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.”

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.

Prophet of Prosperity

Simon Patten, who led the Wharton School during the Progressive Era, was a pioneer of the economics of abundance, theorist of the second industrial revolution, and intellectual godfather of the New Deal. His descent into obscurity poses provocative questions about how the field has evolved.

Black Box Justice

Richard Berk designs computer algorithms that predict crime. As courts and cops increasingly use his and similar tools to shape everything from parole decisions to street policing, Berk has a warning: accuracy comes at the cost of fairness, and citizens must decide where justice lies.