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Brave New Words

How Literature Will Save the Planet

The activist tradition in American literature has long testified to the power of words to change people and the power of people to change the world, yet in recent years many professional humanists have chosen to distract themselves with a postmodern fundamentalism of indeterminacy and instability rather than engage with social and political issues. Throughout her bold and provocative call to action, Elizabeth Ammons argues that the responsibility now facing humanists is urgent: inside and outside academic settings, they need to revive the liberal arts as a progressive cultural force that offers workable ideas and inspiration in the real-world struggle to achieve social and environmental justice.
      Brave New Words challenges present and future literary scholars and teachers to look beyond mere literary critique toward the concrete issue of social change and how to achieve it. Calling for a profound realignment of thought and spirit in the service of positive social change, Ammons argues for the continued importance of multiculturalism in the twenty-first century despite attacks on the concept from both right and left. Concentrating on activist U.S. writers—from ecocritics to feminists to those dedicated to exposing race and class biases, from Jim Wallis and Cornel West to Winona LaDuke and Paula Moya and many others—she calls for all humanists to link their work to the progressive literature of the last half century, to insist on activism in the service of positive change as part of their mission, and to teach the power of hope and action to their students.
      As Ammons clearly demonstrates, much of American literature was written to expose injustice and motivate readers to work for social transformation. She challenges today’s academic humanists to address the issues of hope and purpose by creating a practical activist pedagogy that gives students the knowledge to connect their theoretical learning to the outside world. By relying on the transformative power of literature and replacing nihilism and powerlessness with conviction and faith, the liberal arts can offer practical, useful inspiration to everyone seeking to create a better world.

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Breakpoint

The Changing Marketplace for Higher Education

Jon McGee

The challenges facing colleges and universities today are profound and complex. Fortunately, Jon McGee is an ideal guide through this dynamic marketplace. In Breakpoint, he argues that higher education is in the midst of an extraordinary moment of demographic, economic, and cultural transition that has significant implications for how colleges understand their mission, their market, and their management. Drawing from an extensive assessment of demographic and economic trends, McGee presents a broad and integrative picture of these changes while stressing the importance of decisive campus leadership. He describes the key forces that influence higher education and provides a framework from which trustees, presidents, administrators, faculty, and policy makers can address pressing issues in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Although McGee avoids endorsing one-size-fits-all solutions, he suggests a number of concrete strategies for handling prospective students and developing pedagogical practices, curricular content and delivery, and management structures. Practical and compelling, Breakpoint will help higher education leaders make choices that advance their institutional values and serve their students and the common good for generations to come.

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Buying the Best

Cost Escalation in Elite Higher Education

Charles T. Clotfelter

Since the early 1980s, the rapidly increasing cost of college, together with what many see as inadequate attention to teaching, has elicited a barrage of protest. Buying the Best looks at the realities behind these criticisms--at the economic factors that are in fact driving the institutions that have been described as machines without brakes. In designing his study, Charles Clotfelter examines the escalation in spending in the arts and sciences at four elite institutions: Harvard, Duke, Chicago, and Carleton. He argues that the rise in costs has less to do with increasing faculty salaries or lowered productivity than with a broad-based effort to improve quality, provide new services to students, pay for large investments in new facilities and equipment (including computers), and ensure access for low-income students through increasingly expensive financial aid.

In Clotfelter's view, spiraling costs arise from the institutions' lofty ambitions and are made possible by steadily intensifying demand for places in the country's elite colleges and universities. Only if this demand slackens will universities be pressured to make cuts or pursue efficiencies. Buying the Best is the first study to make use of the internal historical records of specific institutions, as opposed to the frequently unreliable aggregate records made available by the federal government for the use of survey researchers. As such, it has the virtue of allowing Clotfelter to draw much more realistic comparative conclusions than have hitherto been reported. While acknowledging the obvious drawbacks of a small sample, Clotfelter notes that the institutions studied are significant for the disproportionate influence they, and comparable elite institutions, exercise upon research and upon the training of future leaders. The book contains a foreword by William G. Bowen, President of the Mellon Foundation, and Harold T. Shapiro, President of Princeton University.

"Concern about ever-rising costs runs like a thread through the myriad critiques of higher education that have been published in recent years. . . . One of the great contributions of Clotfelter's work is to dismiss easy explanations for the problems that worry us. With some of the scales removed from their eyes, both those with responsibility for the future of higher education and observers who continue to expect an ever-wider scope of effort from particular colleges and universities, can now adjust their focus. Armed with this original and extremely useful analysis, we can confront more directly (and with less romanticism) the real choices before us as we seek to employ limited resources most effectively in the service of teaching and research."-William G. Bowen, President, Mellon Foundation, Harold T. Shapiro, President, Princeton University, from the foreword

Originally published in 1996.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Campus Sexual Assault

College Women Respond

Lauren J. Germain

A 2014 report issued by the White House Council on Women and Girls included the alarming statistic that one in five female college students in the United States experience some form of campus sexual assault. Despite more than fifty years of anti-rape activism and over two decades of federal legislation regarding campus sexual violence, sexual assault on American college and university campuses remains prevalent, under-reported, and poorly understood. A principle reason for this lack of understanding is that the voices of women who have experienced campus sexual assault have been largely absent from academic discourse about the issue.

In Campus Sexual Assault, Lauren J. Germain focuses attention on the post–sexual assault experiences of twenty-six college women. She reframes conversations about sexual violence and student agency on American college campuses by drawing insight directly from the stories of how survivors responded individually to attacks, as well as how and why peers, family members, and school, medical, and civil authorities were (or were not) engaged in addressing the crimes.

Germain weaves together women’s narratives to show the women not as victims per se, but as individuals with the power to overcome these traumatic experiences. Aimed at students, parents, faculty members, university leaders, service providers, and lawmakers, Campus Sexual Assault seeks to put an end to the silence around sexual trauma by giving voice to those closest to it and providing tools for others to hear with—and to act on.

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Carved from Granite

West Point since 1902

Lance Betros

The United States Military Academy at West Point is one of America’s oldest and most revered institutions. Founded in 1802, its first and only mission is to prepare young men—and, since 1976, young women—to be leaders of character for service as commissioned officers in the United States Army. West Point’s success in accomplishing that mission has secured its reputation as the foremost leadership-development institution in the world. An Academy promotional poster says it this way: “At West Point, much of the history we teach was made by people we taught.” Carved from Granite is the story of how West Point goes about producing military leaders of character. An opening chapter on the Academy’s nineteenth-century history provides context for the topic of each subsequent chapter. As scholar and Academy graduate Lance Betros shows, West Point’s early history is interesting and colorful, but its history since then is far more relevant to the issues—and problems—that face the Academy today. Drawing from oral histories, archival sources, and his own experiences as a cadet and, later, a faculty member, Betros describes and assesses how well West Point has accomplished its mission. And, while West Point is an impressive institution in many ways, Betros does not hesitate to expose problems and challenge long-held assumptions. In a concluding chapter that is both subjective and interpretive, the author offers his prescriptions for improving the institution, focusing particularly on the areas of governance, admissions, and intercollegiate athletics. Photographs, tables, charts, and other graphics aid the clarity of the discussion and lend visual and historical interest. Carved from Granite: West Point since 1902 is the most authoritative history of the modern United States Military Academy written to date. There will be lively debate over some of the observations made in this book, but if they are followed, the author asserts that the Academy will emerge stronger and better able to accomplish its vital mission in the new century and beyond.

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The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel

Edited by Cary Nelson and Gabriel Noah Brahm

How should we understand the international debate about the future of Israel and the Palestinians? Can justice be achieved in the Middle East? Until now, there was no single place for people to go to find detailed scholarly essays analyzing proposals to boycott Israel and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement of which they are a part. This book for the first time provides the historical background necessary for informed evaluation of one of the most controversial issues of our day— the struggle between two peoples living side-by-side but with conflicting views of history and conflicting national ambitions. This book encourages empathy for all parties, but it also takes a cold look at what solutions are realistic and possible. In doing so, it tackles issues, like the role of anti-Semitism in calls for the abolition of the Jewish state, that many have found impossible to confront until now. The book gathers essays by an international cohort of scholars from Britain, Israel, and the United States.

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Challenged by Coeducation

Women's Colleges Since the 1960s

Leslie Miller-Bernal

Challenged by Coeducation details the responses of women's colleges to the most recent wave of Women's colleges originated in the mid-nineteenth century as a response to women's exclusion from higher education. Women's academic successes and their persistent struggles to enter men's colleges resulted in coeducation rapidly becoming the norm, however. Still, many prestigious institutions remained single-sex, notably most of the Ivy League and all of the Seven Sisters colleges.

In the mid-twentieth century colleges' concerns about finances and enrollments, as well as ideological pressures to integrate formerly separate social groups, led men's colleges, and some women's colleges, to become coeducational. The admission of women to practically all men's colleges created a serious challenge for women's colleges. Most people no longer believed women's colleges were necessary since women had virtually unlimited access to higher education. Even though research spawned by the women's movement indicated the benefits to women of a "room of their own," few young women remained interested in applying to women's colleges.

Challenged by Coeducation details the responses of women's colleges to this latest wave of coeducation. Case studies written expressly for this volume include many types of women's colleges-Catholic and secular; Seven Sisters and less prestigious; private and state; liberal arts and more applied; northern, southern, and western; urban and rural; independent and coordinated with a coeducational institution. They demonstrate the principal ways women's colleges have adapted to the new coeducational era: some have been taken over or closed, but most have changed by admitting men and thereby becoming coeducational, or by offering new programs to different populations. Some women's colleges, mostly those that are in cities, connected to other colleges, and prestigious with a high endowment, still enjoy success.

Despite their dramatic drop in numbers, from 250 to fewer than 60 today, women's colleges are still important, editors Miller-Bernal and Poulson argue. With their commitment to enhancing women's lives, women's colleges and formerly women's colleges can serve as models of egalitarian coeducation.

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Changing the Face of Engineering

The African American Experience

edited by John Brooks Slaughter, Yu Tao, and Willie Pearson, Jr.

For much of America’s history, African Americans were discouraged or aggressively prevented from becoming scientists and engineers. Those who did enter STEM fields found that their inventions and discoveries were often neither recognized nor valued. Even today, particularly in the field of engineering, the participation of African American men and women is shockingly low, and some evidence indicates that the situation might be getting worse. In Changing the Face of Engineering, twenty-four eminent scholars address the underrepresentation of African Americans in engineering from a wide variety of disciplinary and professional perspectives while proposing workable classroom solutions and public policy initiatives. They combine robust statistical analyses with personal narratives of African American engineers and STEM instructors who, by taking evidenced-based approaches, have found success in graduating African American engineers. Changing the Face of Engineering argues that the continued underrepresentation of African Americans in engineering impairs the ability of the United States to compete successfully in the global marketplace. This volume will be of interest to STEM scholars and students, as well as policymakers, corporations, and higher education institutions.

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Changing the Playbook

How Power, Profit, and Politics Transformed College Sports

Howard P. Chudacoff

In Changing the Playbook , Howard P. Chudacoff delves into the background and what-ifs surrounding seven defining moments that transformed college sports. These changes involved fundamental issues--race and gender, profit and power--that reflected societal tensions and, in many cases, remain pertinent today: The failed 1950 effort to pass a Sanity Code regulating payments to football players; The thorny racial integration of university sports programs; The boom in television money; The 1984 Supreme Court decision that settled who could control skyrocketing media revenues; Title IX's transformation of women's athletics; The cheating, eligibility, and recruitment scandals that tarnished college sports in the 1980s and 1990s; The ongoing controversy over paying student athletes a share of the enormous moneys harvested by schools and athletic departments. A thought-provoking journey into the whos and whys of college sports history, Changing the Playbook reveals how the turning points of yesterday and today will impact tomorrow.

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Cheating in College

Why Students Do It and What Educators Can Do about It

Donald L. McCabe, Linda K. Treviño, and Kenneth D. Butterfield

Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and the college years are a critical period for their ethical development. Cheating in College explores how and why students cheat and what policies, practices, and participation may be useful in promoting academic integrity and reducing cheating. The authors investigate trends over time, including internet-based cheating. They consider personal and situational reasons and the culture of groups where dishonesty is more common (such as business majors) and social settings that support cheating (such as fraternities and sororities). Faculty and administrators are increasing their efforts to promote academic honesty among students. Orientation and training sessions, information on college and university websites, chapters in student handbooks that describe codes of conduct, honor codes, and course syllabi all define cheating and establish the consequences. Based on the authors’ multiyear, multisite surveys, Cheating in College quantifies and analyzes student cheating to demonstrate why academic integrity is important and the cultural efforts that are effective in restoring it.

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