University Courses

The Center for Faculty Development and Excellence (CFDE) is offering one University Course for Spring 2019.

Progress: An Interdisciplinary Reflection

Instructor: Pablo Palomino, Assistant Professor, Humanities, Oxford College

What does “Progress” mean? What is the history behind this concept? How do Emory scholars approach this concept? And how does it work (or not) in Atlanta? This course interrogates the multidisciplinary use of “progress”—one of the main philosophical ideals of modernity, and the basis of political constitutions, scientific paradigms, and even the modern university. Modern “Progress” has two faces—one optimistic, looking at Silicon Valley techno-utopias; the other grim, looking at socioeconomic inequality and the global environmental crisis. What other narratives of progress are possible? 

The course includes a Roundtable and a Teach-Out (a virtual forum developed by the University of Michigan), through which we will share these conversations with a larger online—potentially global—audience. The goal is to interrogate Atlanta’s ongoing urban transformation and to interrogate its “progress” from the perspective of its history, memory, and current projects towards the future.


The CFDE initiated the University Courses in 2011 to encourage a multidisciplinary examination of issues and topics by faculty and students from across the university. The goals of University Courses are to focus the many intellectual perspectives and resources of Emory on the study of important topics and to enact a sense of common purpose across the diverse communities at Emory. These classes are offered to all students: undergraduate, graduate, and professional.

Look for a call for proposals in April 2019.

>>How to Propose a University Course

>>Past University Courses

About University Courses

  • CFDE will provide a budget for each course in the amount of $2000. The funds are meant to cover stipends for conveners, guest lecturers and any outside speakers you may invite to participate. Please note that gift cards cannot be purchased as a form of reimbursement.
  • CFDE will assist with course development and registration and identify possible collaborators in other schools.
  • Proposed topics should be broad enough to generate interest from students across the university, and to be approached from a variety of disciplines.
  • Representation from at least three of the schools at Emory in both the faculty and students is desired for each course. 
  • Please consult with your department chair to confirm how this course will count in your teaching load.  Many departments will allow for this course to count as part of a faculty member’s normal teaching load since the course will be available to students in their home department.  

Course Structure

  • Any course structure appropriate to the topic will be considered. Historically, the course has met as a seminar once a week for three hours.
  • It is recommended that there will be multiple guest presenters in the class providing diverse disciplinary perspectives on the topic. At least one, and preferably all, of the course conveners should attend each class session throughout the semester.
  • Conveners must include a community aspect to their course. Examples are: opening up one or two of your guest lectures to the larger Emory community, developing a concurrent film series that is open to the public, or videotaping several sessions of your course and using the material in a continuing education course or other online course.

Submissions must include a one-page summary that outlines the following: 

  • Your topic and justification for its relevance as a University Course.
  • A rough sketch of topics and perspectives you will cover during the class
  • Short summary of the community aspect of the course
  • Names and school/departmental affiliations of faculty you have identified that are interested in participating as guest lecturers
  • Please also include in your proposal your name, rank, department, and contact information.

Any questions you have about the process should be directed to cfde@emory.edu.