‘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.


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

In the News

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.”


Philadelphia Inquirer

This Penn student writes YA novels with her sister. Their new book is ‘close to perfection,’ Kirkus says

Graduate School of Education doctoral student Maritza Moulite and her sister, a doctoral student at Howard University, have written a new young-adult novel about racial injustice.


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.