News & Announcements

  • Historic Churches & Saints in Stunning 3D

    Prepare yourself for an immersive experience in stunning 3D of medieval architecture and sculpture in Northern Spain. Through the award-winning website RomanesqueSpain created by Liz Lastra, a Penn PhD student in art history, it is now possible to see historic Romanesque monuments and sites in detail once only conceivable if inches away on a scaffold. Lastra's project has been supported by PHF's former Digital Humanities Forum, the Price Lab for Digital Humanities, Penn's History of Art Department, and the Penfield Endowment. She also received the Delaware Valley Medieval Association's first Digital Project Prize for her work. Media coverage: "Seeing the Saints - Up Close," by Susan Alhborn, SAS Frontiers, Nov. 6, 2015.

  • Penn Museum SEX: A HISTORY IN 30 0BJECTS Exhibition Heats Up

    The Penn Museum has some really choice art and artifacts. So choice, in fact, that just thirty pieces from their vast collection can richly evoke the diverse ways that societies across continents and throughout the millennia have understood sex and sexuality, gender, and gender diversity. Presented to coincide with the 2015–2016 Penn Humanities Forum on Sex, "SEX: A History in 30 Objects" is curated by Dr. Lauren Risvet, the Robert H. Dyson, Jr. Associate Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Associate Curator of the Museum's Near East SectionFind out more on WHYY's NewsWorks with Peter Crimmins, PhillyVoice with Aubrey Nagle, and Penn's own Daily Pennsylvanian with Remi Lederman. And, be sure to come see for yourself! The exhibition runs from October 17, 2015 through July 31, 2016. 

  • Shaj Mathew reviews Orhan Pamuk's A Strangeness in My Mind

    Writing in the October 13 issue of the New Republic, Shaj Mathew reviews Orhan Pamuk's latest work, A Strangeness in My Mind, calling it "a novel of immigration (within one's own country) and the hardships and moral dilemmas that invariably attend such sudden, if voluntary, displacement." It is devoted mainly to recovering the memory of a particular journey common to many Turks who moved from village to city in the late 20th century. Writes Mathew, "if you listen closely enough to this novel, you may discover a secret history of Istanbul in [the main character] Mevlut's song." Shaj is a Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature at Yale and was a Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellow with the Penn Humanities Forum in 2013 and 2014 before graduating Penn in 2014. In addition to the New Republic, he has written for the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Lapham's Quarterly, Guernica, and others.

  • Noah Tamarkin Wins 2015 Prize from American Anthropological Association

    Noah Tamarkin, Assistant Professor of Comparative Studies at Ohio State University, has won the 2015 Prize for Exemplary Cross-Field Scholarship from the General Anthropology Division of the American Anthropological Association for his article "Genetic Diaspora: Producing Knowledge of Genes and Jews in Rural South Africa." The work examines Lemba DNA and genetic diaspora in South Africa and its associated politics of belonging. "Genetic diaspora" is a term Tamarkin introduced to help explain the histories and politics of race and religion. His research was conducted while a Penn Humanities Forum Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in 2012-13.

  • Betsy Casañas: Artist and Activist

    Muralist, activist, and educator Betsy Casañas was profiled for the Philadelphia Inquirer, by A.M. Weaver. The article explores how her art and teaching have influenced not only her own north Philly community, but also communities she has traveled to and created murals in all over the world. Casañas was a panelist for the event Public Art, as part of the 2014-2015 Forum on Color. Click-through to the event footage to see her discuss how she came to be an artist and why she believes art can transform people's lives.

  • Charleston and the History of White Fear

    In a June 19 LA Times op-edJason Ward, an associate professor of history at Mississippi State University who spent 2013–14 as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow with the Forum, places Dylann Roof's June 16 shooting of nine parishioners inside Charleston’s historic Emanuel AME Church within a long of history of white fear of African Americans “taking over our country,” to use the words Roof allegedly uttered as he opened fire. Ward notes that Roof “inherited a logic and a political legacy that defied statistics, the march of time, and any shred of common humanity.” This legacy was stoked by generations of white supremacists and seared into national consciousness by, among other things, Thomas Dixon’s novel The Clansman and the 1915 blockbuster film Birth of a Nation, which the novel inspired.

  • "Open Lab: Text Analysis with R" Starts June 5

    Penn Libraries WordLab, Swarthmore Libraries, and Early Novels Database are hosting an open lab this summer to work through Matt Jockers's Text Analysis with R. This weekly open lab focuses on computational text analysis using the free and accessible R Studio to reveal patterns in texts. No previous experience necessary. For details, email Katie Rawson. (Fridays, 2–4:45pm, Vitale II, Van Pelt Library).

  • Award-Winning Congratulations to PHF Alumni!

    The Penn Humanities Forum extends its proud congratulations to Zain Lakhani, Graduate Humanities Forum Chair and PHF Research Assistant, 2012–13, on her Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2015–16 from the Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University. And, to our newest Alumni Society members, we congratulate 2015–16 Undergraduate Humanities Forum Mellon Fellows and graduating seniors Abigail Koffler, Kimberly Kolor, Kimberly Schreiber, Shawn Teo, and Melanie White on being elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Kimberly Kolor also received a Fulbright Grant, Boren Scholarship and was named a Dean's Scholar. Abrina Hyatt received the Raymond Pace Alexander Prize, Danielle Kerker was awarded the Bodek Prize for Research on Interracial and Interfaith Relations, and Jose Romero received the 2015 Yardley Prize in Anthropology for his senior thesis. UHF Chair and Mellon Fellow Leah Davidson, a rising senior at Penn's Wharton School, was named a Turner Social Impact Fellow and Wharton Research Scholar. What an amazing group of scholars!

  • Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows Selected for 2015–2016 Forum on Sex

    The Forum is delighted to announce its five new Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows for next academic year, each of whom will be conducting research and teaching as part of the 2015–2016 Penn Humanities on Sex. Congratulations to Kadji Amin, Assistant Professor of Queer Studies, Stony Brook University; Philip Francis, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Manhattan College; Durba Mitra, Assistant Professor of History, South Asia, Fordham University; Sima Shakhsari, Assistant Professor of Women's & Gender Studies, Wellesley College; and Zeb Tortorici, Assistant Professor of Spanish & Portuguese, New York University.

  • M&Ms and the Psychology of Color

    Eat a regular green M&M without knowing anything about those candies and you might expect it to taste like mint, not chocolate. Why? Because color influences taste, but not simply at the level of what your eyeballs process. In fact, the human eye is quite bad at perceiving color. Our sense of color is deeply integrated with our other senses — taste, touch, smell, and memories. For more on how emotions, ideas, and senses influence how we perceive color, listen to Peter Crimmins's February 19 interview on WHYY-FM with Kevin Connolly and Mohan Matthen. Kevin Connolly is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Penn Humanities Forum this year, doing research on how experience changes one's perception of color. Mohan Matthen is a philosopher of perception at the University of Toronto, visiting the Forum as a panelist in the symposium "Values of Color," hosted by PHF's Graduate Humanities Forum on February 20th.