College of Arts and Sciences

The College is the largest of the undergraduate schools, enrolling 6,000 of the University of Pennsylvania's 10,000 undergraduates, and it teaches all of Penn's undergraduates. The study of the arts and sciences provides students with critical perspectives on their world and with the fundamental intellectual skills necessary for engaging it. As Franklin recognized, professional education relies on the sustenance provided by the arts and sciences and could not exist without them. The School of Arts and Sciences remains the heart and the soul of the modern University.



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Now showing 1 - 10 of 254
  • Publication
    "Dona Nobis Pacem": The Ironic Message of Peace in Britten's War Requiem
    (2006-12-01) Tackett, Justin C.
    Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, first performed in 1962 at the dedication of the newly rebuilt Coventry Cathedral, juxtaposes the poetry of Wilfred Owen and the traditional requiem mass. This essay investigates the relationship between these two bodies of work and the manner in which Britten uses irony to memorialize the fallen of World Wars I and II.
  • Publication
    Keeping Score in the 2010 World Cup: How Do Sports Mega-Events Compete with Pro-Poor Development?
    (2010-01-01) Riegel, Jessica
    This thesis uses the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, which was framed as a catalyst for economic growth and broader development, to consider the relationship between global sporting events and pro-poor priorities. The study is driven by three main questions. To what extent did the World Cup deliver on its expectations; are event-driven strategies compatible with pro-poor needs; and why, given a priori doubts about the effectiveness of mega-events as development instruments, do political elites and publics embrace them? I find the event piqued international interest and improved perceptions, potentially boosting tourism and foreign investment, but its other impacts were negligible and came at the expense of more critical needs and the marginalized communities it aimed to uplift. The priorities of FIFA and mega-events’ assumptions about economic growth suggest mega-events are incompatible with pro-poor principles. Yet regardless of significant tolls, financial and otherwise, mega-events are embraced based on factors other than the public good, influenced by dynamics of decision-making, perceptions of personal benefit, and symbolic appeal.
  • Publication
    Una ficción documental: el problema individuo/colectivo en el cine de Imanol Uribe
    (2006-04-21) Panopoulos, Adam G
    This paper seeks to explore the place of the Basque individual within his collective group identity. To this end, the tensions within ETA, the Basque separatist group, serve as an entrance point into the larger paradox of Basque cultural identity. In essence, Basque culture puts on a performance of its own cultural identity. Cinema therefore enables one to expose this performance of identity, since it is by its nature a "performance" of reality. In this light, Imanol's Uribe's four ETA-related films mark the transition from a documentary to a melodramatic style. Yet more importantly, Uribe's mixture of documentary and fictional modes sheds light on the contradictory place of the Basque militant within his group, and, consequently, within Basque society.
  • Publication
    Soviet/Russian Military Capabilities: Assessing Tech, Manpower, & Loyalty
    (2016-04-27) Shmulevich, Karin
    Since the Imperialist times of Peter the Great, Russia’s military ideology has been largely predicated on the goal of creating a large and powerful army. In an attempt to gain territory and prestige, a nation’s military strength was often reduced to a mere game of numbers in order to overpower the opposing side. Of course, weapons and tactics were also involved, but they meant nothing without the men who were needed to utilize them and perform accordingly. Overtime, as new threats began to emerge and a different international dynamic began to form with improved technological systems and weaponry, large conventional armies became significantly less effective. For a long time, however, Soviet Russia was unyielding to change. A Peter the Great mentality rang supreme in the minds of military elites who fostered a strong opposition to any means of reform despite repeated attempts by Soviet and Russian leaders. This force against change resonated in the attitudes and loyalty towards the Soviet and Russian military establishment, and further set Russia back in terms of its outdated technology and overall decreasing military capacity. Although some may say that Russia was a bit late in the game to display noticeable trends in military improvements, this study seeks to answer the question of where Russia lies now in terms of its military capabilities and citizens’ attitudes towards the military itself and their duty to serve. In other words, this study tests the question of how an improvement in military technology, coupled with a more streamlined personnel base, reflects a change in Russia’s military capabilities and in associated attitudes overtime. Background on the history and progress of military reform in Russia is provided and analyzed in light on capability measurements, followed by an evaluation of the 2008 Russo-Georgia War. Additionally, a case comparison of the 1979 Afghanistan crisis and the current intervention in Syria is conducted to demonstrate a change in capabilities and attitudes towards the military establishment. Finally, an analysis of loyalty towards military duty from a psychological perspective is preformed and further coupled with a discussion of how a shift in attitudes has occurred in parallel with military reform in both Soviet and present day Russia. The assessment of loyalty further adds to the analysis of military capabilities due to the connection between increased loyalty and compliance on the one hand, and enhanced military capabilities on the other. The study ends with implications associated with the findings.
  • Publication
    Multiple – Wavelength Catalogs of the Point Sources in the South Ecliptic Pole Region Detected by Blast
    (2009-01-01) von der Linden, Jens
    The goal of this project is to examine the far - infrared sources in the South Ecliptic Pole region (SEP) observed by the Balloon-Borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST). A primary science goal is to understand star formation processes. Most of the sources are assumed to be luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs), in which high rates of star formation are believed to be occurring. The BLAST experiment mapped the 10 SEP at three wavelengths (250, 350 and 500 μm). To aid future studies of the SEP, three lists of interesting sources were created with an IDL source extraction algorithm. The first list is a catalog of all 5 σ sources and their counterparts. The second list contains sources which have unambiguous counterparts in the three wavelengths. The sources of the third list are likely to be high redshift. Spectral Energy Distributions (SED) were fit to each of the listed sources with an IDL SED fitter. Using the SED, preliminary estimates of luminosity and star formation rates can be made. The combined and unambiguous catalogs can be used to select targets for future observations. The third list will be especially useful for selecting high redshift LIRGs for future observations. Many of the presumed high redshift sources are unrealistically bright. It is possible that they are high redshift sources which are gravitationally lensed and magnified by clusters. The number of bright high redshift sources identified was used to test a recent theoretical model of the abundance of clusters.
  • Publication
    A Tale of Two Movements: Consumer Protection in the U.S. from 1969 to 2010
    (2013-05-02) Berger, Diya
    The passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 and subsequent establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau marked an unexpected victory for consumers across America at the expense of the well-financed business lobby. Although classical social scientists, such as Mancur Olson, claim that consumer movements should fail to emerge due to the difficulty of providing public goods for large constituencies, consumer victories – like the passage of Dodd-Frank— have occurred in waves throughout the last century. In conducting this study, I thus sought to answer why it is that some consumer movements are able to push through consumer legislation while others fail. In order to answer this question, I conducted two cases studies, comparing Ralph Nader’s failed attempt to establish a Consumer Protection Agency in the 1970s with Elizabeth Warren’s successful push to create Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010. Ultimately my research demonstrates that three variables are critical to the passage of consumer legislation: 1) the opening of a policy window via key events, 2) the existence of favorable structural conditions in the policy making process, and 3) the ability of political entrepreneurs to utilize successful legislative and framing strategies that help them advance their agenda within the broader environmental context. Based upon these determinants, I suggest that a policy window has been opened for the consumer movement following the 2008 financial crisis due to an ideological shift from Friedman to Keynes which primed the current environment, the support of a Progressive Democratic President, and strong public support for consumer protection.
  • Publication
    DACA/DAPA and the Relational Conception: An Assessment of Inter-Branch Conflict Over Constitutional Authority in Immigration
    (2016-03-29) Moreno, Yessenia
    In the history of the American republic, no branch of government has increased its powers more than the Executive Branch and no area of policy, arguably, has caused as much intense inter-branch conflict in recent years as immigration. Since the last major bipartisan immigration reform in 1986, Presidents have time and again exercised their executive powers to make immigration policy. Most of these exercises of power have been in the form of executive orders and actions granting reprieve from deportation to groups of undocumented immigrants. With the rise of illegal immigration in the 90s and steady decline in recent years, the U.S. currently faces an undocumented population of roughly 11 million. Which branch of government has the power to enact policy regarding these immigrants is heavily disputed. The current legal battle for constitutional authority in immigration is Texas v. United States, where 26 states have sued President Obama for abuse of executive power in creating an extension of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), programs which would grant reprieve from deportation to up to 4.3 million undocumented immigrants and issue them work authorization documents. To assess whether President Obama has the constitutional authority to promulgate these programs, this paper applies political scientist Mariah Zeisberg’s relational conception model to analyze the inter-branch conflict on immigration between the Legislative Branch, traditionally charged with creating immigration policy, and the Executive Branch, traditionally charged with enforcing it.
  • Publication
    In Defense of Sovereignty: An Analysis of Russian Voting Behavior in the United Nations Security Council (1995-2012)
    (2013-04-01) Mund, Brian Zachary
    This paper explores the motivations for Russian voting behavior in the United Nations Security Council from 1995-2012. Specifically, why does Russia vote with the West in many situations, but not in others? What motivated Russia to veto three Western-backed resolutions in the ongoing Syrian conflict? These are not arbitrary votes—Russia invests considerable energy in both explaining and justifying its voting decisions in the Security Council. Thus, even if one believes that Security Council resolutions do not significantly affect state behavior (a claim that international relations research increasingly disputes), such voting decisions still matter because Russia deems them important. I contend that Russia’s concern for 1) international stability and 2) state sovereignty norms drives Russia’s voting patterns in the Security Council. The evidence for the subsequent analysis comes from 1095 Security Council resolutions and vetoed draft resolutions as well as their accompanying United Nations press releases. Both the statistical analysis and the qualitative case analyses found that a consistently conservative interpretation of Security Council jurisdiction and the promotion of state sovereignty norms influenced Russian voting. I also find that Russia views the entirety of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) making up the former Soviet Union as part of Russia’s sovereign sphere. I test these hypotheses against hypotheses predicting an expansion-motivated Russia and a status-seeking Russia, but neither alternative viewpoint receives the same empirical support that a defensive Russia receives. Finally, the findings in this paper have a number of implications. First, the paper finds that Russia has internalized a strict legalist approach to Security Council affairs. Therefore, the Western diplomatic approach for compromise should not focus on Russian interests, but should rather engage Russia through the compatibility of legal principles. Second, the paper emphasizes the lack of normative consensus and highlights the importance of further codification of legitimate international legal behavior.
  • Publication
    Silent No Longer: Voices of the 1967 Newark Race Riots
    (2006-07-10) Siegal, Kimberly
    From 12 to 18 July 1967, Newark, New Jersey, erupted in one of the most devastating riots in U.S. history. Twenty-six people were killed, but thousands were forever affected by the violence. The U.S. and New Jersey governments did extensive research on these riots, but the real stories of the common citizen in Newark were never documented. My thesis, an oral history, fills in this missing piece of knowledge by providing an in-depth look at the lives of ten individuals who have been shaped by the riots. Using their stories, along with primary and secondary research, I discuss major themes impacting Newark’s black residents – healthcare, education, police brutality, unemployment, and public housing – to illustrate that freedom was not always guaranteed to all Americans.
  • Publication
    The Role of Feminine Rhetoric in Male Presidential Discourse: Achieving Speech Purpose
    (2009-05-01) Larner, Lindsay R.
    Scholars have defined two gender-associated language styles as rhetorical tools that are used by men and women to achieve certain objectives. Masculine language is commanding and instrumental; it is considered conducive to politics. Feminine language is intimate and unifying; it is considered too passive for politics. However, women introduced feminine rhetoric into politics in the United States in 1920 when they were granted the right to participate. But since then, has feminine-style rhetoric played any role in men politicians’ discourse? Specifically, do they use more feminine speech to establish unity and maintain relationships? By comparison, do they use less of it when displaying superiority? To answer these questions, I analyzed two Presidential speeches genres: Inaugural Addresses, which unify the citizenry and foster speaker-audience collaboration – goals feminine language accomplishes -, and Nomination Acceptance Speeches, which display the speaker as leader, expert, and agent – goals masculine language accomplishes. I hypothesize that feminine rhetoric is useful for achieving the Inaugural’s speech purposes, so male politicians should use more feminine speech in Inaugurals than Acceptances.