Several years ago, I inaugurated this class in recent United States political history under the title “The Age of Reagan.” Like many historians, I presumed that the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 had been the culmination of a fundamental reorientation of American conservatism. I also presumed that it would have as lasting an impact … More From Goldwater to Trump, A Syllabus
Recently I stumbled across an article in The New York Timesabout my favorite topic: online academic rage — and whether it spikes among those frustrated by the struggle to find a tenure-stream job. “Is there something about adjunct faculty members that makes them prone to outrageous political outbursts?” Colby College sociologist Neil Gross asked. Citing recent … More Angry About Adjuncting?
Academic Facebook has melted down again: this week, it is philosophy’s turn. At the center of the controversy is Rhodes College assistant professor Rebecca Tuvel’s article, “In Defense of Transracialism,” published in the most recent issue of the feminist philosophy journal Hypatia. Analyzing Rachel Dolezal’s disputed assertion that, having been born to white parents, she believes herself to … More What Happened at Hypatia?
As those of us who are college and university teachers gear up for the fall semester, our profession is briefly back in the news with a high focus on the heartbreak of college admissions. Let’s start with genuine heartbreak. Last Saturday, we learned that UC Irvine had rescinded acceptances for almost 500 students. The optics were pretty … More Scandals in Higher Education
Readers: in the absence of any real resources available to faculty at my university, I decided to write an essay about microagressions for my students. There must be many of you out there who are better at this than I am. Would you read this and leave your comments so that I can make necessary … More Microaggressions | An Intervention
Last week I had the privilege of writing an opinion piece for Inside Higher Education. The editors were interested in exploring some of the issues behind Columbia sophomore Nayla Kidd’s disappearance. For several weeks, Kidd’s friends tried to contact her to let her know she was being searched for as a missing person. Even when she learned … More On Faculty Advising: A Follow Up
Earlier today, I attended my high school class reunion, where I was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Alumnae Association of The Baldwin School, in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania. I was asked to give a short address to the Upper School, and this is what I said. I am humbled by this honor, in part because … More Fail Better: Reflections on a Good Life
This essay is an edited version of a talk I gave at Douglass College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., on April 12 2010. Picture this. An intelligent and ambitious young woman leaves her home for a women’s college. Upon arrival, she finds a faculty committed to progressive internationalism, free speech, civil rights, feminism and anti-racism. … More The Unfinished Agenda: Women’s Education in the 21st Century