ANTH/FNAR/URBS 3593: Building Environmental Justice in Philadelphia: Participatory Action Research Seminar with Mural Arts

Spring 2023 

Course Description: 

Using art as a point of entry into environmental justice, students in this seminar will contribute to a citywide (Philadelphia) campaign to end short-dumping, the illegal dumping of waste. With guidance from instructors Jeanne Lieberman (Penn Anthropology) and Shari Hersh (Mural Arts) students will learn about and participate in arts-activism and participatory action research, as well as the central theories and methods put forward by the U.S. environmental justice movement. In dialogue community members from the neighborhoods most impacted by dumping, including Kensington and Fairhill, students will research dumping and its impact on communities within Philadelphia. Final projects communicating this research will contribute to the overall goals of the anti-dumping campaign, being coordinated by Mural Arts’ Environmental Justice Department. Projects will be developed with guidance from experienced design strategist Gamar Markarian.

​​This course is sponsored in part by the Humanities Urbanism and Design Initiative and is taught in collaboration with the Environmental Justice Department at Mural Arts, the H.U.D. anchor institution for Spring 2023.

Instructors: Jeanne Lieberman, UPenn Anthropology & Shari Hersh, Director, Environmental Justice Department, Mural Arts