Redefining Kin – The Pennsylvania Gazette

The Wolf Humanities Center explores the topic of kinship.


How do you define whether someone is kin to you? Can kinship extend beyond family members to include friends, neighbors, or other groups? What happens when the ties that bind start to chafe? Can our species embrace kinship with animals, domestic or otherwise? What about bacteria?

Wrestling with questions such as these has been the agenda of the Wolf Humanities Center’s free-to-the-public 2019–20 Forum on Kinship. Each academic year a Wolf Center forum highlights a different topic, which it addresses from diverse, cross-disciplinary perspectives through lectures, conversations, film, exhibitions, and other formats.

This year’s talks have included “Collectivizing Kinship: Rural China’s Women in the 1950s,” “Kinship Reloaded: Humans, Animals, and the Urban,” and “Who Belongs at Home?,” a conversation between the novelist Kamila Shamsie (Home Fire) and Emily Wilson, a Penn classical studies professor and a 2019 MacArthur Fellow [“Gazetteer,” Nov|Dec 2019].

Read more: Redefining Kin – The Pennsylvania Gazette

Bob Bruhin

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