Philomathean Homecoming 2015

Philomathean Halls will be open on November 7th from 12pm to 6 pm for Homecoming Weekend. We welcome all Members and their guests to come to the halls for High Tea, a light meal, and conversation with the Junior Members.

RSVP here

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Meeting the Fifth


There may be as many weathered bricks from 34th to 40th street as there are Ben Franklin statues in Philadelphia, but that doesn’t mean Penn’s institutional mortar was always what it is today. Come learn about the defining decades of the Penn-West Philadelphia relationship and how their triumphs and tensions surface in current practices–and in us, as possibly unknowing arms of a politically fraught body.

Join the Philomathean Society for our fifth general meeting of the semester. Junior member Laura Cosgrove will conducting her literary exercise on the Penn-West Philadelphia relationship.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

“The Intersection of Medical Ethics and LGBTQIA+ Rights” A Talk with Dr. Lance Wahlert

Dr. Lance Wahlert (Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics, Director of the Master of Bioethics program in the Department of Medical Ethics, and Director of the PENN Project on Bioethics, Sexuality, and Gender Identity) will take the Philomathean audience on an interdisciplinary journey of queer-inspired medical history as he examines the more recent stakes of homosexuality and queerness in contemporary medicine. Paying special attention to the powers and malevolent influences of the stigmatizing forces of diagnosis and nosological categorization, he traces how the HIV/AIDS pandemic has forcibly returned LGBTQ persons to the medical sphere, creating what he calls, “the painful reunion.” The responses of the LGBTQ community to that reunion in art, activism and academia, he argues, has forged revisions of a dark, medical past for queer persons with an eye towards a potentially more affirming present and future.

Join Philo Monday afternoon for an illuminating talk with Dr. Wahlert.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Meeting the Fourth


Come join the Philomathean Society for our fourth meeting of the semester! There will be food, refreshments for all, gentle madness and a literary exercise presented by one Mr. Sebastián Pinto-Díaz.

Mr. Pinto-Díaz will be taking on some controversial poetry and challenging Kant’s categorical imperatives.

Upon arriving at College Hall please utilize the East Entrance by Fisher Fine Arts Library. A Philo will be stationed there to let you in.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Afternoon Tea with Professor Arthur Waldron


Come to the Philomathean Halls for a tea and casual conversation with Historian Arthur Waldron.
Prof. Waldron has been the Lauder Professor of International Relations in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania, since 1997, having taught at Princeton, Brown, and the Naval War College. His works studies the history of East Asia, at the juncture of nationalism, war and violence. A regular traveler, he has visited some fifty countries, and lectured all over the world, including Europe, Russia (in Russian), Japan (in Japanese), and Australia.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Happily Sometimes After With Dr. Andie Toucher


Dr. Andie Tucher, a historian and journalist, directs the Communications Ph.D. program. Her book Happily Sometimes After: Discovering Stories From Twelve Generations of an American Family was published in fall 2014 by the University of Massachusetts Press. She is also the author of Froth and Scum: Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and the Ax Murder in America’s First Mass Medium (UNC 1994), which won the Allan Nevins Prize from the Society of American Historians. Tucher’s articles on aspects of journalism and cultural history, many of which are available on, have appeared in American Journalism, Book History, Journalism History, Cultural Studies, Journalism Practice, the Journal of Communication Inquiry, the New York Law School Law Review, the Columbia Journalism Review,, and other scholarly and popular publications. Her current research focuses on the history of reporting, of photojournalism, and of the conventions of truth-telling.

Before coming to Columbia, Tucher served as a speechwriter for Clinton/Gore ’92. She was an editorial associate to Bill Moyers at Public Affairs Television and edited his book World of Ideas II (1990). She also served as an editorial producer of the historical documentary series The Twentieth Century at ABC News and an associate editor of Columbia Journalism Review.

Please Join the Philomathean Society for a stimulating afternoon with Dr. Toucher that illuminates what twelve generations’ worth of family stories reveal about the pursuit of happiness in America.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Afternoon Tea With Professor Andrew Lamas

lamas (1)

Andrew Lamas is a professor in the Urban Studies department where he focuses on the theoretical and practical dimensions, as well as the philosophical and religious bases, of social justice and economic democracy — in the context of urbanization. Beginning in 2007, with support from the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program at the University of Pennsylvania, he launched a research project on alternative currency in communities across the globe.Join Philo for a fruitful conversation with Andrew Lamas!

Posted in Tea | Leave a comment

Solistimum the Third


Join the Society for an informal Soirée directed at potential applicants. Previous knowledge of the Society is not necessary. The First Censor will be on hand to answer any and all questions about the application process. Come sip, snack, and hobnob with Philos!

To enter College Hall please use the East Entrance by Fisher Fine Arts Library. A Philo will be stationed there to let you in, so that you may proceed to the fourth floor.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Art & Diplomacy with United Nations Ambassador Ibiyinka Alao

Art and Diplomacy

Ibiyinka Alao is a Nigerian artist and United Nations Ambassador of the Arts. He explores his faith and West African heritage through bright, contemporary art. As the “Ambassador of Art” for Nigeria and advisor to the United Nations, Alao has first hand, unrivaled experience in both artistic expression and diplomacy; on September 17th, he will be speaking about the convergence of the two. Join us in Philomathean Halls on the Fourth Floor of College Hall at 7:30pm for an exhibition of some of Alao’s personal works (which will be featured for one night only in our very own art gallery), music, and an enlightening discussion on the intersections of political, social, and artistic activism.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Meeting the Second : Building the Empire of the Dead

Meeting II Fall'15

Building the Empire of the Dead

Beneath the city of Paris lies a vast limestone quarry system that has been overtaken by skeletons. One entry to the labyrinthine tunnels proclaims “Arrête! C’est ici l’empire de la Mort” (“Stop! This is the empire of the dead!”), a declaration of sovereignty delineating between the lands of the living and the deceased. The aboveground empire lives, breathes, and functions, while beneath its hollow foundations is a world devoted to bones, and death. Paris’s Catacombs reveal changes in our understanding of mortality as well as a societal shift in how we engage in a discourse with death. This literary exercise, presented by Kristen Kelly, will explore the Catacombs of Paris and discuss monumental and funerary architectural practices through the ages.

Come to Philo this Friday for the scintillating conversation, and stay for the spooky scary skeletons!

Posted in Events | Leave a comment