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.

HIST 234-401: On the Move-Landscapes of Migration, Mobility, and Racialization

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Spring 2022

Description:

International border closures, stay at home orders, and protests against police violence during the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted daily patterns of movement, reminding us that mobility and immobility are defining features of the urban experience. This course examines how movements of people shape the built environment and how governance as well as design influences those movements. Focusing on the nexus of mobility, immobility, and racialization, we will explore how spaces of migration, tourism, detention, and logistics are imbricated in processes of social inclusion and exclusion. In thinking through the ways that mobility shapes places and perceptions of their inhabitants, we will engage with a variety of global and American cases, as well as those from the Mid- Atlantic region. Scholarship in urban studies, architectural and urban history, geography, and anthropology will inform discussions about conceptions of citizenship, transnationalism, assimilation, and cosmopolitanism.

This course questions totalizing narratives that portray abstract capital flows and formal design interventions as determinative forces shaping urban landscapes. Instead, we will focus on everyday urban mobilities and the incremental modifications made by non-design practitioners to their residential, commercial, and public spaces. A fieldtrip to northeast Philadelphia and exercises in primary source analysis, participant observation, and interviewing will help students develop final projects which investigate a local landscape of mobility. Writing and peer revision workshops toward the end of the semester additionally will provide a collaborative venue within which students will sharpen their writing.

Instructor:

Dr. Alec Stewart, Mellon Junior Fellow in Humanities, Urbanism, and Design

HSOC 405/605: The Lazaretto, the City, and the World-Public Health, Immigration, and Urban Growth, 18th-21st C.

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Spring 2022

H+U+D ANCHOR INSTITUTION SEMINAR

Description:

Philadelphia’s Lazaretto quarantine station was built in 1799 to protect the city after a series of catastrophic yellow fever epidemics. In its time, the Lazaretto was a gateway through which goods and people from many regions of the world passed before entering Philadelphia (sometimes after temporary detention). This course uses the Lazaretto as a gateway to the history of American public health, immigration, and urban growth. Our exploration of those histories is not limited to events that happened at the Lazaretto, nor to the period of its quarantine operations (1801-1895), nor even to Philadelphia, but rather uses the very local and very human stories of this unusual site as a point of entry into larger American and global stories. Coursework includes site visits to the Lazaretto and to a variety of local partner institutions, including the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Mutter Museum, Puentes de Salud, and Sayre Health Center. Students undertake extensive research projects covering some combination of the course’s themes, including discussions of how historical interpretation can facilitate and enhance public engagement and activism.

Instructors:

David Barnes, Associate Professor, History and Sociology of Science (SAS)

FNAR 311/611: Don’t Forget-Inclusion, Exclusion, and Memory in the Contemporary City

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Spring 2022

Description:

What role do history and memory play in processes of community building? Do they promote solidarity, inflame division, or both? What are the relationships between a city’s built environment, commemorative landscape, and the circumstances that stimulate, or hinder, the growth of community? In this seminar students will tackle these questions in an effort to uncover some of the ways in which public space, memory, and community intersect. Through a series of case studies and texts we will examine the controversies, challenges, and community impact of commemorative projects in cities both in the U.S. and abroad. Each week we will focus on one city/region, theme, or commemorative project, and students will study design strategies, processes of development and construction, and theoretical concerns surrounding the role of memory and history in the public space. Drawing on discourse from art, architecture, urbanism, history, and preservation studies, this course brings these fields together in an effort to understand how communities can be strengthened through an engagement with, and examination of the past. For the final project, students will research a commemorative dilemma in a city of their choice, engaging with real-life debates and procedural processes to develop a more inclusive alternative to the status quo.

Instructor:

Dr. Ewa Matyczyk, Mellon Junior Fellow in Humanities, Urbanism, and Design