ESP Biography


Major: Music

College/Employer: Smith College

Year of Graduation: 2019

Picture of Penrose Allphin

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Penrose M. Allphin is a senior music major at Smith College. Besides composition, their main instruments are piano and voice. Penrose’s other engagements over the years have involved working in a lab with parrots, playing in pit orchestras, teaching piano, and working as an administrative assistant for music nonprofits. In their spare time, they enjoy baking and musical theatre. In the future, Penrose would like to combine their past research experience and academic passions to study the connection between music, language, and the brain.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

X10522: Nerds Examining Wizarding Theory and Society (N. E. W. T. S.) in HSSP Summer 2016 (Jul. 10, 2016)
When you think Harry Potter, what comes to mind? Is it the enormous fanbase? The fantastical world building? The cultural impact? From wizarding technology to Rowlinguistics, from the Ministry of Magic to Quidditch, let’s take an in-depth look at the social intricacies of one of the most culturally significant pieces of literature of our time.

H9508: Rereading Childhood Favorites in HSSP Summer 2015 (Jul. 12, 2015)
In this class, we will reread some of our favorite childhood books and take a closer look at themes and connections that we may have missed during our first reads. Books may include "The Mysterious Benedict Society," "The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles," "Little Women," "The Phantom Tollbooth," and "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." Compare the mindset of the Prock in "Whangdoodles" to that of conservation activists in our world, discuss the possible implications of a more autobiographical "Little Women," and explore the symbolism of Dorothy's fellow travelers in "Wizard of Oz." This course will be mainly reading and discussion-based, but may include other creative exercises.

H9161: Asimov: the Making of the Master in HSSP Spring 2015 (Feb. 21, 2015)
Are you passionate about science fiction, or just interested in getting your feet wet in the genre for the first time? An Asimov enthusiast (or willing to become one)? What were the influences that shaped the science fiction master that Isaac Asimov is known as today? In this class, we'll look at short stories written by Isaac Asimov, his contemporaries, peers, and his predecessors. Come and discuss the works of the writers who influenced Asimov's development as a literary genius.

H9286: Linguistics of Harry Potter in Spark 2015 (Mar. 14 - 15, 2015)
From the Latin Hogwarts motto to Voldemort's French name, the Harry Potter series is filled with linguistic diversity and invented words with interesting etymological bases. Come dissect some of these words to unveil another layer of meaning!

Z9288: History through Musicals! in Spark 2015 (Mar. 14 - 15, 2015)
Ever thought about learning history through Broadway musicals? We could let 1776 represent the American Revolution, Les Misérables could teach the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, The Sound of Music is a family narrative of early World War II, and so on. In this class, we will analyze the plots and lyrics of beloved Broadway musicals that correspond to a particular historical time or event.

A9293: Magical Madrigals! in Spark 2015 (Mar. 14 - 15, 2015)
Come warm up your voice, and then learn a madrigal for multiple parts. The madrigal is a secular vocal form of the Renaissance and early Baroque periods.

H9294: Robot Stories! in Spark 2015 (Mar. 14 - 15, 2015)
We will read and compare Lester del Rey's "Helen O'Loy" to Isaac Asimov's "Bicentennial Man," and discuss the issues surrounding the introduction of humanoid robots to society. Short robot stories + lively discussion + chocolate chip cookies = euphoria.

W9295: Bananagrams! in Spark 2015 (Mar. 14 - 15, 2015)
1...2...3...split! Come play Bananagrams, the fast moving, multiplayer word game. Some other word games will also be on hand.

H8462: Asimov, Robots, and Society in HSSP Summer 2014 (Jul. 06, 2014)
What are the sociological implications of Isaac Asimov's Robot novels? What parallels can be drawn between the fictional societies in his writing and contemporary society? What did Asimov predict for the future (now the present)? Was he right? Find out by signing up for this course!