Walter Licht’s legacy of civic engagement

For more than 40 years at Penn, Walter Licht has crafted a career of equal parts renowned historian, teacher, and community activist, including creating the Penn Civic Scholars Program. Licht recently announced he is stepping down from his positions at Civic House.

Kristen de Groot

The legal history of epidemics in America

Sarah Barringer Gordon, the Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and Professor of History, offers a commentary on American political responses to epidemics past.

Penn’s pioneering mathematicians

Two of the first African Americans to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics, Dudley Weldon Woodard and William Waldron Schieffelin Claytor worked on fundamental problems in the field of topology and supported graduate-level math education for minority students.

Erica K. Brockmeier

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In the News

KYW Newsradio (Philadelphia)

Can studying history tell us anything about life after COVID-19?

Brent Cebul of the School of Arts and Sciences was interviewed about significant times of disruption in U.S. history and the sociopolitical changes that accompanied them.


NBC News

Coronavirus outbreak revives dangerous race myths and pseudoscience

PIK Professor Dorothy Roberts spoke about misinformation regarding race and public health, such as the myth that black people are immune to coronavirus. “These myths have a track record not just of shaping attitudes but of shaping policy and practice in public and private spaces, in hospitals and in schools, in workplaces, too,” she said.


Philadelphia Inquirer

American Philosophical Society and David Library join to create a center for study of the revolutionary era

Stephen Fried and Daniel Richter of the School of Arts and Sciences spoke about the David Library of the American Revolution’s move from Bucks County to Philadelphia, where it will partner with the American Philosophical Society to form a new research center. “This is very much the model of what needs to happen with nonprofits,” said Fried. “You’ll be able to serve anyone who wants to engage with history.”


WHYY (Philadelphia)

Anti-Asian propaganda on display in City Hall

Rob Buscher of the School of Arts and Sciences contributed his collection of vintage anti-Asian propaganda to “American Peril,” an exhibition he hopes will help people understand the present-day vilification of Muslims. “These kinds of [anti-Muslim] conversations don’t come from nowhere,” he said.


The Atlantic

Prohibition was a failed experiment in moral governance

Samuel Freeman of the School of Arts and Sciences and Law School spoke about the “failed experiment” of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. constitution, which installed Prohibition, calling it “an amendment that had to do with a matter of private morality [that] didn’t work.”



Ancient Greek settlement with purple-producing shells and carved fish tanks discovered on tiny island

The Penn Museum has confirmed research that identifies Minoan-era Crete as the production site of a variety of vibrant dyes, including red, purple, and yellow.