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Winter Courses

October 27, 2015

Students will study the philosophy of law, explore the evolutionary history of our species, and examine urban social issues alongside community members in our winter courses.


Justice in Our Community (CJS 260.130)
Community Hybrid Course
Community Partner: UConnect at the Dornsife Center

This course is a seminar-style community-based-learning course that will begin with an introduction to urban social issues and examine problems unique to cities. The majority of the instructional time will take place with community partners. The synthesis of scholarship and community classroom experience will provide a holistic lens in which to explore issues in our urban community. Topics include urban economies, access to education and health care, digital divides and crime.

This 4.0 credit community hybrid course, taught by Cyndi Rickards, EdD, will meet Mondays, 11 a.m. – 1:50 p.m. Location Drexel Dornsife Center.

Critical Reasoning (PHIL 105.013)
Side-By-Side Course
Community Partner: Dornsife Center

This course introduces and develops the skills involved in reasoning effectively about experience, and being able to distinguish strong arguments from weak ones.

This 3.0 credit side-by-side course, taught by Stacey Ake, PhD, will meet Tuesdays, 5 – 7:50 p.m. Location Drexel Dornsife Center.

Hospice Journaling (WRIT  T380.130)
Community Hybrid Course
Community Partner: Crossroads Hospice

This community partnership course links memoir with life, story telling and dying. Specifically, the course partners students with local hospice patients to co-create a life-story for the patient and his or her family. Students learn interviewing, listening and writing techniques as well as skills in analysis and presentation. Additionally, the course facilitates interactions with the community and helps students to see themselves as linked to a community outside of college.

This 3.0 credit community hybrid course, taught by Kenneth Bingham, will meet Thursdays, 3:30 – 4:50 p.m. Location Crossroads Hospice.

Once Upon a Lifetime…So Far (WRIT 304)
Side-By-Side Course
Community Partner: Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility

The focus of this course is to stimulate conversation, writing and the exchange of both among the Drexel students and “Inside-Students.” All students will have a course packet of readings that act as a companion and teaching tool to their writing. They will engage in writing as a process as a way to facilitate this vital conversation. They will also keep a weekly journal.

All students will write several short pieces of memoir, including an exchange of stories they will write about one another. Throughout the course, Inside-Students will be encouraged to write memoir alongside the Drexel students; in fact, much of the dialogue between the two groups will be about that writing process at their particular stage of life, about grabbing hold of pieces of their lives as they’ve lived them so far. The course will culminate in a collection of pieces of memoir created by all participants, each writing about themselves.

This course is taught by Casey Hirsch. Meeting days/times TBD. Course to be held at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.


ST: Who Are We? Introduction to Biological Anthropology (ANTH T180.001)
The course is open to all students and explores the evolutionary history of our species. There is no better time for this course to be offered as newly discovered fossils from both East and South Africa have forced a total rethinking of the evolutionary path that has led to humans. The course will explore the implications of this new evidence on our previous view of our evolutionary past and the intriguing idea that for most of our evolutionary journey, there were more than one hominid species competing with each other for survival. Thus, our evolution was anything but a straight line, but instead resembled a brush with many branches and many alternative paths.

This 3.0 credit special topic course, taught by Robert Powell, PhD, will meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1 – 1:50 p.m.  Location TBD.


World War II (HIST 236.001)
This course will focus on the culture, politics and military history of the Pacific War. The course will begin in the mid-19th century when the United States and Japan began contesting the other colonial powers' control of the Pacific and eventually came into conflict with one another. Students will then cover the war itself, beginning with Japan's 1931 conquest of Manchuria. The course will end with the emergence of the American-Japanese alliance in the Cold War that came out of World War II.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Jonson Miller, PhD, is open to all students above freshmen level, and will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 – 11:50 a.m. Location TBD.

ST: The Republic of Venice (HIST T380.001)
After the fall of Rome, as invaders swept through the Italian peninsula, some of the locals sought refuge in the shallow waters and low islands of a lagoon on the edge of the Adriatic Sea. Those small communities eventually developed into the powerful Republic of Venice, which at its height dominated much of the eastern Mediterranean and grew rich through its control of international trade. This course traces the story of the Venetian Republic and its connections to the broader Mediterranean world from the Republic's origins in the early Middle Ages through its fall to Napoleon in 1797. Students will be particularly interested in how Venice related to non-Venetians, and non-Christians, both within Venetian territory and abroad.

This 3.0 credit special topic course, taught by Jonathan Seitz, PhD, will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 – 3:20 p.m. Location TBD. 

ST: Themes in Global Environmental History (HIST T280.001)**
This course is an introduction to the growing field of environmental history and explores how human society, non-human actors, natural elements and science and technology have shaped our modern environment in world history. By interrogating the pressing environmental concerns of our modern times, from energy crises to global warming, from draughts to melting ice caps, from growing urbanization of the global south, and from natural and man-made disasters like Katrina and Fukushima, this course will cross many established boundaries: temporal, geographical, cultural and disciplinary. It will also be a methodological introduction to doing history at a scale that is beyond the nation-state.

This 3.0 credit special topic course, taught by Debjani Bhattacharyya, PhD, will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 – 10:50 a.m. Location TBD. 

ST: The Making of Modern India (HIST 280.002)**
This class will study how independence was achieved through non-violent resistance and how the changing politics of religion and caste produced the world’s most bewildering nation-state: India. How does India balance the traditional and the modern; how is India both the birthplace of non-violent resistance and riots, religious violence and pogroms; both a site of great poverty and extreme wealth? The course is appropriate for students without prior knowledge of India and serves as an introduction to themes such as colonialism, modernization and globalization.

This 3.0 credit special topic course, taught by Debjani Bhattacharyya, PhD, will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 12 – 12:50 p.m. Location TBD. 


Travel-Integrated Course: Globalization and Environments in India: New Delhi and Kolkata (HIST 298.001)
This travel course will explore themes in the history of colonial development under the British Raj, India’s entry into the global market of commodity production, and the lasting impact that had on post-colonial India’s environment, economy and politics.

Students will spend eight days during spring break (March 2016) in New Delhi and Kolkata, India; the itinerary includes guided tours of Old Delhi and North Kolkata, visits to shipyards, household factories and the East Kolkata Wetlands, museum tours and special lectures.

**Students should plan to take one of our two companion courses in the Winter Quarter:

  • HIST 280: Themes in Global Environmental History
  • HIST 280: The Making of Modern India

Start your application today!

This 1.0 credit travel course, taught by Debjani Bhattacharyya, PhD, will take place abroad in New Delhi and Kolkata, India, over Drexel University’s spring break (March 18-28, 2015).


ST: Ethics and Legal Practice (PHIL T380.001)
The life of a legal professional can be fraught with questions of ethics and professional responsibility. The very nature of the trust placed in members of the legal profession by clients, the courts and society at large can lead to a number of questions, not only about what someone in the legal profession can do, but (more importantly) what someone in the legal profession should do. This course will explore many of the ethical issues and dilemmas faced by those working within the legal field. Students will address many topics stemming from the tension between the legal professional’s duty to his/her client and his/her individual duty to the legal profession and society at large.

This 3.0 credit special topic course, taught by Michael Vitlip, JD, is open to students above freshmen level, and will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30 – 7:50 p.m. Location TBD.

Philosophy of Law (PHIL 385.001)
This is a survey course in the philosophy of law. Students will discuss topics including constitutional interpretation, legal obligation, criminal punishment, culpability, harm, immigration and free speech.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Nathan Hanna, PhD, is open to all students above freshman level, and will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 – 1:50 p.m. Location TBD.

ST: Objectivity in Science (PHIL T480.001/STS T580.001)
Over the past few decades, questions related to the nature and the value of scientific objectivity have become increasingly important among historians and philosophers of science, as well as among researchers in other fields in science and technology studies. Such questions have also become crucial in framing the public debate about science and science policy. This course takes up current approaches to objectivity in science, examining the history of the concept and current refinements (e.g., strong objectivity, objectivity from below, etc.). It will also examine what role the notion of objectivity plays in recent issues such as climate change, biomedical and pharmaceutical research, and cancer research, among others.

This 3.0 credit special topic course, taught by Flavia Padovani, PhD, is open to all graduate and undergraduate students with two (2) 200-level philosophy courses or the equivalent, and will meet Thursdays, 6:30 – 9:20 p.m. Location TBD.

Nietzsche (PHIL 485.001)
Are history, memory and the past important to the lives of individuals and cultures? Do they stifle or motivate political action and change? Do they help resolve or contribute to political conflict? What role do power, art, science, religion, the state, certainty and uncertainty, play in the origins, development, spread of, change, and conflict among cultural values? This seminar will revolve around such questions, as well as others pertinent to the relationships between political action, history, and conceptions of self and culture, through reading and discussing several works of the 19th philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. This course is equivalent to PHIL431 for philosophy majors and minors.

This 3.0 credit course, taught by Amy Bush, PhD, is open to all students with two (2) 200-level Philosophy courses or the equivalent, and will meet Mondays, 2 – 4:50 p.m. Location TBD.


ST: Politics of International Law (PSCI T380.001)
The legalization of world politics is one of the most interesting and potentially transformational trends in international relations. Across substantive areas, including matters of security, trade, environmental affairs and human rights, international law is playing an increasing role in international politics. This course provides an introduction to the field of international law from an international relations perspective. The course considers both theoretical approaches and contemporary events to better understand where international law comes from, how it is designed, why states comply (or not), and how increasing legalization influences state behavior. In addition, students will consider contemporary debates and challenges, including the contested jurisdiction of international courts, the immunity of the United Nations, evolving law on humanitarian military intervention, and the fragmentation of international law in environmental affairs, among other topics.

This 4.0 credit special topic course, taught by Erin Graham, PhD, is open to all students above the freshman level, and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 – 3:50 p.m. Location TBD.

ST: Political Theory and Collective Action After Death (PSCI T380.002)
This course examines the interplay between contemporary political theory and social movement activity in the context of violent death, mass murder, genocide, femicide and state’s sponsored terrorism. Some of the questions that students will consider in this course are how do human beings conceive of death? When is death morally and politically objectionable? Is death the beginning, or the end, of all political action? When do dead bodies have a political life? What, if any, is the relationship between death and regime change? The course begins with the study of Sophocles’ “Antigone,” the fearless daughter of Oedipus, who challenged King Creon’s edict forbidding the burial of her brother, Polinices, in the name of the eternal laws of the underworld. “Antigone’s” play sets the tone for further exploration of collective action and resistance in the aftermath of death. Some additional authors students will read in this course are Euripides, Leo Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Adriana Cavarero, Jalal Toufic and Hannah Arendt.

This 4.0 credit special topic course, taught by Elva Orozco-Mendoza, PhD, is open to all students above the freshman level, and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 – 11:50 a.m. Location TBD.

ST: Civilians in Armed Conflict (PSCI T480.001)
In this seminar-style course, students consider the causes and consequences of violence against civilians during armed conflicts. Key questions include: What are common patterns of violence against civilians? Under what circumstances are civilian casualties more or less likely? Do different types of armed conflicts, or different types of groups, produce different types of civilian casualties? Finally, what actions (by civil society groups, armed groups, governments, the international communities or civilians themselves) have been successful at limiting civilian casualties? In addition to these substantive questions, the course addresses methodological and ethical questions about research in conflict-affected areas.

This 4.0 credit special topic course, taught by Amelia Hoover Green, PhD, is open to all students above the freshman level, and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12 – 1:50 p.m. Location TBD.