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Posts tagged ‘Socialism’


Social Justice Research Academy — Introduction

Social Justice Research Academy

The Social Justice Research Academy brings high school students from across the USA and around the world together with faculty from the University of Pennsylvania (and visiting faculty from other institutions) to examine the historical importance and the contemporary relevance of struggles to overcome inequality and injustice.

Morning Lectures and Discussions – Attend classes with Penn faculty from several disciplines, including urban/global studies, philosophy, race and gender, economics and community development, politics, law and policy, history, sociology, environment, and public health.

Afternoon Workshops and Site Visits – Participate in activities with special guests from community groups, cooperatives, socially responsible businesses, labor unions, political advocacy organizations, environmental projects, urban farms, research institutes, and philanthropies.

The promise of – and the struggle for – freedom is one of the enduring narratives of human society. The faculty will call upon knowledge and experience from many sources:
•past struggles – peasant revolts, slave rebellions, anti-colonial and anti-apartheid independence movements
•present struggles – Arab Spring, Occupy, and ongoing human rights campaigns across the globe

This academy has been designed for students who are interested in:
•society, economy, politics, and environment
•performing research supplemented by photography, video, music, art, or digital design
•developing skills for leadership and organizational development
•completing projects related to freedom, justice, equality, sustainability, peace, and fairness

Program Director: Andrew T. Lamas, J.D.

Andy Lamas began teaching at the University of Pennsylvania in 1990. His primary appointment is in the School of Arts & Sciences’ Urban Studies Program, where he focuses on the theoretical and practical dimensions, as well as the philosophical and religious bases, of social justice and economic democracy — in the context of urbanization. He has also lectured in other schools and programs at Penn, including the Law School, the Wharton School, and the School of Social Policy & Practice.

If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Lamas at:


Pizza and Revolution

For several years, Masterman High School in Philadelphia, PA, has invited me to teach a weekly course during the March-May term.   In 2011, sixty-six (66) students enrolled in the elective course, which took place during the Third Period lunch break.   Here is a summary description of the course:

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics: The Thought of Karl Marx and Albert Einstein

Only eleven mourners stood at the grave of Karl Marx at Highgate Cemetery in London, England, on March 17, 1883. “His name and work,” predicted Marx’s life-long friend and collaborator, Friedrich Engels, “will endure through the ages.” It seemed an unlikely boast, but he was right.  (ST)

To celebrate the year 2000, BBC News conducted a poll to find “the greatest thinker of the millennium,” and Karl Marx was the first-place winner by a wide margin.  (Here are the other winners:   2. Albert Einstein,    3. Sir Isaac Newton, 4. Charles Darwin, 5. St. Thomas Aquinas, 6. Stephen Hawking, 7. Immanuel Kant,   8. Rene Descartes, 9. James Clerk Maxwell, and 10. Friedrich Nietzsche.)

In May, 1949, in the first issue of the journal Monthly Review, Albert Einstein wrote the lead article, entitled “Why Socialism?”  The opening lines of the article are: “Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is.”

In this MG course, we will examine the historical importance and the contemporary relevance of the philosophical, political, and economic thought of Karl Marx and Albert Einstein.  This course is only for students who are (or who are interested in becoming) serious intellectuals and critical thinkers … and who like pizza.

Mondays, Third Period (during lunch)