Campus scholars' perspectives on topical issues — in conversation with you

Obama’s People and The African Americans: The Language of Othering

Names used about the “black” community have changed, and continue to change. I sometimes say I was born a colored boy, then I became a Negro, then black, then African-American, and still we are not done. To the list of identities black people in America have assumed or been asked to, we can now add, … Continue reading »

Why stories matter: Quantifying the effects of a women’s leadership program in Rwanda

Think about your values. Think of a time in your life when your actions demonstrated those values. Now think of a story from your life that illustrates those values — a story where you faced a challenge, made a choice and realized an outcome. This is what women in Rwanda do during Resonate’s Storytelling for … Continue reading »

Dylan in Stockholm; Dylan in Berkeley

The recent decision by the Swedish Nobel Committee to award the 2016 prize for literature to Bob Dylan has not been uncontroversial. Cries of anguish have come from all sides, lamenting generally that this decision is one more nail in the coffin of a literary culture that demands quiet, thoughtful attention but is now mortally … Continue reading »

Michelle Obama: ‘It’s about basic human decency’

“It has shaken me to my core….” Yes. This resonates. Michelle Obama has just delivered the speech of her life — of the lives of many women who watched events in the presidential election since Friday with an increasing sense of disbelief. How could we possibly, in 2016, have a major party candidate for president who spoke … Continue reading »

Video: How 2016 is changing political speech — forever

For someone who works on political language, this is a puzzling election, as it is for just about everybody else. Is it a one-off or does it signal a sea-change—is this a black crow or just a gray one? But I think it’s clear that whatever happens in November, we won’t be returning to the … Continue reading »