The New Racism, Part I: How ‘Race and Ethnic Studies’ Made Color Blindness a Bad Thing

Like most Americans, I have always assumed that color blindness is our ideal.  Not any more: color blindness is now become the new racism. So much for a 70-year struggle to fulfill Martin Luther King Jr.’s wish that his children be “judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their … Continue reading “The New Racism, Part I: How ‘Race and Ethnic Studies’ Made Color Blindness a Bad Thing”


A Professor’s Tough Examination—Of Our Higher Education System

There are lots of people in our higher education system who claim that it is “the envy of the world” and just needs more money to graduate more young Americans with the degrees that are supposedly in great demand. One naysayer who disputes that rosy picture is Professor Warren Treadgold, who teaches history at Saint … Continue reading “A Professor’s Tough Examination—Of Our Higher Education System”


Duke Divinity School’s Race to the Bottom

The chickens have come home to roost at Duke’s Divinity School. Protesting students claim the school is insufficiently diverse. More needs to be done, they say, to combat racism, transphobia, homophobia, and associated evils. All this despite a campaign by the administration to achieve these very aims in the course of which a distinguished faculty … Continue reading “Duke Divinity School’s Race to the Bottom”


Three Ways Declining English Departments Can Be Relevant Again

A major in English was once a serious endeavor masquerading as a frivolous one. Despite the occasional “do you want fries with that?” condescension from business or science students, the study of literature—immersion in its aesthetic, historical, and philosophical contexts—conserved for posterity a reservoir of truth and paid forward for humanity a legacy of beauty … Continue reading “Three Ways Declining English Departments Can Be Relevant Again”


University Programs Cultivate the Crisis of Relevance in the Arts

I spent the early 1990s in art school. Little did I know that one of most negative experiences I had there was a harbinger for the direction of college art programs. We didn’t have much opportunity to expose our work to the larger public. But once a year the university held a juried, month-long exhibit … Continue reading “University Programs Cultivate the Crisis of Relevance in the Arts”


How Academe Helped to Elect Trump

President Trump scares academe. Many feel threatened, under siege, rejected, aghast. Eric Klineberg, professor of sociology at New York University, summed up this anxiety a few days after the election: “My pulse raced and my blood pressure spiked when I realized that Donald Trump would be president. I felt afraid.” Trump’s victory, he adds, is … Continue reading “How Academe Helped to Elect Trump”