History

Exacerbating the health care divide

With rates of diagnoses and death disproportionately affecting racial minorities and low-income workers, experts from the School of Arts & Sciences address how COVID-19 has further exposed already dire health outcome inequalities.

From Omnia

‘You Voted. But Did it Really Matter?’

On Nov. 7, Pennsylvania’s electoral votes secured Joseph Biden the presidency. Anticipating news of a Biden win, Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and professor of history and Africana studies, called it a time to push forward for change with renewed force. 

Kristina García

Is American democracy at a breaking point?

Amidst a backdrop of protests, the pandemic, and presidential politics, historian Anne Berg shares her thoughts on whether American democracy is at risk, historical parallels to the current situation, and what ordinary people can do.

Kristen de Groot



Media Contact


In the News


NBC News

As law enforcement braces for more violence, state Capitols come into focus

Anne Berg of the School of Arts & Sciences said images of violence at the U.S. Capitol may result in fewer rallies and public events organized by extremists. However, she said, “I'm personally less worried about the next two weeks than I am about the next several years.”

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CBS Philadelphia

‘No white guilt’ signs causing big uproar in Montgomery County community

Anne Berg of the School of Arts & Sciences weighed in on “No white guilt” signs spotted in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County. The phrase may be a response to the Black Lives Matter movement. “It is time they step aside and recognize that this movement isn’t about white men. It’s not about white women either. It’s about the advancement of Black lives,” she said.

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The New York Times

Confederate battle flag an unnerving sight in Capitol

Mary Frances Berry of the School of Arts & Sciences commented on the use of the Confederate flag during the breach of the U.S. Capitol. “To see it flaunted right in front of your face, in the United States Capitol, the heart of the government, was simply outrageous,” she said.

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The Economist

Economists are rediscovering a lost heroine

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in economics, attended Penn as an undergrad in 1916 before returning to the school twice more: once to get her doctorate and again for a law degree, which she used to help desegregate Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Thanksgiving 1918 took place during a deadly pandemic. What can it teach us for Thanksgiving 2020?

David Barnes of the School of Arts & Sciences spoke about the parallels between the flu pandemic of 1918 and the present pandemic. “It’s pretty clear [the Spanish flu] wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did or been as deadly if people had been keeping to themselves,” he said.

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The New York Times

What it’s like to be a teacher in 2020 America

Richard Ingersoll of the Graduate School of Education and School of Arts & Sciences explained how it was decided that women would teach in public schools 150 years ago. “The argument was, ‘Look, women will learn to be better mothers by practicing on other people’s children,’” he said. “Proponents made the case it was a win-win.”

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