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MLK: an enduring and great teacher

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | April 4, 2018

This is cross-posted from the Haas Institute Blog of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. This week people all across the world are pausing to acknowledge the incredible life and the tragic death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I always deliberately include the “Reverend” in his title as we … Continue reading »

Why doesn’t the American public use its power over the gun business?

Brian DeLay, Associate professor of history | March 7, 2018

As teenagers in Parkland, Florida, dressed for the funerals of their friends – the latest victims of a mass shooting in the U.S. – weary outrage poured forth on social media and in op-eds across the country. Once again, survivors, victims’ families and critics of U.S. gun laws demanded action to address the never-ending cycle of mass shootings and routine violence ravaging American … Continue reading »

Nationalism and the future of higher education

John Douglass, senior research fellow, Center for Studies in Higher Education | November 20, 2017

(These remarks were delivered at the opening of a Nov. 16-17 conference observing the 60th anniversary of UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education, held in partnership with University World News, and exploring the influence of nationalism on major national universities around the world.) With varying levels of intensity, university are extensions of the … Continue reading »

Explaining Orthodox Jews’ growing support for the Trump presidency

David Henkin, professor of history | November 9, 2017

(This is cross-posted from the site, Public Books, where it appeared as the 24th installment of The Big Picture, a public symposium on what’s at stake in Trump’s America, co-organized by Public Books and NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge.) Exit polls conducted during the 2016 election yielded a fact about the political allegiances of American Jews that … Continue reading »

Taxpayers, indirect subsidies and influencing America’s gun lobby

Brian DeLay, Associate professor of history | October 10, 2017

After Stephen Paddock opened fire on Las Vegas concertgoers on Oct. 1, many people responded with calls for more gun control to help prevent mass shootings and the routine violence ravaging U.S. neighborhoods. But besides a rare consensus on restricting the availability of so-called bump stocks, which Paddock used to enable his dozen semi-automatic rifles to fire like machine guns, it’s unclear if anything meaningful will … Continue reading »

On statues, and what can and cannot be said

Andrew Shanken, professor of architecture | August 18, 2017

I’ve been loath to write about what’s happening with Confederate statues, but a few sleepless nights cured my diffidence. As an architectural historian who works on memorials and has dabbled in the history of historic preservation, I’ve vacillated over the years between a Ruskinian position (“let it moulder”) and a Rieglian position, trying to establish … Continue reading »

Police shootings: How many more must perish before we see justice?

Stephanie Jones-Rogers, assistant professor of history | July 27, 2017

One year to the day that Dylann Roof murdered nine African Americans in Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina, a jury exonerated Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile. In African American communities around the country, few individuals were surprised at the verdict. More than anything, individuals expressed deeper sorrow and intensified disappointment because, once again, many of us held out hope that the justice system would hold the man who killed another human being accountable.

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, professor of history and anthropology | 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 »