Fall 2022 Courses on Urbanism

Interdisciplinary Design Studio / ARC 205 URB 205 LAS 225 ENV 205

Mario I. Gandelsonas

The course focuses on the social forces that shape design thinking. Its objective is to introduce architectural and urban design issues to build design and critical thinking skills from a multidisciplinary perspective. The studio is team-taught from faculty across disciplines to expose students to the multiple forces within which design operates.

The Literature of Fact: The World and the CityJRN 280

Kushanava Choudhury

For the first time, more humans today live in cities than in villages worldwide. This course explores urban life and the social and cultural dimensions of global migration to cities through the craft of narrative nonfiction. Students will read works from all over the world, and in languages other than English, that combine reportage, social science, history and memoir. They will explore the structures of texts; learn to do interviews, use archives and write field notes; and produce long-form narratives. The seminar will include opportunities for reporting from the field, particularly in immigrant and refugee neighborhoods in nearby cities.

Urban Studies Research Seminar URB 300 ARC 300 HUM 300 AMS 300

Aaron P. Shkuda

This seminar introduces urban studies research methods through a study of New York in conversation with other cities. Focused on communities and landmarks represented in historical accounts, literary works, art and film, we will travel through cityscapes as cultural and mythological spaces - from the past to the present day. We will examine how standards of evidence shape what is knowable about cities and urban life, what "counts" as knowledge in urban studies, and how these different disciplinary perspectives construct and limit knowledge about cities as a result.

Musical Theatre and Fan CulturesHUM 340 MTD 340 AMS 440 SOC 376

Elizabeth M. Armstrong and Stacy E. Wolf

Why do people love Broadway musicals? How do audiences engage with musicals and their stars? How have fan practices changed since the 1950s alongside economic and artistic changes in New York and on Broadway? In what ways does "fan of" constitute a social identity? How do fans perform their devotion to a show, to particular performers, and to each other? This class examines the social forms co-created by performers and audiences, both during a performance and in the wider culture. Students will practice research methods including archival research, ethnographic observation, in-depth interviewing, and textual and performance analysis.

Field Seminar in Regional Environmental PoliticsENV 347

Nathan Jessee and Jerry C. Zee

Field Seminar in Regional Environmental Politics will provide students the opportunity for experiential learning and regional engagement with a range of important environmental topics by pairing intensive topical readings from the environmental social sciences, humanities, and sciences with field-based pedagogy. ENV 347 will proceed in three thematic modules, each of which will be anchored by a field trip to a relevant site in the region (Eg. New Jersey, Philadelphia, and New York City). The intensive seminar enhances ENV's goals of broad-based, interdisciplinary approach to environmental topics through locally engaged research and practice.

Mapping Gentrification URB 385 SOC 385 HUM 385 ARC 385

Aaron P. Shkuda

This seminar introduces the study of gentrification, with a focus on mapping projects using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software. Readings, films, and site visits will situate the topic, as the course examines how racial landscapes of gentrification, culture and politics have been influenced by and helped drive urban change. Tutorials in ArcGIS will allow students to convert observations of urban life into fresh data and work with existing datasets. Learn to read maps critically, undertake multifaceted spatial analysis, and master new cartographic practices associated with emerging scholarship in the Digital and Urban Humanities.

Unrest and Renewal in Urban America HIS 388 URB 388 AMS 380 AAS 388

Alison E. Isenberg

This course surveys the history of cities in the United States from colonial settlement to the present. Over centuries, cities have symbolized democratic ideals of "melting pots" and cutting-edge innovation, as well as urban crises of disorder, decline, crime, and poverty. Urban life has concentrated extremes like rich and poor; racial and ethnic divides; philanthropy and greed; skyscrapers and parks; violence and hope; downtown and suburb. The course examines how cities in U.S. history have brokered revolution, transformation and renewal, focusing on class, race, gender, immigration, capitalism, and the built environment.

Advanced Seminar in American Studies: The Disney Industrial ComplexAMS 406

William A. Gleason

This interdisciplinary seminar will examine the history and evolution of the Walt Disney Company not only as a multinational media and entertainment conglomerate but also as a powerful cultural force--from the early films and theme parks to the highly successful streaming service. We'll consider the ever-expanding Disney multiverse (which now includes Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, among others) as well as the company's global reach, while paying special attention to its impacts on, and representations of, American history, society, and culture, particularly as they touch on matters of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, and place.

Special Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering: The Climatological, Hydrological & Environmental Footprints of Cities / CEE 474

Elie Bou-Zeid

This course examines how cities modify their environment, with a focus on the grand urban challenges of the 21st century related to climate, water, and pollution. It starts with an introduction to the challenge of urbanization and how the population and size of cities can be quantified and modeled. We then examine heat, air and water flow in cities, focusing on how they induce urban heat islands, exacerbate floods, modify power consumption, and reduce thermal comfort. We conclude the course with an examination of how buildings and cities can be designed to be more sustainable and sensitive to their climate. 

Research in Urbanism: The Geographies of Environmental JusticeARC 526

M. Christine Boyer

This course studies uneven geographies of environmental justice across scales: outer space, the earth, nation, city and neighborhood. It examines the production of sacrifice zones of geo-engineering projects, petrochemical landscapes, material resource extraction, toxic waste disposal, containment of ungovernable bodies, and unjust real estate practices. How can architects and landscape architects address the territorializing zones of entangled matter and bodies? How can they move beyond exposing injustices and oppressive structures to a new level of creative ecologies of justice and equity?