Friday, June 10th, 2005
A man selected to be chair of the Sociology Department of Brooklyn College has withdrawn his name from consideration after there was a conservative media firestorm in New York over an online essay he authored. What were the controversial views he aired: was he anti-Semitic? Communist? Worse: he’s an athiest.
… Besides, so what if Shortell’s essay is offensive? Brooklyn College is a public, secular institution, not a Bible college. The Sun claimed Shortell’s disdain for religion would cloud his judgment of job candidates, but there was never any evidence that this would be the case. No student ever complained about his teaching; his colleagues trusted him enough to elect him to the post; the student work posted on his website is apolitical and bland. Predictions of bias, absent any evidence, are just a backhanded way of attacking his beliefs. You might as well say no Southern Baptist should be chair, since someone who believes that women should be subject to their husbands, homosexuality is evil and Jews are doomed to hell won’t be fair to female, gay or Jewish job candidates. Or no Orthodox Jew or Muslim should be chair because religious restrictions on contact with the opposite sex would privilege some job candidates over others.
But nobody ever does say that.
… People who believe in academic freedom have got to take these incidents seriously and get active before it’s too late.
Lest you get too desperate, the author of the article points out the same thing happened to renowned writer and thinker Bertrand Russell. In 1940.
Tuesday, January 25th, 2005
Last summer I participated in the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s History Scholars Program. The program has two parts: 15 sophomores and juniors are selected to participate in a paid program where they conduct archival research in New York City and participate in other programs for 6 weeks. Travel and room and board are covered, and participants are paid a $2,400 stipend.
The program also identifies 40 finalists for the scholars program which are invited to New York for an all-expenses paid one-week trip where they hear lectures from historians, visit archives, and do some sightseeing. I participated in the finalist program, and found it extremely worthwhile.
> Click here for more information or to apply
> Click here to download 1-page information sheet
Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
Both taken at protests of the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City.
Monday, September 27th, 2004
Saturday, September 25th, 2004
The Croton Aqueduct was a municipal water system in New York City which operated from 1842 until 1890. The system brought drinking water from Croton River in northern Westchester County to Manhattan. The system included a variety of structures which still exist today.
The remnants include this gatehouse, located at the corner of Amsterdam and West 119th St. in Manhattan near Columbia University. The building was constructed in 1894-95 and was recently designated a historic landmark by the city of New York. The structure remained in operation as a part of the public water system until 1990.