Understanding and the Other

There are over a quarter of a million students at the City University of New York. That’s twice as many as there are in the entire Ivy League. And they come from almost… Continue reading

Legacy of a Lynching

A lynching runs through my family, though not as I long imagined. Yes, my great-grandfather, Sheriff John Sullivan, failed to stop the lynching of Seymour Newlin. But the story is not so simple,… Continue reading

Everyday Use: Who’s Passing for Who?

Alice Walker’s sly and perceptive narrator in “Everyday Use” reminds me of my grandmother, though the woman in the story is poor and African-American while my grandmother was white and, by the time… Continue reading

LIU Lockout Scheduled for Midnight

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
There’s a short piece on Inside Higher Ed today that says the Long Island University at Brooklyn administration will lock out faculty members starting at midnight “unless the…

The Road’s End

Too many people die on the road, way too many where traffic is not well regulated, as in West Africa. These are pictures I took in Togo in the late 1980s, right off… Continue reading

Oh, the Humanities!

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
When I first heard the term “Digital Humanities” a decade ago, it seemed like something brewed up for use by those who want to poison the humanities—still does.…

Tellin’ It Like It Is: Politics and Donald Trump’s Language

[Photo by Marc Nozell – https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcn/24622320840/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46901376 ] When Indiana Jones, played by Donald Trump, shoots the Cairo Swordsman (with Jeb Bush and a bunch of other Republicans in the… Continue reading

August, 1968

What follows is the draft of a chapter of a book I am working on, one based on my experiences as a 16-year-old in 1968. This chapter covers the most dramatic events in… Continue reading

The Old National Road in Togo, West Africa

One thing I’ve always adored are fading traces of the past. Togo, when it was Togoland, was a German colony (that changed in World War I, when it was split into now what… Continue reading

We Have Been Too Quiet

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
What’s the point of having academic credentials if you can’t use them? Sure, we make them into bludgeons inside the ivory tower, but that’s really just child’s play:…