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The Tragedy of the Knowledge Commons

Date: Friday, September 5, 2014
Summary: Several years ago, my seven-year-old and I were out walking when we met a young man who had recently returned from military service in Afghanistan. In response to my son’s obvious fixation on the titanium rod protruding from his shorts, the man volunteered that he had been injured in a skirmish with Taliban fighters near the Pakistan border. Once out of ear-shot, my son peppered me with questions he would not dare pose to a stranger, and I found myself reconstructing the possible circumstances of the veteran’s injury, the reasons for war, and the probable course of treatment he had received after his wound. After a thoughtful pause, my son remarked: “Well, at least he got to keep his foot.” more…

Education: the Key to Freedom

Date: Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Summary: There is no doubt that blacks in America have been discriminated against and oppressed. Since the age of exploration, they have been bought and sold, forced into slavery, beaten, segregated, and kept from obtaining basic human rights like the right to an education or the right to vote. more…

The Reach of Civil Disobedience

Date: Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Summary: During the black Civil Rights movement, the use of civil disobedience (mass gatherings, marches, sit-ins, etc.) was noteworthy. Martin Luther King Jr. was the most famous advocate of non-violent civil disobedience. more…

Not Just a Popularity Contest: The Role of Popular Fiction in Society

Date: Friday, February 19, 2016
Summary: Alex Cross, The Hunger Games, The Notebook. Each of these novels represents a popular work of fiction that topped the charts. Though the characters and plots differ widely, the popularity makes these books instantly recognizable to contemporary readers. more…

Origins of Antifeminism

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Summary: There is a recent trend of women publicly taking their stance on feminism. Influential feminist Lininaz Evans stated she was "not a fan of men" causing a stir about how modern feminists operate. Conversely, on September 20th 2014 Emma Watson gave a speech on gender equality at the UN addressing the misguided beliefs of feminism. Evans' statement in particular caused journalist A. Ages to comment that statements like these have cast a shadow on how the mainstream views feminists. more…

The Poisoned Well of Public Discourse: Anita Sarkeesian, #GamerGate, and the Value of Humanities Education

Date: Saturday, November 8, 2014
Summary: At the University of Massachusetts in 1975, Chinua Achebe delivered a lecture criticizing Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness for perpetuating colonial stereotypes of Africans. more…

Popular Perceptions and Dehumanization in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Date: Friday, April 10, 2015
Summary: During the Gaza War in the summer of 2014, Israelis in the streets of Tel Aviv chanted "There's no school in Gaza, there are no more kids left” and concluded their chant with "Gaza is [now] a cemetery." Similarly, a New York Times study found that 93 percent of Palestinians hold anti-Semitic views. The consensus is that Arabs and Jews have always held these views and since the conflict has raged for so long there is nothing that can be done. more…

Fate and Emotion in Shakespeare’s Love Stories Portrayed in Dance

Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Summary: Most people are familiar with the “Bard” Shakespeare’s love tragedies, especially the plays of Romeo and Juliet and Othello. However, not all people know that, given the crossing of disciplines, both of these stories have been translated into dance, which is, in itself, a language. In the ballet version of Romeo and Juliet, it is important to consider the question of fate, while in “The Moor’s Pavane”, the dance portrayal of Othello, conflicting, raging emotions prevail as a unifying theme. more…