The Roundup Top Ten for January 20, 2023


Why Are We Arguing About History But Letting the Profession Die?

by Daniel Bessner

If nobody can expect to earn a decent living researching and writing history, then vast swaths of our past will be unknown to the future, and the history that is written will suit the whims of the rich hobbyists who can afford to do the work. 


Hamline Mess Shows Religion and Neoliberal Administration Converge to Reject Expertise

by Alexander Jabbari

An instructive contrast can be drawn from a 1997 controversy over a frieze depicting Muhammad at the United States Supreme Court. Since then, post-9/11 Islamophobia, a culture of deliberate trolling under the banner of free speech, and the rise of corporate-style university management have drained the capacity for nuance.



Florida's Ban on AP African American Studies Class is Authoritarian

by Jeremy C. Young

The decision is "bad for free speech and for educational practice, and it's especially worrisome for Florida high school students. When politicians go to war with teachers, students always lose."



Masculinity and Trauma in War and Football

by Sarah Handley-Cousins

Sports have been cast as a (relatively) peaceful way of inculcating a set of masculine virtues otherwise associated with war. But the experience of injury and grief will continue to confound the rules of manhood—and football fans and citizens should pay attention. 



Why Do "Secret" Documents Keep Showing Up in the Wrong Places?

by Matthew Connelly

The near-unilateral authority of presidents to declare material secret in the name of national security is intoxicating and it's nearly impossible for the chief executive to resist abusing it, creating not a "deep state" but a "dark state" of secrecy and impunity. 



Blasphemy Is Not a DEI Issue

by Joan W. Scott

Hamline has mistaken the vital imperative of care and respect toward members of minority communities on campus with capitulation to religious censorship, which a university cannot abide. 



DeSantis Merging Fear of Lessons on Race and Sexuality with Attacks on Public Education

by Jonathan Feingold

Ron DeSantis's General Counsel defined "woke" as “the belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them.” The governor's education agenda is neatly summed up by this statement, and it's spreading nationwide. 



Colleges are Vulnerable to Political Attacks Because They've Abandoned their Roots

by Christine Adams

"Despite the persistence of conservative campaigns against higher education, American colleges and universities have never really hit on an adequate response to these attacks."



The Romance of the Highway Obscures Harm to Communities of Color

by Ryan Reft

Secretary Pete Buttigieg's comments that interstate construction entrenched racial segregation were denounced as "woke" by critics. But history shows that highway planners knew that such consequences were likely to ensue, and proceeded anyway. 



The Middle Ages Were Much Cleaner Than We Think

by Eleanor Janega

Our myths about medieval cleanliness are contradicted by mountains of evidence about the lengths people of all social classes went to to bathe. 


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