$1.3 Million from Mellon Foundation for Humanities and Urbanism Studies

April 30, 2013

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $1.3 million grant to the University of Pennsylvania for a five-year innovative, collaborative project entitled Fulfilling and Livable Cities: Design, Urban Life and the Humanities. The Schools of Arts and Sciences, the School of Design, and the Penn Institute of Urban Research (IUR) will be the focus of program activity with participation spread throughout the University.

The project will be co-led by David Brownlee, Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of 19th Century European Art and Chair of the Graduate Group in the History of Art, and Eugenie Birch, Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education in PennDesign’s Department of City and Regional Planning, Chair of the Graduate Group in City Planning, and Co-Director of Penn IUR.

The program will create new cross-disciplinary study and research among scholars and students in the fields of design and the humanities, with the aim of advancing the potential and promise of urban life. New courses, symposia, and publications will enable scholars to explore connections between the built environment and the arts, history, and culture that underpin cities. The project will begin in the fall of 2013 with the launch of the Mellon Fulfilling and Livable Cities Colloquium, a five-year multi-generational, interdisciplinary study group composed of 20 Penn faculty members and students with rotating terms.

Additionally, there will be new undergraduate and graduate classes, including two undergraduate seminars—one focused on a domestic city and one on an international city—that will include site visits. These courses will each be jointly developed and taught collaboratively by design and humanities professors.

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