Each year the H+U+D initiative sponsors (1) an undergraduate Gateway Course that introduces the multidisciplinary study of cities, (2) two undergraduate City Seminars, one devoted to a North American city and the other to a city overseas, which examine the city in a detailed, multidisciplinary way, (3) a mixed undergraduate/graduate Anchor Institution Seminar, which examines the activities of one of the Philadelphia institutions that reflects and serves the city’s diverse population, and (4) a graduate Problematics Seminar, co-taught by Design and SAS humanities faculty, on a topic that grows out of the collaborative work of the H+U+D Colloquium.
URBS/HIST 210: The City—Philadelphia
H+U+D CITY SEMINAR
How do we “read” a city? What is the relationship between downtown and suburb, rowhouse and ranch house, shopping district and mall, gated community and public plaza? What is the meaning of place (“neighborhood” or “home”) and how are our lives defined by it? How do we function as both the producers and products of place? How does the hand of the past shape the present? Through reading sociological, historical, theoretical, and primary texts, maps and photographs, and through your ethnographic explorations and tours of the city, we will explore the presence of the past in the city around us, the evolution of social, spatial and physical systems, different kinds of urban and suburban places, and the encoding of wealth and power as well as inequality and poverty on the urban landscape.
Michael Nairn, Urban Studies, and Eric Schneider, History