The annotated table of contents below provides an overview of the contents of issue 25. To get the issue delivered straight to your door, subscribe now.
The college in our society does not just name an institution, a major local employer or a mandatory step on the status ladder; it also names an aspiration to the intellectual community.
“How many times have angry colleagues told me that a good book cannot be read in a week, not smartly! And how many times have I retorted, with my own degree of heat, that when the large books were first published, they were popular, which was the first step towards their continued fame, and the audiences who loved them first read them quickly, perhaps overnight, without waiting for hear scholarly lectures about them.
Peter Weiss and the political novel
As Weiss surely knew, … the political has a horizon: the universal fact of death. It seems unlikely that exploitation, misery, cruelty, humiliation, hatred and other forms of human suffering will ever be eradicated, and to demand that art exist exclusively for the purpose of eradicating them is tantamount to to condemn him to a kind of futility.
Hot or not
Notes on my grandfather’s erotic novel
What does this mean that it is “hot enough”? It seemed to him that if the option is available to live like a very hot person, it is a form of deprivation to live a less hot life. I once read that people are very unhappy with the income bracket just above their own, which means the extremely rich envy the extraordinarily rich.
Symposium: what is the college for?
The real college scandal
I cried. I lost sleep. I was, in fact, too upset to write anything worth reading. The press about the college admissions scandal broke my heart because I love American university. I owe him my life. Not my existence – which I owe to my parents – but my life, the way I live it, the things in it, the things that are close to my heart.
Degrees of anxiety
Why is college, supposed to be empowering and a gateway to an open future, seen by so many people as a source of shame and helplessness?
The second program
[Jelani M. Favors]
As a student in Dr. Mack’s class at A&T, lectures that dissected our country’s long tortured history with race were commonplace. These gave rise to heated discussions and debates among my peers, but there was never any question that racism was a cancer that eats away at the social, moral and political fabric of our nation, only differences of opinion. opinion on how to cure it.
What should students learn?
General education programs, more than anything you can find in a school’s promotional literature, tell the real story of what an institution thinks a college education ultimately is.
Where is the university?
It was uncomfortable and at times embarrassing to converse with unorganized academics on matters of organized action. We have learned that the ability to teach Marx in a classroom does not translate into a knowledge of what a strike is (teaching off campus does not respect a picket line, a work stoppage is a work stoppage).
Universe and university
Theology has been kicked out of college or pushed to its fringes largely because a narrow understanding of rational knowledge has held it out of its realm of concern. But this same narrow view, which overwhelmingly tends to regard scientific expertise and quantification knowledge as the gold standard, has also pushed philosophy to the fringes.
America won’t be anytime soon; even its public education system devotes much more resources to wealthy children than to those from poorer backgrounds. As an individual faculty member, you have no power over such matters anyway: either play the hand dealt to you or give up. If you stay, then you must recognize that the sociological function of elite colleges in non-ideal America will always be to produce an unfairly privileged elite. The only question is what it means to do this well.
“I don’t know what I’m doing with my life so college seems like a good place to not know things.”
When Meghan married Harry
A commentary on the human sciences
When did Meghan and Harry get married? To some, this question may seem silly or even unintelligible, and this is also an important fact. This shows that for such a person the category of marriage ceased to matter in the particular sense of importance that we are trying to understand. It might continue to matter in other ways.
The end of the wharf
On forest fires and other conflagrations
From my perch on top of my mountain, I watch Lilo and Stitch and listen to the Byrds Rodeo sweetheart, it does not take many prophetic gifts to see that the deeply boundless American landscape, as first sketched by Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman and then Mark Twain, and which is reborn in the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and dozens of other spiritual pioneers and Argonauts of all races and creeds are on fire. The power of a shared, forward-looking culture was the great innovation of the Americans. It was the fuel that fueled the country’s rise from a colonial backwater to the most powerful nation in the world. This country is gone now, destroyed by the titanic wave of creative destruction it unleashed on the entire planet.
Policy without guarantees
For Hall, the desire to rediscover oneness and authenticity – to be the center of all phenomena, the origin and the end – has always been an attempt to fix and stabilize what can never be fixed and stable. To pursue Hall’s thought today is therefore to conceive of a political action which does not rest on an already existing foundation, whether it is defined in terms of experience or identity.
The double vision of Edward Saïd
By the time I started as a journalist in Cairo in 2003, the premise of Said’s work, whether we read it or not, was part of the air we breathed.
Artists and Elders
The video and script commission transformed Bell’s continuous quarantine days. For the rest of the summer, she woke up with ideas and sat down to write. Gunderson had seen Bell not as an old and vulnerable, isolated and locked up, but as someone with something urgent and important to say – so urgent, so important, that her physical safety was necessary to ensure her ability to to say it.