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New Courses for Fall Quarter

July 22, 2013




All nonprofit organizations must develop and maintain effective communication strategies in order to survive in a competitive economy. Nonprofits have unique needs and limitations in their long-term goals and short-term operations that relate to communication. This course introduces students to the ways nonprofits communicate with both their constituents and their benefactors and the ways researchers have examined these practices. Students will explore these two perspectives on nonprofit communication through a combination of scholarly readings, dialogues with local representatives in the nonprofit sector, and direct contact and work for a local nonprofit organization (as coordinated by the Drexel Center for the Support of Nonprofit Communication). This 3.0 credit course, taught by Lawrence Souder, PhD is open to all students and will meet Thursdays, 6:30pm- 9:20pm. Location TBD.



This course stretches the imagination, inviting the student to think about time: the pervasive, ineliminable fabric of our experience. Our lives proceed through time, and time seems to flow in a direction. Things grow old instead of young, causes precede their effects. But is the “direction of time” a feature of the world, or part of the human point of view? How does the classic theory of time, with the properties of past, present and future, mesh with the “block universe” of Einstein and Minkowski, where objects do not move through time, but exist as space-time worms, or “streaks” in a four-dimensional universe? Can we make a time machine and travel into the past? Can there be more than one “time,” and if so, does that mean there are parallel universes? In the Philosophy of Time students will consider these and other questions through classical and contemporary readings in philosophy, science, science fiction and film. This 3.0 credit course, taught by Joseph McPeak, PhD, is open to all students and will meet Thursdays, 7:00pm- 9:50pm. Location TBD.


Technology is often thought of as the application of knowledge to practical ends. Conceived of as such, technology is understood to serve the purposes and interests of human beings. But what if, instead, we serve the ends of technology? What if technology shapes, perhaps even determines, the types of societies we live in? What if who we are as human beings is molded by technology? These are important questions because they ask us to consider the development of new technologies not simply as evidence of progress towards greater knowledge and mastery over nature, but as essential factors in the making and remaking of human beings and human societies. Students will consider a variety of answers to these questions in the writings of Andrew Feenberg, Donna Haraway, Martin Heidegger, Bruno Latour, Paul Virilio and Judy Wajcman, among others. This 3.0 credit course, taught by Eric Fleming, PhD, is open to all students above the freshmen level and will meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1:00pm-1:50pm. Location TBD.


How do thoughts direct behavior? Can subjective experience be captured in objective terms? How can thoughts, if they're contained in the brain, refer to things outside in the world? Is what philosophers have traditionally called "the mind" ultimately reducible to the brain? These are all classical problems in the philosophy of mind. The rapid development of the science of neurology has made the philosophy of mind an increasingly important sub-discipline within philosophy. The philosophy of mind is important, not merely for philosophy majors but also for psychology majors, and anyone who is interested in a career in one of the mental-health fields, including clinical social work. This 3.0 credit course, taught by Marilyn Piety, PhD, is open to all students above the sophomore level and will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00pm-3:20pm. Location TBD.


This course explores Foucault's theory of biopolitics and its application to ethical debates in health and medicine. The term biopolitics describes mechanisms that discipline bodies and regulate populations, including policies that control birth and mortality as well as systems of surveillance that monitor rates of health and disease. With a focus on questions of reproduction and reproductive choice, this course will explore how a biopolitical lens reframes bioethical debates about the nature and value of individual autonomy. Key questions include: What is biopolitics? What are some contemporary mechanisms that control reproduction and sexual health in the United States? How do these mechanisms reflect and produce health disparities across axes of race, class and gender? Is it possible to conceptualize choice and autonomy in regulatory, normalizing contexts? If so, how? This 3.0 credit course, taught by Sarah Hansen, PhD, is open to students above the pre-junior level with at least two 200-level philosophy courses and will meet Tuesdays, 6:30pm-9:20pm. Location TBD.


Have we reached the end of "car culture" in the United States? Large-scale transportation systems are in the process of a transition from fossil fuels and 20th-century automobility towards an emerging system of alterative fuels, mixed modes, vehicle sharing, and new kinds of transport infrastructures. At the same time, new forms of mobile communication and “smart” connectivity are changing the way we interact with other people, with information, and with places while moving. This course introduces the interdisciplinary field of mobilities research as a new way to understand the cultural practices, social relations and technological systems involved in the (im)mobility of people, objects, and data. This 3.0 credit course, taught by Mimi Sheller, PhD is open to all students above the freshman level and will meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am – 10:50am. Location TBD.


Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate of the nation’s 10 largest cities—approximately 28% of its citizens live below the federal poverty line. This course examines, analyzes, re-visits and engages with the historically contested concept, “culture of poverty.” Through weekly seminars, reading, discussion, debate and a civic engagement service-learning experience at a local community-based organization (LIFT), students will have an opportunity to examine poverty at macro and micro levels in deeply personal ways. This course will address themes such as: theories of volunteerism and service-learning; global and local poverty; myths and realities of poverty; historical perspectives of urban poverty; poverty and neoliberal governance; macroforces that shape poverty; the individual, culture and society; poverty and age, gender, race and ethnicity; and new directions in examining inequality and poverty in 21st century communities. This 3.0 credit course, taught by Marilyn Musket, is open to all students and will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00pm – 3:20pm. All students who enroll in this course are required to participate in an organizational orientation and volunteer training session prior to engaging in the field with Drexel’s partner organization for this course.



Writing in Museums is an all-genre writing workshop that meets at the Academy of Natural Sciences and other museums to explore their collections.  Students will practice the skill of literary writing and submit a portfolio based on their observations. This 3.0 credit course, taught by Harriet Millan, is open to all students above sophomore level who have taken ENG 103, and will meet Mondays, 2:00pm-4:50pm. Location TBD.


Many people are scared of death. However, the last days of someone’s life are really a time to celebrate that life. In this hybrid, community-based learning course, student pairs will join together to create a video documentary and Life Journal book to help a hospice patient pass down their life experiences to their family and loved ones. Participants will show the patients that what they’ve done really matters, while learning how much their own lives matter as well. Student will be required to meet with their hospice partner in area hospice or home once per week for interview material. To register, contact Ken Bingham at


In this advanced writing course students will focus on the practice and theory of communicating in web—and, more generally, electronic—environments. Participants will explore the world of cyberspace, consider critically and reflectively theories about this environment, and write specifically for and about these electronic spaces.  This 4.0 credit course, taught by Scott Warnock, is open to students above the sophomore level and will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00pm- 3:20pm, and include a one-credit hybrid experience. Location TBD.