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On the heels of an election that revealed deep divisions in our society, one thing that most can agree on is the urgent need for respectful, open discussion on the issues that divide us. In a special series of programs this winter and spring, Penn Arts and Sciences will work to promote the necessary conversations. This site highlights events and other opportunities to engage as a community to consider issues in our democratic society, along with contributions from our faculty and videos and other content to help spread the dialogue across campus and beyond.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

RELEVANT CONTENT

Russia Hacked our Election Because the Spies Took Over


History Ph.D.s Alex Hazanov and Yakov Feygin analyze Russian efforts to influence U.S. elections.

Penn Fels Policy Research Initiative Announces New Interdisciplinary Grants

The Penn Fels Policy Research Initiative will fund nine working groups and conferences through the end of 2017.

Has Polling Lost its Reputation?

A Q&A with Associate Professor of Political Science John Lapinski, director of the Penn Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies (PORES).

Scare Tactics and Public Relations Strategies Around Climate Change

Following a grim New York Magazine story on the future with climate change, Assistant Professor of Sociology Daniel A. Cohen discussed scare tactics with KCRW radio in Los Angeles.

The Past, Present, and Future of Human Migration

A multi-faculty discussion featuring sociology’s Hans-Peter Kohler, Tukufu Zuberi, Amada Armenta, and Emilio Parrado, and political science’s Michael Jones-Correa and Devesh Kapur.

OMNIA Podcast: Constitutional Crisis? (Audio)

Rogers Smith, the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science, offers his take on why the firing of James Comey, as well as Trump’s use of executive action and social media, is challenging the balance of power in Washington.

U.S. Foreign Policy in a Trump Administration: A Three-Month Review (Video)

In our April Knowledge by the Slice lunchtime series, a panel of faculty experts from the Department of Political Science assessed the first few months of the Trump administration and what they suggest about the present and future of U.S. foreign policy, from Asia to Europe to the Middle East and beyond.

 

Inglorious Comparisons: Roundtable Discussion

Presented by Penn’s Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. In the pages of newspapers of record in the United States and Europe, historical comparisons to current political events are flying thick and fast. The European history of the early twentieth century – in particular the rise of European fascism – has become an omnipresent simile. Featuring professors Frank Trommler, Jonathan Steinberg, Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth College), and Susan Buck-Morss (CUNY). 

Immigration and Global Inequality

A panel discussion with Michael Jones-Correa (Political Science), Emilio Parrado (Sociology), and Tukufu Zuberi (Sociology and Africana Studies). Moderated by Dean Steven J. Fluharty, School of Arts and Sciences. 

Trump, Philosophy, and American Politics: Philosophical Implications of the 45th Presidency (Full Event Video)

Penn conference brought together scholars to discuss issues raised by the election, the transition of power, and the new presidential administration.

Protests, Confusion For Executive Order On Refugees

Ian Lustick, the Bess W. Heyman Professor, discusses President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees on NPR’s On Point podcast.

Fels Institute of Government Launches Inclusive Public Leadership Series

The Fels Institute of Government is pleased to announce the launch of a new Inclusive Public Leadership series. On Wednesday, January 25th, the event series kicked off with a workshop focused on how to understand and influence the legislative process.

Trump’s Election Doesn’t Mean Americans Are More Opposed To Immigration

Daniel Hopkins, associate professor of political science, authors an op-ed on public opinion on immigration.

OMNIA Q&A: Making a Mockery

Ralph Rosen, Vartan Gregorian Professor of the Humanities, on satire, from ancient Greece to “Saturday Night Live.”

It's Time to Get Russia's Strategy Straight

Kevin M. F. Platt of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures blogs about Russia, election hacking, and conspiracy theory for The Huffington Post.

#DATAREFUGE

 Penn Program in Environmental Humanities Launches Project to Protect Vulnerable Climate Change Research

Making Multicultural Democracy Work in the Trump Years

A panel discussion with a Q&A session.

Faculty Opinion: Stephen Bannon and the Old/New Anti-Semitism

Amy Kaplan, Edward G. Kane Professor of English, authors an op-ed.

Daniel Hopkins on the Rise of Anti-Immigration Politics

Political scientist Daniel Hopkins talks about how immigration played out in the election in this podcast.

Knowledge by the Slice: Election 2016: What Just Happened?

A panel of political scientists discuss election night.

Faculty Q&A: Confronting Islamophobia

A conversation with Jamal J. Elias, Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities and scholar of Islamic thought, culture, and history.

The True Cost of Vote Buying and Selling

Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and professor of history and Africana studies, discusses her book, Five Dollars and a Pork Chop Sandwich: Vote Buying and the Corruption of Democracy.

Knowledge by the Slice: New Realities of Latin American Migration to the United States: Implications for Policy Discussions

Faculty Opinion: No, Trump Voters Were Not Irrational

Robert Kurzban, professor of psychology, addresses voter rationality.

Quechua Penn

A thriving Native-American language program makes Penn a Quechua hub.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Dismantling the Carceral State: Law, Order, and Criminal Justice Reform in the Age of Trump

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

World Cafe Live
3025 Walnut Street
6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Marie Gottschalk, Penn Arts and Sciences’ professor of political science, studies the origins and politics of mass incarceration, focusing on the idea of a “carceral state” with millions of people who are in prison, on probation, or on parole.

Gottschalk specializes in American politics, criminal justice, health policy, race, the development of the welfare state, and business-labor relations. She was one of the 30 academics, historians, activists, and politicians included in Ana DuVernay’s 13th, a Netflix documentary about mass incarceration that refers to the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery but left an exploitable loophole: “except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”

She’s the author of Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics and The Prison and the Gallows: The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America, which won the 2007 Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians.

Expert faculty from the University of Pennsylvania shed light on their research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences at the Penn Lightbulb Cafe. It’s an evening of engaging, stimulating conversation, with a Q&A session following each talk.

Presented by Penn Arts and Sciences in partnership with the Office of University Communications, Penn Cafe events are free and open to the public, but RSVPs are encouraged. For more information or directions, contact Gina Bryan at 215-898-8721 or email at bryangm@upenn.edu.

Menu items are available for purchase. Happy Hour pricing from 4–6 p.m.

https://news.upenn.edu/sciencecafe

Poverty in the American South

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

World Cafe Live
3025 Walnut Street
6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Although poverty and uneven development exists throughout the United States, the South has had a disproportionate share of the nation’s socioeconomic problems. For decades, poverty has been the highest and most persistent in that region, and the Great Recession has only worsened the problem.

In this talk, Dr. Regina Baker, assistant professor of Sociology, will address the reasons for this regional disparity and why, as a nation, Americans should care. Drawing on her research on the South, Dr. Baker will discuss the role of demographic, economic, political and racial factors in understanding poverty in the context of place. She will also touch on the uncertainty of future safety nets for America’s most vulnerable populations in the current political climate.

Expert faculty from the University of Pennsylvania shed light on their research at the Penn Science Café. It’s an evening of engaging, stimulating conversation, with a Q&A session following each talk.

Presented by Penn Arts and Sciences in partnership with the Office of University Communications, Penn Café events are free and open to the public, but RSVPs are encouraged. For more information or directions, contact Gina Bryan at 215-898-8721 or email at bryangm@upenn.edu.

Menu items are available for purchase. Happy Hour pricing from 4–6 p.m.

https://news.upenn.edu/sciencecafe

The Real Record on Racial Attitudes

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

World Cafe Live
3025 Walnut Street
6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Issues of race and racial division have been prominent features of social organization and culture in the United States from as far back as the historical record goes. As a leading scholar in American race relations, Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Social Sciences, Dr.Camille Charles will map out the major divisions of, and trends in, U.S. racial attitudes and documents both significant progressive changes as well as substantial enduring frictions and conflicts that continue to make race such a fraught terrain. She will tackle the conceptually broad and analytically powerful record, which is a strong caution against glib generalities that attempt to reduce an enormously multifaceted social phenomenon to simplistic catch phrases like “racist America,” “the end of racism” or, more recently, “post-racial America.”

Expert faculty from the University of Pennsylvania shed light on their research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences at the Penn Lightbulb Cafe. It’s an evening of engaging, stimulating conversation, with a Q&A session following each talk.

Presented by Penn Arts and Sciences in partnership with the Office of University Communications, Penn Cafe events are free and open to the public, but RSVPs are encouraged. For more information or directions, contact Gina Bryan at 215-898-8721 or email at bryangm@upenn.edu.

Menu items are available for purchase. Happy Hour pricing from 4–6 p.m.

https://news.upenn.edu/sciencecafe

Contact us at events@sas.upenn.edu to notify us about additional programs that are open to the campus community or to the general public.

Proposals from Penn Arts and Sciences faculty, students, or staff members for additional events are welcome and can be submitted to events@sas.upenn.edu.

The Office of the Dean invites additional proposals to support pedagogical innovation and other programs directed at facilitating conversation in the classroom. Please submit suggestions to sasdean@sas.upenn.edu.

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