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Announcing Fall 2023 GRS: Sustainable Development and the Global South

May 31, 2023

Course Announcement

We are pleased to announce an exciting new Global Research Seminar (GRS) taught by Professor Wendell Pritchett, which will provide an overview of the field of sustainable development with a focus on the Global South. This course will meet weekly throughout the Fall 2023 semester, including a visit to the United Nations in New York City on Monday, September 18. During the winter break in January 2024, all members of the seminar will participate in a week-long research trip to Ghana.

The GRS offers students an engaging classroom experience, an opportunity to do field-based legal research on an issue of critical global importance, and the chance to forge meaningful relationships with their seminar cohort and faculty. Past GRS participants have developed publishable research papers, made valuable networking connections, and deepened their understanding of cutting-edge issues in the law. There are no prerequisites for this class.

Course Description

This Fall’s GRS will start by developing an understanding of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Students will meet with leaders involved in the creation and implementation of the SDGs and attend the UN SDG Summit on September 18. Next, the course will explore the legal, political, social, and economic frameworks by which local and national institutions are working to effectuate these goals (and their own goals). Students will choose a specific SDG and will be expected to lead class discussions regarding the implementation of that SDG in specific countries. Topics of discussion will include: economic development, housing, green energy, transportation, environmental protection/remediation, agriculture, and public health.

The U.S.-based class seminars will lay the foundation for further on-site discussions in Ghana with in-country experts. In Ghana, students will deepen understanding of sustainable development through discussion with experts who will shed light on their work in the context of the legal, political civil, economic, and social and backdrop of the country.

To fulfill the requirements of the course, each student will select a specific research topic related to sustainable development in the Global South. Students will prepare and lead an in-class discussion on their topic in the Fall and write and present a research paper in the Spring.




Schedule Commitments

This three-credit course (two credits in the fall; one credit in the Spring) will meet eight times during the fall on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:50 p.m. We will also travel to New York City on Monday, September 18 to attend the SDG Summit. The class will spend the week of January 6-13, 2024 in Ghana. In the Spring, the class will meet twice for students’ presentation of their research.

Transportation Costs, Trip Fees, and Financial Aid

Students are responsible for arranging and paying for their own transportation to/from Accra. In addition to airfare, students will be charged a $900 program fee (for accommodations, in-country transportation and other programmatic expenses.) The trip fee assumes double occupancy accommodations. Some meals and cultural excursions will be covered by the program fees, but students will be expected to cover additional meals, sightseeing activities, and incidental expenses.

Penn Carey Law will provide partial or full financial aid to qualifying students. Additionally, students may be able to increase their loans to cover costs associated with this trip. After enrollment has been determined, students seeking financial aid will be asked to provide a separate letter explaining the basis for their need. Financial aid decisions will be communicated before the end of the Drop/Add period.

How to Apply

This class is open to 2L, 3L, and LLM students; there are no pre-requisites for enrolling in the seminar. The application deadline is Monday, July 17. In order to be considered for the seminar, students must follow the instructions provided via the online form below. Applicants must submit a short personal statement (of no more than 350 words) describing their reasons for wanting to take this class and their interest in the topic, together with a resume and unofficial transcript. Only students who are able to be a part of the January research trip should apply.

GRS Application