Graduate Architecture

  • Photo Credit: Nicholas Nichols

Lecture Series on the Synthetic: Denice Frohman

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:30pm
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Meyerson Hall, 210 South 34th Street, Lower Gallery

Introductions by Catherine Bartch, Associate Director of Latin American and Latino Studies Program and Sophie Hochhäusl, Assistant Professor for Architectural History and Theory.

Moderated discussion with Davy Knittle (Department of English), German Pallares (Graduate Architecture), Azahara Palomeque (Social Policy), and Natalia Revelo La Rotta (Graduate Architecture and Inclusion in Design).

Denice Frohman will also attend the Cafe Con Leche Dialogue Series with Johnny Irizarry and students at La Casa Latina (3601 Locust Walk), 12:00-13:00, February 4. Lunch will be provided.

Puertopia: Language, Identity, and Belonging
A Reading by Denice Frohman 


Denice Frohman will be performing a selection of work—poetic excavations of Latinidad, queerness, and womanhood—that examine the language we’ve inherited, the language we keep, and the language we need to create. As a Diasporican (a Puerto Rican born in the U.S), her work challenges the hierarchies of language, delves into cultural preservation, and explores the colonial relationship between the U.S and Puerto Rico. “Puertopia” here signals post-Hurricane Maria disaster capitalism, but taken a step further, it unearths the tension between the estranged and the beloved—an island that is both paradise and colony, a lineage that is both aqui y alla, and a body that is both visible and invisible. As the poet, Willie Perdomo, writes: “The great readers, he would say, quote / From the kitchen.” And in that regard, Frohman’s work reminds us that everywhere is a stage, and thus everyone, and every tongue, is invited to get down.

Denice Frohman is a poet, performer, and educator from New York City. A CantoMundo Fellow, she’s received residencies and awards from the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures, Leeway Foundation, Millay Colony, and Blue Mountain Center.

Her work has appeared in Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color, What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump, ESPNW and elsewhere. A former Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion, she’s featured on national and international stages from The Apollo to The White House, and visited over 200 colleges and universities. She has a Master’s in Education and co-organizes #PoetsforPuertoRico. She lives in Philadelphia.

This series is organized by Sophie Hochhäusl, Assistant Professor for Architectural History and Theory, Maya Alam, architect and Visiting Lecturer, and David Hartt, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts. It is supported by the Provost Office at the University of Pennsylvania and the Dean’s Office at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design. The lecture by Denice Frohman is cosponsored by Casa Latina, Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, and Inclusion in Design.

This Synthetic Moment began as a series of exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles, exploring the intersectional and porous concepts of identity as expressed in art, architecture and language. A compound description of the world as vast and contingent. A series of talks inspired by these exhibitions informed the Fall 2019 Provost and Lecture Series on the Synthetic at the University of Pennsylvania, which started with a lecture by London-based artist and photographer Liz Johnson Artur. Poet Solmaz Sharif and architectural historian Charles Davis II presented their work in November 2019.