Spring 2022 Courses with the Princeton-Mellon Initiative

Urban-Focused Spring 2022 Courses

Click on the course name for the direct link to the Registrar's website.

Coastal Justice: Ecologies, Societies, Infrastructures in South Asia / SAS 355 ANT 395  ENV 381 URB 355

Chandana Anusha, Princeton Mellon / Princeton Institute for International & Regional Studies Fellow

This seminar will consider the modern South Asian coastline to understand the past, present, future of coasts in an era of climate change. Historical maritime trade routes, massive development projects, and rising influence of environmental change all shape the South Asian coast as a new frontier of resource control. Students will explore the cultural political desires and discontents that become entangled in coastlines, search for alternative imaginations of life that people mark out on the coastline. In doing so, we move towards an environmental justice perspective of the South Asian coastline.

Engineering Justice and the City: Technologies, Environments, and Power / CEE 392 HUM 392

Dean Chahim, Princeton Mellon Fellow in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities

This course is an opportunity to reimagine engineering as a liberatory and collective practice that challenges systems of domination, inequality and environmental exploitation in cities. Interdisciplinary readings and films on topics ranging from urban water systems to algorithmic policing will examine how social and environmental injustices in cities have been produced or reinforced through engineering designs while also exploring new frameworks for designing just cities. Students will put these frameworks into practice by participating in a conceptual design studio, focused on the radical redesign of urban infrastructures and technologies.

Race, Gender, and the Urban Environment / AMS 312 GSS 462 URB 316 ENV 314

Davy Knittle, HMEI/Princeton Mellon Fellow in Architecture, Urbanism & the Environment

This course considers how environmental racism shapes urban inequality. We will discuss how racial and gender bias have conditioned proposals for the future of cities and the planet. We will also address how people who have experienced racial and gender marginalization have formed relationships with land, water, and non-human life in response to crisis. We will address environmentalist work in geography, critical race studies, city planning, queer and trans theory, and disability studies along with novels, journalism, and film to analyze how ideas of race and gender and questions of urban and planetary futures have informed one another.

The Sixties: Documentary, Youth and the City / HIS 202 URB 203 AMS 202 AAS 203 

Alison Isenberg, co-PI Princeton Mellon Initiative and Professor of History, and Purcell Carson, Documentary Film Specialist

This seminar in history and documentary film explores personal narrative and how individual experience contributes to profound social change. We study 1960s youth through oral history, biography, memoir, ethnography and journalism. Trenton NJ is the case study. Themes include: civil rights & Black power; immigration & migration; student uprisings & policing; gender & sexuality; high school & college; churches & city institutions; sports & youth culture; labor, class & neighborhood; politics & government. Working with documentary narrative, the course asks how a new generation of storytellers will shape public conversations and policy. 

Identity, Power, and Policy / SPI 531

Devanne E. Brookins, Princeton Mellon Fellow in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities, and Keith A. Wailoo, Henry Putnam University Professor of History and Public Affairs 

This course provides an overview of how identity and power inform public policy in the U.S. and across the globe. Among the topics examined are: immigration and identity dynamics across the globe; identity, psychology, and public policy; questions of race, ethnicity, and group identity in residential segregation; the intersections of identity concerns with drug policies, policing, and sentencing; identity and economic development in Africa and the U.S.; policymaking and Islamic identity; and the ever-evolving identity politics in the U.S. as they inform media, elections, and policymaking.

Urbanization and Development / SPI 540

Devanne E. Brookins, Princeton Mellon Fellow in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities

This course examines the histories, processes and nuanced dynamics that contribute to the making of cities in the Global South. We explore central debates in the study of these cities across geography, urban studies and planning, and development studies. Students deepen their understanding of the Global South, how it is conceptualized and what this means for urban development, while identifying patterns and specificities across the comparative contexts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Ultimately, we consider how these actors are, or should be considered, in policymaking and planning interventions in the Global South.

Policy Research Seminar / Housing as Infrastructure: A Social Policy Framework / SPI 404

Shoshana Goldstein, Princeton Mellon / Princeton Institute for International & Regional Studies Fellow

Over the past year, a national conversation has emerged about whether, as HUD Director Marcia Fudge put it “Housing is infrastructure”. Infrastructure is generally thought of as a public good--a system or technology of the built environment that invisibly guides the flow of resources, and supports social welfare. This policy research seminar asks: what does a conceptualization of “Housing as infrastructure” offer policymakers, planners, activists, and members of the public? Specifically, this seminar explores the origins and major debates in housing as a form of social infrastructure, looking at its legacies as a public good, a private asset to be regulated for specific outcomes, and as a human right. The junior policy research seminar serves to introduce departmental (SPIA) majors to the tools, methods, and interpretations employed in policy research and writing. This seminar will be of particular relevance to students interested in pursuing research questions on urban policy, broadly conceived, or those interested in investigating topics related to the history of public and affordable housing policy in the US, internationally, or with a Global South/International Development perspective.  

Topics in the Formal Analysis of the Urban Structure: Environmental Challenges of Urban Sprawl / ARC 492 URB 492 ENV 492  

Mario Gandelsonas, co-PI Princeton Mellon Initiative, Class of 1913 Lecturer in Architecture, Professor of School of Architecture, and Director, Program in Urban Studies

As part of the search for solutions to climate, water and energy challenges in a rapidly urbanizing world, it is crucial to understand and reassess the environmental challenges and potential of the exurban wasteland. This interdisciplinary course aims to add theoretical, pragmatic and cultural dimensions to scientific, technological, and policy aspects of current environmental challenges, in an effort to bridge the environmental sciences, urbanism and the humanities focusing on the transformation of the Meadowlands, the large ecosystem of wetlands, into a State Park.

Topics in Urban History: City, Region, Nation, Place / HIS 584 

Alison Isenberg, co-PI Princeton Mellon Initiative and Professor of History

Intensive readings course surveying rich recent scholarship on history of cities and their regions, intersecting with disciplines such as geography, sociology, political science, art history, built environment, planning, policy, architecture, and public humanities-as well as with historical fields of research in race, ethnicity, gender, class, capitalism, business, and culture. Seminar covers field's evolution from 1960s to recent multidisciplinary, comparative, national, and transnational studies, addressing problems of place, social processes, human experience, methods, and archives. Includes short research assignments.

Wall Street and Silicon Valley: Place in the American Economy / ARC 303 URB 303 EGR 303

Aaron P. Shkuda, Director Princeton Mellon Initiative 

This course examines two places that play an outsized role in the American economy: Wall Street and Silicon Valley. They are distinct and similarly enduring locations. They embody a divide between urban and suburban, East Coast and West Coast, skyscrapers and office parks, tradition and innovation, conservative and liberal. What makes these places endure? How do their histories, architecture, economic dynamics, and distinct cultures shape them as places? Particular attention will be paid to the changes to white collar work and the challenges to the importance of place caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.