Fall 2024 Courses in Urbanism

Fall 2024 Courses in Urbanism / Registration opens April 16. Click on the course name to go directly to the registrar listing.


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

Mario 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.


Urban Sociology: The City and Social Change in the Americas / SOC 210 LAS 210 URB 210 LAO 210

Patricia Fernandez-Kelly

By taking a comparative approach, this course examines the role of social, economic, and political factors in the emergence and transformation of modern cities in the United States and selected areas of Latin America. We consider the city in its dual image: both as a center of progress and as a redoubt of social problems, especially poverty. Attention is given to spatial processes that have resulted in the aggregation and desegregation of populations differentiated by social class and race.


Policing and Militarization Today / ANT 223 AMS 223 AAS 224 URB 224

Laurence Ralph

This class aims to explore transnational issues in policing. Drawing heavily upon anthropological methods and theory, we aim neither to vindicate nor contest the police's right to use force (whether a particular instance was a violation of law), but instead, to contribute to the understanding of force (its forms, justifications, interpretations). The innovative transnational approach to policing developed during the semester will allow for a cross-cultural comparative analysis that explores larger rubrics of policing in a comprehensive social scientific framework. We hope that you are ready to explore these exciting and urgent issues with us.


The Souls of Black Folk - Reading W.E.B. Du Bois / AAS 231 ENG 245 URB 231

Eddie Glaude 

This course will examine the historical, sociological, and political writings of W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the foremost intellectuals of the twentieth century and a foundational figure in the field of African American Studies. Close attention will be given to his views of American democracy and identity as well as race and Pan-Africanism. Our aim is to explore and understand the long arc of Du Bois's ideas.


Revisiting Paris / FRE 217 ECS 327 COM 258 URB 258 

André Benhaïm

The City of Light Beacons. Beyond the myth, however, this course proposes to look at the real "lives" of Paris. Focusing on the modern and contemporary period, we will study Paris as an urban space, an object of representation, and part of French cultural identity. To do so, we will use an interdisciplinary approach, through literature, history, sociology, art history, architecture, etc. To our understanding of its history and its making, we will actually travel to Paris. During Fall Break (Oct. 11-19), students will not only (re)visit the city, but also meet guest speakers and conduct personal projects they will have designed in Princeton.


Introduction to African American History Since Emancipation / AAS 268 HIS 268 URB 268

Joshua Guild

This course offers an introduction to the major themes, critical questions, and pivotal moments in post-emancipation African American history. It traces the social, political, cultural, intellectual, and legal contours of the Black experience in the United States from Reconstruction to the rise of Jim Crow, through the World Wars, Depression, and the Great Migrations, to the long civil rights era and the contemporary period of racial politics. Using a wide variety of texts, images, and creative works, the course situates African American history within broader national and international contexts.


Competing Professions / ART 291 URB 291

Basile Baudez

Vitruvius, the author of the only surviving architectural treatise from Antiquity has been called alternatively an architect or an engineer. Architects and engineers started to organize themselves as professions in the early modern period and to compete to secure commissions. This course addresses the story of how two professions came to define themselves against each other. Students will first review the different actors of the European early modern building world, before focusing on the fields of contest between architects and engineers and how this battle ultimately defined the nature of each profession, between art and science.


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

Aaron 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.


Dancing New York in the Twentieth Century / AAS 310 DAN 313 AMS 295 URB 307


This seminar will interweave the history of New York City with the history of dance across the twentieth century. It will use the work of dancers, choreographers, and critics to illuminate social, political, and cultural trends in New York's urban life. Topics include dance in working-class leisure, dance as cultural activism during the Popular Front and Black Arts eras, immigration and assimilation in NYC, and the impact of urban renewal on communities and the performing arts.


Colonial and Postcolonial Africa / HIS 315 AFS 316 URB 315

Jacob Dlamini

This course is an examination of the major political and economic trends in twentieth-century African history. It offers an interpretation of modern African history and the sources of its present predicament. In particular, we study the foundations of the colonial state, the legacy of the late colonial state (the period before independence), the rise and problems of resistance and nationalism, the immediate challenges of the independent states (such as bureaucracy and democracy), the more recent crises (such as debt and civil wars) on the continent, and the latest attempts to address these challenges from within the continent.


20th-Century Japan / HIS 322 EAS 324 URB 324

Sheldon Garon

Covering 1868 to the present, this course emphasizes Japan's dramatic rise as the modern world's first non-Western power, imperialism, industrialization, social change, gender relations, democracy, World War II, the U. S. Occupation, the postwar "economic miracle" followed by slow growth, and the preoccupation with national identity in a Western-dominated world. We will think about post-1945 developments in terms of continuities with prewar Japan. We will also hold Japan up as a "mirror" for America, comparing how the two capitalist societies have dealt with inequality, urbanization, health and welfare, and intervention in the economy.


Crime and Violence in U.S. Cities / SPI 328 URB 328

Patrick Sharkey

o understand American inequality, politics, history, and cities, it is necessary to understand American violence. This course is a mix of criminology, public policy, sociology, and urban history. We'll cover ideas about how to explain violence, moving from theories that focus on individuals to focus on neighborhoods, policing, guns & culture. We'll think about how to explain trends in violence, focusing on the declining violence in the 90s to the recent rise of gun violence since 2020. We'll think about ways cities can respond to violence, from street lighting to summer jobs to hot spot policing & consider the impact & consequences of each.


Rats, Riots, and Revolution: Housing in the Metropolitan United States / AAS 350 URB 350 SOC 351

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor 

This class examines the history of urban and suburban housing in the twentieth century US. We will examine the relationship between postwar suburban development as a corollary to the "underdevelopment" of American cities contributing to what scholars have described as the "urban crisis" of the 1960s. Housing choice and location were largely shaped by discriminatory practices in the real estate market, thus, the course explores the consequences of the relationship between public policy and private institutions in shaping the metropolitan area including after the passage of federal anti-housing discrimination legislation in the late 1960s.


Arts in the Invisible City: Race, Policy, Performance / HUM 352 ENG 252 URB 352 THR 360

D. Vance Smith

In this community-engaged class, students will be invited to learn about the dynamic history and role of the arts in Trenton through conversations with local artists and activists. Students will develop close listening skills with oral historian/artist Nyssa Chow. Readings include texts about urban invisibility, race, decoloniality, and public arts policy. Students will participate in the development of a virtual memorial and restorative project by Trenton artist Bentrice Jusu.


The Reclamation Studio: Humanistic Design applied to Systemic Bias / EGR 361 ENT 361 URB 361 AAS 348

Majora Carter

Assumptions and practices by the nonprofit industrial complex, government agencies and affordable housing developers treat poor communities, especially poor communities of color as problems to be managed by those from outside these communities. The Reclamation Studio explores the humanistic design practices applied by social entrepreneurs from low-status communities near Princeton (our "clients") that counteract that history of systemic bias with innovative development projects designed to retain the talent from within their communities. Students will have the opportunity to learn from, and contribute to their efforts.


Global Urbanization / SPI 379 SOC 390 URB 379 LAS 370

Benjamin Bradlow

For the first time, most people now live in cities. One in seven humans lives in an urban slum. We analyze the political, economic, and social dynamics that both create and arise from urbanization, informality, and attempts to govern our contemporary urban world. We ask how formal and informal institutions change inequalities of shelter, work, race, and other social identities, across urban space. We investigate the links between the processes of urbanization and climate change, and how they shape the politics of cities. We draw from cases across the globe and the US, along with a range of social science methods and theoretical perspectives.


Mapping Gentrification / URB 385 SOC 385 HUM 385 ARC 385

Aaron 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.


Introduction to Water Pollution Technology / CEE 471 GEO 471 URB 471

Peter Jaffe

An introduction to the science of water quality management and pollution control in natural systems; fundamentals of biological and chemical transformations in natural waters; identification of sources of pollution; water and wastewater treatment methods; fundamentals of water quality modeling.