POLS H229 Power and Politics in Philadelphia
Steve McGovern, HC
Tuesday 12:00–2:30 p.m. and Friday 12:15-3:00 p.m.*
*Friday is an occasional meeting time for program students only.
This course, offered as part of the Tri-Co Philly Program, examines power and politics in contemporary Philadelphia. We will devote particular attention to the potential and limitations of grassroots mobilization as a mechanism for effecting positive change. To what extent can community-based organizations and public interest groups alter long-standing policies, practices, and institutions in a large, American city like Philadelphia? To what extent are their efforts impeded by well-established interests and structural forces rooted in race, ethnicity, class, and culture? How have recent societal shifts affected underlying tensions between Old Philadelphia and New Philadelphia?
We will explore who wins and who loses in the political arena through a series of case studies of key policy issues that are highly salient to the people of Philadelphia, including criminal justice reform, immigrants’ rights, gentrification and affordable housing, urban development, and workforce diversity. How these policy issues are resolved will reveal much about the nature of power and whether the source of that power springs from the bottom-up or remains primarily a top-down phenomenon. This discussion-based seminar will feature guest speakers, site visits, and an opportunity to conduct your own research on power and politics in Philadelphia.
CITY B207 History of Philadelphia Architecture and Urbanism
Jeffrey Cohen, BMC
Thursday 10:10 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
City 207 explores Philadelphia’s architectural and urban evolution over five centuries. We’ll look very closely at buildings -- both the extraordinary and the more normative in different eras – while also devising a firm orientation within historical geographies of growth, functional differentiation, and social patterning.
In this year’s special iteration as part of Trico in the City, we’ll take advantage of our presence downtown with walks almost every week to collectively interrogate our settings. We’ll visit both historical buildings and informational repositories, the latter serving as our laboratory for learning to tap archival sources in constructing new knowledge about buildings and urban change.
POLS 031 Borders and Migration
Osman Balkan, SC
Wednesday, 12:00–3:00 p.m.
This course offers an introduction to the causes and consequences of international migration and examines how various countries have responded to the phenomenon. We begin by considering the many reasons why people move from one place to another and analyze the different strategies through which political authorities have tried to simultaneously facilitate and obstruct migratory flows. The tension between mobility and containment is a central feature of migration politics and our first set of readings offer a broad, historical overview of the relationship between states and migrants within the dynamics of global capitalism. Students will learn about patterns of regular and irregular migration, including economic and undocumented migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers and evaluate the impact of war and climate change on human displacement. We will also investigate the efficacy of border walls and other tactics of containment and control such detention and deportation, surveillance and documentation, and the production of “illegality.”
We then consider how migration transforms both sending and receiving countries and examine how different nation-states accommodate (or fail to accommodate) newcomers to their territories. The growing racial, religious, and linguistic diversity generated by international migratory flows continues to generate fierce debates over national identity, social cohesion, economic prosperity, and political stability in many parts of the word. In order to make sense of these debates we will analyze different regimes of immigrant integration, incorporation, and assimilation and evaluate the meaning of citizenship, social membership, and belonging as it pertains to the lived experience of migrants. Our readings examine how intersecting axes of identity such as race, religion, ethnicity, cultural heritage and migratory history underpin durable structures of socio-economic inequality.
The capstone project for this course is an oral history interview with an immigrant. This exercise offers students an opportunity to further deepen their qualitative research skills and to assess the explanatory power of various theoretical frameworks and analytical concepts that we will learn about during the course of the semester. This is an experiential, immersive-learning based class. Our classroom meetings will be supplemented with field trips, guest lectures, and discussions with scholars and practitioners working to advance the rights of migrants in the Philadelphia area and beyond.