‘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

Mary Frances Berry, a ‘woman of the century’

In a profile, the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History discusses her history as an adviser on education and civil rights, and today’s protest movements.

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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.


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.”


KYW Newsradio (Philadelphia)

Exploring 'open air' schools, used during tuberculosis outbreak

Cindy Connolly of the School of Nursing spoke about Philadelphia’s open-air schools, which were built to slow the spread of tuberculosis in the early 20th century. The schools even operated in winter. "They would wear what they called little Eskimo suits that looked to me like sleeping bags with hoods," she said.


Philadelphia Inquirer

How Philly’s summer of protests revitalized the affordable housing movement

Mary Frances Berry of the School of Arts & Sciences said racial justice movements have historically been catalyzed by police brutality, then expanded to address economic equality.



As China cracks down, Hong Kongers start digitally preserving their city

Randall Mason of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design commented on efforts to create a digital archive of Hong Kong’s culture. “Preservation is always a reflection of contemporary culture,” he said. “We have to get comfortable with the fact that if we want to communicate the past, it’s a creative process and not just a preservation process. It would be crazy not to use these digital tools.”


KYW Newsradio (Philadelphia)

Many Americans opposed the suffrage movement—even women

Kathy Peiss of the School of Arts & Sciences spoke about women who opposed the suffrage movement. “The anti-suffragists were opposed to the idea of women having the right to vote largely because they saw it as a violation of women’s true gender nature—that they were mothers and wives—and that it might distract them from not only the duties of the home, but also their sense of women’s privileges to be in the home,” she said.