The Roundup Top Ten for September 24, 2021


Climate Anxiety and the Return of Arctic Horror

by Bathsheba Demuth

As climate change driven by capitalism threatens the polar ice caps, new miniseries return to the themes of arctic exploration, where cold and ice threaten humans and commerce, rather than the other way around. 


Debate and Controversy are Essential to History Education

by Robert Cohen and Sonia Murrow

Claims that critical perspectives on US history are "divisive" or "disruptive" or teach students to "hate America" were wrong in the 1980s, and are being repeated today. Educators must be free to serve the needs of students to compare, evaluate and debate. 



The Myth of "Open Borders"

by Anna O. Law

Recent efforts by Texas and other states to claim the power to apprehend suspected undocumented immigrants reflects a conflict of federalism that traces back to the efforts of slave states to control the movement of free Black people in their territories and of northern states to keep out poor immigrants.



No, John Calhoun Didn't Invent the Filibuster

by Robert Elder

A new book castigating the filibuster traces it back to the parliamentary maneuvers of pro-slavery ideologue John C. Calhoun. One needn't embrace either Calhoun or the filibuster to recognize this is historically incorrect. 



Ariella Azoulay

by Ariella Azoulay

The taking of photographs of enslaved people by Harvard scientist Louis Agassiz, and the university's continued ownership of those images, constitute a crime against humanity, argues a theorist and historian of visual culture. The images demand an ethic of care to replace an ethic of ownership, which is a model for restorative justice for slavery.



Adjunct Professors Need a Better Ground Game

by Mia Brett

If universities aren’t going to invest in tenure track teaching lines, then we need to make sure that they participate in and support the professionalization of adjuncts. Statewide adjunct unionization may be the way to make that happen. 



Peering Into Windows and Wombs: Reflections on SB 8

by Gillian Frank

"Even as abortion opponents loudly proclaim they are acting by divine mandate, people of faith like Dr. Curtis Boyd remain on the frontlines of this battle for reproductive healthcare."



American Gentry: The Political and Economic Elite No One Talks About

by Patrick Wyman

Local gentry classes have been a feature of hierarchical social orders throughout history, and have often been influential. Today's American local gentry has been the backbone of Trumpism. 



Fights over Tenure Aren't About Tenure

by Molly Worthen

"The fight over tenure is not really about tenure. It’s a proxy for a larger debate about the meaning of academic freedom and the priorities of higher education." If academics want to successfully protect tenure, they must engage the culture war battle, too. 



The Complex Politics of Vaccine Resistance

by Nicole Hemmer

Despite the fact that no major religion forbids vaccination, vaccine resisters often leverage religious exemptions to gain moral authority for what are often political or conspiracy-based views. Public health advocates need to recognize that exemption claims are a tool, not a belief.


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