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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Human and Social Sciences Program provides beginning through superior-level Spanish speakers the opportunity to take a variety of courses in English or Spanish at one of the most prestigious universities in Barcelona. The program follows an interdisciplinary approach, with a focus on creativity and a goal of promoting intercultural understanding in an increasingly interconnected world.
*Students who complete their applications by the priority deadline will be registered for classes and assigned API housing first. As such, students applying early have a better chance of getting their desired courses and their first-choice housing assignment.
API students participate excursions designed to help familiarize them with the culture and surrounding areas of their host city and country. The following is a listing of potential excursions for API Barcelona programs. API may need to modify the excursions offered in a given term due to travel restrictions or health and safety concerns.
Delta del Llobregat is the area placed between Montjüic and Garraf. It is a natural environment outside the noisy Barcelona. Close to the delta there are coastal villages such as Castelldefels and El Prat del Llobregat. In one of these villages students will have the chance to taste a traditional sea Catalan meal.
La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park is a protected territory in the Iberian Peninsula with around 40 volcanic cones and more than 20 lava flows. The villages of Castellfollit de la Roca and Santa Pau and the stunning beech trees forest of La Fageda d’en Jordà are some of the breathtaking, scenic places we will discover to fully appreciate the rural part of Catalunya outside the urban area of Barcelona.
Costa Brava is a coastal area in the northeast of Barcelona. This area is famous for its cliffs and rocky beaches. Students will visit a village on the seafront and after that students will be able to participate in an adventurous activity. This was the homeland of the Spanish surrealist artists Salvador Dalí.
El Penedès is one of Spain’s richest regions both in historical and gastronomical terms. Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is the center of production of cava (sparkling wine). You will discover a place of stunning beauty and culture in a vineyard built by “Modernista” architects. Calçotada is an annual gastronomical celebration held only in Winter time. It’s grilled green onion dipped in romesco sauce.
Reus is a town located in the province of Tarragona, a little more than an hour away from Barcelona. Its city center is awash with gorgeous modernist architecture. Although the town’s main claim to fame is being the home town of Gaudi, it has heaps more to offer than this alone. In parts of the center, beautiful buildings are so frequent, that you just turn your head and another one is staring you in the face. It has that wonderful feeling of being protected by the mountains, but with the sea only a short distance away. If that wasn’t enough, guess what: Reus is also one of the cradles of vermouth!
Girona is a jewel of culture and history acquired over 2.000years. The medieval town is surrounded by a magnificent wall which is preserved almost in its entirety. The Jewish quarter, known as the “Call”, spreads out in a maze of small, narrow, and often steeply sloping streets. After the historical visit, we will stop in Costa Brava to discover the beauty of the Mediterranean sea.
Montseny Natural Park is known for the beauty of its scenery but also for the rich gastronomy. Ideal for an easy hike accessible for everyone it’s the perfect countryside day trip from Barcelona. We will discover the off the beaten track Catalunya from a local perspective, enjoying the landscape and the gastronomy of thisof this area.
TOTAL CREDITS - 12-15 credits per semester
The Human and Social Sciences Program will include both local and international students, who will participate in hands-on activities and workshops, seminars and projects, sessions led by guest speakers, as well as course-related tours and visits. Students will engage in critical thinking while exploring a range of subjects across various disciplines, which aim to stimulate creative approaches to today’s big challenges within a multicultural environment.
Various levels of Spanish language courses are available. Students who wish to take elective courses taught in Spanish must have completed a minimum of 4 semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent.
API students will receive a transcript from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra upon completion of their program.
Julia Nelson will be your Program Manager and prepare you to go abroad!
Alicia Castillo will be your Resident Director and a resource for you on-site.
Mireia Pujol will be your Student Services Director in Barcelona and will assist you in adjusting to the Spanish culture!
Arnau Roma Sansa will be your Academic Director on-site and will assist you in achieving your educational goals abroad.
Students may choose 4 or 5 courses (offered in either English or Spanish). All courses are equivalent to 6 ECTS or 3 U.S. semester credits. Not all courses are available each semester. Additional classes may be offered once a student is on-site.
Most API partner universities in Spain operate on the contact hour system, wherein the number of credits earned depends on the time spent in class. To determine the conversion of contact hours to U.S. credits, divide the contact hours available by 15.
Language of Instruction: Spanish
Recommended US semester credits: 6
Intermediate-level students learn to understand the main ideas of any standard written text, as well as to communicate in a variety of daily situations that demand an exchange of information and opinions. Advanced-level students learn to use and understand complex linguistic structures to communicate in a variety of situations that demand an exchange of information and opinions. The course consists of 90 contact hours and is subdivided into two consecutive modules. The first of these modules is intensive and lasts for 25 hours over a two-week period. The second module is extensive and has 65 hours of classes delivered over a period of approximately 12 weeks. This course is required for all non-native Spanish speakers
Barcelona ha sido etiquetada por Newsweek Magazine como la “coolest city in Europe”, otorgándole a su vez la reputación de una ciudad cosmopolita con una gran proyección internacional. Sin embargo, al igual que sucede con otras ciudades, esta ciudad también presenta sus propias complejidades y contradicciones.
Este curso pretende introducir la ciudad de Barcelona al estudiante mediante el estudio de su pasado y el análisis de su presente. Este estudio interdisciplinar constituido por la historia, la geografía, el arte, la arquitectura y el urbanismo cubre los múltiples ángulos que han conformado esta ciudad. Para ello se usaran imágenes, mapas, textos académicos y literarios, videos, estudios de campo y documentales. Asimismo, también se discutirán los asuntos más relevantes para la gente que en la actualidad conforma esta ciudad.
Recommended US semester credits: 3
El curso ofrece una introducción al cine español desde el inicio de la democracia, en los años setenta, hasta la actualidad, con una atención particular hacia aquellos cineastas que destacan tanto por su valor artístico como por su capacidad para reflejar los rasgos más destacables de la realidad y la cultura española contemporánea. Las diferentes sesiones del curso exponen el imaginario plural del cine español más reciente, a través de la obra de autores como Pedro Almodóvar, Víctor Erice, Julio Médem, Alejandro Amenábar o José Luis Guerín.
Language of Instruction: Spanish
Este curso busca ofrecer análisis de la actuación de los movimientos sociales de diversos lugares del mundo ante fenómenos del siglo XXI como la globalización, la crisis política y económica, y los procesos de democratización. Los movimientos sociales se han configurado como actores sociales y políticos que están incidiendo en la globalización que se está construyendo, en los procesos de democratización en los países árabes y en la profundización democrática en los principales países occidentales.
Se atenderá a las propuestas, las formas de organización y acción, los debates suscitados y los impactos generados. Las principales áreas geográficas de estudio serán América, Europa, el norte de África y Oriente medio. Para el análisis se combinaran las perspectivas que nos ofrecen diferentes disciplinas académicas, destacadamente, la ciencia política, las relaciones internacionales, la sociología, la economía, la historia, la filosofía política, la investigación para la paz, la psicología social, los estudios de género y el periodismo de investigación.
El objetivo del curso consiste en introducir al estudiante en los principales episodios del arte del siglo XX. Con un tema de fondo: las complejas relaciones entre tradición y vanguardia, clasicismo y modernidad, revolución y reacción artísticas a lo largo de todo un siglo.
Todo ello se realizará a través de la aproximación a cinco artistas catalanes o estrechamente vinculados a Cataluña, pero de indudable relevancia universal. Y, como se desprende del título del mismo, tomando como punto de partida sus obras más significativas, con un método que alejándose del discurso historiográfico o biográfico sitúa en primer plano las obras concretas y parte siempre del lenguaje plástico.
Once labeled by Newsweek magazine as the “coolest city in Europe,” Barcelona enjoys the reputation of a cosmopolitan city with a great international projection. Like all places, however, it is not without its complexities and contradictions. Behind a glossy and tourist-friendly façade, the city has a complex history.
This course introduces the student to the city of Barcelona by studying its past and analyzing its present. This interdisciplinary course covers subject in history, geography, art, architecture, and urban planning. Materials include images, maps, academic and literary texts, videos, field studies, and documentaries. We will also discuss issues relevant to people living in the city of Barcelona today.
Language of Instruction: English
This course celebrates the city of Barcelona and embarks the student on a journey to better understand the concept of Sustainability and its novel applications. Starting with the question “why Barcelona?”, we then move to enlightening examples of sustainability in the history and art of the city. Inspired by different concrete realizations, we analyze different approaches to sustainability, experience its emotionally loaded “dark side”, visit several research institutions firmly committed to sustainability, visit some natural areas and finish the course with an inspiring experiential session. *this is the former “The Barcelona Journey towards Sustainability” course. Only the title has been revisited.
Language of Instruction: English
The course aims to put the contemporary discussion of globalization into historical perspective by examining the long-lasting interactions of East Asian countries, Latin America and Southern Europeans from 1500-1800 in order to be a rich and understandable explanation of three hundred years of globalization.
The course will focus on the debate about economic histories of divergence between the East and the West. A debate opened by neo-Weberians, on the one side, and historians grouped in two groups: Fernand Braudel, Immanuel Wallerstein and his followers in the World Systems School, and the Californian School (including Ken Pomeranz, Roy Bin Wong and others).
European football (soccer) has become a major cultural vehicle in the global world, both in terms of economic impact and social influence. This course focuses on how this sport shapes the social, economic and cultural realms, and tries to interpret the different links between the game itself and the dimensions surrounding it: media coverage, aesthetic value, political targeting, public and corporate policies… In that context, FC Barcelona remains a unique case, studied in business schools as an example of global market branding, while passionately lived by millions of fans all over the world. Moreover, Barcelona city offers a privileged standpoint to better understand football as a growing issue within contemporary culture.
Recommended US semester credits: 3
How should Television treat the diversity of contemporary societies? How to respond to the challenge of global communication preserving, at the same time, the adequate discursive treatment of diverse cultural groups, minorities, the phenomenon of immigration and the representation of Otherness in a broader social sense? In the US the industrial TV model and private stations shape social imaginary, but a variety of other countries choose the primacy of public television in order to promote values of equality and the integration of citizens. This course will analyze a variety of public television programs from all over the world, dedicated to the subject of diverse cultural identities, transcultural issues, representation of Otherness in different social modalities, including the depiction of foreign cultures, national minorities, and immigration. Some examples will also expand to the area of sexual diversity, treatment of disabled and the relationship between totalitarian regimes and democracy. The examples treated along the course will be chosen from the UPF’s unique archives of international television festivals INPUT, held every year since 1977. As a principal reference for establishing the criteria for adequate visual treatment of cultural diversity issues, the course will introduce the competences of Media Literacy, familiarizing the students with the tools for constructive analysis as well as patterns of the creation of ‘television of quality’. The goal is to offer valuable insides and firm criteria for approaching the television as a public service and its role in shaping the values of diversity in contemporary societies.
Cooperation for development is a fundamental objective for various international actors such as the United Nations (UN), more concretely the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); the World Bank; and the European Union. International cooperation, from a multilevel and integral point of view, implies not only the participation of intergovernmental and State institutions but also of local governments and non-governmental organizations. In this context, all actors have to contribute from their own areas of expertise in order to improve the system.The European Union is a paradigmatic illustration of this multilevel approach and commitment to international cooperation for development. Currently, Europe is the main source of funds for cooperation. The European Commission and governments, both at national and at a local level, conduct several development programmes and projects that not only seek to provide funds but also to exchange experiences in relation to governability and public policies.The objective of this course is to introduce the student to the principal issues related to the development and international cooperation, with a special emphasis on the role of the EU as the main donor in the field of official development assistance (ODA). The main thrust of the course will be on outlining the institutional and political mechanisms of international development, as well as examine their impact in developing territories. At the same time, the course aims to offer students a deepened insight into some of the most controversial debates surrounding the current state of affairs of international cooperation.
Since the globalization of the economy at the end of the last century, the context of brand communications in today’s businesses has radically changed. Communication strategies to reach any type of target group are challenged to anticipate stakeholders’ interests, build brand equity beyond good products and services and be able to remain competitive in a highly-active technological context that has reversed some of the traditional ways of managing businesses. In this global environment, corporate communications demand greater levels of ethics and responsibility towards the society in which it operates and larger collaborative synergies and collaboration processes. To this respect, Europe’s competitive-edge is like any other’s, at stake, but the asset of intellectual capital and cultural identity it portrays in its legacy may be just the right kind of differentiation brands need to successfully compete in the 21st century.
Recommended US semester credits: 3
The course is a systematic and critical introduction to the major political ideas that have been developed from the emergence of modernity to the current digital revolution.
Language of Instruction: Spanish
Language Level Required: Intermediate
Analyze the developments that led to the Arab-Muslim world to the current situation.
This course is designed to give both political science and non-political science majors a robust overview of key features of Spanish Politics. The core of the course is the study of the nature and functioning of the Spanish democratic system established by the late seventies. It pays special attention to the main political processes, institutions, actors, belief systems and political behaviour in the country, including contemporary political violence and international immigration.
This course studies the EU and its external activities through the discussion of key issues on the EU agenda placing a comparative focus on the United States. The first part of the course analyzes the historical evolution of the European polity and the decision-making of its external action. It raises questions about the geographical and political limits of Europe, what are the main drivers of its integration and tackles the issue of Brexit. The second part of the course deals with a variety of challenges of globalization that the EU faces in world politics: trade liberalization, global warming, energy supplies or international migration are some of the issues that will be tackled separately in different sessions. Finally, the last part analyzes the relations between the EU and other states and world regions: from the neighborhood in Eastern Europe and the Middle East to the major global players such as the United States.
Language of Instruction: English
How does international business drive economic globalization and affect people across countries? How do international business and current domestic and international political issues affect each other? What challenges and opportunities do firms face operating internationally? The course starts with an overview of economic globalization from a historical, political and sociological perspective, focusing on its most relevant aspects associated with international business: the role of states and international institutions (e.g., World Bank, IMF, EU); socioeconomic development; inequalities within and across countries; international migration; domestic political debates referred to globalization. The second part of the course examines some key management topics associated with globalization: global corporate social responsibility; diverse national political environments; internationalization and alliance strategies; global marketing; global human resources management.
¿Es realmente España una potencia media con presencia global, tal y como defienden los diplomáticos y políticos españoles? ¿En qué grado la Unión Europea ha modificado las prioridades de España en su política exterior? ¿La crisis económica y financiera, que tanto ha afectado a los españoles, ha sido también una causa de deterior de la imagen de España en el exterior? El objetivo de este curso es profundizar en el papel de España en el mundo, a partir de los instrumentos de análisis de una de las subdisciplinas de las Relaciones Internacionales, el Análisis de las Políticas Exteriores.
How do countries in Latin America relate to each other and with the rest of world? Which institutional structures are used to promote regional cooperation and to participate in an increasingly interconnected world? This course engages students with the debates concerning the main dynamics of the Latin American international relations, with a focus on the last three decades but with attention to the legacies of earlier political, economic and social developments affecting the region. The course is structured around interactive lectures, student presentations, and class and group discussions.
The course will introduce students to the world’s main legal systems, their historical origins, and their most important features. The reading assignments and classroom discussions will focus on different methods of legal thinking that have led to distinct, yet equivalent legal institutions for solving problems. The course will analyze how different legal traditions have solved problems related to core issues in private law. Students will be offered an overview of contracts, property, torts and family relations, followed by a comparison of the different legal approaches to them. The course will also look at current trends toward the harmonization of different legal systems, a critical aim in today’s globalized business world, as well as the evolution and interaction of various legal traditions.
Recommended US semester credits: 3
La asignatura analiza los medios de comunicación en España y Europa. El curso está muy vinculado a la actualidad informativa en Espa&ntildde;a y Europa. Los alumnos desarrollarán también un taller de radio (Workshop) en la segunda parte del curso, donde pondrán en práctica los conocimientos teóricos adquiridos.
Language of Instruction: Spanish
Language Level Required: Advanced
Este curso pretende aproximar a los estudiantes al sistema de protección internacional de los derechos humanos configurado desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Se abordarán los mecanismos de protección de los derechos humanos bajo los auspicios de las Naciones Unidas, las instituciones encargadas de su protección a nivel regional o continental, con especial referencia al espacio europeo de protección de derechos y, finalmente, se estudiará España como ejemplo de un ordenamiento constitucional protector de derechos humanos que se interrelaciona y somete a los mecanismos de protección internacional de los derechos humanos. Asimismo, se abordarán algunos temas especialmente controvertidos en el seno de los debates de los derechos humanos. Estos temas serán abordados desde una óptica de derecho comparado, haciéndose hincapié en las similitudes y diferencias sobre la manera de abordar estos temas por parte de los ordenamientos europeos y el norteamericano. Se estudiará el alcance y los límites sobre el derecho al aborto, el reconocimiento de derechos a las personas homosexuales, la problemática de la libertad de expresión y la prohibición de partidos políticos, las consecuencias de la libertad de religión y el laicismo en aquello que hace referencia a la enseñanza de la religión y la presencia de símbolos religiosos en las escuelas y, finalmente, la problemática de los derechos humanos en la lucha contra el terrorismo y el estatus y protección de los derechos económicos, sociales y culturales en un Estado del Bienestar en crisis.
The course presents an itinerary around the human, historical and cultural heritage of the Spanish Jews, from the Middle Ages to present day. The first part of the course keeps a historical focus, studying the cultural history of Sepharad, from the origins to the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. The Sephardic Diaspora and the development of the Judeo-Hispanic culture, the return of the Sephardic Jews from the late 19th Century, of European Jews during the inter-war period and how the Shoah relates to Spain will also be covered. The second part of the course will focus on the cultural, architectural and human recovery of the Spanish Jewish heritage. Both the human and patrimonial aspects of such recovery will be analyzed, through the case study of different private and public initiatives aimed to develop tourism or marketing projects revolving around the “myth” of Sepharad. Students will work on individual or group projects to delve into questions such as How is Jewish heritage and history presented in Spain? What are the strategies and outcomes of such projects? What is the prevalent discourse in these cultural initiatives? How does the Spanish society today face its Jewish cultural roots?
The objective of this course is to offer a survey approach to the history of artistic developments in Spain from Goya to Barceló. A background in this specific field is not required. For this reason, not only the main artistic events will be covered, but also some political, historical and cultural issues that might be relevant. Landscape art, gender production, the Spanish take on Primitivism and the dynamics of artistic creation and finance capital are some of its more relevant aspects. Classical examples of oil painting will be combined with references to such contemporary media as performance, video art or installation art. Although this course is mainly based on lectures and class debate, three visits to galleries and exhibitions plus a self-guided visit will be also part of the course requirements. These visits will be made during the class time, and are equivalent to a usual in-class session.
Barcelona, the Rise of a Design City’ looks at one of the most exciting periods of the city’s recent history: what is known as the ‘Barcelona design boom’, a cultural phenomenon that helped define the Spanish transition to democracy in the 1980s and the city’s Olympic dream in the 1990s. For a few years and in sharp contrast to the preceding decades, design became one of the main cultural frameworks of Barcelona’s identity, both locally and abroad. Paired with architecture in a seemingly unavoidable partnership, it provided the seeds from which ultimately emerged the narrative of the city as it is seen today: that of a sophisticated European metropolis, miraculously emerging from the ashes of a decaying post-industrial provincial capital.
Initially addressing local design practice and design retail, and later embracing architecture as well, this course follows the way in which these disciplines turned ideas about local identity, modernity, social and cultural value into everyday material artifacts and environments. Design and architecture were placed at the heart of the city’s popular culture, and of its international success to this day.
This course will examine the nature and complexity of interactions between the regions of the Mediterranean during the second and the first millennia BC. The cultural fluorescence of the Ancient Mediterranean civilizations had its origins in a series of colonial entanglements beginning first in the eastern Mediterranean. Minoan and Mycenaean communities began to establish links with Egypt and the Near East in the first centuries of the II millennium BC. From then, over a period spanning more than two thousand years, and ending with the Roman conquest, colonists, merchants, sailors, and conquerors sought to benefit from the commercial and cultural opportunities provided by the riches of the eastern, central and western Mediterranean.
How reliable is our perception of the world? What is consciousness? Is free will an illusion? Does beauty reside in our brain? Neurosciences study the brain, from genes and cells to behavior and, during the last years, the scientific study of the brain has provided radical new clues about how the brain works. This knowledge has strong implications for many areas of human activity outside the conventional environment of medicine or psychology and expands to economics, laws, philosophy or art. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the dialogue between neurosciences and humanities, thereby breaking the classical gap between CP Snows’ “Two Cultures”. The intersecting topics range from philosophical and ethical issues, such as free will, the grounds of knowledge, or economic behavior, to questions related to art and culture
The Islamic State or ISIS or Daesh is now the main threat in the Arab world. After 9-11, five events determine the evolution in the political landscape: the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, the aftermath of the Arab Spring, the blockage in the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, and the consolidation of the Islamic State like a political and military reality. For the West, especially in Europe, the main consequences are the terrorism (security crisis) and the refugees (humanitarian crisis). Other questions are the relations between Western and the Arab and Islamic governments, the management of the war in Syria from the West, and the crisis inside the Arab world (Sunni vs. Shia, fundamentalism vs. liberalism, the status of women, etc.). In this situation, the intervention of Russia in Syria and the agreement with Iran promoted for president Obama complete the field of the global crisis. (Former course: El laberinto árabe: de las primaveras al estado islámico).
El objetivo de este curso es el de enriquecer las aproximaciones desde las que se aborda tradicionalmente el análisis y la práctica del Branding Político. El escenario en el que se crean, se distribuyen y se consumen las “marcas políticas” ya no puede ser abordado únicamente desde las disciplinas del Marketing, de las Ciencias de la Comunicación o de la Ciencia Política. Las nociones de star-system de la política, la consideración de los políticos como celebrities o la Política Pop entre otras denominaciones plantean un escenario de performance mediática que se aleja de las tradicionales ideologías políticas para constituirse como auténticas marcas en un contexto caracterizado por el fenómeno de la Globalización y la Cultura del Espectáculo. (Curso anterior: Política pop y branding político en el contexto global)
Analytics focuses on transforming data into insights by applying advanced analytical methods, based on mathematics, statistics and artificial intelligence models and algorithms to improve the performance of an organization. On this course, key topics and issues in Analytics will be presented and discussed with a focus on their applications in social, healthcare, sustainable and humanitarian organizations.
In the first part of the course, the analytic tools and methodologies will be introduced. In the second part, case studies from humanitarian, social, healthcare and environmental organizations (such as NGO humanitarian organizations, social care organizations, public services, hospitals or primary healthcare institutions) will be presented and discussed. Examples are: home healthcare logistics and scheduling; planning disaster response and preparedness for improved decision-making; locations of primary healthcare centers, or schools; planning humanitarian aid distribution; planning sustainable transportation; etc.
Archeology has been expressing a growing interest in incorporating future-oriented perspectives and the use of the past in planning a better future. Concern for the issues associated with the Anthropocene debate is a clear example. Scientists have argued that the Anthropocene is a useful concept to denote the measurable impact of humanity on the planet. The study of the Anthropocene proposes a radical reassessment of the role of humanity in the world (past, present and future). How, then, does the Anthropocene concept change the archaeological understanding of human relations with the living environment, and with ecology in a broader sense?.
The course involves working on the connections between nature and human beings (socio-ecological dynamics) and the concept of the "entanglement" of societies (as seen through archaeological material), global climate change and environmental change, and our ability to measure and understand these changes.
This course will address the theoretical perspective of the Anthropocene and how archeology can significantly contribute to this discussion, not only in terms of ideas and arguments, but also in terms arguments of the Anthropocene can be verified and evaluated. In addition, the course will address, across a broad disciplinary range, how archeology can contribute to finding solutions to some of today’s most pressing problems and to designing more sustainable and resilient livelihoods.
This course focuses on a solid dialogue between Neurosciences and Humanities by posing crucial questions on sight and aesthetics. If “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, what is behind the eye of the beholder? Why certain technical breakthroughs are so efficient? Are there inescapable rules of Art? Does biology condition what we can experience as art? Does it condition Art and Music? Can we gather reliable knowledge? Are we prone to believe? Why is Science counterintuitive? What is in our genes and what in our environment? Is the Nature vs. Nurture question a false problem?.
The course attempts to frame the above questions into the current scientific knowledge of the brain. We analyze how sensory systems build up a representation of the world, focusing on vision and audition in connection to painting and music. This leads to a general discussion on the “perceptual rules of art”, aesthetic universals and Beauty. It continues with the question of the foundations of knowledge, the limits of knowledge and the evolutionary roots of belief, linking neurosciences with long lasting obsession in Western philosophy: the grounds of knowledge. Finally, a discussion on the so-called “critical periods” of sensory development and the question of nature and nurture as framed by current biological evidence is carried out as conclusion.
Our brain is the main source of our creativity and, in general, our ability to interact with the world. Major scientific efforts have been made in the last century to understand the mechanisms underlying its operation. These endeavours have revealed an astonishing degree of complexity, involving billions of specialized neurons communicating with each other through trillions of plastic connections. But is that level of complexity necessary for a brain to function?
This course will explore the brain’s minimal requirements, building on both our knowledge of simple organisms such as bacteria and worms, and our age-old attempts to build artificial intelligence systems. We will review the history of artificial intelligence and neuroscience, focusing on the connections that the two fields have had, on and off, over the years. Following the classic maxim of Richard Feynman, “what I cannot create I do not understand”, we will work in teams to attempt to build the simplest possible brain out of interacting components.
The course has no prerequisites, since the lectures will be accessible to students of all disciplines, including non-science students, and the practical work will be undertaken by multidisciplinary teams, in which students will support each other and cross-fertilize using their respective backgrounds. The goal is thus to bring together a healthy mix of students from sciences, engineering, and the humanities.
Recommended US semester credits: 3en
Although globalization and sustainability have become familiar terms, they are at cross purposes. The way globalization has been conducted with an emphasis on the economic sphere—international trade and cross-border investment flows, has created a series of crises that threaten the ethical values and beliefs of a sustainable society. The primary goal of a business is usually seen as making a profit, however, the path towards achieving this goal can, in many instances, create dilemmas regarding justice, equity and honesty.
Ethics goes beyond what is or is not legal as it is concerned with the ethical reflection of what represents right and wrong behavior in a complex, dynamic, and global environment. On this course we will discuss ethical approaches to global issues that are enhanced by the process of globalization and increasing multiculturalism, e.g. the environment, global citizenship & governance, poverty and inequality, peace and conflict, human rights, health and the effects of technology among others.
Because global issues are complex, this course is not about providing students with formulas for making decision-making easier; instead the ideas and frameworks introduced in this course are designed to actually make decision-making more difficult, but will help students to reason more effectively and develop their sense of responsible judgment.
This course will provide an historical perspective between medical practice and Biomedical Science and human societies, and will look at how these two areas feed into each other, leading to an increased lifespan of all human populations as well as to the eradication and irruption of new diseases. The course begins with medical practice through the ages and progresses to cover the current medical challenges of a global world and how scientific discoveries since the second half of the 20th Century have shaped medicine.
We will address the technical, ethical, and socio-economic challenges of today’s societies, which have shaped their evolution, including the current COVID-19 pandemic and the different approaches adopted by different countries. The rise of genetic and regenerative medicine, and the possibility of treating patients on a personalized basis, represent a new challenge, which will force dramatic changes in how we conceive the broader aspects of medicine, from biomedical research to the regulatory matters and economic aspects of healthcare (biotechnological companies, Big Pharma).
It was as recently as 1992 that a UN Committee (the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) asserted that gender-based violence against women was a form of discrimination and a human rights violation and not just a private matter in which the State should not interfere. Since then, a number of instruments and mechanisms have been developed within the UN Human Rights System as well as in regional human rights’ protection systems to address such violence and, in recent years, to also include protection of other persons affected by gender-based violence, in particular, the LGBTIQ+ community.
For this purpose, the historic evolution that led to frame gender-based violence as a human rights violation and analyze the existing instruments and tools available at the international level (both UN and regional) to ensure that states adequately address gender-based violence against women and LGBTIQ+ individuals will be reviewed.
The course will focus on international binding instruments, including international conventions (both, general and specifically addressing gender-based violence) and jurisprudence from international courts, as well as non-binding instruments such as recommendations from specialized bodies and organs at the UN and regional levels. It will examine the existing mechanisms and procedures available at the regional and international levels for individual complaints or communications as well as for reports of wider situations of gender-based violence, and the developments to address gender-based violence in International Criminal Law, including the evolution in jurisprudence towards framing gender-based crimes as international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
This course builds on the idea that ethical-religious, philosophical, and scientific imagination is vitally important in the development of human societies. It focuses on key religious, ethical-political, and scientific innovative ideas that have revolutionized and shaped society from antiquity to modern times. The course deals not only with understanding the context of the emergence of these ideas, but also their impact on the contemporary world and mentality. It will begin with the “Axial Age” (Karl Jaspers), characterized by a series of ethical-religious, scientific and philosophical innovations from China to Ancient Greece, and move chronologically to the Renaissance, Enlightenment and the current digital and robot revolution.
The substantive and methodological approach is not Eurocentric and reductionist, but rather global and interdisciplinary. The course adopts a problem-solving approach based on understanding why and how new and creative ideas - from Buddhism and monotheism to Marxist materialism, genetical engineering and quantum physics - answer different types of challenges and queries - existential, epistemic, or ethical-political. The classes are structured through lectures and open discussions based on texts and videos/documentaries. The emphasis is on discussing primary sources (e.g. texts by Confucius, I. Newton, Ch. Darwin, S. Freud, A. Einstein) and relevant videos/documentaries, with the aim of understanding revolutionary ideas, their relevance and their long-standing influence on current practices and societies.
El curso presenta y estudia las principales iniciativas de transformación e innovación en los modelos de diseño y presentación de programas públicos que a día de hoy se están desarrollando en el mundo. El uso de la inteligencia artificial y la introducción de modelos disruptivos de “data governance” está cambiando los paradigmas sobre la forma de afrontar la gestión pública y la relación que se establece entre la ciudadanía y la esfera pública. Esto nos da la oportunidad de replantear de forma creativa los modelos de gobernanza y en especial, aquellos que presentan un impacto “más próximo” al ciudadano, de ahí el énfasis del curso en la perspectiva urbana. La perspectiva analítica del curso combina los siguientes enfoques de una forma transversal: ciencia política, filosofía, ética, psicología social, ingeniería y economía.
The course aims to give the students a general overview of the core legal institutions, while introducing the students to the main legal problems attached to the new technologies. The reading assignments and the classroom discussions will illustrate how technology changes traditional legal concepts and the way in which the legal rules are applied. A basic introduction to contracts, property, torts from a comparative perspective will be followed by an explanation of the relevant technologies and their implications in the legal understanding of the core legal topics.
In addition, the course will focus on the current trends of the harmonization process in order to give a common response to technology challenges providing a general overview of the problems arising from the interaction between technology and the law. The general legal analysis of contracts, torts and property will be applied to the challenges posed by smart and relational contracts, the interaction between big data and competition law, the internet of things and the application of products liability and insurance to fully automated devices. Sharing and collaborative economy formulas will also be analyzed in the course.
This course will navigate the complex and mutating field of gay, lesbian, bisex, trans, intersex and queer studies, exploring its history and developement since its inception. The course explores non-hegemonic identities and gender and sexual diversity from many different perspectives: their criminalization, pathologization or their fights for equality and rights. Social, legal, historical, and cultural implications of sexuality, articulating academic and activist perspectives will provide a framework and a context.
Furthermore, to highlight the importance of understanding these topics as non-homogeneous and in an intersectional way students's contributions will be asked for in order to build up an intercultural dialogue based on their own perspectives and geographies. The course aims to establish a dialogue between different positions within society and cultural production (such as cinema, literature, poetry, theatre, etc.) so as to reflect on the implications of visibility for the community and for the different representations of such dissident sexualities and identities.
The assumption of stability of biological sex and the meaning and goals of gender expression will be subject to inquiry. Theoretical lectures, seminars and debates, critical workshops and field trips will be used to address in a critical manner the importance of (re)thinking our sexualities in a political and non-monolithic way.
The birth of cinema transformed the way we understand artistic creation. Film is a mechanically reproduced artwork without the aura of uniqueness that characterizes classical pieces (Benjamin, 1935). It emerges as a mechanical extension of the human body, an “artificial eye”. Film production is also automated: it is a paradigm of “creative industry” (Howkins, 2001). In many ways, cinema appears at the intersection of the joint creative effort of human talent, industry, science & technology. This course will study various aspects of creativity and authorship in examples from Spanish cinematography. Early theoretical and practical approaches to filmic creation, the development of new artistic professions and creative labor organization in the film industry will be studied through Spanish silent cinema and the growth of CIFESA studios (1932-1961).
There will be an introduction to the debates over the status of film’s leading creators, looking at producers, directors, and writers from this period. The political dimension will be presented through the creative ways in which filmmakers eluded Franco’s censorship. Since the 1960s and the rise of modern cinema, the highly influential French auteur theory favors the director as a film’s main creator. The course will introduce Spanish auteurs from the modern period (Camus, Picazo) and present critiques of the director’s importance, implicit in works of postmodern filmmakers (Almodóvar, Medem). The challenges faced by contemporary auteurs (Lacuesta, Sorogoyen) at the side of recent ideas sharply opposed to the auteur theory that consider films as a result of collective creation (Sellors, 2007) or the audience as a creative force (Mayne, 2002). The work of Spanish experimental filmmaking platforms like “Authorless Cinema Collective”, as well as the creative design of contemporary Spanish cinematography’s cultural policies and initiatives that foster female creativity will be considered. This course will also have a creative component: students will make short films as group projects.
Says author Yuval Harari, that the capacity to organize ourselves collectively through a “fiction” or an intagible or abstract concept agreement –such as money- is the singled-out most distinctive characteristic of humans beings vs other species. In the managerial sphere of brands, corporations and organizations of all sorts, the question today, is: Should money still be considered the most valuable asset? Will it disappear? What will it be replaced with? What is value and which are the values ruling our current-future society? Shifting paradigms are proposing new ideas and tools to face the now inevitable purpose of maintaining our own sustainability: both as organizations and as humans. In so, how do rising collective responses differ from the individualistic approaches of the last Century? In the challenge but also the opportunity of our times, what kind of world do we want to live in and how are we going to get there? Argumenting the principle that brands operate in societies, not just markets, students of this course will be encouraged to have critical views and to openly participate in the ethics discussions behind examples show-casing how collective entities of all sorts are currently coping/adapting to new context reality and how the innovation challenges of a Post “non-entirely” human era, as well as those derived from our consciousness over the natural limits of our planetary resources, are transforming our way of life, our values scale of expectations and thus our companies and enterprises managerial practices.
The course in all will underpin examples of COLLECTIVENESS in the context of a ultra-highly CONNECTED society that can no longer solve the global challenges of the future, following individual strengths or singled-out efforts; following examples the innovation and knowledge transfer capabilities and responsibilities of in specific sectors/issues such as food and nutrition, architecture and living design, health and genomic sciences, fashion and responsible consumerism and production or travel&tourism and urban and global mobility, among others. The Collectivity Revolution is an account of the new paradigms of management and commerce across businesses and its communities, as a whole. The title of the course responds to a play-on-words between the terms Collective and Connection and the Revolutionary outcomes of its merging forces.
The course proposes an itinerary through he rich cultural heritage of Hispanic Jews to present day along with interpretative elements to understand the recovery of that heritage and to manage it by analyzing the history of the Jewish people in the Hispanic lands and the interrelations, connections and influences between the Hispanic societies and Judaism, from the Middle Ages to present day. This is a course of history with a distinct interdisciplinary approach. A general contextual overview and an itinerary through the history of the Jews in Spain frame the discussions to follow.
The aim is to delve around a series of selected themes to better understand the boundaries between Spanish Jews and Spanish gentiles from multiple perspectives and across time. Based on the in-class commentary and analysis of primary sources, film debates and case studies, specific topics will be examined: the perception of the self and the perception of the other; the shaping of a Jewish identity in the Hispanic lands versus the creation of the “Sephardic” cultural construct; the representations of Jews and Judaism; the role played by archetypes in the views on Judaism and Spanish anti-Semitism; and in Modern and contemporary times, the reconfiguration of Jewish identity from Modern Crypto-Judaism to the rising phenomenon of the Sephardic Benei Anusim.
Vivimos una época de creciente preocupación por la desinformación en la que es necesaria una mirada desde la ética a toda actividad relacionada con la información y la comunicación. Preocupa principalmente la actividad de los medios de comunicación y en especial del periodismo, pero debemos atender a todos aquellos ámbitos desde los que se genera información: administraciones públicas, política, economia, empresa, derecho, medicina, ciencia... La falta de verdad es un problema fundamental para una sociedad que se quiera democrática. En este curso pretendemos abordar esta preocupación partiendo de una pregunta que busca problematizar la producción de la comunicación: “¿Qué es noticia?”. Nos preocupan las ‘fake news’ o la ‘posverdad’, que podemos detectar en medios de comunicación, mensajes políticos, económicos.
Pero para entrar a analizar de qué hablamos cuando hablamos de noticias falsas o de manipulación informativa, es necesario preguntarnos también qué es verdad, y abordaremos algunos debates éticos al respecto. Las nociones de verdad y objetividad son esenciales en toda sociedad, existen formas muy diversas de desinformación. En este curso trabajaremos de manera interdisciplinar; recurriremos, por ejemplo, al conocimiento que nos ofrecen diferentes disciplinas: la ética, la ciencia política, la antropología, el periodismo, la sociología de los medios de comunicación, la economía... Las noticias y los mensajes comunicativos que nos llegan son siempre una construcción y necesitamos entender cómo se construyen. La comunicación cumple una función clave a la hora de establecer realidades compartidas, que nos permiten vivir como comunidad. Nuestra sociedad no puede existir sin comunicación. Por eso mismo, es fundamental reflexionar sobre los discursos que se generan.
API students in Barcelona can choose from three different housing options. Students may choose to live with a host family, in a student apartment, or in a student dormitory. Internet access is included in all three options.
Students who choose to live with families share a double room with a fellow API student and be provided with 2 meals per day and laundry service. Students can opt for a single room for an additional fee.
API apartments in Barcelona generally have 2-4 bedrooms (the majority of which are double-rooms) with a shared kitchen, common area, and bathrooms. Apartments are located throughout the center of Barcelona and tend to be 30-45 minutes from the universities. Students can opt for a single room for an additional fee.
Students who would prefer apartment-style living alongside other Spanish and American students would enjoy API’s dorm/residence hall option. The student dorm has both single and double-room options, with a shared kitchen and private bathroom. Internet access is guaranteed in all rooms. This option carries an additional fee.