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Happy Labor Day and first day of classes! The following is cross-posted from The Daily Beast. There is a tradition in this country stretching back to Thomas Jefferson of lofty ideals for our colleges and universities. Liberal learning is said to prepare one for autonomy and for citizenship. As Ralph Waldo Emerson emphasized, it also led […]

Welcome Back All Students!

It feels exhilarating to see all the students coming back to campus. I love this little video on the Wes vibe and hope you do, too.     Wesleyan. This Is Why.  

This morning Kari, Mathilde and I saw teammates on the fields behind the Freeman Athletic Center. It wasn’t quite 7 am, but practice was getting underway. Bleary-eyed student workers were headed in the direction of Usdan to prepare for a full day of welcomes, answering questions and helping to orient the families new to our […]

Learning, Not Violence

What a summer it has been! Around the world there has been an escalation of hatred and violence — vitriol is flowing in all corners of the globe. Aggressive Russian action against Ukraine continues, and the reactions of the West, however tepid, may be leading to a new Cold War. In the Middle East the […]

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 […]

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