Monthly Archives: March 2014

three endings for Christabel

I think Coleridge was bad at plot. He claimed he forgot the whole story of “Kubla Khan” when a visitor interrupted him, so he could share only the exotic setting.  But Stevie Smith doubts it: He was weeping and wailing: … Continue reading

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introducing the Capabilities Approach

(DeLand, Florida) In Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach, Martha Nussbaum proposes that human beings have ten “Central Capabilities.” The first one is: “Life. Being able to live to the end of a human life of normal length …” The … Continue reading

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a concise and general argument for civic education reform

(Logan Airport) This article is newly out and publicly available: Peter Levine, “Teaching the Deeper Aspects of Civic Education,” The Standard (National Association of State Boards of Education), March 24, 2014, pp. 37-39. It is my best effort at a … Continue reading

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Dewey and the current toward democracy

Nevertheless, the current has set steadily in one direction: toward democratic forms. That government exists to serve its community, and that this purpose cannot be achieved unless the community itself shares in selecting its governors and determining their policies, are … Continue reading

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branding a nation

An excellent paper by Temple University’s Diane Garbow made me think about efforts to “brand” countries. Her topic was the “Colombia es pasión” campaign. Its logo looks very corporate, and it even comes with slogans like “Colombia: the only risk … Continue reading

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Detroit and the temptation of ruin

In Detroit, they call it “Ruin Porn”: images of a 35-acre abandoned automotive plant, the 18-story abandoned railway station (modeled, in turn, on ancient Roman baths), and other vast and decayed structures. I can certainly understand why citizens of Detroit … Continue reading

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the rise of urban citizenship

(Detroit) James Holston’s “current research examines the worldwide insurgence of democratic urban citizenships.” In this post, I’ll share what I took away from his excellent keynote talk about the recent uprisings in Sao Paolo and Istanbul. (I think he would … Continue reading

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two conversations about citizenship

(Detroit) I’m delighted to be at Wayne State University for my second visit to the Center for the Study of Citizenship’s annual national conference. I have just arrived, but the titles and abstracts reinforce my view that there are really … Continue reading

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the big lessons of Obamacare

For what it’s worth, I support Obamacare as a health reform strategy. To the best of my limited understanding, it makes sense as an approach to broadening insurance coverage and controlling costs. Whether or not I am right, the law … Continue reading

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my upcoming talks

Detroit, March 21: lunchtime plenary at the Center for the Study of Citizenship’s 2014 Conference, Wayne State University Florida, March 28, lunchtime plenary at the “Democracy in America: Participation and Social Justice” conference at Stetson University,  Chicago, April 5th 2014, panel on “best … Continue reading

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