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


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—


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

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—


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—


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.

H+U+D Welcomes Junior Fellows and Dissertation Fellows for 2020-21—


The Mellon Humanities, Urbanism and Design Initiative at Penn (H+U+D) is pleased to announce the arrival of its two Junior Fellows and two Mellon Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for the 2020-21 academic year.

H+U+D Junior Fellows

Dr. Tyeshia Redden and Dr. Syantani Chatterjee have been named H+U+D Junior Fellows for 2020-21. They were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants from the humanities and design disciplines. In keeping with the mission of H+U+D to bring together scholars and students to explore cities at the intersection of the humanities and design, Dr. Redden, a scholar of race studies and housing policy, is being hosted by the School of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Chatterjee, an anthropologist, is hosted by the Stuart Weitzman School of Design. Both Junior Fellows will participate in the H+U+D Faculty Colloquium and teach interdisciplinary undergraduate seminars in their academic host departments in Spring 2020.

  • Tyeshia Redden

Ty Redden joins the Mellon H+U+D Initiative from Gettysburg College, where she was Assistant Professor of Africana Studies. She is a graduate of Savannah State University and the University of Florida, having earned a Ph.D. in Design, Construction & Planning with specializations in race studies and housing policy. Her research explores development-forced displacement driven by mega-sporting events. Ty is a frequent presenter at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the Urban Affairs annual conferences, and is co-author of “Building the Foundation for Arnstein’s Ladder: Community Empowerment through a Participatory Neighborhood Narrative Process” in the forthcoming volume, Learning from Arnstein’s Ladder: From Citizen Participation to Public Engagement (co-edited by M. Lauria and C. Slotterback). She is appointed in the Department of Africana Studies (School of Arts and Sciences).

  • Syantani Chatterjee

Syantani Chatterjee, who recently completed her PhD in Anthropology at Columbia University, is an anthropologist specializing in questions of urban citizenship and belonging in India. Her book project, which builds on her dissertation, examines the social worlds of the residents of Shivaji Nagar (Mumbai), also known as “Bombay’s Gas Chamber.” Her interest in exposure, and embodiment is reflected in her earlier field research among commercial gestational surrogates in India. In her award-winning Master’s Thesis at Columbia University, Caste in a New Mold: The rematerializing of caste in the biomedical universe of commercial surrogacy in India, she studied the emergence of new configurations of caste, and the endurance of earlier forms of the same in contemporary India, from within biomedical practices and discourses. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Chatterjee worked as a journalist for Reuters, the Associated Press and CNN.  Her scholarship has received generous support from the American Institute for Indian Studies, Columbia University’s Lindt Dissertation Fellowship, and other endowments. Her publications appear in the International Journal of Labor and Working Class History, and PoLAR. She is appointed in the Department of Landscape Architecture (Weitzman School of Design).


H+U+D “Inclusive City” Colloquium Begins Year Three and Welcomes Six New Members—


Since 2018, we have embarked on the new five-year Humanities, Urbanism, and Design (H+U+D) project, “The Inclusive City, Past, Present, and Future.” With the renewed $1.5 million Mellon grant, we are continuing to build on the foundation of the first project (2013-18) while focusing on the theme of inclusivity and diversity both in what we study and teach and in who we are. Fifteen faculty from departments across both the Weitzman School of Design and the School of Arts and Sciences were appointed to the Faculty Colloquium in 2018 and met bi-weekly for the last two years in a supportive and multi-disciplinary setting.H+U+D kicked off the third year of the “Inclusive City” Colloquium with a virtual Zoom meeting on September 11, 2020. This fall, we officially welcomed Andrea Goulet (French and Francophone Studies, School of Arts and Sciences) as one of the new co-directors of the H+U+D Initiative. The initiative also accepted six new faculty members into the colloquium from both humanities and design disciplines, who join several returning members. New members include: Brent Cebul (History, School of Arts and Sciences), Nancy Steinhardt (East Asian Languages and Civilizations, School of Arts and Sciences), Jorge Téllez (Romance Languages, School of Arts and Sciences), Randy Mason (Historic Preservation, Weitzman School of Design), Akira Drake Rodriguez (City and Regional Planning, Weitzman School of Design), and Domenic Vitiello (City and Regional Planning, Weitzman School of Design). For more information on the H+U+D Faculty Colloquium members, click here.

The new “Inclusive City” Colloquium faculty cohort is joined by two Junior Fellows, Dr. Tyeshia Redden and Dr. Syantani Chatterjee, as well as two Doctoral Dissertation Fellows, Rui Castro and Aaron Bartels-Swindells, who have been appointed for the 2020-21 academic year.

All of the Fall 2020 semester H+U+D Colloquium meetings will be held virtually because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

H+U+D Announces 2020-21 Student Research Awards—

Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellowship
Ying Hei Joyee Au Yeung
Undergraduate, College of Arts and Sciences
Major: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
James Nycz
Undergraduate, College of Arts and Sciences
Major: Political Science and Classical Studies

H+U+D Mellon Graduate Student Research Awards

Pavel Andrade
Ph.D. Candidate, Hispanic Studies
School of Arts and Sciences
Kevin Berry
Ph.D. Candidate, Architecture
Weitzman School of Design
Katelyn Hearfield
Ph.D. Candidate, Music
School of Arts and Sciences
Indivar Jonnalagadda
Ph.D. Candidate, Anthropology & South Asia Studies,
School of Arts and Sciences
Davy Knittle
Ph.D. Candidate, English / Urban Studies / Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
School of Arts and Sciences
Daniel Morales-Armstrong
Ph.D. Candidate, Africana Studies / Latin American & Latino Studies
School of Arts and Sciences
Ida Sofie Nitter
Ph.D. Candidate, NELC (Arabic and Islamic Studies)
School of Arts and Sciences
Kimberly Noronha
Ph.D. Candidate, City and Regional Planning
Weitzman School of Design
Paige Pendarvis
Ph.D. Candidate, History
School of Arts and Sciences

Become a H+U+D Student Research Award Recipient! Deadline May 15, 2020—


H+U+D Seeking Graduate Student Research Proposals for 2020-21

Deadline: May 15, 2020

The Project in Humanities, Urbanism, and Design (H+U+D), invites graduate students to submit research proposals for Academic Year 2020-21. 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:

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, and photography. Previously funded student projects are available to review here:

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 15, 2020, to the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF) via the student application:

A special awards sub-committee will review proposals, and funds will be transferred to successful applicants’ departments for disbursement. Questions? Contact Andrea Goulet ( or Daniel A. Barber (

H+U+D Invites Applications for Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellowships—


Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellows

Application deadline: May 15, 2020

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:

Undergraduate Research

Applications are now invited for the Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellowship program for Fall 2020. 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).

For the Academic Year 2020-21, 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” (


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 15, 2020, including letters of recommendation (see next section).


H+U+D Colloquium Visits Keast & Hood Exhibition at Philadelphia Athenaeum—


On Friday, February 28, 2020, members of the H+U+D Colloquium visited the Athenaeum of Philadelphia’s exhibition, Structure & Purpose: The Legacy of Engineering at Keast & HoodCurated by architectural historian, Izzy Kornblatt, the exhibition explores the role of the firm’s founding engineers, Carl A. Baumert Jr., Nicholas L. Gianopulos, and Thomas J. Leidigh, longtime principals at the firm of Keast & Hood Co. from the years 1953 – 2007 and examines the scope and importance of their work. Their collaborations with such renowned architects as Louis I. Kahn and Venturi, Scott Brown, and Associates spanned decades and their structural solutions underlie numerous landmark buildings of the 20th century. Bruce Laverty, the Gladys Brooks Curator of Architecture at the Athenaeum, gave the group a tour of the retrospective exhibition, which includes an array of never-before exhibited drawings, models, and documents related to projects ranging from Louis Kahn’s National Capital of Bangladesh to the restoration of Philadelphia City Hall and Robert Venturi’s Vanna Venturi House in Chestnut Hill.


IMG_1977 IMG_1970 IMG_1964


Photos: Bruce Laverty, Bruce Laverty, the Gladys Brooks Curator of Architecture at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, gives a tour to H+U+D Colloquium members