Monthly Archives: January 2015

Tisch talks on the humanities and civic engagement

The Initiatives in the Public Humanities at Tisch College sponsor this series of monthly brown bag lunches during the spring semester of 2015. The Tisch Talks in the Humanities seek to identify areas of mutual interest and concern through conversations informed by … Continue reading

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Greece and Germany and getting to yes

The situation involving Greece and the European Union is a complex game, with numerous players and potentially many phases. Just as an example, voters in Spain are players who will have a chance to choose the new government in December; they may opt … Continue reading

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why not require high school students to pass the citizenship exam?

Arizona recently passed legislation requiring all high school students to pass the test required for naturalization as a US citizen. About a dozen other states are considering similar bills. Some of my friends are supporters, and the idea seems attractive … Continue reading

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diagramming Sarah Palin’s Iowa speech

Northeastern political scientist Nick Beauchamp has developed a remarkable, free tool (Plot Mapper) that identifies keywords in a stream of text and plots them on a two-dimensional plane. The words are placed automatically but meaningfully (using a form of principal … Continue reading

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Frontiers of Democracy 2015

Frontiers of Democracy 2015 will take place in Boston, MA on June 25-27. While powerful forces work against justice and civil society around the world, committed and innovative people strive to understand and improve citizens’ engagement with government, with community, … Continue reading

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civic education in a time of inequality and polarization

(Amtrak between NYC and Boston) Here are opening remarks I gave today at a Ford Foundation convening on Educating for Democracy: I have attended many meetings on civic education over the past 20 years. This one looks much more exciting … Continue reading

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social criticism as reading social forms

Patterns and forms are very common in the social world. In Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network, my sister Caroline Levine focuses on the four forms named in her title. She acknowledges that her list may not be exhaustive, and one … Continue reading

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deindustrialization and Ferguson

“With Selma and the voting rights bill one era of our struggle came to a close and a new era came into being. Now our struggle is for genuine equality, which means economic equality.” — Martin Luther King, Jr., March … Continue reading

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we don’t know whether students know more or less about civics

(Arlington, VA) It would be nice to know whether civic knowledge–defined in any way you choose–has been rising or falling. But I don’t think we know the trend at all. Public survey data don’t help much. The questions that pollsters … Continue reading

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op-ed on including civics in the new education bill

(Arlington, VA) I am here for a meeting on the NAEP–the National Assessment on Education Progress. Meanwhile, Scott Warren of Generation Citizen and I have an op-ed in The Hill calling on Congress to remember civics when they revisit the … Continue reading

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