban America: Making the Unequal Metropolis, 1945-Today Randall B Cebul MW 02:00 PM-03:30 PM The course traces the economic, social, and political history of American cities after World War II. It focuses on how the economic problems of the industrial city were compounded by the racial conflicts of the 1950s and 1960s and the fiscal crises of the 1970s. The last part of the course examines the forces that have led to the revitalization and stark inequality of cities in recent years. HIST153401 Society Sector
Cultural Diversity in the US
Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen. History of Cities, Public Policy/Government
URBS 139-401 Ancient Civs of the Wrld Richard L Zettler TR 01:30 PM-03:00 PM This course explores the archaeology (material culture) of early complex societies or civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Aegean. According to the traditional paradigm, civilization first emerged during the fourth millennium BCE in Egypt and Mesopotamia. In the Mediterranean, state-level societies first appeared in Crete and mainland Greece in the early second millennium BCE. This course investigates how and why these civilizations developed, as well as their appearance and structure in the early historic (or literate) phases of their existence. A comparative perspective will illustrate what these early civilizations have in common and the ways in which they are unique. This course will consist largely of lectures which will outline classic archaeological and anthropological theories on state formation, before turning to examine the available archaeological (and textual) data on emerging complexity in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Aegean. This course does not presuppose any knowledge of archaeology or ancient languages; the instructor will provide any background necessary. Because this is a course on material culture, some of the class periods will be spent at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. These will consist of a guided tour of a relevant gallery, as well as a hands-on object-based lab with archaeological materials selected by the instructor. This course meets the General Education Curriculums Cross Cultural Analysis foundational approach, whose aim is to help students understand and interpret the cultures of peoples (even long-dead peoples) with histories different from their own; it also fulfills the History and Tradition Sector breadth requirement. NELC182401, ANTH139401 History & Tradition Sector Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions, History of Cities
URBS 140-301 Inequity and Empowerment Brian Peterson M 04:30 PM-07:30 PM A central premise of the "American Dream" is economic freedom, implying opportunity, security, and in the minds of many, wealth. The statistical and experiential reality, vividly evident throughout the nation's urban cities, is a staggering inequitable distribution of resources and growing economic instability for scores of households, including those identified as middle class. Educational policy makers and organizations working to address national poverty often rally that "destiny shouldn't be defined by one's zip code," yet, due to numerous factors, it is remarkably difficult for this not to be the case. Place matters. As does history. And race. Through an analysis of ethnographic and historical texts, policy reports, academic studies, and popular media pieces, URBS 140 will help students explore the hidden factors that have formed and sustain inequities in American cities. By studying the roots and contemporary manifestations of policy decisions and practices such as discriminatory housing, predatory lending, unbanking, and deindustrialization, and contextualizing the vast (and growing) wealth gaps in America and the critical importance of intergenerational wealth, URBS 140 will shed new light on how our current economic reality has been shaped. At the same time, the course will also introduce comparative approaches to understanding personal finance. Students will assess their own present and future financial decisions alongside the broader policies and histories that have framed their choices. As an ABCS-optional course, students will share their knowledge about inequity and financial empowerment with area high school students. Students will also generate a policy analysis and/or program proposal as part of their final project that addresses an inequity theme studied in the course. Urban Economics/Finance
URBS 178-401 Urb Univ-Community Rel: Faculty-Student Collaborative Action Seminar in Urban Univ-Comm Relations Ira Harkavy W 02:00 PM-05:00 PM One of the goals of this seminar is to help students develop their capacity to solve strategic, real-world problems by working collaboratively in the classroom, on campus, and in the West Philadelphia community. Research teams help contribute to the improvement of education on campus and in the community, as well as the improvement of university-community relations. Among other responsibilities, students focus their community service on college and career readiness at West Philadelphia High School and Sayre High School. Students are typically engaged in academically based community service learning at the schools for two hours each week. AFRC078401, HIST173401 Cultural Diversity in the US Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
An Academically Based Community Serv Course
Benjamin Franklin Seminars
https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2020C&course=URBS178401 Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions, Public Policy/Government
URBS 200-301 Urban Research Methods Ira J Goldstein R 05:00 PM-08:00 PM This course will examine different ways of undertaking urban research. The goal will be to link substantive research questions to appropriate data and research methods. Computer-based quantitative methods, demographic techniques, mapping / GIS and qualitative approaches will be covered in this course. Student assignments will focus on constructing a neighborhood case study of a community experiencing rapid neighborhood change. College Quantitative Data Analysis Req. Majors Only
URBS 202-301 Urban Education Michael C Clapper T 04:30 PM-07:30 PM This seminar focuses on two main questions: 1) How have US schools and urban ones in particular continued to reproduce inequalities rather than ameliorating them? 2) In the informational age, how do the systems affecting education need to change to create more successful and equitable outcomes? The course is designed to bridge the divide between theory and practice. Each class session looks at issues of equity in relation to an area of practice (e.g. lesson design, curriculum planning, fostering positive student identities, classroom management, school funding, policy planning...), while bringing theoretical frames to bear from the fields of education, sociology, anthropology and psychology. Cultural Diversity in the US An Academically Based Community Serv Course Public Policy/Government
URBS 204-001 Urban Law John Clark Keene MW 02:00 PM-03:30 PM This course will focus on selected aspects of urban law that are particularly relevant to areas of high population density. After an introduction to the American judicial system, it will examine the legal issues that arise in the management of land development and use, with special attention to constitutional questions involving equal protection, due process, and the "takings" clause, and routine run-of-the-mill zoning challenges. This course meets the Cultural Diversity requirement. Cultural Diversity in the US Built Environment, Public Policy/Government
URBS 237-401 Berlin: Hist Pol Culture Liliane Weissberg TR 10:30 AM-12:00 PM What do you know about Berlin's history, architecture, culture, and political life? The present course will offer a survey of the history of Prussia, beginning with the seventeenth century, and the unification of the small towns of Berlin and Koelln to establish a new capital for this country. It will tell the story of Berlin's rising political prominence in the eighteenth century, and its position as a center of the German and Jewish Enlightenment. It will follow Berlin's transformation into an industrial city in the nineteenth century, its rise to metropolis in the early twentieth century, its history during the Third Reich, and the post-war cold war period. The course will conclude its historical survey with a consideration of Berlin's position as a capital in reunified Germany. The historical survey will be supplemented by a study of Berlin's urban structure, its significant architecture from the eighteenth century (i.e. Schinkel) to the nineteenth (new worker's housing, garden suburbs) and twentieth centuries (Bauhaus, Speer designs, postwar rebuilding, GDR housing projects, post-unification building boom). In addition, we will read literary texts about the city, and consider the visual art and music created in and about Berlin, and focus on Berlin's Jewish history. The course will be interdisciplinary with the fields of German Studies, history, history of art, urban studies, and German-Jewish studies. It is also designed as a preparation for undergraduate students who are considering spending a junior semester with the Penn Abroad Program in Berlin. All readings and lectures in English. ARTH237401, HIST237401, GRMN237401, COML237401 All Readings and Lectures in English
Humanities & Social Science Sector
Registration also required for Recitation (see below)
Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions
URBS 248-301 The Urban Food Chain Domenic Vitiello W 02:00 PM-05:00 PM This class explores the social, economic, ecological, and cultural dynamics of metropolitan and community food systems in U.S. cities. Field trips and assignments immerse students in various forms of experiential learning - including farming and gardening, cooking, eating, and more. After a broad introduction to global, regional, and urban food systems in our first three weeks, across most of the semester we follow the food chain (or cycle), from production to processing, distribution, cooking, consumption, and waste. Specific topics include urban agriculture, community kitchens, grocery, hunger and food assistance, restaurants, neighborhoods, food cultures, food justice, and community food security. Students will gain broad literacies in: metropolitan and neighborhood food environments; food production, processing, distribution, access, and preparation; and the relationships between food, culture, and society. Students taking this class should be open to trying new things, getting hands dirty, and working with others in various settings and activities. Humanities & Social Science Sector https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2020C&course=URBS248301 Built Environment, Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions
URBS 258-401 Global Urban Education Alec Ian Gershberg W 02:00 PM-05:00 PM This course examines the demographic, social, and economic trends impacting the growth of global cities--providing the context for global urban education. Through the dual lens of globalization and local urban culture, we explore relationships between urban education and economic development, democratic citizenship, social movements, social inclusion, equity, and quality of urban life. We consider key historical legacies (e.g., Colonialism), informal settlements and "slums," the rise of the "knowledge economy", and the role of international aid. Additional topics include: early childhood; gender equity; youth culture; impacts of crisis and war; urban refugees; teacher training and identity; accountability & governance; information & computer technology; religion, indigenous cultures, and language identity; & the role of the private sector and school choice. We focus on cities like Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi, Jakarta, Mumbai, Lahore, Tehran, and Cairo, and draw comparisons to cities like New York, London, Paris and Tokyo. SOCI258401 Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions, Public Policy/Government
URBS 264-401 Poverty,Race and Health Courtney E Boen W 02:00 PM-05:00 PM This course is designed to introduce students to current literature on race/ethnic difference in health and mortality in the United States, covering such topics as explanations for why some race/ethnic groups fare better than others, how inner city poverty and residential segregation may contribute to racial/ethnic differences in health outcomes, and health of immigrants versus native-born populations. Current policy debated and recent policy developments related to health are also briefly discussed. The course is organized as a seminar with a combination of lectures and class discussions. SOCI264401, SOCI564401 Public Policy/Government
URBS 285-301 Health On the Urban Margins: the Experience of Health in U.S. Cities R. Tyson Smith TR 06:00 PM-07:30 PM In this course we will investigate the social and spatial determinants of health in contemporary urban American. We will study how cities are impacted by healthcare delivery systems and social policy in the United States, with special attention toward understanding the relationship between health disparities and structures of urban inequality related to racial discrimination, extreme poverty, and the stigma of a criminal record. We will also explore how a variety of marginalized populations from war veterans to parolees to the homeless cope with mental illness and violence-related trauma in the urban environment. Built Environment, Public Policy/Government
URBS 290-301 Metropolitan Nature Michael P Nairn M 02:00 PM-05:00 PM In order to understand the complex and often skewed relationship between the built and natural systems, we must think in processes and examine different scales simultaneously. The course explores urban sustainability and resilience. At its core, sustainability is a radical concept that integrates the economy, equity (social justice), and the environment. Co-opted by marketing slogans, stripped of meaning and context, it has become vague and pliable. Sustainability and resilience demand a holistic systems view of the world. The course focuses on communities such as New Orleans and Eastwick where urban development has focused on economic concerns at the expense of the environment and equity resulting in unintended, and sometimes, catastrophic consequences. Students will have the opportunity to interact with community residents who have organized to develop strategies to address these ongoing issues. Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen. Built Environment, Public Policy/Government
URBS 297-401 Nature Culture Environmentalism Nikhil Anand MW 02:00 PM-03:30 PM Water wars, deforestation, climate change. Amidst many uncertain crises, in this course we will explore the emergent relationship between people and the environment in different parts of the world. How do people access the resources they need to live? How, when and for whom does 'nature' come to matter? Why does it matter? And what analytical tools we might use to think, mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change? Drawing together classical anthropological texts and some of the emergent debates in the field of climate studies and environmental justice, in this class we focus on the social-ecological processes through which different groups of humans imagine, produce and inhabit anthropogenic environments. ANTH297401, SAST297401 Benjamin Franklin Seminars
URBS 320-401 Who Gets Elected and Why Edward G Rendell M 06:00 PM-09:00 PM What does it take to get elected to office? What are the key elements of a successful political campaign? What are the crucial issues guiding campaigns and elections in the U.S. at the beginning of the 21st century? This class will address the process and results of electoral politics at the local, state, and federal levels. Course participants will study the stages and strategies of running for public office and will discuss the various influences on getting elected, including: Campaign finance and fundraising, demographics, polling, the media, staffing, economics, and party organization. Each week we will be joined by guest speakers who are nationally recognized professionals, with expertise in different areas of the campaign and election process. Students will also analyze campaign case studies and the career of the instructor himself. Edward G. Rendell is the former Mayor of Philadelphia, former Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and former Governor of Pennsylvania. A note if you are not able to gain a seat in this course: Please write to Professor Fay Walker (listed in the Penn Directory) with your name, year of study, and major in order to be added to a waitlist. The professors will be able to register many waitlisted students in the first week of the semester, but only after the first class session on Monday Sept. 9th, 6pm, in Cohen Hall Room 402. Waitlisted students are encouraged not to miss the first class. GAFL509401, PSCI320401 Public Policy/Government
URBS 322-401 Big Pictures: Mural Arts Shira Walinsky
Jane Golden Heriza
MW 02:00 PM-05:00 PM The history and practice of the contemporary mural movement couples step by step analysis of the process of designing with painting a mural. In addition students will learn to see mural art as a tool for social change. This course combines theory with practice. Students will design and paint a large outdoor mural in West Philadelphia in collaboration with Philadelphia high school students and community groups. The class is co-taught by Jane Golden, director of the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia, and Shira Walinsky, a mural arts painter and founder of Southeast by Southeast project, a community center for Burmese refugees in South Philadelphia. FNAR222401, FNAR622401 Cultural Diversity in the US Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.
Auditors Need Permission
An Academically Based Community Serv Course
Built Environment
URBS 326-401 Tutoring in Urban Public Elementary Schools:A Child Development Perspective John W Fantuzzo CANCELED The course provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in academically based community service learning. Student will be studying early childhood development and learning while providing direct, one-to-one tutoring services to young students in Philadelphia public elementary schools. The course will cover foundational dimensions of the cognitive and social development of preschool and elementary school students from a multicultural perspective. The course will place a special emphasis on the multiple contexts that influence children's development and learning and how aspects of classroom environment (i.e., curriculum and classroom management strategies) can impact children's achievement. Also, student will consider a range of larger issues impacting urban education embedded in American society. The course structure has three major components: (1) lecture related directly to readings on early childhood development and key observation and listening skills necessary for effective tutoring, (2) weekly contact with a preschool or elementary school student as a volunteer tutor and active consideration of how to enhance the student learning, and (3) discussion and reflection of personal and societal issues related to being a volunteer tutor in a large urban public school. EDUC326401 Permission Needed From Department
An Academically Based Community Serv Course
Public Policy/Government
URBS 330-401 Gis Applications in Social Science Amy E Hillier R 01:30 PM-04:30 PM This course will introduce students to the principles behind Geographic Information Science and applications of (GIS) in the social sciences. Examples of GIS applications in social services, public health, criminology, real estate, environmental justice, education, history, and urban studies will be used to illustrate how GIS integrates, displays, and facilitates analysis of spatial data through maps and descriptive statistics. Students will learn to create data sets through primary and secondary data collection, map their own data, and create maps to answer research questions. The course will consist of a combination of lecture and lab. URBS530401 College Quantitative Data Analysis Req. Public Policy/Government
URBS 400-301 Senior Seminar Elaine L Simon T 05:00 PM-08:00 PM Urban Studies senior research project Majors Only
URBS 400-302 Senior Seminar Elizabeth L Greenspan T 05:00 PM-08:00 PM Urban Studies senior research project Majors Only
URBS 400-303 Senior Seminar Molly Jean Mcglone T 05:00 PM-08:00 PM Urban Studies senior research project Majors Only
URBS 400-304 Senior Seminar Elizabeth L Greenspan CANCELED Urban Studies senior research project Majors Only
URBS 412-301 Building Non-Profits: the Business of A Mission-Driven Organization Greg H. Goldman T 04:30 PM-07:30 PM This course will cover the basic elements of building and growing a non-profit organization, including the development of the mission and the board; needs assessment, program design, development, and management; financial management, contract compliance and understanding an audit; fundraising, public, foundation, corporate, and individual; communication and marketing; organizational administration (including staff and volunteer selection, management and development); public policy, research and advocacy. Students will make site visits and engage role play, in addition to research and writing. Public Policy/Government
URBS 419-301 Urban Transportation in Flux Ariel Ben-Amos R 05:00 PM-08:00 PM Transportation systems and networks impact everything from the literal shape of American cities to their economic vitality and the well-being of their citizens. Urban Infrastructure in Flux provides students with an overview of the political, business, and policy concerns and processes that inform how Americans get around by foot, transit, and car. URBS 419 explores the use and reuse of legacy infrastructure, and roots innovations such as driverless cars, and scooters, in a historical conflict over the right-of-way (ROW). Students will have the opportunity to meet professionals in the field and engage in primary source research and data analysis.
URBS 420-401 Perspectives On Urban Poverty Robert P Fairbanks W 05:30 PM-08:30 PM This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to 20th century urban poverty, and 20th century urban poverty knowledge. In addition to providing an historical overview of American poverty, the course is primarily concerned with the ways in which historical, cultural, political, racial, social, spatial/geographical, and economic forces have either shaped or been left out of contemporary debates on urban poverty. Of great importance, the course will evaluate competing analytic trends in the social sciences and their respective implications in terms of the question of what can be known about urban poverty in the contexts of social policy and practice, academic research, and the broader social imaginary. We will critically analyze a wide body of literature that theorizes and explains urban poverty. Course readings span the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, urban studies, history, and social welfare. Primacy will be granted to critical analysis and deconstruction of course texts, particularly with regard to the ways in which poverty knowledge creates, sustains, and constricts meaningful channels of action in urban poverty policy and practice interventions. HIST440401, SOCI420401 Cultural Diversity in the US Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions, History of Cities, Public Policy/Government
URBS 440-401 Introduction To City Planning: Past, Present and Future Francesca R Ammon MW 09:00 AM-10:30 AM Orientation to the profession, tracing the evolution of city and regional planning from its late nineteenth century roots to its twentieth century expression. Field trips included. CPLN500401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2020C&course=URBS440401 Built Environment, History of Cities, Public Policy/Government
URBS 440-402 Introduction To City Planning: Past, Present and Future Akira D Rodriguez MW 09:00 AM-10:30 AM Orientation to the profession, tracing the evolution of city and regional planning from its late nineteenth century roots to its twentieth century expression. Field trips included. CPLN500402
URBS 451-401 The Politics of Housing & Community Development John Kromer W 02:00 PM-05:00 PM This course offers an exploration of how legislative action, government policymaking, and citizen advocacy influence plans for the investment of public capital in distressed urban neighborhoods. The course will include an evaluation of policies undertaken by Philadelphia Mayor James F. Kenney and his predecessors to reduce poverty and promote equitable development in the city's most distressed neighborhoods. In conversations with individuals who are currently engaged in implementing public- and private-sector development plans, students will discuss land banks, code enforcement, eviction prevention, and homeless housing initiatives, as well as recent and current reinvestment proposals for Camden's waterfront and downtown-area neighborhoods. GAFL569401, CPLN625401 Built Environment, Public Policy/Government, Urban Economics/Finance
URBS 530-401 Gis Applications in Social Science Amy E Hillier R 01:30 PM-04:30 PM This course will introduce students to the principles behind Geographic Information Science and applications of (GIS) in the social sciences. Examples of GIS applications in social services, public health, criminology, real estate, environmental justice, education, history, and urban studies will be used to illustrate how GIS integrates, displays, and facilitates analysis of spatial data through maps and descriptive statistics. Students will learn to create data sets through primary and secondary data collection, map their own data, and create maps to answer research questions. The course will consist of a combination of lecture and lab. URBS330401 College Quantitative Data Analysis Req.
URBS 547-401 Anthropology & Education Alexander Posecznick M 12:00 PM-02:00 PM An introduction to the intent, approach, and contribution of anthropology to the study of socialization and schooling in cross-cultural perspective. Education is examined in traditional, colonial, and complex industrial societies. ANTH547401, EDUC547401 Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions, Public Policy/Government