H+U+D Annual Report 2016-17


Penn’s Mellon Foundation-sponsored Humanities, Urbanism and Design (H+U+D) initiative has had another productive year in 2016-2017. It has hosted its fourth cohort of faculty into the H+U+D Colloquium, which has met bi-weekly through the academic year and taken three field trips; it has sponsored three courses (two undergraduate City Seminars and a Graduate Problematics Seminar); it has sponsored public lectures, panel discussions and presentations at professional conferences; it has underwritten undergraduate and doctoral research; and it has welcomed two H+U+D Junior Fellows.

We want to emphasize that we have sustained the vitality of this project through four year. The various projects established under the wing of the H+U+D initiative have flourished. Most notably, faculty collaborations in research and teaching have emerged that, without H+U+D, would never have existed. And this collaboration has been woven into Penn’s academic culture. To date, the Initiative has sponsored sixteen courses–most of them cross-listed and co-taught, which has begun to imbue Penn’s curriculum with an understanding of the linkages between the humanities and design. Notably, these faculty teaching teams have developed ongoing synergies among themselves and their students, reaching outside the classroom and beyond the end of the semester.

Over the past years, H+U+D Initiative has contributed to scholarship. Colloquium members have published monographs, journal articles and created works of art and architecture, all of which has been shaped by and discussed in our bi-weekly meetings. Undergraduates have written remarkable capstone theses, while doctoral students have enriched their dissertation research with H+U+D Initiative awards; and their voices have been heard, too, in the Colloquium.

As we contemplate the final year of the H+U+D Initiative, we envision a year of reflection and assessment as we seek to record and institutionalize our work.

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