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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 »

Two cents for welfare (Part 1)

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | August 12, 2016

On June 15, 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown and the California legislature agreed to end the cap on support for families in need, most of them single mothers and their children. It took 20 years for California to reject a program based on the Clinton-era attack on “welfare as we knew it.” The 1996 Clinton law replaced … 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 »

Marriage equality as evolution

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | June 26, 2015

How quickly things have evolved. Three years ago this month, I was in Campeche, Mexico, participating in an international congress about the archaeology of the ancient Maya. And I was keeping an eye on the Supreme Court, waiting to write an op-ed that I hoped would be a celebration of an extension of the right … Continue reading »

My Passage to India

Nicholas Dirks, UC Berkeley Chancellor | February 2, 2015

I set off on my first passage to India when I was 12 years old. My father had a Fulbright grant to teach at Madras Christian College, in Tambaram, southern India, and he decided to take our entire family with him for the year. I remember being told about my family’s plans some time in … Continue reading »

Modern great books: David S. Landes’s “The Unbound Prometheus” and nineteen others…

Brad DeLong, Brad DeLong | September 8, 2013

The most important economic historian ever to teach at U.C. Berkeley died last month: my old teacher David S. Landes taught at Berkeley starting in 1958 until Harvard lured him away until 1964. From a student’s perspective, he was ideal: he knew more than you did, was eager to share, could and did make everything … Continue reading »

Today’s American political dysfunction

Brad DeLong, Brad DeLong | August 30, 2013

Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute have a very nice op-ed this morning about America’s political dysfunction. I, however, found it sad: their fantasy is for pressure to work in America’s interest to be directed toward Speaker of the House Boehner and Senate Minority Leader McConnell by… … Continue reading »

A 165 year-long struggle for women’s rights continues

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | July 19, 2013

On July 19, 1848, the Seneca Falls Conference launched a challenge to US society: extend the revolution to encompass women, not just men. The point was made in a provocative text, the “Declaration of Sentiments” drafted by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Rhetorically, by using the Declaration of Independence as a model, the Declaration of Sentiments sharply … Continue reading »

Guns, germs, and steel…and economics

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics | June 11, 2013

“Classic” books are few and far between but Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond is one of these rare classic books written during our lifetime. It aims to answer the question why the people of Eurasia fared better than people in other regions. The explanation takes the reader through human history over the last … Continue reading »

Jupiter Hammon should be a household name

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | February 17, 2013

But my guess is, many readers didn’t know his name a week ago– and some still don’t. So let’s correct that. According to the Lloyd Harbor Historical Society, Jupiter Hammon was “America’s First Colonial Afro-American Published Poet”. Hammon was born and died in slavery, living from 1711 to after the American Revolution with successive generations … Continue reading »

Overheating and the Fed

Carola Conces Binder, Ph.D. candidate, economics | February 7, 2013

Governor Jeremy Stein of the St. Louis Federal Reserve gave a speech on February 7 called “Overheating in Credit Markets: Origins, Measurement, and Policy Responses.” Overheating is a term he uses to describe a credit market with low interest rates, lax lending standards, and high risk-taking by investors “reaching for yield.” The problem with overheating is that … Continue reading »

Why would anyone claim UC doesn’t teach American history?

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | April 27, 2012

Back at the beginning of April, when Rick Santorum was still a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, he made a shocking claim about teaching in the University of California system: “seven or eight of the California system of universities don’t even teach an American history course,” Santorum said. “It’s not even available to be … Continue reading »

Reconstructing memory

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | January 4, 2012

The Berkeley campus has an eatery with an interesting name and story: “The Free Speech Movement Café.” At the 2000 dedication of the café, then-Chancellor Robert Behrdahl lauded the tumultuous student movement of 1964 for having brought adult rights to college students, including the right of  free expression, and for having broadened civil debate. Back … Continue reading »

Spinsters no more

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | June 29, 2011

Among the familiar characters in 19th century novels are the spinsters – the “spinster aunts” who lived with a brother or sister’s family; also the “spinster daughters” who stayed home with their elderly parent(s). These characters seem to have decamped from modern fiction. No wonder, there are a lot fewer of them in modern life. To … Continue reading »

Missing tramps

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | June 24, 2011

One image of the Great Depression was of the tramps, the hobos drifting from town to town. Folk singer Woody Guthrie sang many a lyric on the theme, such as “the highway that’s our home / It’s a never-ending highway / For a dust bowl refugee.” And: “Go to sleep you weary hobo / Let … Continue reading »

City crime, country crime

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | June 15, 2011

A recent report announced that the huge financial company UBS will be moving back from a suburb of New York into Manhattan, “because it has come to realize it is more difficult to recruit talented people in their 20s to work in the suburbs.” What a (literal) turnaround! For about a generation, roughly from  the 1970s … Continue reading »