Feature on H+U+D Faculty Fellow David Hartt—

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‘Of the moment’

This year alone four museums and two galleries are featuring work by artist and Professor David Hartt, including currently at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

Artist standing in museum gallery with his artwork installation
Artist David Hartt with his installation “The Histories” (Crépuscule) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the exhibition “New Grit: Art & Philly Now.” (Image: July 2021 when masks were not required.)

The woven tapestry that stretches nearly 21 feet across a Philadelphia Museum of Art gallery wall was created from two photographs taken by artist David Hartt in the spot in Jamaica where 19th-century landscape artist Frederic Edwin Church drew a series of sketches. The video playing on an adjacent screen was filmed in the location in Canada where Church sketched icebergs crashing into the sea. On the floor is a decades-old radio broadcasting an original music composition created to accompany the works.

Part of the Museum’s “New Grit: Art & Philly Now” exhibition, the multi-media artwork is the third in a cycle, titled “The Histories,” that Hartt has created and exhibited in the past three years.

And it is one of four museum exhibitions and two gallery shows featuring Hartt’s work in the United States just this year, including “Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and “A Colored Garden” at The Glass House museum in New Canaan, Connecticut.

His art is based on extensive historical research, connecting the past to the present through themes of race, culture, identity, migration. The works are made from varied materials, including photography, tapestry, video, music, instruments, furniture, plants, and even a currently blooming flower garden.

A dozen museums have acquired Hartt’s work for their collections, from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles to Amsterdam. And he has been noticed by the media, covered by The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Times, and art and architecture publications just this year.In June, Hartt, who started teaching at University of Pennsylvania in 2015, was promoted to associate professor of fine arts, with tenure, in the Stuart Weitzman School of Design.“

A lot of the work is intellectual labor, and it’s about researching and understanding the dimensions of a problem or concept,” Hartt says. “It’s really exciting to be at Penn because I treat the work as scholarship. I’m not interested in a masterpiece or the myth of an artist laboring quietly in isolation. It’s about engaging with the world and trying to understand and put forward the complexities that you encounter.”

An artist ‘at the top of his game

The “New Grit” exhibition, on view until Aug. 22, features 25 Philadelphia artists, including several from Penn, among them Ken Lum, chair of the Fine Arts Department, and Sharon Hayes, professor of fine arts.“I think it is vital to any fine arts department to have teachers who are producing and relevant and are contributing to the contemporary art dialogue,” Lum says, noting that Hartt’s art projects incorporate several disciplines taught at the School, including architecture, landscape, and historic preservation.

Artist standing in gallery looking at his installation
Hartt’s multi-media installation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, inspired by artworks from the 19th century, focuses on the slave trade route between the British colonies of Jamaica and Canada. 

“David is one of those artists. He is of the moment,” Lum says. “David is a player, showing in major exhibitions, and that is important as an example to our MFA students. Someone like David who is at the top of his game right now is invaluable for the department.”

As it turns out, Hartt was in the first college class Lum taught at the University of Ottawa, although Lum says he didn’t make the connection until after Hartt had secured the position at Penn. “There were a lot of professors there who could open your eyes to possibilities of art taking different forms, and Ken was one of them,” Hartt says.

Both Hartt and Lum are Canadian. “Trying to explain my own identity, it’s always more complicated than I’d like it to be,” Hartt says. Adopted by white, Jewish parents, he grew up in Montreal. His biological father is Black and biological mother is white.

“I have a bit of imposter syndrome,” says Hartt. “To grow up in a Black community and to experience a particular way of life and a particular set of cultural histories, is, for me, the root of Black identity.”

But he did not have those experiences. “The idea of passing for Black, but not having access to those histories or those experiences, always gives me a little bit of apprehension,” he says. “I don’t want to claim something that I don’t have any rights to claim.”

And yet he has found a way to emphasize Black history, artists, and experiences into his research, scholarship, and artworks. “I’m somebody who takes and borrows and blends all of these different kinds of cultural histories,” he says. “A lot of the work is the intersection where it suggests a blurring of lines or crossing, which allows for someone to occupy various positions simultaneously.”

‘The Histories’

Hartt’s installation “The Histories” (Crépuscule) in “New Grit” is based on a series of sketches that Church made of the tropical landscape at Kingston Bay in Jamaica in 1865 during the Civil War, and another series of sketches he made of glaciers in Newfoundland, Canada. The artwork, he says, examines routes and currents of the transatlantic slave trade through the two locations, both colonies of Great Britain.

“The Histories” installations include tapestries woven by a Belgian firm based on Hartt’s photographs. 

The photo-like tapestry was woven by a firm in Belgium, one of the few that will make one three meters wide, Hartt says. “It’s a photograph with literally millions of colors interpreted into hundreds of individual fibers,” he says. “They’re chosen based on their color value, their density, for contrast, and for detail, and also their reflectivity.”

Because of the pandemic, Hartt couldn’t travel to Canada to shoot the video of the melting icebergs in June as he had planned, so he hired a local photographer. “I gave him all of the reference images and then I actually shipped up my camera lenses and everything just so that he could shoot it in a very, very specific way,” he says.

The commissioned music playing on the retro Panasonic radio in the exhibit was created by Berlin-based techno musician Pole based on a piece written by Jamaican music composer Oswald Russell in 1969 for a Swiss-French film. “It’s his own production techniques but the music is deeply inspired by traditions,” says Hartt. “The scores are always meant to be experienced in conjunction with the work.”

The three installations of “The Histories,” he says, “are all in conversation with each other.” Each includes a tapestry created from Hartt’s photographs, his video, original commissioned music, and additional elements, including tropical plants, hand-made furniture, even a Steinway piano.

The first in the cycle, “Le Mancenillier” in 2019, funded by a Pew Arts & Heritage grant, was at the Beth Sholom Synagogue in the Elkins Park neighborhood of Philadelphia. The second, “Old Black Joe” in 2020, was at the Corbett vs Dempsey gallery in Chicago, and is opening Aug. 21 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

The cycle’s name is from Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, who detailed the movement of people and alliances in the Mediterranean. Hartt transposes the geography to the Caribbean in relationship to the Americas, and the time period to the 19th century.“

And the reason being is that the psychic and physical infrastructure of today is rooted in that century, the formation of colonial empires, the mass migration, both for economic opportunity, but also as a result of slavery of different peoples,” Hartt says. “And so, the world, as we know it, really began to take shape in terms of the displacement and the occupation of land, by specific peoples that didn’t have any history there.”

In each he chose what he calls a cipher, pioneering artists, many of them Black, who “set the framework for thinking through formal aspects of how this cycle might unfold … an individual who could help me see in a very personal way and understand through their connections and through their social networks that moment in time.”

Circuitous path

History forms the foundation of Hartt’s artworks, even though he says he nearly flunked out of the University of Ottawa as a history major. While working part-time as a dishwasher, he met a student in the fine arts department who explained that photography is a college major. Hartt’s mother had shared her love of photography with him, turning their downstairs bathroom into a darkroom, but he had thought of it as a hobby.

He saved up some money and took his camera on a tour of Egypt. “From those images I put together a portfolio of work to apply to the bachelor of fine arts program,” he says. “Once I was in, I realized I was home.”

screen showing icebergs and a radio
Hartt’s artworks often include video and music. In the “New Grit” exhibition, an original composition is actually broadcast on channel 87.5 in a 200-foot radius, referencing pre-internet global communications. 

Hartt chose the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for his master’s degree. During his second year he had a part-time, grant-funded curatorial position at the Institute’s photography department. But after graduating in 1994, full-time curatorial work was hard to find.

Work that was easier to find, and paid well, was coding for the nascent internet. “I was really interested in graphic design and this kind of emerging set of technologies,” he says.

His soon-to-be wife wanted to be a fashion designer, so they moved to New York City and he worked for 17 years in the design and advertising field, as an art director and a creative director, overseeing campaigns for large consumer brands.

“I actually abandoned my art practice,” Hartt says.The couple bought and renovated a brownstone in Brooklyn. “We both had these great jobs where we were earning lots of money,” he says. “We were living the dream.”

But when the first of their two sons was born, their priorities changed. “It’s like we’d lost track,” he says. “So, over the next year we sold the house, quit our jobs, and left New York.”

First to his wife’s hometown of Detroit, and then to Chicago. That’s when Hartt decided to focus on making art, and where he found his first artistic successes. His first museum show was at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and then came the first acquisition, the first gallery association, and a string of awards and grants and fellowships.“

I realized how much I enjoyed it,” Hartt says. “I realized that financially I had a choice. I could leave the safety of my career in design and tech. So I did. I left that behind me and worked full time as an artist.”

Finding Penn

His father was a philosophy professor, and so it was natural for Hartt to explore teaching, first a studio class at the Art Institute and at the Ox-Bow School of Art, and then a summer photography class at Bard College. But lack of conventional teaching experience thwarted his traditional job search. Until he found a match at Penn’s School of Design, recruited by Anita Allen, now vice provost for faculty, and then-dean Marilyn Jordan Taylor.

“I think Penn is a really wonderful home for me because my practice is situated in a place that values research and scholarship. And so it’s more than just teaching, it’s about being part of an intellectual community,” Hartt says. “I think what’s unique about Penn is that each of us are so distinctly different in our practices that the graduate students can see all of these possibilities of what it means to be an artist.”

Hartt teaches a variety of courses, some available to both graduate and undergraduate students. One of those he named Defense Against the Dark Arts: “What does it mean to think and be, and make, in response to contemporary conditions as an artist? It deals with how contemporary artists respond to moments of crisis,” he says.

Starting in 1968, the course hits different geographical locations and historical moments through readings and screenings and music, students each choose a period to focus on to create a project. “It’s a really beautiful lens through which to understand a specific cultural history,” Hartt says. “They might pick a place in a time that you don’t know but that resonates with them.”

Now an artist and teacher based in Brooklyn, Fields Harrington took that class when he was an MFA student at Penn. “One thing I noticed with David is a closeness of reading the work or text, the attention to the details,” he says.

Harrington, who graduated in 2019, also worked as an intern with Hartt, and one day listened to “Black Secret Technology,” an album that had an immediate impact on his artistic vision, inspiring him to incorporate patents by African American inventors in his drawings and videos.“

We listened to that start to finish, just the two of us in the studio, and that was a huge influence on the work I began to make,” Harrington says. “David was very supportive and thoughtful in how he engaged with students’ work.”

‘The possibility of art’

Hartt says he has been creating artworks constantly for more than 10 years, working two to three years ahead, so the attention on current exhibitions is not his focus. “I just feel incredibly grateful that I can keep working and that those opportunities are there,” he says.

Hartt’s installation “A Colored Garden” at The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, is created with everblooming flowers, based on a 19th-century painting. (Image: David Heald)

But there has been quite a buzz about the current exhibition, “A Colored Garden” at The Glass House museum, that opened in April and runs through Nov. 15.

He researched the property’s topographical surveys and site maps and learned there once were extensive gardens. So, he created a new garden, a 40-foot circle of flowers, inspired by the still life paintings of Connecticut native Charles Ethan Porter.“

It was a response to what I saw as dormant histories within landscape,” Hartt says. “I created a matrix with all the different flowers so there would be an overlap, moving from spring to fall with the garden constantly in bloom.”

Architect Philip Johnson designed and built the modernist house and donated it to the National Trust for Historic Preservation upon his death in 2005. “Johnson was famous during his life for having these fabulous salons, inviting some of the best practitioners in the fields of dance, architecture, and art, who would come and discuss and theorize at these garden parties,” Hartt says. “It was overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male. And I thought, well, what happens if this house is occupied by a different kind of person?”

Hartt plans to shoot a film in the garden in September featuring Tomika Reid, a cellist who is African American, as a character who wanders the gardens while composing and playing a piece of music.

“This is the possibility of art. Art isn’t governed by the same orthodoxies that can limit thinking and possibilities within other fields,” he says. “Nobody’s setting rules within art. So, it’s wherever your curiosity takes you. I think for me, the satisfaction is making connections, making it matter, making it mean something.”

CREDITS

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Article reposted from Penn Today (https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/Artist-David-Hartt)

Feature on H+U+D Anchor Institution Seminar with Taller Puertorriqueño—

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COMMUNITY BUILDERS | Omnia

Daniel Morales-Armstrong, William Fontaine Fellow of Africana Studies and History, helms a course designed to lead students in a collaborative engagement with a local Philadelphian community.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

By Blake Cole

Daniel Morales-Armstrong, William Fontaine Fellow of Africana Studies and History

As an instructor of a seminar that focuses on community, Daniel Morales-Armstrong didn’t want to waste any time getting boots to the ground.

“In our pandemic reality, it’s easy to say, ‘Okay, we’re looking at this area, let’s hop online and let’s get the Google satellite images.’ But you need to be in a place to feel the place, while also, of course, being safe,” says Morales-Armstrong, William Fontaine Fellow of Africana Studies and History. “It’s the sounds, it’s the sights, it’s the people. It’s the way that the public space is utilized and is the grounds for a multidirectional conversation.”

The seminar, “The Inclusive City: Participatory Design at Taller Puertorriqueño,” which took place during the spring 2021 semester, grew out of the Humanities + Urbanism + Design Initiative (HUD), a collaboration between Penn Arts & Sciences, the Weitzman School of Design, and the Penn Institute for Urban Research. HUD bridges the humanities and design disciplines to create a vehicle to both stimulate inter- and multi-disciplinary work on diversity and inclusion in the built environment, and build an increasingly diverse and inclusive community of scholars who do this work. HUD accomplishes this through co-taught courses, a colloquium, undergraduate and graduate fellowships, a postdoctoral junior fellowship, and more. The initiative, which was launched by an award from The Andrew Mellon Foundation in 2013, was founded by Eugenie Birch, Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education in the Weitzman School, and David Brownlee, Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor Emeritus of 19th-Century European Art.

The Taller seminar belongs to HUD’s anchor institution course series. “The idea here is sort of a double connection. On the one hand bringing together the humanities and design to think about urban issues, and then on the other hand, connecting Penn students and faculty with an institution that already exists in the city to get us actually out there,” says Andrea Goulet, Professor of Romance Languages, who has been a fellow in the program over the last six years, and is now the co-director alongside Franca Trubiano, Associate Professor of Architecture in the Weitzman School. Past seminars have included anchor institutions such as the Eastern State Penitentiary and the Philadelphia African American Museum.

Charrette participants and Inclusive City students facilitate charrette brainstorming sessions.

The Taller seminar provided students across diverse fields a means to explore and examine Philadelphia as a laboratory for the study of diversity, equality, and inclusion. Taller Puertorriqueño, the anchor institution, is a community-based cultural organization whose primary purpose is to preserve, develop, and promote Puerto Rican arts and culture in the City of Philadelphia. Students built a portfolio of new skills, including neighborhood mapping, navigating the organization’s archives, and participating in a unique form of design-focused community brainstorming called “charette.”

Morales-Armstrong, a long-time educator and historian whose work focuses on Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and the African Diaspora in the Americas, was a perfect fit for teaching the course. “I wear several hats and I think that this course was a wonderful way to bring many of those into conversation with each other in the real world, in Penn, and in Philadelphia,” he says.

The class was enriched by its students’ unique scholarly pursuits, as well as their personal journeys, Morales-Armstrong says. “As an interdisciplinary and exploratory course, I wanted to establish early on with the students that whatever level of expertise, or lack thereof, they had in the featured disciplines was fine—that they didn’t need to come to this experience with X,Y,Z knowledge,” he notes. “The concepts that the Taller folks and community members had been emphasizing aligned with many of the concepts that we discussed in our class—conversations about space and storytelling and whose versions of local history get told. The students brought in many of their own experiential in terms of their upbringing or the cities where they live, or their experiences moving to Philadelphia. They also generatively introduced some more disciplinarized thoughts to our discussions and final project.”

One of the methodological skills the students developed during the seminar, archival analysis, spoke to Morales-Armstrong’s academic background as a historian. Taller’s archives date back to the mid-1970s, and provided students with a unique opportunity to dig through Philadelphia history. One of the major projects Taller pursued early in its history, now housed in the archives, was a massive oral history project, which included near 100 interviews.

Participants design a draft during charrette.

“It was about how folks in that community see their relationship to Philadelphia, Puerto Rico, and the changes on an intergenerational level,” Morales-Armstrong says. “It was a multifaceted project that included elements of class, race, location, gender – all lenses that figured prominently in our conversations this semester.”

Morales-Armstrong stresses that developing and facilitating the community brainstorming activity—the charette—was at the core of the course. A charrette is defined as a collaborative design activity that brings together community members and stakeholders in a time-bound, focus-intensive session to draft an aspect of a communal project. Students drew on course discussions, experiences, and methodological trainings to craft a charette to support the goals of Taller’s Memorializing Fairhill project, an initiative designed to map and capture local histories into permanent physical markers in the area around the anchor institution, meant to engage new audiences and deepen community engagement. With this in mind, the students crafted a plan that aligned with Taller’s goals.

Through the charette, students facilitated two brainstorming sessions with the Memorializing Fairhill committee, a group consisting of Taller staff, community historians, and local residents. The session focused on developing potential marker designs and a corresponding interactive map to be installed in the atrium of Taller’s El Corazón Cultural Center. Students asked the participants to not only think about examples of what the markers could be (for instance, community altars or bus shelters), but to collaboratively design, present, and discuss their detailed first drafts. In the map drafting discussion, groups of participants imaginatively deployed approaches to telling the Fairhill community’s history. One map draft included an interactive timeline of Fairhill history, with a particular focus on the evolution and makeup of the workers, while another offered thematically-grouped neighborhood tours of present-day Fairhill sites.

“A lot of times we get caught up in these ideas of saying, ‘Well, let’s discuss and discuss and discuss until the wheels fall off,’ but the design of the charrette directs the day’s discussions towards getting something down on paper. Those drafted designs are particularly useful because they can then be revisited, reconsidered, or even redirected in future meetings,” says Morales-Armstrong. “That was a generative learning experience for all of us in the room.”

Charrette participant presents design to group.

Morales-Armstrong notes that part of what happened over the course of the activity was developing a greater comfort among the participants in fleshing out their ideas and saying what was on their mind. “There were these clarifying moments of saying, ‘Our role here is to facilitate the drafts, as opposed to populating them. The conversation is about what the stakeholders would like to bring to life.’ That was, I think, an impactful exercise for all involved.”

The results of the charrette were turned into a book called, The Inclusive City Charrette Analysis, in direct alignment with the Memorializing Fairhill project’s goal of creating an archive of its proceedings. “It was interesting because in those moments, you have an anchor institution which has power and influence in the community, engaging with the university, which is also an institution that has great power and influence in the city,” says Morales-Armstrong. “We were mindful, always, about those dynamics: just as working with Taller offered the students an opportunity to develop site-specific knowledge and methodological skills, we wanted to make sure the course’s final project was a tangible product that would be directly beneficial to Taller, especially in terms specified by the anchor institution.

The next planned anchor institution seminar will revolve around the Lazaretto Building in Philadelphia, the first quarantine hospital in the U.S., built in 1799, which served as the gateway to Philadelphia in a crucial period of the nation’s growth. The faculty instructor will be David Barnes, Associate Professor of History and Sociology of Science, an expert on the site and its history.

Source: https://omnia.sas.upenn.edu/story/community-builders

H+U+D Seeking Graduate Student Research Proposals for 2021-22—

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H+U+D Seeking Graduate Student Research Proposals for 2021-22

Deadline: May 31, 2021

The Project in Humanities, Urbanism, and Design (H+U+D), invites graduate students to submit research proposals for Academic Year 2021-22. Small grants will be awarded to support projects that align with the mission of the H+U+D project.

H+U+D is a joint effort among the Schools of Arts and Sciences (SAS) and Design (PennDesign), and the Penn Institute of Urban Research (Penn IUR) whose objective is to promote synergies among the humanities and design disciplines. Beginning in 2018, the initiative takes “The Inclusive City” as its theme, focusing on issues of inclusivity and diversity. For more information on the initiative see: http://www.humanitiesurbanismdesign.com/

Graduate Research

Small research grants will be awarded to support interdisciplinary design/humanities projects undertaken by graduate students in humanities and design disciplines that focus on the built environment. Eligible research must draw from both humanities and design disciplines. Examples of eligible work include master’s thesis projects, independent study projects, and doctoral dissertation research. Preference will be given to projects related to the “Inclusive City” theme. The maximum award is $2,000 per proposal. Allowable research expenses include travel, archival charges, photography, books, research supplies and equipment. Examples of previously funded student projects are available to review here: http://www.humanitiesurbanismdesign.com/publication_category/student-research-2/

Application Instructions

The application should include

  • Research project proposal (maximum: 500 words)
  • Short itemized budget
  • Unofficial Penn transcript
  • Letter or recommendation from sponsoring faculty member, requested by the applicant via the Letter of Recommendation Request Form

Submit your proposal no later than May 31, 2021, to the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF)via the student application:

https://www.curf.upenn.edu/content/project-humanities-urbanism-and-design.

A special awards sub-committee will review proposals, and funds will be transferred to successful applicants’ departments for disbursement. Questions? Contact Andrea Goulet (agoulet@sas.upenn.edu) or Daniel A. Barber (barberda@design.upenn.edu)

 

H+U+D Invites Applications for Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellowships (2021-22)—

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H+U+D Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellows, 2021-22

Application deadline: May 31, 2021

The initiative in Humanities, Urbanism, and Design (H+U+D) at the University of Pennsylvania is a ten-year project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to foster critical and integrative consideration of the relationship between the humanities and the design professions in the analysis and shaping of the built environment. Under the renewed grant (beginning in 2108), the initiative takes “The Inclusive City” as its theme, focusing on issues of inclusivity and diversity. The program has a number of component parts, including a bi-weekly Faculty Colloquium, the sponsorship of graduate and undergraduate courses, student research funding, an Undergraduate Research Colloquium, special lectures, participation in conferences, a Doctoral Dissertation (ABD) Fellowship program, and a Junior (postdoc) Fellowship program. For more information on the initiative see: http://www.humanitiesurbanismdesign.com/

Undergraduate Research

Applications are now invited for the Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellowship program for Fall 2021. The renewed program places increased emphasis on the nurturing and mentoring of undergraduate researchers, ranging from sophomores to seniors. The program supports researchers who are working on topics dealing with the built environment of cities, landscapes, and architecture with attention to inclusivity and diversity and who wish to expand the inter-, trans-, and multidisciplinary character of their projects.

In addition to the pursuit of independent research on topics of their choosing under the sponsorship of a faculty advisor, awardees will be meet monthly in the fall semester in a non-credit workshop setting (the Mellon Undergraduate Research Colloquium) under the mentorship of two faculty members of the H+U+D Colloquium. The Colloquium will host speakers, make excursions, and share the work of its members. In the spring, Undergraduate Colloquium members will be invited to continue their research in the established, credit-bearing Undergraduate Urban Research Colloquium (UURC), which is sponsored by the Penn Institute for Urban Research (IUR).https://www.curf.upenn.edu/content/penn-undergraduate-urban-research-colloquium

For the Academic Year 2021-22, the H+U+D initiative will award 6-8 fellowships to students in the schools of Arts and Sciences, Design, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Nursing and Wharton. H+U+D will select the fellows on the basis of the applicant’s expressed research interests in design, humanities or humanistic social sciences. Each fellowship carries a research grant of up to $2,000.

The Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellowship program is also advertised through the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) and in cooperation with the recruitment efforts of Penn’s Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, whose awards are made to “minority students and others with a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities” (https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/mmuf-about.php).

Eligibility

Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors in any major in SAS, Design, Nursing, SEAS and Wharton are eligible. The research project must deal with the built environment (cities, landscapes, and architecture), with preference for projects dealing with

  • inclusivity and diversity
  • inter-, trans-, and multidisciplinary study in design, the humanities, and humanistic social sciences.

Application Instructions

The Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) administers the Mellon Undergraduate Research Colloquium. All applications are due by 4:00 PM on May 31, 2021, including letters of recommendation (see next section).

The application should include

  • Research project proposal (maximum: 500 words)
  • Short itemized budget
  • Unofficial Penn transcript
  • Letter of recommendation from sponsoring faculty member, requested by the applicant via the Letter of Recommendation Request Form

H+U+D Invites Applications for 2021-22 Mellon Doctoral Dissertation Fellows—

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Mellon Doctoral Dissertation Fellows 2021-22

Application deadline: February 28, 2021

The initiative in Humanities, Urbanism, and Design (H+U+D) at the University of Pennsylvania is a ten-year project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to foster critical and integrative consideration of the relationship between the humanities and the design professions in the analysis and shaping of the built environment. Under the renewed grant (which began in 2018), the initiative takes “The Inclusive City” as its theme, focusing on issues of inclusivity and diversity. The program has a number of component parts, including a bi-weekly Faculty Colloquium, the sponsorship of graduate and undergraduate courses, student research funding, an Undergraduate Colloquium, special lectures, participation in conferences, a Doctoral Dissertation (ABD) Fellowship program, and a Junior (postdoc) Fellowship program. For more information on the initiative see: http://www.humanitiesurbanismdesign.com/

Applications are now invited for two one-year Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships to be held in 2021-22. One fellow will be selected from humanities and humanistic social science graduate groups in the School of Arts and Sciences, and one will be selected from the School of Design.

Mellon Doctoral Dissertation Fellows will be selected on the basis of the excellence of their work and their ability to contribute to the mission of the initiative. Preference will be given to projects related to the “Inclusive City” theme.

Eligibility

Applications are invited from doctoral students in good standing at the University of Pennsylvania in all humanistic and design disciplines whose work deals with the built environment of cities, landscapes, and architecture and who wish to expand its inter-, trans-, and multidisciplinary character. Applicants must have completed three years of study and attained “ABD” (all-but-dissertation) status by May 31, 2021. Awards made prior to the attainment of ABD status are contingent on that attainment.

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices.

Terms of appointment

The fellowship stipend is $30,300. Enrollment in the university’s graduate student health insurance program will be provided for the fellow, but not for family and dependents. Tuition and fees will be paid by the fellow’s school.

During the academic year of the award (August 31–May 10), fellows are required to be in residence in Philadelphia and work full time on their dissertation project. They must participate in the bi-weekly H+U+D Faculty Colloquium and present their research at one of its sessions.

Application Guidelines

Applications and letters of reference must be received by 11:59 P.M. EST on February 28, 2021. All materials should be sent to Ms. Alisa Chiles, H+U+D Program Manager (mellon-hud-initiative@groups.sas.upenn.edu).

Applications should be assembled as one PDF comprising:

  1. cover sheet (Word document template available here: HUD Doctoral Fellow_Application Cover Sheet 2021-22)
  2. curriculum vitae
  3. unofficial Penn transcript
  4. short dissertation proposal (1000 words maximum)

Your PDF and the email that conveys it should be titled <Your last name> HUD application; e.g., Applicantname HUD application

Also arrange for the following two supporting letters to be sent by the February 28 deadline:

  1. a letter of endorsement from the chair of your Graduate Group, certifying your ABD status
  2. a letter of reference from your dissertation advisor, discussing your research proposal

These must be sent directly to Ms. Chiles (mellon-hud-initiative@groups.sas.upenn.edu). The letters should be in the form of PDFs, and the PDFs and the emails that conveys them should be titled <applicant’s last name>_<Reference writer’s last name> HUD reference;

e.g., Applicantname_Advisorname HUD reference

 

Address Questions to

Daniel A. Barber  barberda@design.upenn.edu

and Andrea Goulet  agoulet@sas.upenn.edu

 

Download Application Cover Sheet

HUD Doctoral Fellow_Application Cover Sheet 2021-22

H+U+D Invites Applications for 2021-22 Junior Fellows—

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Mellon Junior Fellows 2021-22

Application deadline: January 29, 2021

The initiative in Humanities, Urbanism, and Design (H+U+D) at the University of Pennsylvania is a ten-year project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to foster critical and integrative considerations of the relationship between the humanities and the design professions in the analysis and shaping of the built environment. Under the renewed grant (beginning in 2018), the initiative takes “The Inclusive City” as its theme, focusing on issues of inclusivity and diversity. The program has a number of component parts, including a bi-weekly Faculty Colloquium, the sponsorship of graduate and undergraduate courses, student research funding, an Undergraduate Colloquium, special lectures, participation in conferences, a Doctoral Dissertation (ABD) Fellowship program, and a Junior Fellowship program. For more information on the initiative see: https://www.humanitiesurbanismdesign.com

Applications are now invited for two one-year Junior Fellowships to be held in 2021-22. One fellow will be selected from the humanities and one from design-related fields such as planning, architecture, and landscape. Each will be hosted at Penn by a department in the other discipline.

Mellon Junior Fellows will be selected on the basis of their ability to contribute, through research and teaching, to the interdisciplinary aims of the initiative. Preference will be given to projects related to the “Inclusive City” theme. During their nine months in residence, Junior Fellows will have the opportunity to pursue their own research. They will participate in the bi- weekly Colloquium, present their research at one of the Colloquium sessions, and will participate fully in the academic life of their host departments. In the spring semester they will teach an undergraduate seminar, which may be co-taught by the two fellows.

Eligibility

Applications are invited from junior scholars in all humanistic and design disciplines whose work deals with the built environment of cities, landscapes, and architecture, in relation to the Mellon initiative’s theme focusing on diversity and inclusion. Applicants for 2021-22 will hold a PhD that was defended no later than December 2020 and who will have held the PhD degree for no longer that 10 years on September 1, 2021. Candidates may hold tenure-track positions but may not be tenured at the time of application or during the fellowship year. Applications are welcome from scholars of all nationalities and academic affiliations.

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices.

Terms of appointment

The fellowship stipend is $55,000. Health insurance will be provided for fellows but not for family and dependents. Fellows may employ the stipend to supplement their sabbatical salaries. As participants in the Colloquium, they will receive a research fund of $2,500, which will be disbursed according to University guidelines.

Fellows are required to be in residence in Philadelphia during the academic year in which the fellowship takes place (August 31, 2021–May 16, 2022).

Application Guidelines

Applications and letters of reference must be received by January 29, 2021. These materials should be sent to Ms. Alisa Chiles, H+U+D Program Manager (mellon-hud-initiative@groups.sas.upenn.edu).

Applications should be assembled as one PDF comprising

1. cover sheet (template is downloadable here: HUD Junior Fellow Application Cover Sheet)

2. curriculum vitae

3. research proposal (750 words maximum)

4. undergraduate seminar proposal (200-word description plus syllabus)

Your PDF and the email that conveys it should be titled <Your last name> HUD application; e.g., Chakrabarty HUD application

Also arrange to have three letters of reference, which discuss your research proposal, sent directly to Ms. Chiles (mellon-hud-initiative@groups.sas.upenn.edu) by the application due date of January 29. The letters should be in the form of PDFs, and the PDFs and the emails that convey them should be titled

<Your last name>_<Reference writer’s last name> HUD reference; e.g., Chakrabarty_Ramirez HUD reference

Address questions to

Daniel A. Barber barberda@design.upenn.edu or Andrea Goulet agoulet@sas.upenn.edu

Download Application Cover Sheet

HUD Junior Fellow Application Cover Sheet

Nancy Steinhardt teaching H+U+D City Seminar “Tang China and Nara Japan” in Spring 2021—

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Spring 2021 H+U+D City Seminar

EALC 220/620: Tang China and Nara Japan

Nancy S. Steinhardt, Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations (School of Arts and Sciences), will be teaching a mixed undergraduate/graduate seminar called Tang China and Nara Japan in the spring semester. It focuses on the 7th-10th-century Chinese capital Chang’an and the 8th-century Japanese capital Nara, the cities as well as art and architecture around them. The seminar will be taught synchronously on Tuesday evenings from 7-10 p.m. and will include a guest lecture by Zhongjie Lin, City and Regional Planning (Design).

Click below for more info:

Tang-Nara_Seminar Prospectus

New Book, “Perspectives on Fair Housing” (2020), co-edited by H+U+D Faculty Fellow Vincent Reina—

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University of Pennsylvania Press has published Perspectives on Fair Housing (2020), a volume co-edited by H+U+D Fellow Vincent Reina, Penn Provost Wendell Pritchett, and Penn IUR co-director Susan Wachter.

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, known as the Fair Housing Act, prohibited discrimination in the sale, rent, and financing of housing based on race, religion, and national origin. However, manifold historical and contemporary forces, driven by both governmental and private actors, have segregated these protected classes by denying them access to homeownership or housing options in high-performing neighborhoods. Perspectives on Fair Housing argues that meaningful government intervention continues to be required in order to achieve a housing market in which a person’s background does not arbitrarily restrict access.

The essays in this volume address how residential segregation did not emerge naturally from minority preference but rather how it was forced through legal, economic, social, and even violent measures. Contributors examine racial land use and zoning practices in the early 1900s in cities like Atlanta, Richmond, and Baltimore; the exclusionary effects of single-family zoning and its entanglement with racially motivated barriers to obtaining credit; and the continuing impact of mid-century “redlining” policies and practices on public and private investment levels in neighborhoods across American cities today. Perspectives on Fair Housing demonstrates that discrimination in the housing market results in unequal minority households that, in aggregate, diminish economic prosperity across the country.

Amended several times to expand the protected classes to include gender, families with children, and people with disabilities, the FHA’s power relies entirely on its consistent enforcement and on programs that further its goals. Perspectives on Fair Housing provides historical, sociological, economic, and legal perspectives on the critical and continuing problem of housing discrimination and offers a review of the tools that, if appropriately supported, can promote racial and economic equity in America.

In conjunction with the publication, Penn IUR is also hosting a related six-part Livestream series, “Perspectives on Fair Housing: Critical Discussions at a Critical Time,” led by Vincent Reina. The series will borrow its structure from the book and each event will feature a panel discussion with some of the nation’s top fair housing scholars, focusing on one aspect of fair housing.

The series will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. over three weeks beginning October 13.

  • October 13: The first event will focus on the history of the 1968 Fair Housing Act (FHA) and will feature a discussion on both the historical significance of the FHA and its implications for fair housing today.
  • October 15: The second event will focus on the complex relationship between fair housing and sociology with a particular emphasis on the way that a lack of fair housing has affected individuals and communities and exacerbated unequal access to neighborhoods and networks.
  • October 20: The third event will focus on the economic importance of fair housing, which has a direct link to wealth creation for households as well as economic development and growth for communities and regions.
  • October 22: The fourth event will focus on location and education, drawing links between fair housing, access to schools, and investments in schools.
  • October 27: The fifth event will focus on the legal significance of the FHA, which represents one of the most notable legislative achievements of the civil rights movement, but which also features limitations that challenge the government’s capacity for proactively advancing fair housing.
  • October 29: The final event will acknowledge the many groups not protected by the FHA, focusing in particular on how future fair housing efforts can place greater emphasis on the issues of gender and sexual identity.

Register at penniur.upenn.edu

Click here for more info

 

 

Monument Lab, founded by H+U+D Faculty Fellow Ken Lum and Paul Farber, Receives $4M Grant from the Mellon Foundation—

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Monument Lab the public art and history studio co-founded by Ken Lum, H+U+D Faculty Fellow and the Marilyn Jordan Taylor Presidential Professor and Chair of Fine Arts at Penn’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design, and Paul Farber, a lecturer in fine arts and senior research scholar at Penn’s Center for Public Art and Space, has received a transformative $4 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The grant, entitled “Beyond the Pedestal: Tracing and Transforming America’s Monuments,” will support the production of a definitive audit of the nation’s monuments; the opening of ten Monument Lab field research offices through $1 million of subgrants in 2021; and capacity for Monument Lab to hire its first full-time staff and develop significant art and justice initiatives.

The grant is the first from a new $250 million “Monuments Project” from the Mellon Foundation, the largest in the organization’s history, created “to transform the way our country’s histories are told in public spaces.”

Monument Lab was founded in 2012, inspired by an Urban Studies course that Farber taught during the 2012-2013 academic year. It works with artists, students, activists, municipal agencies, and cultural institutions on participatory approaches to public engagement and collective memory. In 2017, Monument Lab spearheaded the largest outdoor art project in Philadelphia, featuring temporary monuments designed by 22 artists from around the world. Produced with Mural Arts Philadelphia, the city-wide exhibition featured temporary prototype monuments  across 10 sites in Philadelphia and network of labs where visitors were asked to envision future monuments.

Today, Monument Lab cultivates and facilitates critical conversations around the past, present, and future of monuments, both in the United States and abroad. Through exhibitions, research programs, and fellowships, Monument Lab critically engages our inherited symbols in order to unearth the next generation of monuments that elevate stories of resistance and hope.

“Monuments are symbolic objects linked to the construction of cultural memory and to the self-image of a place or a nation that need to be examined critically to assure that history in all its multiplicity is articulated,” Lum said in a Weitzman School press release. “That is the project of Monument Lab.”

H+U+D Junior Fellow Syantani Chatterjee’s co-edited series for Political and Legal Anthropological Review (PoLAR) launches—

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H+U+D Junior Fellow Syantani Chatterjee has co-edited an online series with Natasha Raheja for the Political and Legal Anthropological Review (PoLAR). The series, which recently launched, focuses on the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019 (CAA) in India. The CAA was signed into law amid nationwide protests. This series was an attempt to capture that moment of immense civil mobilizations all over India that continued until the pandemic-induced emergency curfews shut them down. Through a set of 15 contributions, as editors, Syantani and Natasha tried to explore the possibilities of solidarity, and limits thereof, of civil mobilizations of this magnitude. They also explore the potential for questions of citizenship to persist as both an ideal of formal equality as well as a mechanism for the elaboration of social inequity.

Here is a link to the series:

Protesters hold placards at a demonstration against Indias new citizenship law in Mumbai on December 19, 2019. – Indians defied bans on assembly on December 19 in cities nationwide as anger swells against a citizenship law seen as discriminatory against Muslims, following days of protests, clashes and riots that have left six dead. Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images.