Penn Arts and Sciences Initiatives Promote Globally Oriented Outreach

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

On the Penn-in-Havana trip, students talk with artist Salvador González at the Calle Hueso.

Photo credit: Will Schmenner

Faculty and students are pursuing a range of new multidisciplinary initiatives thanks to two special funds established by Penn Arts and Sciences. The Making a Difference in Diverse Communities program, which encourages faculty to explore innovative ways of applying their expertise through a combination of coursework, research, and service, is supporting five projects that address issues of diversity and inequality at the local, national, and international level. The Dean’s Global Inquiries Fund, an initiative that encourages the investigation of global topics across the liberal arts, is supporting seven new transdisciplinary projects that explore a range of cultural, political, and economic forces on multiple continents.

The projects funded by the Making a Difference in Diverse Communities program are:

  • Penn-in-Havana: Visual Culture and Public Art in Cuba, led by Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Chair of History of Art.
  • Increasing Turnout in Off-Cycle Elections in the City of Philadelphia, led by Daniel J. Hopkins, Associate Professor of Political Science.
  • Philosophy for the Young, led by Karen Detlefsen, Professor of Philosophy and Education.
  • LAVA: Laboratorio para apreciar la vida y el ambiente, led by Michael Weisberg, Professor and Chair of Philosophy.
  • Using Virtual Reality and Digital Video to Document the Post-Hurricane Maria Recovery Efforts in Puerto Rico, led by Peter Decherney, Professor of English and Cinema Studies.

The projects funded by the Dean’s Global Inquiries program are:

  • Trauma and the Arts: South Africa in Dialogue with Philadelphia, led by Carol Muller, Professor of Music.
  • Shared Practices, Common Legacies: Ottoman Science from a Global Perspective, led by Harun Küçük, Assistant Professor of History and Sociology of Science.
  • Undergraduate Seminar on Comparative Ancient Epics, led by Peter Struck, Professor and Chair of Classical Studies.
  • Urban Sea: Living in Anthropogenic Waters, led by Nikhil Anand, Assistant Professor of Anthropology.
  • Religion and the Global Future, led by Steven Weitzman, Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literature and Ella Darivoff Director of the Katz Center of Advanced Judaic Studies
  • Active Coating Technologies (ACT) to Mitigate the Global Water Crisis, led by Zahra Fakhraai, Associate Professor of Chemistry.
  • Ongoing collaborative research in Africa, led by Guy Grossman, Associate Professor of Political Science.