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Back on Campus

I just arrived back on campus after spending part of the summer in the Berkshires. That’s a place we’ve grown to love, and I find we get a fair amount of work done on our research and course preparation while also enjoying the outdoors. I think Mathilde enjoys it most of all: Over the next […]

Yesterday I spoke about liberal education with NPR’s Eric Westervelt on All Things Considered. Here are a few excerpts: On the long debate over liberal arts education in America This tension between the useful and the wide-ranging, that tension goes all the way back to the founding of this country — because even though Jefferson […]

Wesleyan recently created a new graduate program to help develop the field for curators of performance. Here’s what the website says, in part, about the program: Contemporary performance is at a distinct crossroads. The co-existence and cross-pollination of idea- and technique-based performance practice has created a dynamic dialog over the past several decades. The Internet […]

This week we sadly remember the three-month anniversary of the kidnapping of the schoolgirls from Chibok. The world’s attention for these victims of brutal terrorists has underscored that the battle for equality in the developing world is inseparable from the battle for access to education for girls and women. Unfortunately, no hashtag campaign, no matter […]

Just tell me one thing. Will my daughter have a job and not be moving back home after she graduates from your university? That’s what a dad asked me at a Wesleyan University information session caught on film for the recent higher-education documentary Ivory Tower. Traditionally, a college degree has been a marker of independence […]

My review of Adam Phillips’ excellent new biography of Sigmund Freud, Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst, was published in the Washington Post today. I’ve been writing about Freud ever since my frosh classes at Wesleyan, and every so often I still return to psychoanalysis. In reading Phillips’ account of Freud’s early years, I […]

Last week, I was in New York to receive the Benjamin E. Mays award from the A Better Chance Foundation for our work at increasing diversity in higher education. While in the city, I  took the opportunity to evangelize for liberal education in conjunction with “Beyond the University.” I very much enjoyed my conversation with […]

Wesleyan out West

I’m getting ready to return to Wesleyan after a few days in Los Angeles followed by a brief visit to San Francisco. The occasion was the Shasha Seminar on the road, organized by Jeanine Basinger. The topics for the day were Women in Film, TV Writing, and the Business of Film. Each panel was thoughtful, […]

Driving away from campus this week, I was surprised that my car radio was playing “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.” With your mercury mouth in the missionary times And your eyes like smoke and your prayers like rhymes…. I was brought back to long ago, lots of emotions swirling. I thought, what radio station could […]

I published this op-ed in Inside Higher Education this morning. I’ve also been talking about liberal education on the NPR here and here.   “What would the United States look like if we really gave up on liberal education and opted only for specialized or vocational schools? Would that really be such a bad thing?” […]

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