Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences

The future of urban waters

Students and faculty of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities’ Liquid Histories course study the impact of rising sea levels from the banks of Philadelphia and Mumbai.

Penn Today Staff

Shooting for the moon

In her Language and the Brain course, linguistics professor Kathryn Schuler asked 30 undergrads to think big about big problems—and their solutions didn’t disappoint.

Michele W. Berger

Peter Whinnery is packing up shop

It’s curtain call for technical adviser for Student Performing Arts Peter Whinnery, the set-building guru behind hundreds of student productions.

Penn Today Staff

A meeting of medievalists

More than 500 medieval scholars from the U.S. and Europe will be on campus for the annual Medieval Academy of America conference. Dozens of panels, workshops, and lectures about the Middle Ages will convene, many led by Penn faculty.

Louisa Shepard

PennPraxis launches toolkit for neighborhood preservation

In the past decade, Philadelphia’s building boom has been accompanied by a string of demolitions touching almost every corner of the city, and resulting in the loss of everything from iconic churches to vernacular row houses. But even as a growing number of Philadelphians lament these losses, advocates for historic preservation have sometimes struggled to make a case for keeping Philadelphia’s built fabric intact.

Penn Today Staff

Designing with nature, now

Thanks in large part to the foundation Ian McHarg built, the Stuart Weitzman School of Design Landscape Architecture Department has led the field for decades. Here’s how it’s staying relevant as the importance for the profession—one that is central to solving some of the world’s greatest challenges—grows.

Lauren Hertzler

Treasures revealed

It has taken nearly a decade for the Penn Libraries to sort and catalogue the contents of the Gotham Book Mart, the legendary New York City bookstore and publisher. A new exhibition, now on display through May 20, showcases a select 300 items.

Louisa Shepard

A tour of the ancient world—in Mandarin

The Penn Museum offers tours of its exhibits in Mandarin, increasing cross-cultural access to its invaluable assemblage of objects on display, the only known museum in Philadelphia with regularly scheduled tours in the language.

Brandon Baker

In the News

Smithsonian Magazine

If Thanos actually wiped out half of all life, how would Earth fare in the aftermath?

Lauren Sallan of the School of Arts and Sciences discussed the hypothetical results of a mass-extinction event, like the one depicted in “The Avengers” movie franchise. “I think humans would figure out a way to [survive], provided that not all of the ecosystems collapse,” said Sallan.


Chronicle of Social Change

Does your agency reflect the diversity of the community it serves? Why not?

Raekwon Burton, a grad student in the School of Social Policy & Practice, wrote about the lack of diversity in the field of social work.


WHYY (Philadelphia)

Eastern Pennsylvania's population growth bypasses western Pa.

Domenic Vitiello of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design weighed in on Pennsylvania’s shifts in population. “Pennsylvania remains very much a Rust Belt state,” he said. “But it’s heartening that we’re not declining as precipitously as we were in the 1970s or 1980s.”



The Mueller report is embarrassing for Trump, but it doesn’t call into question his 2016 win

Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center was cited for her book Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President.



Why spicy food makes your nose run—and why it’s great for you

Paul Rozin of the School of Arts and Sciences explained why we enjoy eating spicy food, a kind of “benign masochism.” “People seem to enjoy pushing the limits of what we can take,” he said.