The Look of Teaching

When you picture good teaching in your minds eye, what do you see? A charismatic speaker in a large lecture hall, perhaps in a room with raked seating and rows of students at rapt attention? A faculty member seated at a seminar table, surrounding by students, and all treating each other as peers? A senior…

Cultural Anthropologists as Public Intellectuals

Charles King’s Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex and Gender in the Twentieth Century is a marvelous book, creative and engaging. A collective biography of a number extraordinarily influential scholars who came together to define an academic field and to reshape thinking, inside the academy and out,…

Hope Certainly Can Write

Hope Jahren is a geobiologist, a writer, a teacher, and an extraordinarily interesting person. In 2016 she wrote Lab Girl, a personal and professional memoir that rightfully garnered all manner of awards. It’s a beautiful, carefully crafted work that I would like to encourage you to read – and for you to recommend to anyone…

You Can’t Unsee Misogyny After Manne

Kate Manne’s outstanding book, Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, is a powerful, beautifully argued work that could rightly have a warning its cover. Once you read it and think it through, it is impossible not to see gender relations in a new way. Manne’s nominal focus, misogyny, opens up realizations about greater issues of…

Reality Pedagogy

Way back in 2016, before the pandemic and so much else, Columbia University Teachers College professor Christopher Emdin published For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood . . . and the Rest of Y’all Too. Emdin is a successful academic and scholar, an innovative practitioner, and an important public voice. He also knows social…

Learning Science?!?

Foretelling the future is impossible. But measured predictions, from smart and informed people, using good data, hard work and solid evidence, can be possible and reliable. A good example is Robert S. Feldman‘s Learning Science: Theory, Research, & Practice. Making claims about higher education and technology is inherently risky (Did anyone anticipate Zoom? Remember the…

An Economist’s Call for Equality

Economists, I think, often tend to have a different way of looking at things. They ask particular sorts of questions and often arrive at different kinds of answers than us non-economists. For us, economic work often can seem to take place in a world unto itself. Sometimes, though, what economists argue and and call out…