Cork Wars: Films Introduce a Story of Nature and Business in War

by eea | Friday, December 14, 2018 - 12:00 PM

As a writer, it’s rare to feel that a story is destined for you. I felt that way with my first book, Ginseng, the Divine Root , about forests and a secretive subculture around a medicinal plant from American forests that for over two centuries has been exported to Asia.

Years later in a library, I stumbled on an article about a tree-planting campaign during World War II. Americans were planting millions of cork oak trees from coast to coast, with the idea they could save the country. Cork wasn’t native to North America, but people considered it important. How could tree-planting help win a war?

What really stuck with me was when I talked with a person involved in the campaign. Charles McManus Jr. was 96 years old when we met, very sharp. We sat in the empty ballroom of his retirement community outside Baltimore and he said two things that captivated me. First, he described an otherworldly scene of cork harvests in Portugal. Back in his 20s, McManus had visited Portugal with his father, and the traditional harvest – the skilled workers peeling the thick cork bark from the trees -- was magical.

The second...Read More

Before and After Loss: A Neurologist’s Perspective on Loss, Grief and the Brain

by eea | Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Loss is traumatic.

It wasn’t until I experienced my husband’s death that I learned how disorienting, harrowing and perilous it is to lose people close to us. To lose something that is simply basic to who we are and how we make sense of our lives.

As a practicing neurologist, I thought I was prepared. But instead, I struggled. It took many months until I had a flash of insight- for the first time I saw my experience through the eyes of a neurologist. I realized that the problem wasn’t sorrow, it was a fog of confusion , disorientation , and delusions of magical thinking. This insight spurred me to study how loss affects the brain, and what I learned about emotional trauma became the basis for Before and After Loss: A Neurologist’s Perspective on Loss, Grief and Our Brain .

For people experiencing loss, I believe demystifying the experience is an important step toward healing. When we think about brain trauma, we usually think about physical injury. But we now understand that the emotional trauma of loss has profound effects on the mind, brain, and body. An especially pronounced example...Read More

A Legacy of Usable Scholarship

by bjs | Monday, December 10, 2018 - 10:00 AM

Since 1938, the College English Association has served academics who seek to keep teaching college students as the focus of the profession. Its official publication, The CEA Critic , recently published a double issue commemorating its 80th anniversary with content from the history of the journal.

The issue includes essays from Willa Cather, H.L. Mencken, Pearl Buck, Wallace Stevens, Phillip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood, John Updike and many others. Editor Jeri Craver joined us for a lively discussion about the double issue and the journal's place in the field.

Audio titled Jeri Kraver, The CEA Critic

Since 1938, the College English Association has served academics who seek to keep teaching college students as the focus of the profession. Its official publication, the CEA Critic, recently published a double issue commemorating its 80th anniversary with content from the history of the journal.

The issue includes essays from Willa Cather, H.L. Mencken, Pearl Buck, Wallace Stevens, Phillip K. Dick, Margaret Atwood, John Updike and many others. Editor Jeri Craver joined us for a lively discussion about the social issue and the journal's place in the field.

Read More

A New Angle on Asian Social Mobility

by bjs | Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 10:00 AM

Scholars have studied the topic of social mobility for Asian Americans for years. But a collection of essays in the most recent issue of the Journal of Asian American Studies took a special look at the topic, said journal editor Rick Bonus. He joined us for a quick Q&A on the issue , which wrapped up the journal's 21st volume.

How did this collection of essays come together?

This collection of essays came together quite serendipitously. Like all other incoming editors, I presume, I had several submissions already brewing on the burner, so to speak, when I stepped on board. So when the staff and I were putting things together, there was no grand design that was on our minds. We put them together, and then, after I read them over and over, certain themes come up. And “social mobility” rose to the top so unquestionably and rather clearly. I was quite delighted!

What surprised you the most from the submissions you received?

“Social mobility” as a topic in Asian American studies is as old as the field itself. But the essays in this volume...Read More

Adapting to the Importance of the Student Misconduct Investigation

by eea | Friday, November 30, 2018 - 12:00 PM

For colleges and universities, investigating discrimination, harassment, academic dishonesty, and other forms of wrongdoing that undermine the institution’s mission and academic programs has become nothing less than a critical preliminary step in support of disciplinary and/or corrective action. Whether campus leaders are confronted with managing the aftermath of an active shooter incident, sorting through allegations regarding a student-on-student sexual assault, or determining the extent to which provisions within the student handbook or code of conduct may have been violated, post-secondary institutions are subject to increasing scrutiny through a range of lawsuits in state and federal courts and in the court of public opinion. In the face of such scrutiny, the challenge for student misconduct investigations center on executing sound and reliable processes that separate fact from fiction, and truth from falsehoods, without ignoring the legitimate opportunities to restore students in favor of punitive action.

On almost a weekly basis, the systems and processes used among institutions of higher education to investigate troubling incidents regarding student conduct are being tested. For instance, consider the plight of a black student at Yale University who may have been subjected to racial profiling by a report from a white student to police that...Read More