Alternative literary history

A decade of research and writing by English Professor Emily Steiner has resulted in a new book about the work of John Trevisa, a 14th century English author who translated encyclopedias and other reference books, helping to create a body of general knowledge for non-specialists.

Louisa Shepard

‘A Revolution in Rhyme’

While building the Persian language and studies program at Penn, Fatemeh Shams draws from the millennium-old Persian literary tradition to write a new book about poetry and politics in modern Iran. She will embark on her next book project during an upcoming fellowship in Berlin. 

Louisa Shepard

‘Alone Again in Fukushima’

On the 10th anniversary of the triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear facility destruction, a film and discussion hosted by the Center for East Asian Studies looked at the calamity’s reverberations.

Kristen de Groot

Amateur music-making in the early republic

Glenda Goodman, an assistant professor of music, explores how hand-copying musical compositions and amateur performance shaped identity and ideas in the post-Revolutionary War period.


In the News

KYW Newsradio (Philadelphia)

Writer, activist Lorene Cary preserves history through storytelling

Lorene Cary of the School of Arts & Sciences was interviewed about her passion for writing and her commitment to preserving Black history through storytelling.


San Francisco Chronicle

David Melnick, a Bay Area poetry pioneer and co-founder of Gay Artists and Writers Kollective, dies at 83

Ron Silliman of the School of Arts & Sciences spoke about the life of David Melnick. “David Melnick was ... one of the most fearless and well-read avant-garde poets in the U.S.” said Silliman, who is editing collection of the late poet’s work. “Almost as fierce as his poetry was his sense that he should not become famous, and he often had to be coaxed into any public performances.”



Book bans are back in style

John L. Jackson, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, said the resurgence of attempted book bans has little to do with the content. “It's all about the readers. It's all about the folks who are organizing our contemporary political discourse,” he said.


WHYY (Philadelphia)

Regional Roundup – 05/03/21

Fatemeh Shams of the School of Arts & Sciences was interviewed about her new book, “A Revolution in Rhyme,” which explores the role of poetry in modern-day Iran.


The New York Times

Dr. Seuss books are pulled, and a ‘cancel culture’ controversy erupts

Ebony Elizabeth Thomas of the Graduate School of Education spoke about perceptions of the Seuss estate’s decision to stop selling books with racist imagery. “Folks are not remembering the text itself; they are remembering the affective experiences they had around those texts,” said Thomas. “White children or parents might not have noticed the offensive anti-Asian stereotyping in ‘Mulberry Street.’ I certainly didn’t.”


NBC News

The reckoning with Dr. Seuss’ racist imagery has been years in the making

Ebony Elizabeth Thomas of the Graduate School of Education spoke about a decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to stop publishing six of the late author’s books which contain racist imagery. “We know now that there are anti-Asian stereotypes in ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.’ ‘The Cat in the Hat’ is minstrelsy,’” she said. “When we know better, we can do better.”