The advance registration period here at Penn closes on Sunday, so I thought that I'd share with you the classes that I'm hoping to take in the Spring. This "advance registration" process is new to me so here's a quick blurb from the explanatory email:
"All continuing PennDesign students are required to request courses during the advance registration period.
During this two week period you will be entering requests for the courses you would like to enroll. Enter your course preferences in priority order anytime during the advanced registration period. This is not a first come first served process, so there is no advantage to registering early and no guarantee that students will be enrolled in all their requested courses.
At the end of advance registration period, the system will then schedule all students requests based on availability. Depending on course demand, the system may not be able to enroll you in all the courses you requested. On Thursday, November 27, you may view your schedule on Penn InTouch. If you do not receive a full schedule, or if you wish to change your course selections, you may begin revising your schedule during the Course Selection period which begins on Monday, December 1, 2008."
So essentially there is a lottery system for all classes. I'm assuming that as a PhD student I will have priority and will actually get all of the classes that I want. Here's the schedule that I'm hoping for:
Proseminar in Urban Studies (URBS 608 - Michael Katz) This is the second semester of a two semester class that I'm taking right now. This semester has been a lot of reading about the transformation of the postwar American city. In the spring we will have guest lecturers from around the university and we'll be working on our major research papers. As I mentioned in a previous post I will be writing about the National City Lines conspiracy.
God, Gold & Green: Themes and Classics in American Environmental Thought (ENVS 652 - James Blaine) "Through an exploration of enduring themes and classics, this course traces environmental thought in America from the first European settlements to the present. We begin by considering the preconceptions that Europeans brought to the New World and the realities they found when they arrived. We look at the issues raised by the unprecedented industrial and urban expansion of the 19th century and the accompanying westward migration that filled the continent. We examine how the conflict between economic growth and environmental limits created competing models of prosperity, equality and justice. And finally, we look at ways to transcend those divides and build a sustainable and equitable future. The primary vehicles for understanding the evolution of environmental thinking across several centuries are some of the classic texts of environmental thought - from The Book of Genesis to Henry Thoreau's Walden to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. The course seeks to provide a theoretical and historical framework that will help students understand current issues and address real problems."
Case Studies in Urban Design (LARP 780 - David Gouverneur) I can't find the course description for this online, but its relatively self explanatory.
Independent Study: I haven't decided what I want to do for an independent study yet. I've been tossing around few ideas like "sustainable urbanism and ecocities", "urbanism and the ciam/team x schism", or "radical urbanisms: archigram, superstudio & archizoom". Up until yesterday I was leaning toward doing the Archigram topic with Annette Fierro, since that's what her current research is on. But yesterday in my PhD seminar we discussed the possibility of doing a history/theory reading seminar with David Leatherbarrow. I'm thinking that that might be a good idea so that I can read (or re-read) a lot of the seminal texts that I either haven't read yet or read a long time ago.
One of these classes (probably either the URBS or ENVS) will actually end up become ARCH 812. We were discussing this with David Leatherbarrow yesterday. Apparently we're going to be guinea pigs as they're tweaking the PhD curriculum a bit. Prior to this year, ARCH 812 was actually a regular seminar class much like ARCH 811 which I'm taking now. It's an advanced theory/research class for PhD and MS students. This year the plan is for us to take another elective class and work with the professor to morph their syllabus into something suitable for ARCH 812. In other words, we'll take an elective, do all of the work for that class, plus some additional work. The idea here is that we're able to start focusing on the topics that we're really interested earlier than in previous years.
In other news, my 3500 word paper for Witold Rybczynski's class is due on Tuesday. I also have to make a presentation of my research proposal for my urban studies class (the NCL stuff) on Tuesday.
There are also a couple of lectures/events coming up in the next few days:
Lecture: Jeanne Gang of Studio/Gang/Architects
Thursday, November 13
Lecture: Peter Dreier of Occidental College
Is There Hope for Cities? A Cautiously Optimistic View"
The 24th Annual Urban Studies Public Lecture
Friday, November 14
Logan Auditorium, Claudia Cohen Hall
Exhibit/Colloquia: Places of Refuge: The Dresser Trunk Project
Friday, November 14
Meyerson Upper Gallery
"The Dresser Trunk project brings ten prominent artists, architects, and landscape architects together to explore places of refuge for black travelers during segregation. These explorations take the form of “dresser trunks” in a traveling exhibition. The exhibition documents popular venues during segregation including hotels, nightclubs, and even a Negro league ballpark. The goal of the exhibition is to recover the stories and memories of institutions that helped shape our nation’s cultural and spatial history.
Places of Refuge will explore many of the themes embedded in the exhibit in order to take stock of where we are today in relation to race and space. It brings all the Dresser Trunk participants and critics together with leading figures in the design profession to discuss the work of the exhibition in a roundtable format that will allow participants to explore the themes and challenges they confronted when producing pieces for the exhibit. It will also enable them to place their work in the larger context of segregated travel and the production of social space."
Lecture: Charles Waldheim of the University of Toronto
"Planning, Ecology, and the Emergence of Landscapes"
Monday, November 17
B3 Meyerson Hall