Frontiers - Art

  • October 2013

    Violence and Humanities

    The 2013-14 Penn Humanities Forum examines themes of violence.

    In 1949, German sociologist, philosopher, and musicologist Theodor Adorno said that to write poetry after Auschwitz would be barbaric.

  • August 2013

    Making Humanity

    Adam Seybert Professor in Moral and Intellectual Philosophy Gary Hatfield and Bok Family Professor in the Humanities Holly Pittman look at how humans make stuff, and how making stuff made us human.

    The brain and the mind are not the same thing, and we don’t yet know how the biologic processes of the brain turn into the way we actually experience our lives.

  • August 2013

    An Original Source

    Nicole Williams and John Baranik are learning about music, business, and how to trash talk 1800s-style.

    “Basically, he was talking trash on his competition,” says John Baranik, C’16, about 19th century Philadelphia music publisher Allyn Bacon. In a letter about a rival’s lower price, Bacon managed to insult two of his competitors in one sentence, saying, “I do not know how his Music looks generally; if it is as bad as Willig’s, he may be glad to get half price.”

  • July 2013

    "Dear Class of 2017..."

    Students from the Class of 2016 offer their advice to incoming freshmen.

    We asked members of the Class of 2016 if they had any advice for incoming freshmen. In the video below, hear why Penn's newest students should get out and explore Philadelphia, take classes outside of their comfort zones, and toss out any preconceived notions of what a typical Penn student is like.

  • June 2013

    The Wail of the Voice!

    The Department of Music presents an annual concert celebrating music composition at Penn.

    In 1971 Penn faculty composer George Crumb wrote Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale) for three masked players: electric flute, electric cello, and amplified piano. The piece has become a classic of 20th century music.

  • May 2013

    Is Cinema Dead? Define Dead. And While You’re at It, Define Cinema.

    Scholars, critics, and industry professionals gather at a Penn conference to discuss new crossroads for cinema and cinema studies.

    Meta Mazaj, senior lecturer in Cinema Studies at the School of Arts and Sciences, acknowledges that the film community as a whole tends perhaps more than a little toward anxious self-reflection.

  • May 2013

    The Politics of Print

    English doctoral candidate Marissa Nicosia explores historical literary genres.

    Have you ever been sucked into reading the tabloids while waiting in line at the grocery store? Fifth-year English doctoral candidate Marissa Nicosia reads them, too—but the ones she’s looking at are from the 17th century.

  • April 2013


    Undergraduate architecture students chart maps of human-environment interaction.

    Habits are activities not often subject to conscious evaluation: crossing and uncrossing one’s limbs in a certain fashion while studying; fiddling with a watch or similar accessory.

  • January 2013

    Video: Dreaming on Canvas

    Senior Irina Markina explores influential French painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes’ “subjective realities”

    As an art history minor studying in in Lyon, France, Irina Markina became enamored with the soothing atmosphere that influential French painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes was able to create with his murals.

  • December 2012

    Overcoming Anonymity

    Associate Professor of History Eve Troutt Powell uses intimate accounts of slavery to chronicle the history of the trade in the Middle East.

    The stories of those without a voice are often the most telling. As difficult as it is to bring the struggles of the disenfranchised to the light of day, it’s even more daunting when the accounts are centuries old—many only available as oral histories.