Teach-In 2019

The |
Of Knowledge

When

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

6PM-8PM

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TEACH-IN 2019

Wednesday, April 10, Free Library’s Central Parkway Branch, Philadelphia

On April 10, 2019, Penn Faculty will convene a Teach-In on "the production, dissemination, and use of knowledge." Events will be free and open to the public at locations all around campus. This is Penn's second Teach-In since March 1969.

It is no secret that in a time of a great burgeoning of knowledge we also face in the body politic a growing unease about epistemology, the provenance of knowledge, and the course of the Academy. Faced with these troubled times, Penn's Faculty Senate is organizing an historic pan-university Teach-In on the rigors of knowledge creation, the difficulties encountered in communicating it, and the use to which it is put and how it can impact society.

It is generally agreed that the university's primary purpose is the advancement of knowledge to improve human life. Certainly, the idea of knowledge for the continuous betterment of the human condition motivated Benjamin Franklin when he founded the College of Philadelphia, which became the University of Pennsylvania. At various times in Penn's history, it has appropriately taken stock of its progress towards realizing Franklin's vision. The Teach-In on the Production, Dissemination, and Use of Knowledge is such an occasion.

The last Teach-In at Penn, termed the Day of Conscience, occurred on March 4, 1969. Over 1,200 university students participated in workshops, lectures, and symposia that focused on both the role of the university in society, and the use and misuse of scientific knowledge. The Day of Conscience occurred in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. It also occurred in the wake of the February 1969 student protest at a University City Science Center construction site that escalated into a six-day peaceful sit-in at College Hall supported by area-wide college and university students and local black activists. The role of the university in society was deeply questioned in the 1960s. The present situation in our society, indeed in societies throughout the world, which is marked by increasing racism, intolerance, xenophobia, and attacks on science, knowledge, and higher education itself, requires a similar moment of discussion, reflection, and informed action. Appropriate to our Franklinian heritage, this weeklong Teach-In on the Production, Dissemination, and Use of Knowledge is designed to be part of a deepening, ongoing conversation on how Penn in particular and universities in general might best fulfill their crucial intellectual and societal missions.

See the March 1969 article Beginning Anew here for more historical information.

A Brief History of Penn Teach-Ins, by Ira Harkavy and John Puckett

Further reading: Chapter 2 in Knowledge for Social Change (2017). Temple University Press.

Coordinated by the University of Pennsylvania Faculty Senate, the effort spans all of Penn's twelve schools in a collective endeavor by staff, students, and faculty. We are also opening our borders to invite the civic community, schools, local organizations, and policy makers, both in Philadelphia and in our capitals, into our campus to be a part of this dialog.

Wednesday, April 10, 6-8pm

Free and open to all


Free Library, Central Parkway Branch
1901 Vine St., Skyline Room (4th Floor)
Tracey Matisak

John Jackson

Dorothy Roberts

Sarah Tishkoff
What We Know about Race – For Sure

Knowledge is the lifeblood of the university. Its progression may be marked from the crucible of its creation to its dissemination to a larger public, and, finally, to the use to which it is put. A half-century after the campus teach-ins during the social unrest of the '60s, it seems entirely appropriate that we recreate a community dialogue on knowledge and the role of the Academy: how should the university engage with the community and the nation in the 21st century?

The official launch of the 2018 Teach-In at the University of Pennsylvania will feature a spirited and open discussion with three distinguished panelists who bring unique perspectives on these issues. Sarah Tishkoff has created the world's largest database of African diversity derived from genetic samples of more than 9,000 people from 200 distinct ethnic groups and brought it to bear in novel integrations of research in linguistics and anthropology. John Jackson, Jr. has drawn from the power of storytelling through image and sound to generate new perspectives across traditional categories: technology and religious studies, culture and economics, anthropology and new media, and Africana studies and linguistics. Dorothy Roberts's head-turning critique of race-based genomic science - an argument that racial identity is a social and political invention, not a biological fact coded in DNA - has helped change the national conversation and led to powerful insights at the intersection of law, social justice, science, and health. Together our panelists will bring into sharp focus, using anecdotes viewed through the prisms of their own wide-ranging investigations, the rigours of knowledge creation in this fluid century, the particular challenges of communicating it in an era of social media and fake news, and the dramatic and exaggerated impacts it can have in a time of instantaneous communication.

The conversation will be moderated by WHYY's award winning journalist, Tracey Matisak, who brings to bear wide-ranging experience as Anchor, Reporter, and Broadcaster through two decades of work in major market radio and television including Fox Philadelphia, PBS, NPR, and WHYY, and KYW Newsradio.

Moderator:

Tracey Matisak
Ms. Matisak has more than 20 years of major market radio and television experience and spearheads special projects for WHYY throughout the year. These include anchoring election coverage and hosting live events on WHYY, PBS and National Public Radio. She has been an occasional contributor to PBS'S Nightly Business Report. Prior to WHYY, she served for 12 years at FOX Philadelphia. She hosted FOX's Good Day Philadelphia and served as an Anchor and Reporter for the FOX Ten O'Clock News. She has also appeared on the Home and Garden Network and has served as an anchor and reporter for several Philadelphia radio stations, including KYW Newsradio. Ms. Matisak serves as Member of Multicultural Advisory Board at Star Toplin. Ms. Matisak is a member of the adjunct faculty in Temple's department of Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media. Ms. Matisak is a Distinguished Alumni of Temple University. She has also won the Sarah Award for Excellence in Broadcasting and was named Communicator of the Year by the National Black MBA Association. Ms. Matisak is an award-winning journalist, a dynamic speaker and trainer and a member of WHYY's News and Public Affairs team. Ms. Matisak is a graduate of Temple University.

Panelists:

John Jackson, Jr.
A renowned cultural anthropologist, Professor John Jackson is Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice and the Richard Perry University Professor of Communication, Anthropology, and Africana Studies with appointments in the Annenberg School for Communication, the School of Arts & Sciences, and the School of Social Policy & Practice. His research defies traditional categories, incorporating multiple fields in each inquiry: technology and religious studies; culture and economics; anthropology and new media; Africana studies and linguistics. Drawn to the power of storytelling through image and sound, Jackson is leading efforts to bring film into academia. He has produced numerous visual anthropologies: feature-length documentaries, fictional movies and short films that have won prestigious awards and screened around the world.

Dorothy Roberts
Professor Dorothy Roberts is the George A. Weiss Professor of Law & Sociology, the Raymond Pace & Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, and Professor of Africana Studies. She is also the founding Director of the Program on Race, Science and Society. With appointments in Penn Law and the School of Arts & Sciences, Roberts works at the intersection of law, social justice, science and health to explore the role of race in scientific research, biotechnological innovations, and health services and outcomes. The program builds on her head-turning critique of race-based genomic science - an argument that racial identity is a social and political invention, not a biological fact coded in DNA. The program illustrates Roberts' ability to change national conversations, bring about positive social change and put research into practice in public service.

Sarah Tishkoff
Professor Sarah A. Tishkoff is the David and Lyn Silfen University Professor in Genetics and Biology. She holds appointments in the Perelman School of Medicine and the School of Arts & Sciences, and works at the intersection of biomedicine, human genetics, evolutionary genetics and anthropology. Overcoming hazards in rural Africa, Sarah Tishkoff has created the world's largest database of African diversity derived from genetic samples from more than 9,000 people from 200 distinct ethnic groups. Tishkoff's scholarship expands understanding of ancestry and culture with data gleaned from genetics and metabolism, and may yield insights on causes and possible new treatments for disease. Tishkoff is known for her novel integration of field, lab and computational research with linguistics and anthropology. Through her studies of indigenous populations, Tishkoff hopes to identify genetic factors in resistance to diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, and to glean insights to help prevent diabetes and heart disease.

Add to Calendar 04/10/2019 6:00 PM 04/10/2019 6:00 PM America/New_York What We Know about Race – For Sure Knowledge is the lifeblood of the university. Its progression may be marked from the crucible of its creation to its dissemination to a larger public, and, finally, to the use to which it is put. A half-century after the campus teach-ins during the social unrest of the 60s, it seems entirely appropriate that we recreate a community dialogue on knowledge and the role of the Academy: how should the university engage with the community and the nation in the 21st century?

The official launch of the 2018 Teach-In at the University of Pennsylvania will feature a spirited and open discussion with three distinguished panelists who bring unique perspectives on these issues. Sarah Tishkoff has created the world s largest database of African diversity derived from genetic samples of more than 9,000 people from 200 distinct ethnic groups and brought it to bear in novel integrations of research in linguistics and anthropology. John Jackson, Jr. has drawn from the power of storytelling through image and sound to generate new perspectives across traditional categories: technology and religious studies, culture and economics, anthropology and new media, and Africana studies and linguistics. Dorothy Roberts s head-turning critique of race-based genomic science an argument that racial identity is a social and political invention, not a biological fact coded in DNA has helped change the national conversation and led to powerful insights at the intersection of law, social justice, science, and health. Together our panelists will bring into sharp focus, using anecdotes viewed through the prisms of their own wide-ranging investigations, the rigours of knowledge creation in this fluid century, the particular challenges of communicating it in an era of social media and fake news, and the dramatic and exaggerated impacts it can have in a time of instantaneous communication.

The conversation will be moderated by WHYY s award winning journalist, Tracey Matisak, who brings to bear wide-ranging experience as Anchor, Reporter, and Broadcaster through two decades of work in major market radio and television including Fox Philadelphia, PBS, NPR, and WHYY, and KYW Newsradio.
Free Library, Central Parkway Branch, 1901 Vine St., Skyline Room (4th Floor)