At last year's annual meeting of the Modern Language Association, Elisabeth Ladenson found herself in discussion with a bus dispatcher while waiting for a shuttle. "You all have that look," the dispatcher told Ladenson, an associate professor of French at Columbia University.
He may not be Thomas Jefferson, but that does not seem to matter to his supporters. Charlie Wilson, the notoriously fun-loving former Texas Congressman, may soon have an endowed professor’s chair named in his honor, to the dismay of some professors at the University of Texas at Austin.
When professors publish their memoirs, what do their stories say about themselves, the state of academe, and their disciplines? These are some of the issues addressed in Academic Lives: Memoir, Cultural Theory and the University Today (University of Georgia Press). The author is Cynthia Franklin, professor of English at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Franklin discussed her new book in an e-mail interview.
Q: What drew you to the topic of academic memoirs?â€¨â€¨
For social scientists starting their careers, creating research models that work is crucial. A new book suggests that they may be unaware of problems they face in part because scholars don't share stories of what didn't work on their projects, and how to deal with particular challenges.
The Cultural Capital of Asian American Studies (New York University Press) explores the state of the discipline more than 40 years after its founding amid the student protests of the 60s. Mark Chiang, associate professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago, writes about how the field has grown and also changed since its early days. In an e-mail interview, he discussed the themes of the book.
WASHINGTON -- While he described himself as “stunned” to be chosen as this year’s Jefferson Lecturer, Leon Kass was hardly apologetic. The University of Chicago professor is best known for the years he spent as chair of President Bush’s Council on Bioethics, and he was invited to give the lecture last fall by the then-chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Bruce Cole, himself twice appointed by President Bush.