"The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress."
— bell hooks, Teacher, Berea College
Educational Offerings

The lab provides an inclusive space within the University of Pennsylvania for scholars from the humanities, social policy and medicine to critically engage the impact of social systems on the health of individuals and communities.

Our learning architecture begins from the premise that the study of health requires different yet interrelated approaches. Drawing on interdisciplinary methodologies from anthropology and education to social work and medicine, our educational offerings engage questions of health and well-being on three scales: individual, informal group, and structured course. Each approach affords participants with unique opportunities to explore and reimagine health in relation to frameworks such as political economy, culture, medicalization, and citizenship.

We welcome participation from students, faculty, and community members in the Philadelphia region and beyond.
  • Courses
  • Structured courses are available to students at the University of Pennsylvania through the School of Social Policy & Practice and partnering departments.

    "Intro to Health Ecologies" is taught in the Fall semester. "Topics in Health Ecologies" is taught in the Spring and culminates in a course-related project. A Certificate in Health Ecologies will be issued to students who complete both semesters.
  • Reading Group
  • Our reading group is open to students and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and community members.

    Participants engage in weekly discussion of pre-circulated texts in an informal learning environment. The group meets Wednesday afternoons from 12-1:00pm.

    Learn more
  • Independent Study
  • Opportunities for independent study are available to students at the University of Pennsylvania. We can provide syllabi, or students can develop their own.

    Those unaffiliated with the university and interested in self-directed study can access our syllabi online.

    Learn more