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PULSE Faculty & Courses

The PULSE Core Course: Person and Social Responsibility I and II PHIL1088/THEO1088 and PHIL1089/THEO1089

This two-semester, twelve-credit course fulfills the entire Philosophy and Theology core requirement. Enrollment requires class work in conjunction with ongoing involvement in a PULSE placement.  Placements put students in contact with people experiencing the consequences of some form of social injustice and requires a 10-12 hour per week commitment. Drawing on traditional and contemporary works of Philosophy and Theology, the classes engage the students in the challenge of self-discovery and growth as related to questions of what it means to assume responsibility for overcoming these injustices.

Faculty & Syllabi 2014-2015






M W F 11

W 2 OR F 1



T TH 9

M 12 OR M 1



M W F 9

M 11 OR M 12



M W F 10

F 11 OR F 12



T TH 10:30

T 12 OR W 10



T TH 1:30

T 11 OR TH 11



T TH 10:30

M 11 OR M 12



T TH 9

T 1:30 OR TH 3



T TH 12

W 10 OR W 11



T TH 10:30

W 1 OR W 2



M W F 12

F 11 OR F 2



M W F 12

M 2 OR F 2



M W F 12

TH 1:30 OR TH 3



T TH 1:30

W 11 OR W 1


PULSE Elective Courses

PhiL 216  Boston: An Urban Analysis
Instructor: David Manzo

This course is intended for PULSE students who are willing to investigate, analyze, and understand the history, problems, and prospects of Boston's neighborhoods. Community service at a PULSE placement is required for participation in this course. Assignments will require spending time observing, researching, and writing about the neighborhood in which the PULSE placement is located.

Offered during the Spring Semester

PhiL 233 Values in Social Service and Health Care
Instructor: David Manzo

The broadest mission of this course is to give perspective and offer reflection on your service experiences to date and then to help you discern the answer to the question, "What's next?"  We will try to accomplish this through readings, lectures, discussions, and written assignments. Together we will pursue some of the questions raised by the facts, philosophies and statements contained in the readings.

Offered during the Fall Semester

PhiL 261  Telling Truths I: Writing for the Cause of Justice
Instructor: Kathleen Hirsch
  Prerequisite: Philosophy Core Fulfilled

This PULSE elective will explore writing as a tool for social change. Students will read and experiment with a variety of written forms -- fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and journalism -- to tell the "truth" as they experience it in their own direct encounters with social injustice. This workshop is intended to provide a comprehensive introduction to the range of literary strategies that social prophets and witnesses have used, and are using today, to promote the cause of justice. A 4Boston, PULSE, or other volunteer commitment is strongly recommended. Readings will include selected works of contemporary fiction, urban poetry, rap music, oral memoir, and non-fiction.

Offered during the Fall Semester

PhiL 262  Telling Truths II: Depth Writing as Service
Instructor: Kathleen Hirsch  Prerequisite: Philosophy Core Fulfilled

This PULSE elective will enable students to produce a portfolio of writings that engage a serious social concern. Class will be run as a writing workshop. Students early on will identify an issue they wish to pursue in depth through the course of the semester. At the same time, they will select a genre they want to develop and to work in: non-fiction, fiction, journalism or poetry. Class time will be spent in sharing our work, getting feedback from one another, and discussing the special ethical, research, and editing challenges such work entails. We will also examine outstanding published models of such work. (Students may expand on an issue that has affected them personally, or one which they have observed in service work. Enrollment in Telling Truths I is not required. A 4Boston, PULSE, or other volunteer commitment is strongly recommended. Readings will include articles, excerpts, and book chapters.

Offered during the Spring Semester

PhiL 291 and PhiL 292 Philosophy of Community I & II
PhiL 293 and PhiL 294 Culture and Social Structure I & II
Instructor: meghan Sweeney  (Restricted to PULSE Council)

A four semester-long sequence of courses studying community: its structure, power and change. The dynamics of community, the interrelatedness and interdependence of its various sectors, will be examined by sharing impressions and insights. Specific theoretical models of analysis will be studied and critiqued. The purpose of the course is to begin developing new approaches for learning about social change and for building new visions for the direction that a PULSE students' responsibility to social change might take.