The World We Inherit

March 31, 2023 (Friday) / 9:30 am5:00 pm

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, 6th floor
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Van Pelt Library, 3420 Walnut Street
+ Livestream

The World We Inherit

Each year the Wolf Humanities Center's Undergraduate Humanities Forum brings together undergraduate students from across the humanities and beyond to explore a common theme. Join us on March 31st as the Wolf Humanities Center's 2022–2023 Undergraduate Research Fellows present their research on "Heritage."


9:00-9:30am   Breakfast

9:30-9:45am   Opening Remarks
Julia Verkholantsev
Director, Undergraduate Humanities Forum; Associate Professor and Undergraduate Chair, Russian and East European Studies; Founder and Director, Program in Global Medieval & Renaissance Studies, University of Pennsylvania

9:45-10:45am   Panel 1
Imagining Heritage: History in Russian National Identity
Moderator: Peter Holquist, Ronald S. Lauder Endowed Term Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

  • Olive Coles, Russian and East European Studies, Political Science; CAS 2023
    Finding the Words: Searching for ‘Truth’ in the Shadows of Soviet Past
  • Roseline Gray, International Relations, Russian and East European Studies; CAS 2023
    Historical Imagination and Political Power: The role of premodern narratives in contemporary Russian national identity

10:45–11:00am   Break

11:00am-12:30pm   Panel 2
Creating National Identities: Myth, Exceptionalism, and Nation Building in Colonial and Post-colonial States
Moderator: Brendan O’Leary, Lauder Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

  • Sophie Qi, Health and Societies, History; CAS 2023 
    Miss Super Clean: Public Health as Nation Building in Late-Colonial Period Hong Kong
  • Vita Raskeviciute, International Relations, Russian and East European Studies; CAS 2023 
    On the Brink of Independence: Public Opinion of What it Means to Be Lithuanian
  • Miriam Shah, Intellectual History; CAS 2023
    Inheriting Political Myth: India’s National Identity?

12:30–1:30pm   Break

1:30–3:00pm   Panel 3
Anthropological Voyages into Material Culture, Coloniality, and Being
Moderator: Deborah Thomas, R. Jean Brownlee Professor of Anthropology; Director, Center for Experimental Ethnography, University of Pennsylvania

  • Ezra Chan, Health and Societies; CAS 2024
    Legacies of Loss: An Ethical Analysis of Human Remains, Modern Collections, and Colonialism
  • Wes Matthews, Anthropology; CAS 2023
    Architecture Of Disillusion: A Qualitative Study of Nihilism and Spirituality Among Black Men in Hip Hop Performance
  • Pierre Li Peters, Music, Cultural Anthropology; CAS 2023
    BRING IT ON HOME: A Decolonial Analysis of Musical Instruments in Museum Archives

3:00–3:15pm   Break

3:15–4:45pm   Panel 4
Artistic and Literary Networks
Moderator: Whitney Trettien, Assistant Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania

  • Zoë Affron, English, Environmental Studies; CAS 2023
    Modernist Ecologies: The Short Fiction of the E.M. Forster and Virginia Woolf
  • Tyler Kliem, Comparative Literature, Design; CAS 2024
    Blending Poetics and the Avant-Garde: The Constructed Yidishkeyt in the Works of Yiddish Literary and Art Collectives in Europe, 1918–1924
  • Aili Waller, History of Art; CAS 2024
    Using Genealogy to Recover Lost Artists: The Case of Josephine Walters

4:45pm   Closing Remarks 
Roseline Gray and Pierre Li Peters, Executive Board and Research Fellows, Undergraduate Humanities Forum