Race and Ethnicity in Philadelphia

Explore race and ethnicity in Philadelphia, through the city’s history, politics, economics, literature, geography, sociology, and religious diversity.

IDS-110 Race and Ethnicity in Philadelphia

This course fulfills the D/DN core curriculum requirement.

The course will use the city itself as a text.  Some examples:

(1) This means getting out into the city, exploring it, interacting with it and its residents. Students will start by a team exercise, walking the length of the West Philly Baltimore Avenue business district (44th to 50th) and creating a map of its businesses, citing their ethnic identities.

(2) Students, one by one, will be expected to take the El (the Market–Frankford line) to 52th Street (an African-American shopping district), walk the mile to Baltimore, and then take the trolley back to the Summit. Extra-credit for buying something on the street or eating at a local restaurant.

(3) Students will each explore a neighborhood of the city that is ethnically identified and report to the class what they found there and put up a description, with photos, online.

(4) The class as a whole will walk down Broad from City Hall to Washington Avenue, comparing what we see to the descriptions found in Walking Broad.

(5) Other possibilities include: attending an ethnic festival, visiting the Italian Market as a group, going out to dinner in Germantown or northeast Philly or South Philly, touring murals.

Since students will come from a variety of disciplines, they can be expected to bring some knowledge of the methodologies and resources of those disciplines—or at least some idea about whom to seek out to help them. Each student will submit a final project, applying their discipline to some neighborhood of the city or the city as a whole.

Fulfill the “Diversity” requirement

This course satisfies the core curriculum’s Diversity (“D”) requirement.

Get more information

For more information, contact Prof. Roger Florka.