Wordsworth’s American Champion

Nearly two centuries ago, Penn professor Henry Hope Reed put William Wordsworth on America’s cultural map. More or less forgotten today (make that more), Reed was an impressive scholar whose enthusiasm for Wordsworth and English Romanticism helped shape the nation’s literary values.

Rush on the Mind

A focus on mental illness was a constant throughout the multi-faceted career of Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, prolific writer, longtime Penn faculty member, and the most prominent—and controversial—physician of his day.

Film for Social Change

Penn students from a variety of disciplines are learning the essentials of film storytelling and production while helping to give a voice to marginalized people and communities, from Philadelphia’s high schools to a refugee settlement in Kenya to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

The Rigors of Success

New York’s Success Academy charter school network has been lionized for its sky-high test scores and robust curricular offerings—and decried for a rigidly disciplined school environment one opponent described as “abuse.” Opinions are just as divided on its combative and committed leader, Eva Moskowitz C’86. She’ll be happy to tell you who’s right.

Blockchain Fever

Cryptographic sorcery, entrepreneurial zeal, and utopian dreams have gripped a striking number of Penn students and alumni this year. Why are people so excited?

Our Love Affair with Movies

A movie producer and Class of ’68 alumnus recalls the cinematic passions of his senior year—and offers some advice on rekindling the romance for today’s audiences.

The Philosophical Composer

In the year of his centenary, a look back at the music and thought of American composer and Penn faculty member George Rochberg G’49, who first embraced 12-tone music and serialism and later rejected avant-garde styles as a form of “self-extinction.”

Storms and Reforms

Puerto Rico’s Department of Education has been getting an extreme makeover under alumna Julia Keleher. It was a Herculean task even before the catastrophic hurricane.

The Idea of Love

On the job with the University’s eloquently soft-spoken, relentlessly positive, powerfully empathetic, turtle-admiring, Penn basketball-obsessed chaplain.

When William James Got Hungry

In an excerpt from his new autobiography, Penn psychology professor Martin Seligman tells the little-known story of the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting in 1904, held at Penn. Its reverberations were profound—for Penn psychology professor Edwin Twitmyer and for American psychology.

An Odyssey for Our Time

Emily Wilson’s translation of Homer’s epic has become a surprise sensation, a once-in-a-generation transformation of how English readers encounter one of the most iconic characters in all of literature. Fellow classics professor (and Odyssey aficionado) Peter Struck has some questions for her.

Confronting Denial

The four Gormans are all Penn alumni and all involved professionally in the mental-health field. In a new book, two of them—daughter Sara and father Jack—take a careful look at the psychological factors driving science denialism and how to counter them. Hint: more data isn’t the answer.

The Judges’ Lawyer

In successfully defending the irascible Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase—aka “Old Bacon Face”—against impeachment, Joseph Hopkinson C1786 G1789 helped set a high bar for removal from office and establish the principle of judicial independence.