School of Arts & Sciences

The influence and importance of language

Labels for what happened Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol were very different from those used to describe the Black Lives Matter movement or the 2020 election results. How much weight do individual words actually have? It depends on the context.

Michele W. Berger

Engaging in the election

In a collaborative English course taught by Lorene Cary in the fall, students shared their experiences with civic engagement by writing for publication, partnering with nonprofits like Vote That Jawn to share non-partisan information with other young first-time voters.

Louisa Shepard

Rogers Smith on the heart and soul of America

As a scholar, the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science is perhaps best known for challenging the view that the U.S. is fundamentally, “in its heart and soul,” a liberal democracy.

From Omnia



In the News


The Washington Post

On conservative talk radio, efforts to tone down inflammatory rhetoric appear limited

Brian Rosenwald of the School of Arts & Sciences weighed in on how conservative talk radio hosts will address the incoming Biden administration. “A Democratic administration equals a new boogeymen to focus on,” said Rosenwald. “You might have offhand references or conversation about Biden being an illegitimate president, but the focus won’t be on the ‘stolen election’ unless and until there is fresh news on the topic.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer

From the fashion to the flags, Joe Biden’s inauguration presents a vision of a unified America

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw of the School of Arts & Sciences weighed in on some of the outfits seen at President Biden’s inauguration. “There was a real conscious choice not to wear polarizing colors,” she said. “There was a sense of merging red and blue into one to visualize the bringing together of the country. These two hues have been used to politically separate us into tribes. This was a visual end to that.”

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The New York Times

Go ahead. Fantasize

Martin Seligman of the School of Arts & Sciences said dreaming about the future can help people live well in the present. “Imagining the future—we call this skill prospection—and prospection is subserved by a set of brain circuits that juxtapose time and space and get you imagining things well and beyond the here and now,” he said. “The essence of resilience about the future is: How good a prospector are you?”

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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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