Spring 2021 Courses

Public History: Theory and Practice
HSPV 534-001 (Hybrid: Online & Site Visits)

This graduate seminar explores ways of bringing histories of place before the public. It is required for Preservation students wishing to concentrate in this area (for whom HSPV 600 is a prerequisite) but is relevant to historians, designers, curators, and critical observers of all stripes. More than conventional public history courses, this one focuses on the built environment. It grapples with the tangible ways individuals, communities, and nations remember and forget. It acknowledges that while buildings and landscapes are in one sense simply larger forms of material culture than furniture or other objects, they also “work” differently by dint of being inhabited and publicly encountered, forming de facto frameworks for private and public life. Our coursework foregrounds interpretation and dissemination through multiple media – everything from signage and monuments to websites and exhibits. It is not, however, an introduction to the technical deployment of those media but a chance to reflect critically on their respective strengths and weaknesses in different contexts. In addition to discussing readings in history, historic preservation, sociology, anthropology, geography, and public art, students will design and conduct original research projects involving:

• interviews with Philadelphians from diverse backgrounds about their experiences of various urban landscapes;
• archival research involving architecture, city and regional planning, urban infrastructure, civic culture, and historical commemoration; and
• conceptual design of monuments, installations, public events, and other forms of commemoration. Field trips will ground class discussions in the present-day fabric of Philadelphia while guest speakers will acquaint us with a variety of institutional and disciplinary perspectives. HSPV 534-001 Syllabus for Spring 2021


Building Pathology
HSPV 551-001 (Online)

This course addresses the subject of deterioration of buildings, their materials, assemblies and systems, with the emphasis on the technical aspects of the mechanisms of deterioration and their enabling factors, material durability and longevity of assemblies. Details of construction and assemblies are analyzed relative to functional and performance characteristics. Lectures cover: concepts in durability; climate; psychrometric, soils & hydrologic; conditions; physics of moisture in buildings; enclosure, wall and roof systems; structural systems; and building services systems with attention to performance, deterioration, and approaches to evaluation of remedial interventions. 


The class is 100% synchronous so that group problem solving and exercises may be done.  Lecture slides will be posted before class.  The lecture slides are text  and content rich so a video narrative is not necessary, this is time efficient for the students.  In class, we review the slides with Q&A, then proceed to discussions and exercises and group progress on the final assignment.  A virtual site visit may be undertaken as part of the final assignment. HSPV 551-001 Syllabus for Spring 2021


Conservation Science
HSPV 555-001 (Hybrid: Online with in-person Labs)

Conservation Science provides a fundamental understanding of architectural materials with respect to their composition, properties and performance and serves as the foundation for subsequent conservation courses such as HSPV738 – Wood, HSPV739 – Masonry, and HSPV740 – Architectural Surface Finishes, as well as, related courses such as HSPV551 – Building Pathology and HSPV552 – Building Diagnostics and Monitoring.

Beginning with a general discussion of mechanical properties such as strength, modulus, toughness, creep and fatigue of all architectural materials, the course moves to porous building materials such as stone, brick, terra cotta, mud brick, and concrete, cast stone and mortar and focuses on the evaluation of their properties and their identification through an exploration of composition and texture in hand specimen and polarizing light microscopy. Rounding out the discussion of inorganic architectural materials is the examination of the unique set of properties of metals including their identification using methods of elemental analysis.

The course then shifts to the important organic architectural materials such as wood and finishes and begins with an overview of basic organic chemistry and follows with a more in-depth exploration of the properties and performance of wood, adhesives and clear finishes for wood, the chemistry of pigments and paint media, and, the identification pigments, paint media and clear finishes using several analytical methods. HSPV 555-001 Syllabus for Spring 2021


Documentation II
HSPV 601-001 (Hybrid: Online Lecture & In-Person Workshops)
Hinchman, Gray & Elliott

Documentation, Research, Recording II. This course provides an introduction to the survey and recording of historic buildings and sites. Techniques of recording include traditional as well as digitally-based methods including field survey, measured drawings, photography and rectified photography. Emphasis is placed on the use of appropriate recording tools in the context of a thorough understanding of the historical significance, form and function of sites. Required for first-year MSHP students; others by permission. HSPV 601-001 Syllabus for Spring 2021 and Part II


Remembering Epidemics
HSPV 620-401/ LARP 771-401 / HSOC 443-401 (Online)
Wunsch & Barnes

This seminar challenges students to encounter and interpret the city around them in unconventional ways. During a deadly pandemic that has profoundly disrupted all aspects of society, just as the question of public commemoration has vigorously and sometimes violently re-entered our country’s public discourse, one question has remained surprisingly neglected: How do we remember epidemics? This course confronts this question through an analysis of traumatic epidemics in Philadelphia’s history, and of the broader landscape of public memory. We devote special attention to the yellow fever epidemic of 1793, but we also consider the 1918-1919 influenza, AIDS, and COVID-19, among others. Students conduct archival, documentary, site-based, and other kinds of research in the process of analyzing the origins, course, and consequences of epidemics, as well as the nature of public commemoration. HSPV 620-401 Syllabus for Spring 2021


Preservation Economics
HSPV 625-001 (Online)

The primary objective is to prepare the student, as a practicing preservationist, to understand the language of the development community, to make the case through feasibility analysis why a preservation project should be undertaken, and to be able to quantify the need for public/non-profit intervention in the development process. A second objective is to acquaint the student with measurements of the economic impact of historic preservation and to critically evaluate "economic hardship" claims made to regulatory bodies by private owners. HSPV 625-001 Syllabus for Spring 2021


Photography & The City
HSPV 638-401 / CPLN 687-401 (Online) 

This seminar explores the intersecting social and cultural histories of photography and the urban and suburban built environment. No prior background in photography is necessary. Since its inception in 1839, photography has provided a critical means for representing urban space. The medium has helped to celebrate the great structures of the industrial city, reform cities from the Progressive Era through urban renewal, critique expanding postwar suburbs, and document change in the post-industrial and post-disaster city. In all of these ways, the photograph has been both a reflection of the city and an agent of its transformation. Our subjects each week will include individual images and larger photographic archives. We will discuss not only the creation of these images, but also their application in design and planning discourse. Although technical training in photography is not expected, students will have a chance to construct a photo-essay of their own. Through our investigations, we will collectively explore how photography's dual documentary and aesthetic properties have shaped the city—physically, socially, and culturally. HSPV 638-401 Syllabus for Spring 2021


Digital Media (First Half of The Semester Only)
HSPV 627-001 (Hybrid: Online & In-Person Workshops)

A required praxis course designed for students to further explore the techniques and applications of digital media for visual and textual communication. Techniques will be discussed for preservation use including survey, documentation, relational databases, and digital imaging and modeling.


Theories(Second Half Of The Semester Only)
HSPV 661-301 (Online)

Theories of historic preservation serve as models for practice, integrating the humanistic, artistic, design, scientific and political understandings of the field. HSPV 661 builds on HSPV 660, which examines the historical evolution of historic preservation, reviews theoretical frameworks and issues, and explores current modes of practice. HSPV 661 engages advanced topics such as cultural landscape theory, economics of preservation, sustainability and environmental conservation, social justice, and urban design. In addition to readings and lectures, case studies from contemporary practice will be used to examine theories in practice. Students from outside the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation are welcome; instructor's permission is required for any non-HSPV student. (Note that the course is the second of two parts; the first half, on the basics of preservation theory is taught in the fall semester.) HSPV 661-301 Syllabus for Spring 2021


Advanced Studio: Reckoning With Civil Rights Sites
HSPV 705-001 (Hybrid: Online & In-Person Workshops) 
Mason & Leggs

Our country is in the throes of a deep reckoning with racial injustice, economic precarity, legacies of discrimination and violence, and other civil rights issues. This advanced research course explores the presence of these civil rights issues, their heritage and opportunities for reckoning at the scale of the site and the landscape. How should sites of civil rights struggles, triumphs and other legacies be recognized, interpreted, preserved, managed and otherwise made visible?

The course will draw on several fields, including history, preservation, management, and design. It will balance lecture/seminar sessions (to outline and examine issues), discussions with invited guests, and practical workshops (exploring professional tools for designing/sustaining/preserving the sites themselves). The workshops will also create a space to collaborate on projects in Alabama and Philadelphia: the Armstrong School, an early 20th-century building on the grounds of a Baptist church in Macon County, Alabama, working with colleagues at Tuskegee University’s Department of Architecture; and Marian Anderson House an established heritage site in Center City Philadelphia facing a number of preservation, management challenges.

Individual student projects could be related to the Armstrong School or Marian Anderson House. Enrollment in the course will be strictly limited, and we welcome students from a variety of backgrounds, disciplines and department  – apply with a short statement of intent to rfmason@design.upenn.eduHSPV 705-001 Syllabus for Spring 2021


Thesis Workshop II
HSPV 711-001 (Online)

The Historic Preservation’s Thesis course is a two semester 2 CU capstone required of all MSHP candidates.  The goal of the individual Thesis is demonstrated mastery of the research process by exploring a question of academic/professional relevance to the preservation field and presenting the results of the study in accordance with the highest standards of scholarly publishing. The Thesis spans the academic year, beginning with HSPV 710/Thesis I in the fall semester and pending successful completion, continues in the spring with HSPV 711/Thesis II. Students are required to successfully complete 9-10 CUs (the first year of the curriculum before beginning the Thesis process. Dual degree students are required to enroll in HSPV 710 only before undertaking thesis studio in their respective dual program in their final year. Thesis II follows Thesis I with a focus on writing and developing the research methods explored in Thesis I. During Thesis II, students work with their individual academic advisors and come together periodically to present their progress and participate in advanced workshops on publishing and publication, peer-review, and specific methods related to each concentration. 


Conservation Seminar: Wood
HSPV 738-301 (Hybrid: Online & In-Person Labs)

Prior to the twentieth century, most structures found in the built environment relied upon wood as a primary material for both structural members and decorative features. An understanding of the physical properties as well as the historic application of this organic material provides the basis for formulating solutions for a wide spectrum of conversation issues. As the scope of preserving wooden structures and wooden architectural elements is continually broadened, new methods and technology available to the conservator together allow for an evolving program - one that is dependent upon both consistent review of treatments and more in-depth study of craft traditions. This course seeks to illustrate and address material problems typically encountered by stewards of wooden cultural heritage - among them structural assessment, bio-deterioration, stabilization and replication techniques. Through a series of lectures and hands-on workshops given by representative professionals from the fields of wood science, conservation, entomology, engineering, and archaeology, theoretical and practical approaches to retaining wooden materials will be examined with the goal to inform the decision-making process of future practicing professionals. HSPV 738-301 Syllabus for Spring 2021


Critical Multimodal Qualitative Research Across the Professions
HSPV 594-401 / LAW 594 
Regina Austin (Law) and the Affiliated Faculty of the Center for Experimental Ethnography 

This course is designed to introduce professional school students to critical, multimodal, and experimental ethnographic qualitative research. The course, which includes both theoretical and applied components, is divided into five modules. The first module explores the theory of critical ethnographic qualitative research and the ethical issues that arise when undertaking collaborative research around the “everyday culture” of communities and institutions with which practitioners in the students’ chosen areas of study typically interact. The second module allows students to analyze qualitative research in professional fields of study and engage in dialogue with Penn faculty whose qualitative research addresses significant issues of importance to practitioners in law, business, education, social policy, medicine, design, and planning. The third module is devoted to qualitative data collection methods (participant observation, oral histories, and in-depth interviews) and the modes and tools used in collecting qualitative data and reporting results, with an emphasis on multimodal methods. The final module considers in greater depth the role of aesthetics, advocacy, and activism in utilizing multimodal approaches for sharing research findings with academics, collaborators, fellow professionals, and the general population. At the end of the course, students should have achieved the following: acquired an in-depth understanding of the theory of critical ethnographic qualitative research; developed a working knowledge of the ethical obligations and professional norms associated with critical ethnographic qualitative research; gained familiarity with multimodal means of data collection and dissemination of research results, such as performance, sound, photography, film, and video; and engaged with scholars whose work involves critical multimodal qualitative research that can be usefully applied to academically-based, community-engaged research in areas of professional practice.