Penn Arts & Sciences

The University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences forms the foundation of the scholarly excellence that has established Penn as one of the world's leading research universities. We teach students across all 12 Penn schools, and our academic departments span the reach from anthropology and biology to sociology and South Asian studies.

Members of the Penn Arts & Sciences faculty are leaders in creating new knowledge in their disciplines and are engaged in nearly every area of interdisciplinary innovation. They are regularly recognized with academia's highest honors, including membership in prestigious societies like the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, as well as significant prizes such as MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships.

The educational experience offered by Penn Arts & Sciences is likewise recognized for its excellence. The School's three educational divisions fulfill different missions, united by a broader commitment to providing our students with an unrivaled education in the liberal arts. The College of Arts and Sciences is the academic home of the majority of Penn undergraduates and provides 60 percent of the courses taken by students in Penn's undergraduate professional schools. The Graduate Division offers doctoral training to over 1,300 candidates in more than 30 graduate programs. And the College of Liberal and Professional Studies provides a range of educational opportunities for lifelong learners and working professionals.


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Now showing 1 - 10 of 244
  • Publication
    Strategies of Evaluating Police Performance
    (1972) Furstenberg, Frank F
    Police in this country have never been immune from public criticism. But during the past decade negative reaction has increased markedly, both in intensity and in frequency of expression. Chronic grievances—corruption, strained relations with minority groups, ineffectualness in combating crime—have resurfaced (some would say they were never submerged), and new concerns over the growth of unions and politicization of police forces have arisen. While the police still enjoy a great deal of popular support, there are indications that, at least in certain segments of the population, a reevaluation of their image may be taking place.
  • Publication
    Bringing in the Family: Kinship Support and Contraceptive Behavior
    (1981) Furstenberg, Frank F; Herceg-Baron, Roberta; Jemail, Jay
    Though social programs are usually based on a presumption of empirical knowledge, it is no secret that research typically follows, rather than precedes efforts at social intervention. More often than not, social scientists are called in to assess the impact of an existing programmatic initiative, and are asked to render a judgment about the wisdom of a particular course of action after the fact. Only rarely do they take an active part in planning the experiments that they evaluate.
  • Publication
    Medieval and Modern Jewish History
    (1995) Ruderman, David B
    There has been a virtual explosion of scholarly writing on Jewish history in the medieval and modern periods during the last thirty years. One rough measure of this development is to compare the present entries on Jewish history in this Guide with the previous edition published in 1961. Of the hundred and twenty items on Jewish history listed in the earlier Guide, less than half actually pertain to the medieval and modern periods. This compares with some 325 items allotted to this section of the present Guide dealing exclusively with postancient Jewish history. But the sheer number of cited works is only the beginning of the story. Among the entries in the 1961 edition, the number of individual authors is relatively small; Salo W. Baron is listed several times, as are Cecil Roth, Jacob Marcus, and Guido Kisch. This obviously reflects the relatively small number of professional historians in the field as of 1961 and an even smaller number holding full-time positions in North American universities.
  • Publication
    From Photon to Neuron Chapter 16: Tunneling of Photons and Electrons
    (2018-08-25) Nelson, Philip C
    This chapter extends Part III of the book From Photon to Neuron (Princeton Univ Press 2017). This preliminary version is made freely available as-is in the hope that it will be useful.
  • Publication
    Sociology and Human Sexuality
    (1981) Reiss, Ira L; Furstenberg, Frank F
    Greater toleration of premarital and extramarital coitus and the increased emphasis on sexual gratification in marriage are not novel trends in American society, but the pace of change today probably is unprecedented. There is intense public discussion of what were once exclusively personal matters. Practices that a generation ago were considered socially deviant, such as cohabitation or homosexuality, are tolerated, if not accepted.
  • Publication
    Comic Parrhêsia and the Paradoxes of Repression
    (2013-01-01) Rosen, Ralph M
    Comic satirists such as Aristophanes thrive on the tension that arises from their need to ridicule prominent figures of contemporary society and the possibility that this ridicule will cause genuine offense. The history of satire is full of complaints by authors that they work in a dangerous profession, and that their detractors fail to appreciate their high-minded, often explicitly didactic intentions. In such moments, satirists attempt to leave the impression that those who try to repress their freedom to mock and abuse are unwelcome obstacles to their enterprise. It is precisely such allegations of risk and danger, however, that make for effective satire and allow satirists to present themselves as comically “heroic” in the first place. And if satire requires a fraught, antagonistic relationship between author and target, we cannot trust the satirist’s account of the relationship or accept the claim that the alleged oppression is unwelcome. This study begins with such conundra in Aristophanes, and examines comparative evidence from other periods and literary forms, including Homer’s Thersites, Horace, Socrates and Lenny Bruce.
  • Publication
    The Rules We Live By
    (2006-01-01) Bicchieri, Cristina
    In The Grammar of Society, first published in 2006, Cristina Bicchieri examines social norms, such as fairness, cooperation, and reciprocity, in an effort to understand their nature and dynamics, the expectations that they generate, and how they evolve and change. Drawing on several intellectual traditions and methods, including those of social psychology, experimental economics and evolutionary game theory, Bicchieri provides an integrated account of how social norms emerge, why and when we follow them, and the situations where we are most likely to focus on relevant norms. Examining the existence and survival of inefficient norms, she demonstrates how norms evolve in ways that depend upon the psychological dispositions of the individual and how such dispositions may impair social efficiency. By contrast, she also shows how certain psychological propensities may naturally lead individuals to evolve fairness norms that closely resemble those we follow in most modern societies.
  • Publication
    From Photon to Neuron: Contents and Preface
    (2017-01-01) Nelson, Philip C
    Contents; To the Student; To the Instructor
  • Publication
    The Plan of Athena
    (1995) Murnaghan, Sheila
    The Odyssey opens by dramatizing the Olympian negotiations behind its action, and the goddess Athena quickly emerges as the source and sponsor of the plot that follows. All of the gods except Poseidon are gathered in the halls of Zeus listening to his meditations on a story that is already concluded, the story of Agamemnon. Athena tactfully shifts Zeus' attention to the story that is on her mind, the still-unconcluded story of Odysseus. When Zeus allows that it is indeed time for Odys seus to return, she responds with a ready set of plans that constitute the two lines of action occupying the next twelve books of the poem: the adventures of Telemachos, initiated by her own visit to Ithaka in the guise of Mentes, and Odysseus' release from the island of Kalypso, initiated by Hermes sent as a messenger from Zeus (1.80- 95). At the end of that phase of the action, Athena takes an even more direct hand in events, meeting with Odysseus as he reaches the shore of Ithaka in Book 13 and devising with him the plot that will control the second half of the poem.
  • Publication
    Roman Homer
    (2004-01-01) Farrell, Joseph
    Latinists are accustomed to measuring Homer’s presence in Rome by his impact on Roman poetry. Epic looms largest in this regard, but most poetic genres can be regarded to some extent as derivatives of Homer. And even outside of poetry, Homer’s impact on Latin letters is not small. But the reception of Homer by Roman culture is a very widespread phenomenon that is hardly confined to literature. Homerising literature in Latin needs to be understood as part of a much broader and more pervasive Homeric presence in material culture and social practice. Abundant evidence from the material and social spheres shows that elite Romans lived in a world pervaded by Homer, and would have done whether Roman poets had interested themselves in Homer or not. That the poets did so should be regarded as an outgrowth of material and social considerations rather than as their source. This is not to challenge traditional ideas about the importance of literary–historical engagements with Homer by Livius Andronicus, Ennius, Virgil and others. Such ideas have been voiced many times, and each of these important authors is in his own way justified to claim the title of ‘the Roman Homer’. But habitual celebration of poetic achievement without due attention to the broader cultural milieu in which the poets worked has produced a very partial picture of Homer’s presence throughout Roman culture. Accordingly, in part one of this essay I will survey the nonliterary presence of Homer in Rome and elsewhere in Italy as a context for understanding Homeric elements in the realm of Roman literature. In the second half of the essay, I will proceed to literary evidence, but will focus on those aspects that look to the circulation of Homer in Roman social life, again as a context for more belletristic performances of Homer. In following this procedure, I do not mean to give short shrift to such monuments of Homeric culture as Ennius’ Annales and Virgil’s Aeneid. Rather, I hope to redress an imbalance between the use of literary and nonliterary evidence in assessing Homer’s impact at Rome.