In January of 2020 there were rumblings of change in the world. We were starting to hear about this “coronavirus” thing, and it was a bit unsettling. By February and March our worlds were turned upside down. Now, here it is two years later and the best thing we can do is pretend things are getting back to normal while scientists desperately try to keep up with a virus that eludes us at every step. We are taking every opportunity we can to claim, “soon it will be endemic!” But nobody really knows how far or near that stage is from us. And new variants are on the horizon and the arguments about masks and vaccines are reaching a boiling over point that is disrupting the economy – we aren’t sure how long we can go on like this. [Read More]
If you work in academia you may have heard rumblings in the last few weeks about “the Harvard letter.” It was a shocking scandal that had people all over opining and tweeting and just generally being appalled. If you don’t work in academia, you might not have heard of it. But it was not a good moment for us. Some of the most influential people in their fields made what many saw as some serious mis-steps, and in the process laid bare some of the worst parts of academic culture. We like to think of the ivory tower as a place where we are striving for ideals like justice, equality, and progress, but weeks like the last two remind us that we are just as mired in the muck as anybody else. [Read More]
As you know, many of my classes deal with politics or political change. So, a couple of weeks ago, I started out a few of them with a brief discussion of the retirement of Stephen Breyer. Not surprisingly, most of my students had never heard of him, and only a few had any idea that there was any news concerning the Supreme Court. Students at my school aren’t particularly politically plugged-in and don’t tend to pay much attention to the news. [Read More]
By now I am sure you have all heard about the furor surrounding the graphic novel Maus.
The Pulitzer Prize winning work from Art Spiegelman was banned by a school board in Tennessee because it has swear words in it and depicts a “naked character.” [Read More]
ou may have heard in the news recently about Mitch McConnell’s unfortunate gaffe about voting rates. In case you missed it, Bruce Schreiner writes,
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is drawing criticism for comments he made shortly before the GOP blocked a federal elections bill, when he said that “African American” voters cast ballots at similar rates to “Americans.” [Read More]