Frontiers - Society

  • July 2015

    Brain Tease

    Professor of Psychology Robert Kurzban analyzes Pixar's "Inside Out."

    Film studio Pixar has developed a reputation for nuanced plotlines that speak to audiences both young and old, but with its new movie, Inside Out, the studio enters a new realm entirely: child psychology.

  • June 2015

    Summer Abroad

    Amy Summer and Kurt Koehler, student interns sponsored by the Center for the Advanced Study of India, blog about their experiences.

    Each summer the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) provides funding and support to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania to conduct independent research and volunteer internships in India. Featured below are excerpts from two CASI student intern blogs:

  • May 2015


    Associate Professor of Political Science Michael Horowitz discusses future weapons systems.

    It’s a familiar science-fiction motif: Our robotic creations become self-aware and turn against humanity.

  • April 2015

    Nature in the Anthropocene

    The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities brings together a wide range of experts for its Urban Nature, Natural City event.

    The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH), which aims to generate knowledge about the environment and sustainability by bridging the sciences and the humanities, brought together a diverse group of activists, faculty, and students for the Urban Nature, Natural City event on April 10.

  • April 2015

    Penn Connects with China Song by Song (Video)

    Danny DiIulio, C’15, and the Fox Leadership Initiative build bonds on the personal level.

    Some songs just get stuck in our heads, but a song written by Danny DiIulio, C'15, for some homesick college students touched hearts and is helping to build lasting relationships between Penn and China.  

  • April 2015

    Historical Brew

    Doctoral candidate Omar Foda examines the history of the beer industry in Egypt.

    For Omar Foda, beer is in the blood. From the 1960s to the 1980s, his grandfather worked for the brewery that produced the storied Egyptian beer Stella.

  • April 2015

    Knowledge by the Slice: Charisma for Everyone? (Video)

    Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor in Sociology Randall Collins looks at the ingredients that make up social magnetism.

    Can you learn to be charismatic? Randall Collins, the Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor in Sociology, discusses what characteristics Steve Jobs, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Napoleon had in common in this Knowledge by the Slice lecture on Micro-Sociological Ingredients of Charismatic Leadership.

  • March 2015

    Playground Tactics

    Doctoral candidate in history Thomas Brinkerhoff discusses political propaganda in mid-20th-century Argentina.

    Here in the U.S. we are not strangers to aggressive political campaigns. In mid-20th-century Argentina, however, not even children’s magazines were off limits in the quest of President Juan Domingo Perón to turn the working-class family into the government’s most loyal advocate.

  • March 2015

    Breaking New Ground in Azerbaijan

    As one of the first Westerners to excavate there, Robert H. Dyson Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology Lauren Ristvet is building a broader picture of empire.

    Lauren Ristvet has spent most of her career on the edge. As an archeology major, she began her research in Syria, on the periphery of ancient Mesopotamia. After earning her Ph.D., she knew she wanted to work next in the archaeologically underexplored Azerbaijan, once the edge of the Persian Empire.

  • March 2015

    These Are Not the Droids You’re Looking For

    Associate Professor of History and Sociology of Science Adelheid Voskuhl argues that although humans are fascinated with robots, it’s not always for the same reasons.

    Was an 18th-century automated harpsichord player the forerunner of the Terminator? They’re both mechanical humanoids and are often analyzed together, but Heidi Voskuhl, Associate Professor of History and Sociology of Science, suggests that they shouldn’t always be.