Novella Z. Keith, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Urban Education
Emeritus Faculty

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue 
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091

  • Ph.D. Rutgers University, Sociology
  • M. A. Rutgers University, Sociology
  • B. A. Douglass College, French and Comparative Literature
Areas of Professional Interest
  • School-community partnerships
  • Service learning in urban settings 
  • Participation/democratic theory in urban school reform  
  • Education and development in Third World countries

I am interested in the politics of urban education, particularly as they relate to democratic participation, equity, and difference. I see service learning and school-community partnerships as possible ways to bridge the boundaries between education professionals and inner-city residents, and improve schools through community building and community development. Most of my current work is focused on the theory and practice of university-community partnerships. I am the secretary of an NGO that links Jamaican students and edu-tourists with local partners in Jamaica (Edu-Tourism) and direct a summer abroad in Jamaica that involves international service learning. I am also collaborating with the Temple Office of Multicultural Affairs on a graduate certificate in Diversity Facilitation as well as collaborative research and practice with a French colleague, Charles Rojzman, on the applications of transformational social therapy to democratic group life.

Recent Scholarship

Keith, N. Z. (In preparation). Engaging Social Partnerships: A Professional Guide to Successful Collaboration in Higher Education (to be published by Rutledge, 2010).

Keith, N.Z. and Keith, N.W. (2010, June). Creating new philosophical foundations for socially just development in postcolonial societies. In De Sousa, V., Henton, J. and Ramanathan, G. (eds), The Enigma of Arrival: New Modernities and the Third World. Special Issue, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, Issue 12 no. 2. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.

Keith, N. Z. (in press, 2009). Getting Beyond Anemic Love: From the Pedagogy of Cordial Relations to a Pedagogy for Difference. Journal of Curriculum Studies. 

Dorn, M.L., Keith, N.Z. and Keirns, C.C. (2008). Crossing the Divide through Edu-Tourism: A North-South Partnership in Community-Based Learning. Caribbean Geography, 15(1), special theme issue, Representing Cultural Geographies of Jamaica

Keith, N.Z. The Emotional Work of Democratic Organizations: Managing Emotions versus Balancing Individual and Collective Needs. Paper presented at the National New DEEL Conference, Philadelphia, February 2008.

Keith, N.Z., Rojzman, C. & Rojzman, T. Leading for Difference: Implications of Transformational Social Therapy for Democratic Educational Leadership. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Meetings, Chicago, April 2007.

Keith, N. Z. (Spring 2005). Community Service Learning in the Face of Globalization: Rethinking Theory and Practice. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 11(2), 5-24.

Keith, N.Z., with C. Cavanaugh, S. Islam, F. Hafiz, K. Malandra, K. Mather, & J. Soler. Partnerships as New Ground: Between Private Enterprise and Democratic Possibilities. Practitioners’ keynote, 24th Ethnography in Education Research Forum, Center for Urban Ethnography, University of Pennsylvania, March 2003.

Keith, N.Z. Partnerships in Education in the Face of Globalization. Invited presentation, Symposium on Globalization, Bryn Mawr College, March 2003.

Keith, N.Z. Forging Democratic Communities of Difference in Urban Settings. Invited keynote, National Conference of the Urban Education Institute, Washington D.C., November 2001.