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 Academia.edu, 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, Common-place.org, 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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Afternoon Tea with Professor Mitchell A. Orenstein


Mitchell A. Orenstein is Professor of Central and East European politics in the Slavic Department at the University of Pennsylvania. His published work focuses on the political economy and international affairs of Central and Eastern Europe. Orenstein’s first book, Out of the Red: Building Capitalism and Democracy in Postcommunist Europe compares strategies for economic reform adopted in the Czech Republic and Poland after 1989 and their political, economic, and distributional consequences. It shows why democracies, under certain circumstances, can be more effective than dictatorships in economic policy making. Professor Orenstein has also published two books on European social policy with the World Bank. Come chat with Professor Orenstein at Philo’s first tea of the semester!

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Writing Workshop With Diana Spechler

Ms. Diana Spechler

The Philomathean Society is delighted to host a writer’s workshop led by Diana Spechler. Spechler is the author of the novels Who By Fire (Harper Perennial, 2008) and Skinny (Harper Perennial, 2011) and the New York Times column Going Off. She has written for GQ, O the Oprah Magazine, CNN Living, Esquire, New York Magazine, New York Observer, Paris Review, Self, Details, The Wall Street Journal, Salon, Slate, Nerve, Glimmer Train Stories, PANK, Brevity, The Southern Review, and elsewhere, an appeared in a number of anthologies, including Sex Matters: The Sexuality and Society Reader (W.W. Norton, 2013) and True Tales of Lust and Love (Counterpoint/Soft Skull, 2014).
She is also a seven-time Moth StorySLAM winner and has been featured on The Moth Radio Hour, The Moth podcast, The Daily Dish, and NPR. Flavorwire named her one of “50 Writers You Need To See Read Live.”” In addition to teaching, Ms. Spechler will also be speaking on her experience expressing narratives and blogging about mental health.

Please join us this Tuesday, 4:00 PM, in the Philomathean Halls for this truly exciting opportunity.

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NSO Fall 2015


Hop on aboard the insulin train, for it’s CHOO CHOO for CHOCOLATE! The Philomathean Society is kicking off its fall schedule during New Student Orientation by converting itself into the Philo Choco Factory filled to the brim with cupcakes, chocolates, candies, and cweets. Additionally, we’ll be screening Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Everyone is welcome! Come to relax, enjoy the sugar, and meet the members!
Doors open at 9pm on the Fourth Floor of College Hall. Use the East entrance.

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Philograd 2015

Where is everyone??

Members of the Philomathean Society, Spring 2015

After a tumultuous year in Philo Halls, we bid farewell to the Class of 2015 and welcomed fourteen new Senior Members! Exercises began promptly at 5:30ΦST, followed by a dinner. In the sweltering heat we reconvened in Philo Halls. The Bowl Oration was composed and read by the dizzy Kieona Cook, and Orations were given in Latin, Doubletalk, Arabic, and Sardonic Prose. The Charles F. Ludwig Award was awarded to Alex Polyak, and the John Frederick Lewis Memorial Award was awarded to Jordan Driskill for his literary exercise How Immortality Will Kill You. Toasts concluded the memorable night.

Have a nice summer!

Emmett and Sarah could not make it*

New senior members!

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Afternoon Tea with Fariha Kahn

A-TEA-ON-TEA-e1408764209702Friday 4:00pm
4th Floor College Hall (Please enter by the east enntrance across Fisher Fine Arts)

Professor Fariha Khan is the Associate Director of the Asian American Studies program at the University of Pennsylvania. This interdisciplinary program is one of a few contemporary university departments that is pioneering the long-neglected study of Asian Americans. Her research focuses primarily on the South Asian American experience as well as the experiences of South Asian Muslim Americans in particular. At a time when the topic of race looms large in our national political discourse, this tea will be a fantastic experience to learn and ask questions about one of America’s most rapidly growing demographic groups. Come join us for a brilliant conversation over tea and dessert!

Love to spend your Friday afternoons broadening your horizons? Our tea guests want to help you do so. Considered by many to be the flagship Philo event, the Kojo Minta Memorial Tea Series runs almost every Friday from 4:00pm-5:00pm during the semester and unites interested students with interesting people over sweets, savories, and fresh-brewed tea. Come warm your souls and minds this Friday!

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