Foreseeable Futures

  • Civic Engagement and the Copernican Moment

    David Scobey, executive dean of The New School for Public Engagement, provides a seeable present: the state of higher education a decade into the 21st century and sorely in need of change. Evoking a paradigm shift on the scale of Copernicus’s discovery that the sun, not the earth, is the center of the universe, Scobey adjures, “there Read more...

  • Save As… Knowledge and Transmission in the Age of Digital Technologies

    Diana Taylor, university professor and professor of Performance Studies and Spanish, New York University, provides a rich entry point into complex questions about digital media and its implications for scholarly practice. Drawing on her experience with the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, a multinational collaboration of artists and scholars grounded in an on-line archive Read more...

  • Traditional New Orleans Jazz as a Metaphor for American Life

    Michael G. White, jazz musician, scholar, and professor of Spanish and African American Music, Xavier University of Louisiana, weaves a profound understanding of the meaning of traditional New Orleans jazz with the ideals of democratic life. Through his own words and live music from his four-piece ensemble, White explores the way traditional jazz foregrounds ideas Read more...

  • La Memoria de Nuestra Tierra: Sites of Public Memory

    Judith F. Baca, artist, educator, scholar/activist, and community arts pioneer, University of California, Los Angeles,  explores an idea that is deceptively simple: the land has memory. She articulates this idea as much through images as words; indeed, images form the spine of the argument, specifically photographs of a mural along a flood control channel in Read more...

  • Navigating the Past: Brown University and the Voyage of the Slave Ship Sally, 1764-65

    James T. Campbell, asssociate professor of American Civilization, Africana Studies, and History, Brown University, asks:  “What happens if we see our past whole? How might we take full ownership of our history, not only of the aspects that are gracious and honorable but also of those that are grievous and horrifying? What responsibilities, if any, Read more...

  • Changing the Story About Higher Ed’s Public Purposes and Work: Land-Grants, Liberty, and the Little Country Theater

    Scott Peters, associate professor, Department of Education, Cornell University,  examines the stories we tell about the history of higher education, using strategies of the humanities and the qualitative social sciences to illuminate competing accounts of the public mission of American land grant colleges. Specifically, he uncovers the historical relationship between culture and agriculture, building a Read more...

  • Homeland Insecurities: Teaching and the Intercultural Imagination

    John Kuo Wei Tchen, director of the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program and Institute and associate professor of the Gallatin School for Individualized Study and the History Department of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, New York University, brings to life three imagined students, who reflect the experiences of many real students. On behalf of “Alice,” “Alicia,” Read more...

  • The Tangled Web of Diversity and Democracy

    George J. Sanchez, professor of History and American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California,  sets forth an important argument about the two pathways to democracy in U.S. higher education: first, engagement by the university through connections of faculty, staff, and students with specific communities and publics; and second, access to the university for members Read more...

  • Transforming America: The University as Public Good

    Nancy Cantor, chancellor and president of Syracuse University, outlines a number of bold campus-communitypartnerships, many of which were integral to the Brown v. Board of Education Commemoration at the University of Illinois. She makes a passionate case for the arts as “a context for exchange” and “a medium for participation” in a society where “pervasive Read more...

  • Harlem: Parable of Promise or Peril

    Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University,tells the story of one institution’s successful struggle to make the impossible merely difficult — to build a museum in a mythic urban ruin and to make that museum a force in both economic development and community empowerment. It is also a case study Read more...

  • The Franke Report

    Richard J. Franke, author, Cut from Whole Cloth, draws from his experience as founding chairman of the Chicago Humanities Festival and as CEO of John Nuveen and Company, to tackle the question, “How do we bring scholars and artists to a larger audience?” Stepping back, he also asks, “Why is it important to reach a Read more...

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