August 13, 2020Lessons from Hiroshima, 75 Years Later
August 6 marks the 75th anniversary of America’s atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the first time a nuclear weapon had ever been used. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, leading to Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II. The two bombs took the lives of more than 200,000 people. Penn Today asked scholars and experts on Japan and nuclear weapons to share their thoughts on the anniversary.
August 13, 2020Zoë Ryan Appointed Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art
Ryan is a world-renowned curator and scholar who is currently John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an expert in architecture and design and their impact on evolving social and cultural contexts, she has focused at the Art Institute on building the museum’s collection of 2oth- and 21st-century architecture and design.
August 13, 2020‘Italian History on the Table’ Eva Del Soldato of Romance Languages Teaches Cultural History Through Food
Courses on food culture are a staple of Italian studies; the next offering will be in the spring of 2021, Del Soldato says. “We associate Italy with food and never-ending abundance,” she says, but in fact Italy has a long history of famine. “People needed to rethink their way of cooking and interacting with food precisely because of social necessities. With a syllabus that includes wine, cheese, pasta, pizza, and Nutella as subjects, Del Soldato uses ingredients to explore Italian history and language. “Food is a way to access the cultural history of Italy,” Del Soldato says.
August 13, 2020Renowned Jazz Drummer Milford Graves Fight to Keep His Own Heart Beating
In the 1960s, Milford Graves became a groundbreaking drummer in avant-garde jazz, but intertwined with his career had been his constant study of music’s impact on the human heart. Now Mr. Graves, a 78-year-old who lives in Jamaica, Queens, has become his own subject: He has amyloid cardiomyopathy, sometimes called stiff heart syndrome. Doctors have informed him that the condition, also called cardiac amyloidosis, has no cure. When he received the diagnosis in 2018, he was told he had six months to live. Since then, Mr. Graves said, he has come close to death several times because of fluid filling his lungs. His legs too weakened to walk, he remains in a recliner in his living room with a tube feeding medicine to his heart and another draining fluid from his midsection. But he has hardly surrendered to the illness. Although he is under the care of a cardiologist, he is also treating himself with the alternative techniques he has spent decades researching.
August 10, 2020Free Speech Advocate Discusses Growing Talk of ‘Cancel Culture’
Sigal Ben-Porath, a professor of education, political science, and philosophy, talks de-platforming, toppling statues, rescinding admissions, Twitter, the First Amendment, and hate speech.