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Sincerely, Niccolo Machiavelli: an open letter to Donald Trump

Peter Sahlins, professor of history | February 26, 2017

“I must commend you on your masterful victory over your opponents. But some of my lessons you’ve failed to learn.” So wrote Liam Frölund, a freshman at Berkeley, using Machiavelli’s voice and texts, in a masterly fulfillment of his class assignment, published last week in Salon Magazine. I’ve been teaching History 5, “Western Civilization Since … Continue reading »

‘I have nothing to hide. Why should I care about privacy?’

Lisa Ho, campus privacy officer | January 25, 2017

(with co-contributor Professor Ken Goldberg) In celebration of Data Privacy Day (Jan. 28), we offer three reasons for the university community to care about privacy. 1. Learning is personal As much as we grow through our community, learning is essentially an internal transformation. Keeping grades, letters of recommendation, and evaluations private is not about hiding. It’s … Continue reading »

Mistaken for Muslim, Indian American man beaten in Pittsburg bar

Purushottama Bilimoria, visiting scholar, Institute for South Asia Studies; doctoral faculty, Graduate Theological Union | November 26, 2016

The incident reported in Indian-American media reminds me of this story I penned sometime back, from which I excerpted this blog. http://www.indiawest.com/news/global_indian/mistaken-for-muslim-indian-american-man-beaten-in-pittsburg-bar/article_602c19ee-b35c-11e6-b5e9-ff7a1c0c208c.html An itinerant Indian nationalist activist, Pandit Totaram Sanadhya, found himself in the impoverished islands of British-colonized Fiji quite by accident, being deceptively recruited in 1893 as a girmitiya, a Hindiised term for indentured “coloured” … Continue reading »

Why has America elected a president adapted to a Stone Age way of life?

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | November 9, 2016

There are a lot of unhappy, surprised people in Berkeley today. I am in the minority who are deeply unhappy but in no way surprised. The interpretation we make of yesterday’s events depends upon the paradigm we adopt for understanding human nature. The majority of my colleagues are still influence by the 19th century standard social-science … Continue reading »

The impact of advisers of color in the UC

Tara Young, College Adviser, College of Letters & Science | October 28, 2016

At UC Berkeley, the overall population of staff of color has remained flat over the past 10 years. The more senior the position, the less likely a person of color will occupy it. In Sid Reel’s Wisdom Cafe article (http://wisdomcafe.berkeley.edu/2015/11/how-campus-staff-play-a-role-in-advancing-equity-diversity-and-inclusion/), “The 2013 campus climate survey identified that staff members experience a higher level of exclusionary … Continue reading »

Emma Goldman Papers sounds the alarm for Nasty Women – past and present – to unite

Candace Falk, Candace Falk | October 24, 2016

Among the most frightening aspects of the specter of a Trump presidency would be the arbitrary use of power, including his threat to “lock up” his “nasty woman” opponent, enact racist policies of massive deportations from, and restricted entry into, the United States, all while bypassing any semblance of the democratic process. This scenario was … Continue reading »

Dylan in Stockholm; Dylan in Berkeley

Timothy Hampton, professor of French and comparative literature | October 17, 2016

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’

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | October 13, 2016

“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 »

On National Coming Out Day, I celebrate my birthday

Darren Arquero, Ethnic Studies Doctoral Candidate & Haas Institute Research Fellow | October 11, 2016

I was born 28 years ago today in Houston, Texas. I am the youngest of three siblings born to parents of Filipino descent. Also 28 years ago today, National Coming Out Day (NCOD) was established by Robert Eichsberg and Jean O’Leary to mark the anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay … Continue reading »

Insights from Standing Rock: as school begins

Tasha Hauff, doctoral student and teacher at Sitting Bull College | September 5, 2016

In January this year I moved to Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to take a position at Sitting Bull College teaching Native American Studies, including the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ language. Standing Rock is where I wanted to be because of its incredible work with indigenous language revitalization, particularly its growing PK-2nd grade immersion school. The Sacred Stone … Continue reading »

The science of the story

Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor, Greater Good Magazine | August 25, 2016

This essay is based on a talk for the Berkeley Communications Conference, delivered on June 1, 2016. It was originally published in Greater Good Magazine. Stories are told in the body. It doesn’t seem that way. We tend to think of stories as emerging from consciousness — from dreams or fantasies — and traveling through … Continue reading »

Periscope, Congress and the aliveness of video

Nancy Van House, professor emerita in the School of Information | June 29, 2016

A group of people sitting on the floor, many holding signs. One after another making speeches. People milling about. Some looking at their phones. On and off, chanting, call and response. But this time the men are in suits the women mostly in skirts and heels. (No doubt some wishing they had worn pants that … Continue reading »

Can anthropology save the world?

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | May 24, 2016

Professor Nancy Scheper-Hughes gave the commencement address at the Department of Anthropology graduation ceremony, May 19. Here are excerpts from her speech:  … We are living in difficult times facing an out of control, escalating wars in the Middle East for which we are partially to blame, and destructive political wars at home.  We are a … Continue reading »

Another side to the Tubman twenty

Stephanie Jones-Rogers, assistant professor of history | April 26, 2016

A slave-owning man on one side, a formerly enslaved woman on the other, and in between them lies the very thing that he could have used to buy her. This is how I think about the new $20 bill, which will soon feature Harriet Tubman and Andrew Jackson. This happenstance is the fruit born largely of … Continue reading »