Connor Grubaugh argues that Hannah Arendt’s often-maligned essay “Reflections on Little Rock” offers clues to overcoming new clashes between what he calls “race-conscious and colorblind” advocates in anti-racist movements today.
Wyatt Mason writes about translating poetry and specifically Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. Amidst long ruminations on Baudelaire’s rhythmic syllables, Mason highlights the poet’s fight against all that is common.
Scott Samuelson reports on his experience teaching the humanities for free with the Catherine Project, named for “Catherine of Alexandria, the scholar who refuted the crusty academics who’d been hired to refute her—and then suffered an ancient form of cancellation.”
Robert Zaretsky looks back to Arendt’s account of the trial of Adolf Eichmann to help make sense of our own failures in thinking through the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.
There may be no more dangerous trend in higher education than the epidemic of administrators. For over ten years we’ve been reading articles about administrative bloat—spending on administration now nearly equals spending on faculty at many major universities. Philip Mousavizadeh writes about the “proliferation of administrators” at Yale University, where in the last 20 years “the number of managerial and professional staff... has risen three times faster than the undergraduate student body.”
Jonathan Kay reports on a conference of academic administrators in Canada. There was, Kay writes, barely a mention of Covid, virtual education, or the financial crisis facing many Canadian universities. Instead, the "centerpiece" of the meeting was a report titled Building a Race-Conscious Institution: A Guide and Toolkit for University Leaders Enacting Anti-Racist Organizational Change.
My colleague Justus Rosenberg died last week at the age of 100. Aside from teaching literature, Justus was known for the stories he would tell about his experiences during WWII, which included working with Varian Fry to help save many Jewish writers, artists, and intellectuals, including Hannah Arendt.
I was privileged to conduct a Question and Answer session with Vanessa Lapa and Tomer Eilav about their new documentary “Speer Goes to Hollywood.” The documentary is based on over 40 cassette recordings in which Speer sought to edit and create a Hollywood movie about his life and involvement in the Nazi Party. You can listen to a podcast of the Q&A here.
John Pavlus interviews Melanie Mitchell, an AI scientist at the Santa Fe Institute. Mitchell is above all concerned with the way human intelligence depends on making analogies. She explains that analogy-making is central because it is key to the human capacity for abstract thinking.