Frontiers - Society

  • 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. 

  • February 2015

    A Prison Culture

    Professor of Political Science Marie Gottschalk discusses mass incarceration in the U.S.

    America has a prison problem. One out of every 100 adults in the U.S. is behind bars, whether it’s a state or federal prison or a local jail. Even more striking, one out of every 23 is under some form of state supervision. And even if you don’t know anyone on the inside, you are part of the prison culture, says Marie Gottschalk. 

  • February 2015

    Home Away from Home

    Deqa Farah, C’15, discusses the Somali diaspora.

    When College senior Deqa Farah completed her international relations research methods course, designed to help majors formulate thesis ideas, she decided on a topic that hit close to home.

  • January 2015

    The Good Bureaucrat

    John DiIulio Jr. discusses his new book on American bureaucracy and the disappearance of the federal worker.

    The term “bureaucracy” has become synonymous with an overadherence to rules and structure—red tape. But, over time, John DiIulio Jr. says, America’s aversion to a well-trained, governmental workforce has come back to bite it.

  • January 2015

    Those Who Write History

    Presidential Term Professor Heather Williams thought long and hard about her short introduction to slavery.

    Heather William’s small new book was a big assignment. The Presidential Term Professor of Africana Studies’ 130-page American Slavery: A Very Short Introduction is part of a series from Oxford University Press that offers succinct starters on topics from accounting to witchcraft. It was a new kind of project for Williams, who had written two previous books.

  • January 2015

    A Q&A With Penn’s Newest Rhodes Scholar

    Rutendo Chigora, C’15, talks about her plans and her social venture in Zimbabwe.

    Rutendo Chigora, a College senior from Harare, Zimbabwe, has been named one of the nation’s two recipients of a Rhodes Scholarship. She is the 22nd Penn undergraduate to be named a Rhodes Scholar since the fellowship began in 1904. The scholarships fund two or three years of study at Oxford University in England. 

  • December 2014

    Penn Introduces Native American and Indigenous Studies Minor

    Assistant Professor Margaret Bruchac is building an interdisciplinary program on long-term strengths.

    A new minor in Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) gives Penn students not just another academic option but another way of looking at the world.

  • December 2014

    Intellectual Bootcamp

    The Center for Africana Studies Summer Institute for Pre-Freshmen opens minds—and doors.


  • December 2014

    A Critical Look at the Human Rights Council (Video)

    Undergraduate Benjamin Fogel examines the effectiveness of the United Nations’ efforts.

    Recently students at the College's annual Family Weekend were given the opportunity to participate in the Undergraduate Research Poster Presentation, where they presented on the topics they are most passionate about.