The Levin Family Dean’s Forum is an annual celebration of the arts and sciences. Initiated in 1984, the Forum presents leading intellectual figures who exemplify the richness of the liberal arts. It also recognizes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students for their academic achievement and intellectual promise. The Levin Family Dean’s Forum is made possible by a generous gift from Stephen A. Levin, C’67, in honor of his son Eric T. Levin, C’92.

Past Dean’s Forum Talks:



American Exceptionalism: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other?
by Mugambi Jouet, Boulton Fellow, McGill Faculty of Law


Fear Inc.: Confronting Islamophobia in America
by Reza Aslan, internationally renowned writer, commentator, professor, producer, and scholar of religions


How Hollywood Is Spotlighting Social Change
a conversation with Josh Singer, Spotlight’s Oscar-winning producer and screenwriter; Neal Huff, the actor who played survivor Phil Saviano; Marci A. Hamilton, PRRUC Senior Fellow: Steven Berkowitz, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine: and Peter Decherney, Professor of English and Cinema Studies, Penn Arts and Sciences


The Challenge of the 21st Century: Setting the Real Bottom Line in the Anthropocene
by David Suzuki, scientist, environmental activist, and award-winning broadcaster


Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives
by James Fowler, a professor of medical genetics and political science at the University of California, San Diego


George Washington: A Life
by Ron Chernow, Pulitizer Prize winning author


Justice and the Contemporary World
by Amartya Sen, Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University


Intuition: Marvels and Flaws
by Daniel Kahneman, world-renowned commentator on the economics of human behavior and Nobel Prize winner


The Politics of Disgust
by Martha Nussbaum, The Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago


Genetics and Genealogy
by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University


The Stuff of Thought
by Dr. Steven Pinker, the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard


AIDS in 2007: Building a Health Care Movement
by Dr. Paul Farmer, Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Co-Founder, Partners in Health


On Bulls**t
by Harry G. Frankfurt, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Princeton University, author of The Reasons of Love and On Bullshit


The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time and the Texture of Reality
by Brian Greene physicist, string theorist, author of The Elegant Universe


Qualities of Leadership
by David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and host of Smithsonian World and The American Experience


Sequencing the Human Genome: The Gateway to a New Era in Science and Medicine
by J. Craig Venter, Founder of the Institute for Genome Research


The Third Millennium and the Spirit of the Age
by Tom Wolfe, bestselling author of The Bonfire of the Vanities and I Am Charlotte Simmons


Gertrude and Claudius
by John Updike, world-renowned novelist


The Woman Warrior
by Maxine Hong Kingston, author of the 1998-99 Penn Reading Project text, The Woman Warrior


Public Support for the Humanities
by Garry Wills, author of the 1997-98 Penn Reading Project text, Lincoln at Gettysburg, and recipient of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize.


Knowing About Knowing About the Brain
by Floyd E. Bloom, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences, Scripps Research Institute and former editor-in-chief of Science


The After-Life of Plays
by Jonathan Miller, opera director, physician, medical historian

Other Dean's Forum Speakers:

Donald C. Johanson
Arthur Schlesinger
Philip Roth
Toni Morrison
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Governors Dupont and Baliles
Gerald Edelman
Baruch Blumberg
James Watson
Susan Sontag
Arthur Miller