Children’s literature as ‘seed work’

Penn GSE’s Ebony Elizabeth Thomas discusses the importance of more diverse books for kids and the challenges that continue to stifle early anti-racist learning. She also shares a curated list of recommended books for youth catered to this particular moment.

Lauren Hertzler

Virtual visitors at the Kelly Writers House

The Kelly Writers House Fellows course continued remotely this semester for the class sessions and public conversations. Last week’s guests were Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham of The New York Times podcast “Still Processing.”

Louisa Shepard

In the News

The New York Times

The coronavirus class divide: Space and privacy

Emily Steinlight of the School of Arts and Sciences said narratives about the hazards of close living quarters for poor people date back to Charles Dickens’ 1852 novel, “Bleak House.” “It’s the poorest and most socially marginalized people in the novel who disproportionately die of this disease,” she said. “That also has resonance for what we’re seeing now.”



French playwright Molière did indeed write his own masterpieces, computer science suggests

Joan DeJean of the School of Arts and Sciences said the 17th-century French playwright Molière has a uniquely identifiable authorial voice.


The Washington Post

Collection of premier proverb scholar opens at UVM

Dan Ben-Amos of the School of Arts and Sciences said Wolfgang Mieder of the University of Vermont is “one of the greatest proverb scholars of all times and the greatest of our generation.”


Philadelphia Inquirer

Toni Morrison, renowned writer, Nobel laureate and Princeton University professor, dies at 88

Herman Beavers of the School of Arts and Sciences memorializes the late Toni Morrison. “She taught us how not to be guided by the white gaze. She made it okay for us to really think about how we see the world and really be central in it,” Beavers said. “She showed us that we didn’t need white people to explain what our lives meant or even acknowledge it. We could do it ourselves.”


Smithsonian Magazine

Toni Morrison, ‘Beloved’ author who cataloged the African-American experience, dies at 88

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw of the School of Arts and Sciences spoke about the late Toni Morrison’s best-known novel, “Beloved,” which demonstrates “the ways that the scars of American slavery … are borne not just on their immediate descendants and survivors but into the present day.”


The New York Times

Overlooked no more: Forough Farrokhzad, Iranian poet who broke barriers of sex and society

The School of Arts and Sciences’ Fatemeh Shams memorialized the late Iranian poet, Forough Farrokhzad. “She always had one eye back on tradition, and one eye toward the future,” said Shams.