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Freshman Composition and the Long Sixties, 1957–1974
In the spring of 1968, the English faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) voted to remedialize the first semester of its required freshman composition course, English 101. The following year, it eliminated outright the second semester course, English 102. For the next quarter-century, UW had no real campus-wide writing requirement, putting it out of step with its peer institutions and preventing it from fully joining the “composition revolution” of the 1970s. David Fleming chronicles these events, situating them against the backdrop of late 1960s student radicalism and the wider changes taking place in U.S. higher education at the time. Fleming begins with the founding of UW in 1848. He examines the rhetorical education provided in the university’s first half-century, the birth of a required, two semester composition course in 1898, faculty experimentation with that course in the 1920s and 1930s, and the rise of a massive “current-traditional” writing program, staffed primarily by graduate teaching assistants (TAs), after World War II. He then reveals how, starting around 1965, tensions between faculty and TAs concerning English 101-102 began to mount. By 1969, as the TAs were trying to take over the committee that supervised the course, the English faculty simply abandoned its long-standing commitment to freshman writing. In telling the story of composition’s demise at UW, Fleming shows how contributing factors—the growing reliance on TAs; the questioning of traditional curricula by young instructors and their students; the disinterest of faculty in teaching and administering general education courses—were part of a larger shift affecting universities nationally. He also connects the events of this period to the long, embattled history of freshman composition in the United States.
Florida's Battles over Evolution in the Classroom
Before William Jennings Bryan successfully prosecuted John Scopes in the infamous “Scopes Monkey Trial,” he was a prominent antievolution agitator in Florida.
In Going Ape, Brandon Haught tells the riveting story of how the war over teaching evolution began and unfolded in Florida, one of the nation’s bellwether states. It still simmers just below the surface, waiting for the right moment to engulf the state.
The saga opens with the first shouts of religious persecution and child endangerment in 1923 Tallahassee and continues today with forced delays and extra public hearings in state-level textbook adoptions. These ceaseless battles feature some of the most colorful culture warriors imaginable: a real estate tycoon throwing his fortune into campaigns in Miami; lawmakers attempting to insert the mandatory teaching of creationism into bills; and pastors and school board members squabbling in front of the national media that descends into their small town. The majority of participants, however, have been, and still are, average people, and Haught expertly portrays these passionate citizens and the sense of moral duty that drives each of them.
Given a social climate where the teaching of evolution continues to sharply divide neighbors and communities, Going Ape is a must-read for anyone concerned with the future of public education.
Reminiscences of Alumnae, Mississippi State College for Women
Golden Days includes twenty oral histories of women who graduated from Mississippi State College for Women (now Mississippi University for Women) at least fifty years ago. From Mary Ellen Weathersby Pope's (1926) description of a teaching career beginning just before the 1927 Delta flood to Juanita McCown Hight's (1934) account of campus conversations with violinist Jascha Heifetz and writer/adventurer Richard Halliburton, these stories illustrate the profound influence of the nation's first public college for women on the lives of the storytellers. Vivid reminiscences about life on campus recall a different world of blue uniforms, rigid rules, and demanding faculty.
Even after many decades, these women still clearly remember particular teachers who inspired and pushed them to succeed, midnight dormitory pranks played on long-suffering "social advisers," and the spring Zouave marching drills directed by the indomitable Emma Ody Pohl. Whether they graduated in 1926 or 1956, there is a common thread running through these memories: an appreciation for academic life, strong leadership, cultural experiences that enriched lives, a recognition that the university gave self-confidence to pursue unusual or difficult careers, and a gratitude for remarkable friendships which have lasted a lifetime.
The Southern Women's Institute of Mississippi University for Women provides a foundation for research and inclusive outreach through the study of women in both traditional and non-traditional roles. The Institute's research focuses on the history of MUW and the position women hold in the culture and foundation of the South both today and in the future.
Classical Education in America
The pragmatic demands of American life have made higher education's sustained study of ancient Greece and Rome an irrelevant luxury, ;and this despite the fact that American democracy depends so heavily on classical language, literature, and political theory. In The Grammar of Our Civility, Lee T. Pearcy chronicles how this came to be. Pearcy argues that classics never developed a distinctly American way of responding to distinctly American social conditions. Instead, American classical education simply imitated European models that were designed to underwrite European culture. The Grammar of Our Civility also offers a concrete proposal for the role of classical education, one that takes into account practical expectations for higher education in twenty-first century America.
Black Student Power in the Late 1960s
In 1968-69, Columbia University became the site for a collision of American social movements. Black Power, student power, antiwar, New Left, and Civil Rights movements all clashed with local and state politics when an alliance of black students and residents of Harlem and Morningside Heights openly protested the school's ill-conceived plan to build a large, private gymnasium in the small green park that separates the elite university from Harlem. Railing against the university's expansion policy, protesters occupied administration buildings and met violent opposition from both fellow students and the police._x000B__x000B_In this dynamic book, Stefan M. Bradley describes the impact of Black Power ideology on the Students' Afro-American Society (SAS) at Columbia. While white students--led by Mark Rudd and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)--sought to radicalize the student body and restructure the university, black students focused on stopping the construction of the gym in Morningside Park. Through separate, militant action, black students and the black community stood up to the power of an Ivy League institution and stopped it from trampling over its relatively poor and powerless neighbors. Bradley also compares the events at Columbia with similar events at Harvard, Cornell, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania.
For over six centuries, the University of Oxford had been an exclusively male bastion of privilege and opportunity. Few dreamed this could change. Yet, in 1879, twenty-one pioneering women quietly entered two recently established residence halls in Oxford in the hope of attending lectures and pursuing a course of study. More women soon followed and, by 1893, there were five women's societies, each with its own principal, staff, and identity. Only eighty years after women first appeared in Oxford, the five residential societies were granted full status as colleges of the University-self-governing entities with all the rights and obligations of the men's colleges-and women students constituted 16 percent of the undergraduate population. Though still a distinct minority, women had gained full access to the rich resources, opportunities, and challenges of the University. Her Oxford looks at the people and the political and social forces that produced this dramatic transformation. Drawing on a vast array of biographies, histories, obituaries, and archives, Batson traces not only the institutional struggles over privileges and disciplinary rules for women, but also the rich texture of everyday life-women's amateur theatricals, debating societies, sports, and college escapades (Dorothy Sayers is the subject of quite a few). She tells the stories of women's active roles in two war efforts and in the suffrage movement. An unusual feature of the book is the set of more than 200 biographical profiles of women who attended Oxford between 1879 and 1960. They constitute a Who's Who of women scientists, anthropologists, psychotherapists, educators, novelists, and social reformers in the English-speaking world.
A Memorandum on the Conduct of Universities by Business Men
Since its publication in 1918, Thorstein Veblen’s The Higher Learning in America has remained a text that every serious student of the American university must confront. Intellectual historian Richard Teichgraeber brings us the first scholarly edition of Veblen’s classic, thoroughly edited, annotated, and indexed. An extensive introduction discusses the book’s composition and publishing history, Veblen’s debts to earlier critics of the American university, and the place of The Higher Learning in America in current debates about the American university. Veblen’s insights into the American university system at the outset of the twentieth century are as provocative today as they were when first published. Insisting that institutions of higher learning should be dedicated solely to the disinterested pursuit of knowledge, he urged American universities to abandon commitments to extraneous pursuits such as athletics, community service, and vocational education. He also believed that the corporate model of governance—with university boards of trustees dominated by well-to-do businessmen and university presidents who functioned essentially as businessmen in academic dress—mandated unsavory techniques of salesmanship and self-promotion that threatened to reduce institutions of higher learning to the status of competitive business enterprises. With a detailed chronology, suggested readings, and comprehensive notes identifying events, individuals, and institutions to which Veblen alludes, this volume is sure to become the standard teaching text for Veblen’s classic work and an invaluable resource for students of both the history and the current workings of the American university.
Kentucky is nationally renowned for horses, bourbon, rich natural resources, and unfortunately, hindered by a deficient educational system. Though its reputation is not always justified, in national rankings for grades K-12 and higher education, Kentucky consistently ranks among the lowest states in education funding, literacy, and student achievement. In A History of Education in Kentucky, William E. Ellis illuminates the successes and failures of public and private education in the commonwealth since its settlement. Ellis demonstrates how political leaders in the nineteenth century created a culture that devalued public education and refused to adequately fund it. He also analyzes efforts by teachers and policy makers to enact vital reforms and establish adequate, equal education, and discusses ongoing battles related to religious instruction, integration, and the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA). A History of Education in Kentucky is the only up-to-date, single-volume history of education in the commonwealth. Offering more than mere policy analysis, this comprehensive work tells the story of passionate students, teachers, and leaders who have worked for progress from the 1770s to the present day. Despite the prevailing pessimism about education in Kentucky, Ellis acknowledges signs of a vibrant educational atmosphere in the state. By advocating a better understanding of the past, Ellis looks to the future and challenges Kentuckians to avoid historic failures and build on their successes.
150 Years of a Deaf American Institution
On April 4,1864, President Abraham Lincoln and the United States Congress put into effect legislation authorizing the granting of collegiate degrees by the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind. At this moment, what became Gallaudet University began a century and a half of offering a collegiate liberal arts education to deaf and hard of hearing students. David F. Armstrong’s The History of Gallaudet University: 150 Years of a Deaf American Institution chronicles its development into a modern, comprehensive American university through more than 250 photographs and illustrations. At first a tiny college of fewer than 200 students, Gallaudet’s growth paralleled the emergence of the American Deaf Community and the history of the nation in general. In the same way that the country’s land-grant universities brought higher education to more American students than ever before, Gallaudet offered the same opportunities to deaf students for the first time. Gallaudet mirrored other institutions in addressing major issues of the time, from legislated segregation to the Civil Rights movement that inspired the struggle by deaf people to gain control of the governance of their university. Most critically, this volume details poignantly the evolution of a signed language, American Sign Language, as a language of scholarship at Gallaudet during a time when its use in educational institutions was largely discouraged or prohibited. Through story and image, it traces the historic path that Gallaudet traveled to be recognized as the finest institution of higher education for deaf people throughout the world.
The Society of Friends and Black Education in Arkansas
In 1864 Alida and Calvin Clark, two abolitionist members of the Religious Society of Friends from Indiana, went on a mission trip to Helena, Arkansas. The Clarks had come to render temporary relief to displaced war orphans but instead found a lifelong calling. During their time in Arkansas, they started the school that became Southland College, which was the first institution of higher education for blacks west of the Mississippi, and they set up the first predominately black monthly meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in North America. Their progressive racial vision was continued by a succession of midwestern Quakers willing to endure the primitive conditions and social isolation of their work and to overcome the persistent challenges of economic adversity, social strife, and natural disaster. Southland’s survival through six difficult and sometimes dangerous decades reflects both the continuing missionary zeal of the Clarks and their successors as well as the dedication of the black Arkansans who sought dignity and hope at a time when these were rare commodities for African Americans in Arkansas.