If Ben Had Had His Way

February 24, 2006 (Friday) / 4:00 pm6:00 pm

Class of 55 Room, 2nd floor, Van Pelt Library

If Ben Had Had His Way

A Symposium in Honor of the 300th Anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's Birth

Join us for this special symposium organized to mark the 300th anniversary of Franklin's birth. Distinguished panelists will include Rebecca Bushnell, Dean, School of Arts and Sciences; Peter Conn, Professor of English; Peter Stallybrass, Annenberg Professor in the Humanities; Michael Zuckerman, Professor of History; and Tal Raviv (Engineering '09), the first-prize winner of the inaugural PHF-Weiner undergraduate student essay contest, "If Ben Had Had His Way."


Prizes awarded as part of the Symposium ceremonies

First Prize:
Tal Raviv, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences '09, Chemical Engineering.

Honorable Mention:
Gena Katz, College '06, English. "Franklin's Ivy Leagues and the Junto of Education"
Dvorit Mausner, College '07, Biological Basis of Behavior. "Of Virtue, Wit, and Wisdom"

Near the end of his life, Benjamin Franklin concluded that the Academy he helped found, which became the University of Pennsylvania, had consistently violated its charter. That charter advanced a controversial view of the university's relation to tradition, class, citizenship, and speculative knowledge. Where does the academy stand on these matters today? Where would Franklin have liked the academy to stand? We welcome you to this special symposium organized to mark the 300th anniversary of Franklin's birth and to celebrate the three winners of the 2006 Penn Humanities Forum Undergraduate Essay Contest, "If Ben Had Had His Way."

Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania: Worlds of Learning in the Age of Franklin
University of Pennsylvania Rare Book &Manuscript Library Exhibition
Who received an education in Franklin's day? Who were the teachers? What did students learn? What did they read? Drawing on the collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and other important area repositories, this Penn exhibition addresses the originality and relevance of Franklin's 1749 educational manifesto, "Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania" [sic]. See Franklin's original manuscript with his ideas for the Junto, a never-before-seen Franklin imprint, women's samplers, German fraktur calligraphy, a horn book, photographs of period schoolhouses from the Delaware Valley, and much more.
On display in the Rosenwald Gallery, 6th fl., Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania, January 17-May 31, 2006. Exhibition hours: Mon.-Fri. 9:00a-5:00p;Saturdays: 12:00- 4:00p. Public invited. Non-Penn affiliates must arrange weekend visits in advance; call 215.898.7088 or e-mail rbml@pobox.upenn.edu.

Penn Humanities Forum
Established in 1999, the Penn Humanities Forum is charged with taking a fresh look at ideas that touch on the human experience. The Forum's goal is to introduce humanistic perspectives to the sciences, professions, and public, and to bring ideas, long confined to the ivory tower, into popular discourse. Addressing a different topic each year, the Forum offers an integrated program of research, teaching, and outreach, which invites scholars, students, the cultural community, and the general public to discover common ground.


4:00 Introduction and Awards

Peter Stallybrass
Co-Director, Penn Humanities Forum Annenberg Professor in the Humanities
Student Essay Contest Awards

Tal Raviv, SEAS '09, Chemical Engineering
First Prize for Best Undergraduate Esay, "Spark"

Gena Katz, College '06, English
Honorable Mention for "Franklin's Ivy Leagues and the Junto of Education"

Dvorit Mausner, College '07, Biological Basis of Behavior
Honorable Mention for "Of Virtue, Wit, and Wisdom"

4:15 Tal Raviv

"Spark," 2006 Penn Humanities Forum Prize for Best Undergraduate Essay

4:35 Response and Comments

Christopher Hunter, Doctoral
Candidate, Comparative Literature

4:50 Panel Presentations and Discussion

Rebecca Bushnell, Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor and Dean, School of Arts & Sciences; Professor of English

Peter Conn, Professor of English

Peter Stallybrass, Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities; Professor of English

Michael Zuckerman, Professor of History

6:00 Reception

Rosenwald Gallery, 6th Floor, Van Pelt Library
Exhibition: "Educating the Youth of Pensylvania: Worlds of Learning in the Age of Franklin"