Courses

Courses for the holistic student.

SNF Paideia designated courses, designed and taught by faculty from all of Penn’s twelve Schools, integrate students’ personal, professional, and civic development. Open to all Penn undergraduates, these courses focus on dialogue, wellness, service and citizenship from different disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. SNF Paideia designated courses are noted on student transcripts. In addition, the Program identifies and recommends other courses offered at Penn that focus on wellness, service, citizenship, and dialogue. Read more about Paideia designated and recommended courses below.

Penn students on the lawn

Spring 2021

EAS 204

Technological Innovation & Civil Discourse in a Dynamic World

Instructor(s)

  • Christopher Yoo
  • Brit Shields

Semester

Spring 2021

The promises of today’s emerging technologies include longer, healthier lives; safer, faster, and more efficient transportation; and immediate, far-reaching communication mechanisms. Rapid technological innovation often outpaces and challenges established legal regulations, cultural norms, and societal frameworks of communications.

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CLST 301

Ancient Dialogue Workshop

Instructor(s)

  • James Ker

Semester

Spring 2021

This course will focus on the history of dialogue as a method of creative social communication in ancient Greek and Roman cities. We will study ancient dialogue-forms of different kinds, surveying key moments in poetry, drama, philosophy, from Homer onward, as well as imagined dialogues between moderns and ancients.

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FNAR 086/ENGL 125

Is This Really Happening? Performance and Contemporary Political Horizons

Instructor(s)

  • Sharon Hayes
  • Brooke O'Harra

Semester

Spring 2021

This class addresses the meeting points inside of and between a range of resistant performance practices with a focus on artists using performance to address political and social encounters in the contemporary moment.

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HIST 239

American Conservatism from Taft to Trump

Instructor(s)

  • Brian Rosenwald

Semester

Spring 2021

We will explore conservatism’s triumphs and failures politically, as well as the cultural changes that have helped, hindered, and shaped its rise. In many ways, this class is a study in the transformation of American politics and in American culture over the last sixty-five years. Its focus is on the hows and the whys of the rise of conservatism from the low point of the early 50s to the rise of the Tea Party and Trumpism in the 2000s and 2010s.

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PHIL 118

Benjamin Franklin and His World

Instructor(s)

  • Ezekiel J. Emanuel

Semester

Spring 2021

This course will explore the life and ethos of Benjamin Franklin. We will study the history of the 18th century, including the American Revolution, the details of Franklin’s life and accomplishments, and six major ethical issues he confronted. Through examining Franklin’s life, we will consider weighty questions in history, citizenship, ethics, and science.

 

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RELS 207 / JWST 207

Jews, Race, and Religion

Instructor(s)

  • Steven P. Weitzman

Semester

Spring 2021

2020 marked what may be a major new chapter in the history of race relations in the United States, with untold numbers of protestors demanding that the country confront abiding race-based injustice. The consequences of this movement are not yet known, but it has forced racism into the public’s consciousness in a way that seems new and potentially transformative.

The aim of this course is to help students deepen their critical and historical understanding of how discourses of race have shaped how Jews have understood their own identity, how they have been understood by others, and how they in turn have understood and related to other groups.

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LGST 245

Business, Law, and Democracy

Instructor(s)

  • Eric Orts

Semester

Spring 2021

What is the relationship between business and democracy? Do institutions of free enterprise depend on democratic government—and vice versa? Do democratic decision-making structures enhance efficient outcomes? What principles inform shareholder democracy? What is the relationship of business, democracy, and the rule of law? How does the ideal of citizenship apply in the context of business?

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URBS 245/EDUC 244

Civil Dialogue Seminar: Civic Engagement in a Divided Nation

Instructor(s)

  • Lia Howard
  • Chris Satullo
  • Harris Sokoloff

Semester

Spring 2021

The goal of this course is to help students develop concepts, tools, dispositions and skills that will help them engage productively in the ongoing experiment of American democracy. Civil dialogue is an aspiration, a theory and a practice—and one of the most misunderstood terms in contemporary political life.

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PSCI 498-302

Key Questions in Political Theory

Instructor(s)

  • Jeffrey Green

Semester

Spring 2021

This course is a basic introduction to certain fundamental topics in political theory. It aims to provide students with concepts and ideas by which to more clearly make sense of political reality. Overall, the course has three goals: (i) to introduce students to alternate approaches to the practice of political theory; (ii) to introduce students to numerous relatively self-contained debates important to contemporary political theorists; and (iii) to address major figures from the history of political thought, with an eye toward explaining what makes them vital to political theorists today.

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PSYC 005/OIDD 005

Grit Lab: Fostering Passion and Perseverance

Instructor(s)

  • Angela Duckworth

Semester

Spring 2021

Are you interested in the science and practice of passion and perseverance? The aims of Grit Lab are two-fold: (1) to equip you with generalizable knowledge about the science of passion and perseverance, and (2) to help you apply these insights to your own life. Apply for Grit Lab before DEC 2.

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SNF Paideia designated courses will be noted on a student’s transcript.

Preceptorial

Racism and
Anti-Racism in Contemporary America

A unique series of interdisciplinary conversations among leading scholars and practitioners drawn from a wide range of fields. Each conversation focuses on the ways in which institutional racism is deeply embedded in different parts of our economic, political, social, and cultural systems.

Racism and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America
Protestor holding up Black Lives Matter poster

Register for classes.

Find the SNF Paideia Program designated courses on PennInTouch by choosing “Designated SNF Paideia Program Course” under the Program menu.

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