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Illustration by Carolyn GussSCHOLARSHIP AND COMMUNITY
Humanities Forum to Start a Cultural Dialogue
If you want an example of how estranged academic humanists have become from the general culture of the United States, says Dr. Wendy Steiner, the Richard L. Fisher Professor of English and chair of the department, consider this: "There wasn't a single English professor" included on the panel that selected the 100 best books of the 20th century compiled for Random House's Modern Library imprint last summer. (True, the list was widely dismissed -- for the near absence of works by women and minority writers, among other reasons -- but it generated more talk about books than any event in recent memory.) "That's symptomatic," Steiner says. "I think we're just left out of a whole lot of things." Continued...

 

ETHNIC IDENTITY
Who's a Jew in Israel? Anyone but an Arab?

In recent years, the question of "Who is a Jew?" has plagued Israeli Jews, as Orthodox rabbis have attempted to deny the legitimacy of Reform and Conservative Judaism. But according to Dr. Ian Lustick, professor and chair of political science, the question takes on a whole new dimension when one looks at the recent waves of immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union. Continued...

Photo by Tommy Leonardi
WHEN word got out that the stores in the 3700 block
of Walnut Street were slated for demolition, long-time customers of the Pennsylvania Book Center were worried -- especially when the Barnes & Noble-operated Penn
Bookstore opened in Sansom Common. But the Penn
Book Center finally found a home at 34th and Sansom Streets. Owner Achilles Nickles, C'54, (right) and
manager Keith Helmuth look relieved.

WORK
Same Hours, Less Time

"I'm trying to solve a puzzle," said Dr. Jerry Jacobs, professor of sociology. "Why does everybody feel so busy while the data seem to say that we're not?" It's a timely question, and in a paper titled "Who are the Overworked Americans?"
Continued...

MEDICINE
Radioactive Cocaine Analogue Sheds Light on Brain

The story behind the diagnostic drug that could someday lead to a cure for Parkinson's disease has all the elements of an international thriller: A Penn scientist flies to Asia without telling most of his colleagues. Once there, he injects himself with a radioactive cocaine-like substance based on a formula that he and his team of researchers have just developed. Then he puts his head in an imaging machine -- a SPECT scanner, as it's called -- and makes a picture of his brain.
Continued...

Illustration by Frances JetterRESEARCH
Sexual Abuse of Boys: Underreported

Based on an exhaustive review of existing literature, researchers at Penn's School of Medicine have determined that the sexual abuse of boys in the United States has been dramatically underreported and undertreated, with possibly devastating consequences. Some eight to 16 percent of the overall male population has a history of sexual abuse, concluded Dr. William Holmes, the assistant professor of medicine who served as lead author of the study, which appeared in the December 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Those found to be at highest risk for sexual abuse were younger than 13 years, nonwhite, of low socioeconomic status, and not living with their fathers. Continued...

 

 

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Copyright 1999 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 2/17/99

WEST PHILADELPHIA
Pew Grant for Elementary School
THE Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts has made a $325,000 grant to the University to assist with its planned public elementary school in West Philadelphia ["Gazetteer," Sept/Oct 1998]. The new school, to be built on land owned by Penn -- the site of the old Divinity School, bounded by 42nd, 43rd, Spruce, and Locust Streets -- is scheduled to open in September 2001. Some 700 students, from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade, will attend from the surrounding neighborhood.
   Penn, which plans to provide $1,000 for each student every year for the next 10 years, has signed an agreement with the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers to create a local governing board consisting of teachers, parents, and representatives of the University. The grant will be used to plan the development of the school and its educational mission, and to ensure that area residents will be involved.

BRICKS AND MORTAR
THE Wharton School has unveiled plans for its high-tech, 300,000-square-foot academic center, scheduled to open in 2002 on the site of the old Penn Bookstore. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the $120-million center has entrances on Walnut Street (above) and Locust Walk (below), and is being funded entirely by Wharton alumni contributions. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held in April.