Penn Humanities Forum

The Penn Humanities Forum seeks to demonstrate the importance of humanistic thought across the arts, sciences and professions and to invite the public and the university to discover their common stake in the “thinking arts.”  

Each year, the Forum selects a new theme and uses this subject to facilitate an integrated platform of research, teaching and interchange with the community. The Forum’s annual calendar of public lectures, performances, and exhibitions, many of them free, feature renowned artists, writers, historians, scientists, philosophers, and others whose contributions have helped to shape and reshape the human experience.

For more on the Penn Humanities Forum, including this year's theme, visit

Upcoming events in this series:


5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
The Writer's Palette: Zadie Smith in Conversation with Jed Esty Penn Museum, Harrison Auditorium, 3260 South Street

Dr. S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities

Zadie Smith's brilliant novels have featured characters of every shade and hue, covering an astonishing range of cultures, styles, voices, and ethnicities across many locations of diaspora and belonging. She has further explored the aesthetics and politics of color in her ambitious essays on painting, architecture, philosophy, and literary influences from E.M. Forster to Zora Neale Hurston.

Jed Esty, an English professor who specializes in twentieth-century British, Irish, and postcolonial literatures, joins Smith in a wide-ranging discussion of her work and ideas.

Zadie Smith will be available to sign books after the event.