Sepia and grayscale photos of Philadelphia, color photos of Shibuya and Singapore.

The Lepage Center will spend the 2023 – 2024 academic year exploring diverse and interconnected historical perspectives on cities.

The series of panels and talks will examine several historical topics including questions of race and class in the American city, as well as historical perspectives on European cities, port cities, postcolonial cities, immigration and cities, Chinatown in Philadelphia, and labor in cities. The series will showcase the ways in which historians have engaged the multifaceted sociocultural and political-economic dimensions of cities in their work, and how the city's place in society has changed over time.


Fall 2023 Cities in Historical Perspective Events

Titles link to registration for upcoming events

Tuesday, September 26, 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.: Race and Class in the American City


  • Menika Dirkson, Ph.D., Morgan State University Assistant Professor, History & Geography
  • Rob Gioielli, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati Associate Professor of History and Director of the UC Blue Ash Honors Program
  • Amanda Boston, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
  • Moderator: Paul C. Rosier, Ph.D., Villanova History Professor and Director of the Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest


Wednesday, October 18, (Time TBD): Post-War Cities in Historical Perspective

Details TBA


Thursday, November 16, 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.: Port Cities in Historical Perspective

Details TBA

The following panels and talks are other standalone events with the shared interest of a more historically-informed public, but fall outside of the topic of Cities in Historical Perspective.

Thursday, September 14th, 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.: Fashion in Historical Perspective



Thursday, October 5th, 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.: Classroom Censorship in Historical Perspective


  • Dana Goldstein, New York Times, National correspondent on family policy and demographics
  • Jonathan Friedman, Ph.D., PEN America Director, Free Expression and Education Programs
  • Jonathan Zimmerman, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor in Education and Professor of History of Education


Wednesday, November 8th, 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.: Speculative Fiction in Historical Perspective (Driscoll Hall Rm 132, Larson Kelly Auditorium)


  • Heather Hicks, Ph.D., Villanova University Professor of English and Chair of the English Department
  • Travis M. Foster, Ph.D., Villanova University Associate Professor of English and Academic Director of Gender & Women's Studies
  • Patricia Lott, Ph.D., Ursinus University Assistant Professor of American Studies, African American and Africana Studies, and English
  • Moderated by Maghan Keita, Ph.D., Professor of History and Global Interdisciplinary Studies, Founding Director of Africana Studies and Global Interdisciplinary Studies


Tuesday, December 5th, 6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.: Videogames in Historical Perspective



The Lepage Center records most of their events, making them accessible to the wider community. You can watch these recorded events on YouTube.