Penn Global Seminars

Course Offerings by Term

Applications for Spring 2019 courses are now open and will close on November 14. You are invited to join our mailing list to stay up to date on PGS opportunities and other Penn Abroad programs.

Spring 2019

Information Communication Technologies for Development (PSCI 102-301)
Travel to Uganda over Spring Break 2019
Dr. Guy Grossman, Political Science
The seminar will focus on the role that innovations in Information Communication Technologies can play in improving development outcomes in low-income countries, and focuses especially on the promises and perils for utilizing mobile technologies and GIS for better governance: to improve citizen voice and government accountability.
Culture, Health, and Development in Ghana (AFRC 343-401/NURS 343-401)
Travel to Ghana over Spring Break 2019
Dr. Robin Stevens, Nursing
Anastasia Shown, Africana Studies
This course will be a broad overview on current health, culture and development topics in  Ghana. The health segment will focus on the experience, treatment and impact of sickle cell anemia. The course will cover basic principles of Ghanaian culture as it relates to health and development. The first part of the class will be taught through lectures, case studies, discussions on campus and a local field trip in the Philadelphia area. The second part of the course will involve a field trip to Ghana during spring break to help students gain a global perspective on health and development topics that impact Africans across the diaspora.

The City of Delhi: New, Old, and Unmapped (WRIT 012-301)
Travel to India over Spring Break 2019
Dr. Fayyaz Vellani, Critical Writing Program
First-year students only
This first-year writing seminar provides an in-depth examination of the city of Delhi, India. Considered one of the world’s global cities, Delhi serves as India’s capital, and a key metropolis for commerce, tourism, art, architecture, politics, cultural production, and consumption, particularly of food, art, and literature. Delhi’s vibrant political economy, multilayered history, and fascinating geography will be explored through readings, as well as through the travel component of the course. This seminar covers such topics as socioeconomic inequality, gentrification, and the environmental challenges for a city inhabited by nearly nineteen million people, allowing students to witness firsthand some of the urban phenomena about which they will have read, written, and had discussions.

The Image of the City of Haifa: Literature, Architecture, Film (NELC 159-401 / CIMS 159-401 / COML 282-401)
Travel to Israel over Spring Break 2019
Dr. Nili Gold, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
This course focuses on the literary works and architectural masterpieces of Haifa and examines closely the relationship between the natural landscape, the man-made landscape and the psyche of the individual who inhabits them. Through interdisciplinary analyses of literature, film, and architecture, students explore how a terrain affects architecture and how the unique landscape of a city might affect those who reside in it.

Robotics and Rehabilitation
Travel to Jamaica in May 2019
Dr. Camillo Jose Taylor, Engineering
Dr. Michelle Johnson, Perelman School of Medicine
This course focuses on understanding the design of intelligent technologies for rehabilitation diagnostics and intervention, which include using biomechanics, computer science, robotics and mechatronics design principles Beyond technology, this course explores the design process in which medical technology is developed for foreign economies, cultures, and healthcare systems. Student projects focus on understanding stake-holders needs and developing technology able to address a Jamaican client rehabilitation needs.

South Africa Rising: Past and Present in the New South Africa (WRIT 012-302)
Travel to South Africa in May 2019
Dr. Sara Byala, Critical Writing Program
First-year students only
This first-year writing seminar focuses on South Africa's recent history (from 1994) and the tensions that characterize this era. From Nelson Mandela’s lofty ideals of a nonracial country to the Rhodes Must Fall movement that has shaken college campuses and museums in recent years, it provides students with an entry point into a country that continues to stand as an harbinger for the African continent.

Disability Rights and Oppression: Experiences within Global Deaf Communities
Travel to Italy in May 2019
Dr. Jami Fisher, Linguistics
This course explores the linguistic and social statuses of global deaf communities with respect to language rights and efforts toward parity with spoken language communities. The course will expose participants to a module on Italian Sign Language (LIS) and will give opportunities to learn and use LIS in and amongst Italian Deaf community members while in Italy. The course centers on one key moment in history, the Milan Conference of 1880, in which several decrees made by hearing educators dictated that sign languages be banned in all instruction of deaf students worldwide. The impacts of said decree was catastrophic for the linguistic and social rights of deaf people; effects of these experiences were pernicious and long lasting. Since then, global deaf communities have fought to gain the legal rights and social recognition that are typically afforded hearing members of their respective communities. There are some deaf communities that have attained said rights, where others are still left far behind. This explores the lasting effects of the Milan Congress in global terms, using the United States and North American deaf communities as a standard for comparative measurement.

Case Studies in Environmental Sustainability (ENVS 302-401)
Travel to Iceland in May 2019
Dr. Alain Plante, Earth and Environmental Science
This seminar asks students to research and present a case study on an environmental topic specific to Iceland, including climate change, renewable energy production, land management, fisheries, food production and many other issues of environmental sustainability that span the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities. Iceland offers an unrivaled opportunity to study geothermal and other energy production, ecology, the effects of tourism on the environment, agriculture, aquaculture, and issues of environmental ethics, nature interpretation and resource management.

Prague: The Making of a European Nation (COML 122-401 / EEUR 119-401)
Travel to the Czech Republic in May 2019
Dr. Julia Verkholantsev, Russian and East European Studies
The focus of this course is Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic and the geographical center of Europe. Prague has been the site of major European developments and is where the Czech national identity was forged. Focusing on what makes Prague a national capital, students will explore how the “national” negotiates its place with the “global.” The study of the many layers of Prague’s urban landscape allows one to observe how history is built into the physical environment, while the analysis of literary and artistic production reveals how the city has become perceived as a national shrine, embodied in word and image. By reading the “Prague text” as humanists, anthropologists, and historians, students learn to apply methods of literary, cultural, and historical analyses, and ask questions of what it means to be a Czech, a Central European, a European, and even, perhaps, an American. 

Fall 2018

Exploring Traditional Chinese Medicine
Travel to China over Winter Break 2018/2019
Dr. Jianghong Liu, Nursing
This class introduces students to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a form of complementary and alternative medicine. The students will learn about TCM theory, common therapies, and treatments, as well as the safety, regulation, and efficacy of this practice. Classwork will be complemented by a 1-2 week trip to China to visit hospitals affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. There, students will attend lectures/seminars, clinical observations, and hands-on experiences, gaining a global perspective and understanding of the implications of TCM.

Seeing, Hearing, and Encountering South Africa (AFRC/ANTH/COML/MUSC 056-401)
Travel to South Africa over Winter Break 2018/2019
Dr. Carol Muller, Music
This class provides a window into contemporary Africa through the study and travel to one of its most powerful nation-states: South Africa. Students explore South African history, politics, arts and culture, and are introduced to a series of issues confronting post-apartheid South Africa: these include issues of heritage and the usable past, sustainability, environmental impact, climate change, energy challenges and fracking, defining from the global South slave and racial histories, music and cultural practices borrowed that are now considered local and particular.

Laboratory of Evolution: The History, Philosophy, and Science of Evolution in the Galapagos (PHIL 226-401)
Travel to the Galapagos over Winter Break 2018/2019
Dr. Michael Weisberg, Philosophy
Charles Darwin's first impression of the Galapagos was not a positive one. Upon landing on San Cristobol Island, he was underwhelmed, commenting that the island reminded him of "what we might imagine cultivated parts of the Infernal regions to be." But Darwin quickly recognized that the Galapagos is a unique place to study geology and natural history. This course consists of a detailed examination of evolutionary theory, especially within the context of historical and contemporary scientific research in the Galapagos. The climax of the course is a visit to the Galapagos archipelago to examine, first hand, the issues discussed in the seminar, and consists of 7 nights and 8 days on the water.

The Performing Arts of Modern South India (SAST 217)
Fall 2017, Travel to India over Winter Break
Dr. Davesh Soneji, South Asia Studies
This course focuses on the social history of the performing arts in modern South India and their interface with larger discourses on religion, gender, nation, and modernity.

Operations Strategy Practicum (OIDD 380)
Fall 2017, Travel to Israel over Winter Break
Dr. Morris Cohen, Operations, Information, and Decisions
This course will focus on the management of operations at manufacturing and service facilities located within the US and Israel that are used either by domestic corporations or by foreign multinational companies. Our emphasis will be on the evolving patterns of operations strategies adopted by firms for producing products, sourcing manufacturing, distributing products, delivering services and managing product design as well as on programs for enhancing quality, productivity and flexibility and managing technology. We will focus on the formulation and execution of such strategies for a collection of firms in the context of the current dynamics of global competition.

Health and the Healthcare System in Chile (NURS 535)
Fall 2017, Travel to Chile over Winter Break
Dr. Eileen Lake, Nursing
Marta Simonetti, Nursing
This course will provide interdisciplinary perspectives on health and the health care system in Chile.

The Middle East in Conflict: A Century of War and Peace (INTL 290)
Spring 2018, Travel to Israel and Jordan over Spring Break
Dr. Samuel Helfont, International Relations
The modern Middle East has witnessed tremendous conflict and turmoil since it emerged following World War One. It would be impossible for one course to cover all conflict in the Middle East over the past century. Therefore, this course investigates three prominent conflicts (the Arab Israeli Conflict, Islamist Terrorism, and the Iraq Wars), which represent case studies on ethno-national conflict, religious conflict, and great power intervention. The course uses these conflicts to expose students to the primary types of conflicts that have manifested in the region over the past one hundred years.

Muslims, Christians, and Jews: Pilgrimage, Memory and History in Spain (RELS 312)
Spring 2018, Travel to Spain in May
Dr. Anthea Butler, Religious Studies
This course will investigate the interreligious lives of Muslims, Christians, and Jews during what is called the Convivencia, or La Convivencia. This refers to a time when Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived in peace before the Reconquista, or reconquest of Spain, by Catholics in 1492. Our task is not only to understand this history, but to understand how convivencia is a problematic, but useful, term in understanding this time period of great cultural growth, building, and religious innovation.

Human Rights, Forced Migration, and Education (PSCI 454)
Spring 2018, Travel to Jordan in May
Dr. Eileen Doherty-Sil, Political Science
Dr. Fernando Chang-Muy, Law
Dr. Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, Graduate School of Education
An unprecedented number of forced migrants are challenging the world order. Recent approximate figures suggest that over 63 million people are forced migrants. While the bulk of these forced migrants are internally displaced, over twenty million are refugees in other countries. The bulk of these refugees are women and children. This course explores forced migration through the lens of human rights. Drawing on human rights frameworks to explore refugee policy and its applications (particularly in the context of education), this course will challenge and expand students’ understandings of human rights as they are applied to refugees.

SEAS China Immersion (EAS 290)
Spring 2018, Travel to China over Spring Break
Dr. Howard Hu, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
This course will provide an opportunity for Penn students to experience rapid technological development and business environment in China, and expose them to engineering and technology innovations there. It will also provide a platform for Penn students to interact with business leaders at large and small companies and educators in China, and network with Penn alumni.

Sufis and Gods: Temples and Shrines of Southeast Asia (RELS 217)
Spring 2018, Travel to Singapore and Malaysia over Spring Break
Dr. Teren Sevea, South Asia Studies
This course introduces students to the religious worlds of the South Asian diaspora in Malaysia and Singapore, centered upon Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh temples and shrines. The course aims to deepen students' understanding about historical and contemporary South Asian religious worlds in port cities such as Singapore, Melaka, and Penang through introducing them to the academic literature on South Asian Sufis, gods, temples, and shrines in those cities, and alternatively, through visits to shrines and temples in Malaysia and Singapore. These visits will equip students with a deeper understanding of the religious practices, traditions, and rituals of the historical and contemporary South Asian diaspora.

Environmental Health Issues and Global Implications (NURS 343/543)
Spring 2018, Travel to China in May 
Dr. Jianghong Liu, Nursing
This class aims to introduce students to the field of environmental health using interdisciplinary methods to expose students to basic principles of environmental toxicology and epidemiology and a brief history.

2016-2017 Academic Year

Laboratory of Evolution: The History, Philosophy, and Science of Evolution in the Galapagos
Fall 2016
Michael Weisberg, Philosophy
This course consists of a detailed examination of evolutionary theory, especially within the context of historical and contemporary scientific research in the Galapagos.

Living Deliberately:  Monks, Saints, and the Contemplative Life - Thailand
Fall 2016
Justin McDaniel, Religious Studies
This is an experimental course in which students will experience monastic and ascetic ways of living.

Environmental Health Issues and Global Implications
Spring 2017
Jianghong Liu, Nursing
This class aims to introduce students to the field of environmental health using interdisciplinary methods to expose students to basic principles of environmental toxicology and epidemiology and a brief history.

Globalization and Corruption
Spring 2017
Philip Nichols, Legal Studies and Business Ethics
In this course, students review different theories of globalization as a theoretical matter and with application to current events. Students will go through research on corruption and its effects.

Living Deliberately: Monks, Saints, and the Contemplative Life - Ireland
Spring 2017
Justin McDaniel, Religious Studies
This is an experimental course in which students will experience monastic and ascetic ways of living.

SEAS Global Immersion: China
Spring 2017
Howard Hu, SEAS
This course provides students with the experience to learn of rapid technological development and business environments in China, as well as exposing them to Chinese engineering and technology innovations.

2015-2016 Academic Year

The Making of Modern Paris
Spring 2016
Eugenie Birch, Penn Design
Andrea Goulet, French and Francophone Studies
This class traces the people, ideas, and projects that contributed to this reputation, through an exploration of the city's built environment as expressed in literature and urban planning projects of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Blends of Culture: Conflict and Cooperation in Morocco and Zanzibar
Spring 2016
Amel Mili, Middle East Center
Keren Weitzberg, Africana Studies
Over the course of the semester, students learn about intercultural conflict and cooperation, examine key themes and conceptual approaches in the literature on both regions, and immerse themselves in the history of Zanzibar and Morocco.

The Gashora Project
Spring 2016
Gerri Light, SEAS
Jorge Santiago, SEAS
The SEAS Rwanda Gashora Program explores the use of solar energy and information communication technology (ICT) in low-resource communities in a developing village in Gashora, Rwanda.