The Transforming Legacy of Oil  360° combines courses from Growth and Structure of Cities, Economics, and History to assess how oil has affected our built environment as well as local and global economies. Oil, like the spice trade, tea, etc. connects buildings and institutions in different places and time periods. While economists and planners have looked extensively at international networks and their local effects, researchers have yet to closely examine relationships among global socioeconomic networks, architectural developments and urban form. Students and faculty participating in this 360° will organize a symposium on “The Transforming Legacy of Oil in Philadelphia,” held Jan. 18, 2013.


Flourishing Beyond the Legacy of Oil Symposium

Organized by the students of the 360°, this symposium invites a larger audience to join the ongoing interdisciplinary conversation around the issue of oil, and related socioeconomic, architectural, and urban development questions, using Philadelphia as our laboratory.

The organizers welcome participants from local colleges and communities to the Symposium. Participation is free of charge.

Online registration is open until January 15, 2013.

The Transforming Legacy of Oil Courses:

Economics 213: Taming the Modern Corporation

David Ross (Economics) taught this course, an introduction to the economics of industrial organization and regulation, focusing on policy options for ensuring that corporations enhance economic welfare and the quality of life. Topics included firm behavior in imperfectly competitive markets; theoretical bases of antitrust laws; regulation of product and occupational safety; environmental pollution; and truth in advertising.

Growth and Structure of Cities 377: Topics in Modern Architecture: The Golbal Architecture of Oil

Carola Hein (Growth and Structure of Cities) taught this course, which examined oil’s global impact on built environment, following the trail of petroleum around the world. It used the global architecture of oil—of its extraction, administration, and resale—to examine the impact of international economic networks on architecture and urban form since the mid-19th century.

History 425: The Legacy of Penn's Oil

This independent study course taught by Elliot Shore (History, Director of Libraries), offered students the opportunity to grapple with the curatorial challenges of seeing a conference as both a process and a product.  ”Legacy of Penn’s Oil” provided the historical background on the discovery, transportation, and impact of oil in Pennsylvania. It covered the development of the nascent advertising industry and the robust periodical publishing businesses in Philadelphia as it worked to market and report on the growing impact of oil.