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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 »

Radical evil: A reflection on the Orlando massacre

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | June 19, 2016

It’s Saturday night a week after a non-entity coolly took the lives of 49 carefree revelers — having a good time, hanging loose, drinking, singing, dancing to the pulse, flirting, romancing, teasing, playing. To have the weekend fiesta cut short by the rat-a-tat-tat of an assault rifle meant for mud-splattered soldiers in foxholes (bad enough … 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 »

25 years later and the Rodney King video is still on repeat

Sandra Bass, Asst Dean of Students, Director UC Berkeley Public Service Center | March 7, 2016

Twenty five years ago this month, the video of Rodney King being beaten, clubbed, kicked, and stomped by a gang of police went viral before going viral was a thing. Eighty-nine seconds of unmistakable brutality repeatedly looped, dissected, and discussed. A year later, the defense attorney’s frame-by-frame deconstruction of King’s beating successfully convinced an all … Continue reading »

Harper Lee to Ta-Nehisi Coates: Race in literature in 2015

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | February 21, 2016

Two of the most important books on race released in 2015, the exhumed novel, Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee’s sequel to the award-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates’ long-form letter to his teenage son, Between the World and Me, were published the same day. This fortuitous historical footnote is all … Continue reading »

Five ways to build caring community on social media

Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor, Greater Good Magazine | November 30, 2015

As news of the terrorist attacks in Paris spread through social media, responses followed a pattern I’ve come to know well. First, shock and grief. Friends and followers share video and pictures that are almost pornographic in their deracinated intensity. The images appear with no context, and we see only running, screaming, guns, and blood. … Continue reading »

Healing Cuba

Anthony Cascardi, dean, Arts & Humanities | November 23, 2015

One can scarcely open a travel magazine or newspaper in these months in the thawing of U.S.-Cuba relations without finding something about the vibrant art scene in Havana — about the jazz clubs like La Zorra y el Cuervo and Jazz Café; about dancing to the rhythms of son; about alleyways turned into improvisational public … Continue reading »

Performing destruction: cultural heritage, looting and ISIS

Katherine Kinkopf, Ph.D. student, anthropology | November 9, 2015

If you use Twitter or Facebook, you’ve likely seen hundreds of news articles, reports, videos, and blog posts on the violent destruction of cultural heritage that has intensified in Syria during the past few months. As an archaeologist, my news-feeds are always a-buzz with the latest updates on all things archaeology — but it’s not what … Continue reading »

Amid growing inequality, Chekhov’s message resonates

Lura Dolas, senior lecturer, acting | October 19, 2015

Our work together as cast, crew and designers — developing our upcoming Theater, Dance and Performance Studies production — has led us all to a deeper understanding of why The Cherry Orchard, written and set in Russia in 1904, has so often been called “timeless” and “universal.” One need only scratch the surface of the play … Continue reading »