This course introduces the field of philanthropic studies, a discipline that “seeks to reflect on its subject as well as see its work carried forward into the world” (Turner 2004). The course surveys the issues and diverse roles played by philanthropic acts and actors in society. It provides an overview of philanthropy in the scholarly fields of the social sciences and the humanities, and introduces the prominent research questions in the teaching, theory, and practice of philanthropy.
Throughout the semester, we will visit several philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. The goal of these visits is for students to engage in high impact activities within real-world contexts. Students will meet with organizational representatives to learn about the organization’s philanthropic activities, as well as to develop greater understanding for the personal and professional trajectories of real philanthropic leaders.