Monthly Archives: May 2005

Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf

I just finished Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. I haven’t done any background reading or learned anything about the social context or critical debate, so these are untutored thoughts (fit for a notebook, which is what my blog really is). … Continue reading

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community research

Eleven of my undergaduate students, all from a program called Leaders for Tomorrow, are in residence on campus as of today. They are being paid, and in return they owe 180 hours of community research over the next six weeks. … Continue reading

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the kids are alright

The Communitarian Network posed the following question to everyone on its email list: Many people complain about the “younger generation,” which may be seen as selfish, out of control, not interested in public life, and so on. Of course it … Continue reading

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dilemmas of “place”

I’m at the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, where many people believe in the importance of “place.” That means (I think) that they value geographical communities that are distinctive, rather than anonymous and standardized. They believe that citizens ought to devote … Continue reading

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a scheme for policy research

[On a plane from Washington to Dayton OH:] I have been fantasizing lately about a plan that I won’t actually accomplish–although it would be very fun. Imagine starting with an intensive community-research project. Members of a community (for example, all … Continue reading

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museums for freedom and democracy

I spent yesterday in Philadelphia, helping the National Constitution Center with its strategic planning process. The Center is a museum for the U.S. Constitution, located in sight of Independence Hall. It’s also an educational center with a significant and growing … Continue reading

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social science, for good and ill

I’m on my way to Philadelphia today, to help the folks at the National Constitution Center think about their next steps. Yesterday morning, I went to Capitol Hill to watch my colleague and friend Judith Torney-Purta win a “Decade of … Continue reading

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notes on “free culture”

These are notes I took during the Free Culture conference last weekend. … Most participants were relatively young adults who create ?alternative? news and culture. They are also concerned about the legal and economic aspects of mass communications. Most start … Continue reading

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“free culture” conference

This evening and over the weekend, I’ll be attending a conference on “free culture” organized by Kathryn Montgomery and colleagues at American University. I’ll be the least hip person present, since everyone else will be either techno-savvy or into some … Continue reading

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Archon Fung: “Deliberation Before the Revolution”

My friend and colleague Archon Fung has published an article entitled ?Deliberation Before the Revolution: Toward an Ethics of Deliberative Democracy in an Unjust World? (Political Theory, Vol. 33, No. 3, Spring 2005: pdf). “Deliberative democracy” is an ideal: people … Continue reading

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