Research and publications are a vital component to the relevancy of the H+U+D Initiative. As new studies are conducted, publications are written and research is made available, they will be posted to this site for easy access.

Also, through the generous support of the Mellon Foundation, the H+U+D initiative will generate a strong line of important and impactful scholarship. In addition to faculty scholarship, research funds are available for both undergraduate and graduate students.

H+U+D Annual Report 2019-20—

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In 2018, we 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 and have met bi-weekly for the last two years in a supportive and multi-disciplinary setting. They have taken several field trips together, developed collaborations, and formed lasting friendships. Over the past two years, this faculty cohort has also helped teach eight H+U+D-sponsored courses, including undergraduate “City Seminars” (domestic and international), graduate seminars, an undergraduate “Gateway Course,” and two “Anchor Institution” seminars, taught in collaborations with one of the cultural institutions that reflect and serve Philadelphia’s diverse populations. We are excited to partner with Taller Puertoriqueño, a non-profit that promotes cultural understanding and community engagement through a focus on Puerto Rican and Latinx art, history, and culture, as our “Anchor Institution” for the coming academic year.

Over the past year, we were pleased to increase support for undergraduate and graduate student research, with the successful launch of the Mellon Undergraduate Research Colloquium, in which five undergraduate student awardees met regularly with H+U+D faculty mentors. The creation of the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship was also a success and we are delighted to welcome two new Doctoral Dissertation Fellows, as well as two Junior Fellows, to the Colloquium for the 2020- 21 academic year. They will join a new cohort of H+U+D Faculty, who come from a variety of humanities and design departments across the university and are appointed to the Colloquium for two-year terms.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought many challenges and disruptions to the Initiative’s activities this spring. We were forced to cancel several Colloquium meetings and field trips, including a visit to the Philadelphia Lazaretto and a H+U+D “City Seminar” class trip to Paris. H+U+D classes, and the Colloquium itself, continued to meet virtually and we plan to continue holding class and Colloquium sessions by Zoom during the Fall 2020 semester.

This fall, we also welcome Andrea Goulet (French and Francophone Studies, School of Arts and Sciences) and Daniel Barber (Architecture, Weitzman School of Design) as the new co-directors of the H+U+D Initiative.

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H+U+D Annual Report 2018-19—

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The first Humanities, Urbanism, and Design (H+U+D) project (2013-18) successfully brought together faculty and students from the Weitzman School of Design and the School of Arts and Sciences to build a supportive, collaborative, and multi-disciplinary setting for the study of the built environment. Thirty-six faculty in total, each serving two-year terms, participated in a bi- weekly H+U+D Faculty Colloquium and produced sixteen books, nine chapters, twenty-eight refereed journal articles and nine exhibitions with Mellon support. In addition, the H+U+D program supported fifteen co-taught undergraduate “city seminars” (domestic and international) and graduate classes involving more than 150 students and thirty-five faculty. Finally, it provided twenty-seven undergraduate and graduate research grants that yielded numerous publications, theses, and dissertations.

In 2018, we embarked on the new five-year project, “The Inclusive City, Past, Present, and Future.” With the renewed $1.5 million Mellon grant, we are building on the foundation of the first project while focusing on the theme of inclusivity and diversity both in what we study and teach and in who we are. A nineteen-member steering committee guided the re-launch and oversaw the appointment of a new fifteen-member Faculty Colloquium, who represent multiple departments in both the School of Arts and Sciences and the Weitzman School of Design. This new cohort met bi-weekly during the 2018-19 academic year and has already produced two forthcoming books, one forthcoming book chapter, and five refereed journal articles.

We will continue the activities created for the first five-year grant, including sponsorship of co- taught courses, lectures and symposia, and student research projects, and are very excited to add some new ones. “Anchor Institution” seminars that partner with one of Philadelphia’s urban institutions will provide students more practical opportunities to study inclusion and diversity. We are boosting support for undergraduate and graduate student research with the creation of the Mellon Undergraduate Research Colloquium, in which undergraduate student awardees will meet regularly under the mentorship of H+U+D faculty members, and the new appointment of two ABD Dissertation Fellows, who will participate in the Faculty Colloquium.

The Mellon grant has had an enormous impact on our research, teaching, and outreach. The “Inclusive City” project has already been an incredibly fruitful one, and we look forward to more dynamic intellectual partnerships and exchanges in the years to come.

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H+U+D Annual Report 2017-18—

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For the past five years, we have been privileged to oversee the H+U+D initiative aiming to contribute new sensibilities and collaborations centered on humanities, urbanism and design (hence H+U+D) to Penn’s scholarly climate. As we have worked with faculty and students, promoting interdisciplinary scholarship and building social capital, we have also laid the groundwork a renewed Mellon-sponsored project, “The Inclusive City, Past, Present, Future” (H+U+D 2.0), that will, again bring together faculty and students from the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Design. We found that H+U+D has been successful in three areas that we will replicate, slightly modified in H+U+D 2.0. They are:

The first area, the signature H+U+D project, has been the interdisciplinary, multi-generational H+U+D Faculty Colloquium that met bi-weekly, sometimes around a seminar table and sometimes at a site or exhibition, to explore shared interests and discuss the work of its members. Participants included 36 Penn faculty at all levels of their careers, four visiting Junior (Postdoctoral) Fellows, and several associated postdocs (including two Marie Curie Fellows from the EU) who were already at Penn. The colloquium has been very successful in creating a supportive environment for younger scholars and connecting them with mentors and peers with whom they would not usually come into contact. The scholarly productivity of this group is impressive; to date they have produced 14 books, 9 chapters, 28 refereed journal articles, and 8 exhibitions.

The Colloquium has also hosted a small number of lectures and co-sponsored symposia. We have gone “on the road,” organizing interdisciplinary panels at scholarly conferences (most recently the “Sensing the City” at the last meeting of the Society for American City and Regional Planning Historians).

The second area has been in instruction. The H+U+D initiative sponsored 15 co-taught courses involving 35 faculty members and more than 150 students. These comprised 10 undergraduate “city seminars,” with international and domestic field trips, and an annual “problematics” seminar for graduate students.

The third area has been in research. H+U+D supported 27 undergraduate and graduate student research projects with results presented by the students to the Colloquium. The projects have yielded enriched doctoral dissertations, publications, notably one by an undergraduate in the Smithsonian Magazine, and inspired ongoing career choices and graduate studies.

As we look forward to the next step with “The Inclusive City, Past, Present, Future” (H+U+D 2.0) we will retain the basic structure but adding the thematic dimension focusing on inclusion and diversity both in what we study and who we are. The new project will have at its heart a renewed the Inclusive City Colloquium to explore how the humanities can inform the design professions and how the design professions can inform the humanities with a special focus on inclusion in its many forms. With the course sponsorship effort, we will give preference to courses that are co- taught, likely to reach a large audience, part of the College general education requirement and permanent “gateway” courses, designed to attract a large and more diverse undergraduate audience to the study of cities and the built environment generally. In this area, we will also initiate “Anchor Institution” seminars to take advantage of the opportunities that Philadelphia offers as a laboratory for the study of inclusion and diversity. Here we will select and work with one of Philadelphia’s “anchor” institutions to create the seminar. We expect that these seminars would offer students opportunities to study and work with collections, exhibition design, public programming, policy making and implementation, city planning, architectural design, and management. Finally, in the research arena, we will offer up to 12 graduate and undergraduate fellowships per year with undergraduates being offered a non-credit Undergraduate Student Research Colloquium to enrich their experience.

So the projects of the past five years have nurtured a remarkable treasury of human capital in the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Design as this report illustrates. The Mellon Foundation’s support has made a huge difference in the lives of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students at Penn, Moreover Mellon’s has been field- defining world-wide, seeding creativity and productivity in urban humanities among the many scholars of the participating universities Penn is proud to be among their number.

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H+U+D Annual Report 2016-17—

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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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Abstraction Unframed: Murals and Urban Space in the 1950s—

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Hans Hoffman Mural , 711 Third Ave, New York, NY

What is the public fate of abstract art in the twentieth century? Can it engage with the urban environment and its inhabitants? This talk looks at various abstract painters, like Lee Krasner and Adolph Gottlieb, who executed large-scale, public mural projects in 1950s New York. Installed on facades and in lobbies, these murals marked the thresholds between various institutions—civic, religious, and corporate—and the public streetscape of a changing postwar city. Taking their place amidst the soaring surfaces and glass curtain walls of mid-century International Style architecture, such murals traded painterly texture for the flinty gleam of mosaic, and thick pigment for the permeable translucency of stained glass. In these and other ways, the murals transformed what had often been a private, subjective idiom into a form of publicity: a public language capable of broadcasting an institution’s character or status to passersby. The resulting murals, little known today, raise important questions about abstraction and communication, the relationship between architectural and painterly modernism, and art’s role in the postwar urban fabric.

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Immigrants As Transformers How Do Immigrant Entrepreneurs Culturally And Spatially Transform Their New Environments?—

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Immigrants are no strangers in the history of urbanization in the US. The US has experienced four great waves of immigration. The latest wave, starting in 1965, has brought 59 million newcomers to the US. The impact of these new immigrants on the US communities is largely understood based on their contribution to the labor market, local economy, population size, and demographic composition. This narrative largely views immigrants as passive objects whose mere presence in the US imposes a cost (e.g. dependency on welfare) or provides benefit (e.g. consumption of local services) for the receiving communities. However, in return, they also shape and modify their new environments based on their owns needs, cultures and social relations. This pilot study aims to expand the current discussion on the “immigrants’ effect” by focusing on the active role that immigrants play in the host country.

The food industry is the largest employer of foreign born workers. Immigrants also use food as an essential tool to maintain their culture, self-identify themselves in a multiethnic country, and integrate into the culture of the host country by modifying and mainstreaming their ethnic foods. Moreover, the landscape of neighborhoods with ethnic food markets and services is subject to transformation through particular styles in which immigrants advertise and introduce their businesses. Thus, this study explores the ways that immigrant entrepreneurs culturally and spatially transform their new environment through their engagement in food-related practices by pursuing the following questions 1) How do immigrant entrepreneurs participate in the supply chain of ethnic foods? 2) How do immigrants (re)shape the food industry around their own needs, cultures and social relations?

Philadelphia, a gateway for early European immigrants, is now home to an increasing population of new immigrants from Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The interaction between newcomers and their receiving communities plays a major role in the transformation of immigrant-recipient cities. Newcomers reside in old immigrant communities, reshaping the demography and economy of these places, and continuing the legacy of vibrant old immigrant neighborhoods through establishing small businesses. This study employs a qualitative research design, consisting of a visual ethnography of ethnic food markets and a multi-case study of immigrant food entrepreneurs in Italian, Mexican and Vietnamese food markets. The data relies on interviews with immigrant food retailers to understand how the cultural practices and ethnic identity of immigrants impact their individual businesses, the food industry, and consequently their urban neighborhoods.

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Voiceless: The Construction of Homelessness Policies from 1980-2016—

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Olivia Webb presents to H+U+D Colloquium

The project examines the history of homelessness policy from 1980 to 2016, both nationally and in Philadelphia. The construction of this timeline reveals how homelessness policy differs from other types of social welfare policy, and it highlights how a lack of civic participation by homeless individuals has rendered them largely voiceless in the American democracy.

 

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H+U+D Annual Report 2015-16—

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AnnualReport ImageIn FY 2015-2016, the Humanities, Urbanism and Design (H+U+D) Initiative continued its five core components:  the H+U+D Colloquium, course support, student research awards, public lectures and conference support, and the placement of two Junior Fellows for 2015-2016.

Most important,  H+U+D initiative, now in its third year, produced many tangible outcomes. The various projects under its wing have flourished. New faculty collaborations have emerged that without H+U+D would never have existed. For example nine H+U+D-sponsored courses in the School of Design and the School of Arts and Sciences at the undergraduate and graduate levels are co-taught by faculty from each school. These faculty teams have developed ongoing synergies among themselves and their students that go well beyond the actual classes.

In addition to H+U+D’s substantial contributions to both schools’ curricula, it has also supported public lectures, exhibitions, conferences, and course development that have greatly enriched the university community’s discourse on urbanism. Student and faculty research is breaking new ground thanks to the H+U+D support. Two H+U+D Junior Fellows have joined the ongoing H+U+D Faculty Colloquium that meets bi-weekly. Faculty in the Colloquium are sharing and publishing H+U+D-sponsored research.

This report outlines the content of the H+U+D Initiative’s programs and identifies its growing number of participants.

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Monumental Routes: Movement and the Built Environment in Iron Age Anatolia—

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“Monumental Routes” is a multi-scalar project employing digital and geographic techniques to study the complex relationship between movement and the built environment on the Central Anatolian Plateau during the Iron Age (10th-8th c. BCE). The focus of my project is the cultural landscape of Gordion, an Iron Age urban center in central Turkey that has undergone almost continual excavation by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology since the 1950’s. My project combines digital and humanistic perspectives, connecting monumentality, route networks, and urbanism to analyze spatial organization within Anatolian communities.

In my dissertation I identify and describe the ancient routes around Gordion that linked the city to other nearby, contemporary settlements. I detail how routes were monumentalized during the Iron Age by the construction of adjacent burial mounds, and describe the experience of travelling along them. To accomplish these goals, I employ techniques such as GIS (Geographic Information Systems) analysis, aerial photography, photogrammetry, and personally traveling these routes to gain an understanding of the landscape from a human perspective. My project clarifies the extent and intensity of communication between nucleated settlements within Gordion’s local region. It also helps us to understand the degree of political control exercised by the rulers of Gordion over the landscape and nearby settlements around them.

The current intensive agricultural practices and rapid development in Turkey are erasing the traces of past cultures in the landscape at a greater rate than ever before. My project seeks to investigate how people shape and are shaped by the landscape around them in a recursive cycle that is difficult but important to understand. It is critical to create a lasting record of the still surviving Iron Age features so that they can illuminate the complex spatial and social configurations of one of the great empires of ancient Turkey.Sunrise3

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Towards an Urban Future: Density and Development in Postwar America—

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In the second half of the twentieth century, American cities seemed to be both shrinking and expanding. After World War II, many cities “hollowed out,” losing people, industry, and political power. But as a largely white, largely middle class population migrated from city centers to outlying areas, metropolitan orbits distended. The rise of urban agglomerations suggested that America was becoming an increasingly urbanized nation and that Americans were becoming an increasingly urban people. From any vantage point, the definition of “city” as a densely settled, highly centralized, and clearly delimited place no longer seemed appropriate. The meaning of “urban-ness” was changing.

Taketomo PhotoThis project tracks the evolving meaning of “urban” and “urbanization” from WWII through the early 1970s. My three driving questions are: 1) How and why did urban-ness come to adhere to people as well as spaces in the second half of the twentieth century, and how did this relate to popular and scholarly conceptions of progress, development, and modernization? 2) How could the depopulation of urban cores and the perception of an “urban crisis” coexist with widespread anxiety that metropolitan expansion, over-urbanization, and megalopilization might lead to a dystopian urban future in the United States? 3) How did these fears about an urban future inspire policies and projects that sought to reinstate the physical and conceptual boundary between “urban” and “rural” space?

Part I of this study explores the dissolution of traditional boundaries between urban and rural spaces and the evolution of new definitions of “urban-ness” in the immediate postwar. Part II looks at policies and projects that opposed this taxonomical shift. Such policies and projects, I argue, sought to restore conventional understandings of urban space through reinvigorating city centers and by inventing the problem of and subsequently trying to contain “urban sprawl.”

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