Courses for Fall 2022

Title Instructors Location Time Description Cross listings Fulfills Registration notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Theme
URBS 0005-401 Poverty and Inequality Regina S Baker T 10:15 AM-1:14 PM What does it mean to live in poverty in the "land of plenty" and experience inequality in the "land of opportunity?" This First-Year Seminar explores these questions and others related to poverty and inequality in contemporary America. The first part of this course focuses on poverty. We will examine topics such as poverty perceptions and measurement, poverty trends, causes of poverty, poverty-related outcomes, and anti poverty policy. The second part of this course focuses on inequality more broadly. We will examine how inequality is defined and what it looks like in the U.S. We will compare the “Haves" and the "Have Nots” and discuss social class, mobility, wealth, and privilege. Lastly, we will explore how different domains (e.g. education, the labor market, health, the justice system) produce, maintain, and reproduce inequalities. Throughout the semester, we will consider the roles of race/ethnicity, gender, age, and place, and how they help deepen our understanding of poverty and inequality. SOCI0001401
URBS 0015A-301 Civic Scholars Proseminar David H Grossman
Khadijah Seay
The Civic Scholars Proseminar is the gateway, interdisciplinary course for first-year students in the Penn Civic Scholars Program, a four-year certificate program integrating scholarship and civic engagement. The course, open only to first-year Civic Scholars, provides context for students' future engagement, academic work, and program participation throughout their undergraduate experience. Perm Needed From Instructor
URBS 0050-401 Ancient Civilizations of the World Richard L Zettler TR 1:45 PM-3:14 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. ANTH0105401, NELC0050401 History & Tradition Sector
Cross Cultural Analysis
URBS 0051-401 Community Writing Zita C Nunes MW 12:00 PM-1:29 PM Community Writing combines theory with practice: students will first study critical and creative writing pedagogy, and then visit a range of Philadelphia communities to write creatively together and form new kinds of community through writing. Students will have the opportunity to work and write with community members from Sayre High School, the FreeWrite Prison Writing Program, the transcribez Writing Group for Trans and Gender Nonconforming Youth, the Write On! program with Lea middle school students, or the Writing a Life program at Kelly Writers House for people with cancer diagnoses. We will study nonhierarchical creative writing teaching techniques, such as spoken word and hip-hop pedagogy, and we will learn how to develop community-appropriate creative writing prompts that inspire people to write. We will also study a number of classic texts in radical pedagogy (by authors such as bell hooks and Paolo Freire) and generate ideas about how to harness the power of education—and creative writing in particular—for personal and social change. ENGL0051401 Humanties & Social Science Sector
URBS 0180A-401 Music in Urban Spaces Molly Jean Mcglone F 3:30 PM-5:29 PM Music in Urban Spaces is a year-long experience that explores the ways in which individuals use music in their everyday lives and how music is used to construct larger social and economic networks that we call culture. We will read the work of musicologists, cultural theorists, urban geographers, sociologists and educators who work to define urban space and the role of music and sound in urban environments, including through music education. While the readings make up our study of the sociology of urban space and the way we use music in everyday life to inform our conversations and the questions we ask, it is within the context of our personal experiences working with music programs in public neighborhood schools serving economically disadvantaged students, that we will begin to formulate our theories of the contested musical micro-cultures of West Philadelphia. This course is over two-semesters where students register for .5 cus each term (for a total of 1 cu over the entire academic year) and is tied to the Music and Social Change Residential Program in Fisher Hassenfeld College House which will sponsor field trips around the city and a final concert for youth to perform here at Penn, if possible. Students are expected to volunteer in music and drama programs in Philadelphia neighborhood public schools throughout the course experience. MUSC0180A401 Humanties & Social Science Sector
Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
URBS 0248-301 The Urban Food Chain Domenic Vitiello M 1:45 PM-4:44 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. Humanties & Social Science Sector https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202230&c=URBS0248301
URBS 1050-401 Metropolis: Culture of the City Javier Samper Vendrell MW 3:30 PM-4:59 PM An exploration of modern discourses on and of the city. Topics include: the city as site of avant-garde experimentation; technology and culture; the city as embodiment of social order and disorder; traffic and speed; ways of seeing the city; the crowd; city figures such as the detective, the criminal, the flaneur, the dandy; film as the new medium of the city. Special emphasis on Berlin. Readings by, among others, Dickens, Poe, Baudelaire, Rilke, Doeblin, Marx, Engels, Benjamin, Kracauer. Films include Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run. CIMS1050401, GRMN1050401 Cross Cultural Analysis
Arts & Letters Sector
https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202230&c=GRMN1050401
URBS 1060-401 Race and Ethnic Relations Tukufu Zuberi TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM The course will focus on race and ethnicity in the United States. We begin with a brief history of racial categorization and immigration to the U.S. The course continues by examining a number of topics including racial and ethnic identity, interracial and interethnic friendships and marriage, racial attitudes, mass media images, residential segregation, educational stratification, and labor market outcomes. The course will include discussions of African Americans, Whites, Hispanics, Asian Americans and multiracials. AFRC1060401, ASAM1510401, LALS1060401, SOCI1060401 Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
URBS 1090-401 Urban Sociology Alec Ian Gershberg TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM This course is a comprehensive introduction to the sociological study of urban areas. This includes more general topics as the rise of cities and theories urbanism, as well as more specific areas of inquiry, including American urbanism, segregation, urban poverty, suburbanization and sprawl, neighborhoods and crime, and immigrant ghettos. The course will also devote significant attention to globalization and the process of urbanization in less developed counties. AFRC1090401, LALS1090401, SOCI1090401 Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
URBS 1110-401 The Big Picture: Mural Arts in Philadelphia Jane Golden Heriza MW 1:45 PM-4:44 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. FNAR1110401, FNAR5051401, VLST3220401 Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
URBS 1120-401 Community, Freedom, Violence: Writing the South Asian City Gregory Goulding TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM The South Asian city—as space, symbol, and memory—is the subject of this course. Through a range of readings in English and in translation, we will gain a sense for the history of the city and the ways in which it is a setting for protest and nostalgia, social transformation and solitary wandering. We will see reflections of the city in the detective novels sold in its train stations, the stories scribbled in its cafes, and films produced in its backlots. Readings will attempt to address urban spaces across South Asia through a range of works, which we will examine in the context of secondary readings, including histories and ethnological works that take up life in the modern city. Students will finish this course prepared to pursue projects dealing with the urban from multiple disciplinary perspectives. This course is suitable for anyone interested in the culture, society, or literature of South Asia, and assumes no background in South Asian languages. COML1121401, ENGL1191401, SAST1120401 Cross Cultural Analysis
URBS 1153-401 Transformations of Urban America: Making the Unequal Metropolis, 1945 to Today Randall B Cebul MW 10:15 AM-11:44 AM 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. HIST1153401 Society Sector
Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
URBS 1780-401 Faculty-Student Collaborative Action Seminar in Urban University-Community Rltn Ira Harkavy
Theresa E Simmonds
This seminar helps students develop their capacity to solve strategic, real-world problems by working collaboratively in the classroom, on campus, and in the West Philadelphia community. Students develop proposals that demonstrate how a Penn undergraduate education might better empower students to produce, not simply "consume," societally-useful knowledge, as well as to function as caring, contributing citizens of a democratic society. Their proposals help contribute to the improvement of education on campus and in the community, as well as to the improvement of university-community relations. Additionally, students provide college access support at Paul Robeson High School for one hour each week. AFRC1780401, HIST0811401 Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
URBS 2000-301 Introduction to Urban Research Ira J Goldstein R 5:15 PM-8:14 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. Quantitative Data Analysis
URBS 2020-301 Urban Education Michael C Clapper T 3:30 PM-6:29 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 Diviserity in the U.S.
URBS 2090-401 Neighborhood Dynamics of Crime John M Macdonald MW 3:30 PM-4:59 PM Crime varies in time, space and populations as it reflects ecological structures and the routine social interactions that occur in daily life. Concentrations of crime can be found among locations, with antisocial activities like assaults and theft occurring at higher rates because of the demographic make-up of people (e.g. adolescents) or conflicts (e.g. competing gangs), for reasons examined by ecological criminology. Variation in socio-demographic structures (age, education ratios, and the concentration of poverty) and the physical environment (housing segregation, density of bars, street lighting) predicts variations between neighborhoods in the level of crime and disorder. Both ethnographic and quantitative research methods are used to explore the connections between the social and physical environment of areas and antisocial behavior. CRIM2080401
URBS 2445-401 Civil Dialogue Seminar: Civic Engagement In A Divided Nation Harris Sokoloff T 12:00 PM-2:59 PM The goal of this course is to help students develop concepts, tools, dispositions, and skills that will help them engage productively in the ongoing experiment of American democracy. This nation's founders created a governmental structure that sets up an ongoing and expansive conversation about how to manage the tensions and tradeoffs between competing values and notions of the public good. These tensions can never be fully resolved or eliminated; they are intrinsic to the American experiment. Every generation must struggle to find its own balance, in no small part because in every era people who previously had been unjustly excluded from the conversation find a way to be heard. That inevitably introduces new values and changes how enduring ones get interpreted. The challenge of each generation is to develop that capacity to its fullest. The goal of this course is to equip you to engage fully in your generation's renewal of the conversation. Class sessions will use a variety of modalities: lecture, discussion, case studies, opportunities to experiment with the tools and techniques of civil dialogue and writing. Each session will include some theory or historical context, a case study, exploration of a key concept of civic dialogue with a related tool or technique, and an interactive exercise. This course is part of a larger effort by the university (called the Paideia program) to help Penn students build these skills COMM2445401, EDUC2445401
URBS 2850-301 Health on the urban margins: The experience of health in American cities R. Tyson Smith TR 5:15 PM-6:44 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.
URBS 2900-301 Metropolitan Nature Michael P Nairn M 1:45 PM-4:44 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. https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202230&c=URBS2900301
URBS 2950-401 Palermo: Urban Migration, the Built Environment, and Global Justice Franca Trubiano
Domenic Vitiello
F 8:30 AM-11:29 AM This City Seminar sponsored by Penn’s Humanities+Urbanism+Design initiative explores Palermo, Italy, its migrant communities, built environment, and related questions of justice. In the first half of the semester, we will survey Palermo’s long history as one of the most “conquered” cities in the world, tracing different empires and peoples’ impacts on the city, its social life and built environment, to its recent history as a “sanctuary city” and center of diverse communities from Africa, Asia, and Europe. The class will travel to Palermo during the week of fall break, documenting the built environments of historic and contemporary immigrant neighborhoods, and meeting with leaders of city government, immigrant rights movements, and migrant community associations. Assisted by “cultural mediators” from various communities, students will produce case studies of different migrant communities, their civil society organizations, and the recent impacts they have had on the city and its built environment. Leaders of Palermo’s elected migrants’ city council, the Consulta delle Culture, will be our partners in this class and its engagement with migrant communities. During the second half of the semester, we will continue to explore contemporary topics related to migration, the built environment, and social justice in the city while students work to develop their case studies, which we will publish at the end of the semester on a web site that we build together. ITAL2950401 Perm Needed From Instructor
URBS 3140-401 Participatory Cities Marisa Lee Denker T 5:15 PM-8:14 PM What is a participatory city? What has that term meant in the past, what does it mean now, and what will it mean going forward? Against the backdrop of increasing inequality and inequity, and the rise in a search for solutions, what role can citizens play in co-creating more just cities and neighborhoods? How can citizens be engaged in the decision-making processes about the places where we live, work, and play? And most importantly, how can we work to make sure that all kinds of voices are meaningfully included, and that historically muted voices are elevated to help pave a better path forward? This course will connect theory with praxis as we explore together the history, challenges, methods, and approaches, and impact of bottom up and top down approaches to community participation and stakeholder involvement in cities. Multiple opportunities will be provided to be involved in community engagement work for live projects in Philadelphia. SOCI2960401
URBS 3200-401 Who Gets Elected and Why? The Science of Politics Edward G Rendell M 5:15 PM-8:14 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 about course registration: Please write to urbs@sas.upenn.edu to be added to the waitlist. GAFL5090401, PSCI1207401
URBS 3300-401 GIS Applications in Social Science Casey Ross 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. URBS5300401 Quantitative Data Analysis
URBS 4000-301 Senior Seminar Elaine L Simon T 5:15 PM-8:14 PM Urban Studies senior research project
URBS 4000-302 Senior Seminar Elizabeth L Greenspan T 5:15 PM-8:14 PM Urban Studies senior research project
URBS 4000-303 Senior Seminar T 5:15 PM-8:14 PM Urban Studies senior research project
URBS 4120-301 Building Non-Profits: The Business of a Mission-Driven Organization Greg H Goldman M 5:15 PM-8:14 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.
URBS 4150-301 Urban Real Estate Markets Corinne P Beasley W 1:45 PM-4:44 PM Cities evolve over time, comprised of various inputs of different sizes at different stages of urban evolution. However, as cities continue to densify and navigate real estate market cycles, opportunities to redefine the urban context, while promoting the individual brand, become ever more sensitive. Projects are increasingly complex, often involving multiple partnerships among private developers, public agencies, non-profits, and community groups. Today's development professionals need to be well-versed across a variety of disciplines and property types to effectively execute in an urban environment. As an introductory course in real estate development, this course will provide the underpinnings for critical decision-making in markets that change frequently and often unevenly - whether for financing, investing, development, public policy formulation, or asset management/disposition.
URBS 4190-301 Urban Transportation in Flux Ariel Ben-Amos TR 3:30 PM-4:59 PM Transportation systems and networks impact everything from the literal shape ofAmerican cities to their economic vitality and the well-being of their citizens. Urban Infrastructure in Flux provides students with an over view 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 4200-401 Perspectives on Urban Poverty Robert P Fairbanks M 5:15 PM-8:14 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. HIST0812401, SOCI2944401 Cultural Diviserity in the U.S.
URBS 4400-401 Introduction to City Planning: Past, Present and Future Francesca R Ammon MW 8:30 AM-9:59 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. CPLN5000401 Perm Needed From Instructor
URBS 4510-401 The Politics of Housing and Urban Development John Kromer CANCELED 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. Course topics this semester will include an evaluation of the results of City of Philadelphia development policies under the administration of former Mayor Michael A. Nutter, as well as onsideration of plans being undertaken by the administration of Mayor James F. Kenney, who took office in January. The course will also include an assessment of a large-scale property acquisition and development strategy being implemented by the Philadelphia Housing Authority in North Philadelphia and a review of recent and current reinvestment proposals for Camden's waterfront and downtown-area neighborhoods. CPLN6250401, GAFL5690401
URBS 4510-402 The Politics of Housing and Urban Development John Kromer 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. Course topics this semester will include an evaluation of the results of City of Philadelphia development policies under the administration of former Mayor Michael A. Nutter, as well as onsideration of plans being undertaken by the administration of Mayor James F. Kenney, who took office in January. The course will also include an assessment of a large-scale property acquisition and development strategy being implemented by the Philadelphia Housing Authority in North Philadelphia and a review of recent and current reinvestment proposals for Camden's waterfront and downtown-area neighborhoods. CPLN6250402, GAFL5690402
URBS 5300-401 GIS Applications in Social Science Casey Ross 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. URBS3300401
URBS 5460-401 Global Citizenship Kathleen D Hall R 5:00 PM-6:59 PM This course examines the possibilities and limitations of conceiving of and realizing citizenship on a global scale. Readings, guest lecturers, and discussions will focus on dilemmas associated with addressing issues that transcend national boundaries. In particular, the course compares global/local dynamics that emerge across different types of improvement efforts focusing on distinctive institutions and social domains, including: educational development; human rights; humanitarian aid; free trade; micro-finance initiatives; and the global environmental movement. The course has two objectives: to explore research and theoretical work related to global citizenship, social engagement, and international development; and to discuss ethical and practical issues that emerge in the local contexts where development initiatives are implemented. ANTH5460401, EDUC5431401
URBS 5470-401 Anthropology and Education F 3:00 PM-4:59 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. ANTH5470401, ANTH5470401, EDUC5495401, EDUC5495401 Perm Needed From Department