Happy Friday! We’ve compiled our favorite articles and essays from the last month for you to browse and enjoy over Memorial Day weekend.
Most conversations about diversity & inclusion lump the two concepts together – so much so that they become indistinguishable. A recent piece from Big Think, part of a series on D&I sponsored by Amway, stresses the importance of identifying and verbalizing the difference between the two:
“In the workplace, [diversity is] about giving equal opportunity to all individuals, regardless of the social groups they belong to. ‘It’s easy to measure diversity: It’s a simple matter of headcount,’ say Laura Sherbin and Ripa Rashid in their article in Harvard Business Review.” So how does that relate to inclusion?
The news is an adventure these days: cyber insecurity, racially-motivated violence, sexual imposition, the redirection of public funds for personal gains – the list goes on and on. Confronted with these varied and frequent stories, can we help but wonder if we aren’t experiencing a serious collapse in our collective moral judgment?
Philosopher and entrepreneur Damon Horowitz argues that our technologically-driven society has provided us with so much power that we have neglected the processes we need to deal with that power – to weigh its strengths and its weaknesses, differentiate between right and wrong and ultimately make effective decisions. In his compelling TED talk, “We Need a Moral Operating System”, he demonstrates that “we have stronger opinions about our handheld devices than about the moral framework we should use to guide our decisions.”
We recently had the chance to speak with Guido Isekenmeier about his experience as a Books@Work facilitator discussing Franz Kafka’s “The Hunger Artist” in German with German participants. Guido is an Assistant Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. His research and teaching focus on the history of description in narrative fiction and the relations of postmodernist literature and visual culture.
“I’m doing all kinds of classes: undergraduate, graduate, lectures, seminars,” Guido said of his current course load. “Unlike some of my colleagues in the United States, we have to cover the whole field from the beginning to the present, including literary, historical, theoretical stuff. We’re also doing English and American literature.”
In our our Weekend Reading post last week, we highlighted a fascinating article by Marcelo Gleiser, Dartmouth professor of philosophy, physics and astronomy, on teaching at the intersection of two increasingly distinct academic “cultures” – the sciences and the humanities. At a time when universities are shrinking their humanistic offerings in favor of science and technology, Gleiser comments on the weakness of an education that favors one over the other.
“We all stand to lose from this gulf between the sciences and the humanities,” Gleiser writes. “The sciences run the risk of being decontextualized from their moral and social consequences, pursuing technologies that should be regulated and scrutinized. . . On the other hand, the humanities run the risk of becoming disconnected from the pace of scientific discoveries and myopic to how they are effectively transforming the world we live in.”
So how science fiction help to bridge the gap between the sciences and the humanities?
Happy Friday! We’ve compiled our favorite articles and essays from the last month for you to browse and enjoy this weekend.
In NPR’s 13.7 Cosmos & Culture, theoretical physicist, author and Dartmouth College professor Marcelo Gleiser explores “the growing gap between the sciences and the humanities” – how it harms us, how we enable it and what we can do to bridge the divide. With a course called “Understanding the Universe: From Atoms to the Big Bang,” Gleiser hopes to portray “the sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences as different and complementary ways of knowing the world and why we matter” – a lesson that is just as crucial in the workplace as it is in the classroom. So how can we convince others to help bridge the gap?
This week, we are thrilled to share insights and reflections from Erin Ulrich, a senior English major at Oberlin College who recently completed a month-long internship with Books@Work.
My internship with Books@Work has focused primarily on data-analysis and listening to interview responses from program participants. While the nature of this work may seem mundane at first, it has offered me a first-hand glimpse into how exactly Books@Work works. While the impact of the program improving colleague relationships and promoting a fruitful, healthy and productive work environment are obvious from the company interviews, I have been particularly moved by the community interviews.
Happy Friday! We’ve compiled our favorite articles and essays from the last month and beyond for you to browse and enjoy over the weekend.
“It takes more than a discounted health club membership to move the needle on employee well-being,” begins McKinsey Quarterly’s recent reflection on wellness in the workplace. Compiling emerging trends and thoughts on well-being from researchers, corporate leaders and McKinsey experts, McKinsey’s insights suggest a rising “willingness of leaders to invest in their people” and to see wellness in a broader light than just physical health. Director of the NeuroLeadership Institute David Rock shares that “connecting people socially gets a much bigger bang for the company buck than trying to help people eat better.” But is there science to back that up?
We recently had the chance to speak with Laura Baudot, an Associate Professor of English at Oberlin College who has facilitated Books@Work sessions at a private high school and an adhesive manufacturing company. Among other things, we discussed her experience as a facilitator and how it differs from her experience teaching at a university. How do the humanities translate out of the academic world?
I recently had the opportunity to talk with Lela Hilton, Program Director of the Clemente Course in the Humanities, Inc., about the element of surprise in our respective programs. Founded by the late Earl Shorris, Clemente brings free humanities education to people living in economic distress. The foundational ideas for Clemente may be found in Shorris’ powerful 1997 article in Harper’s Magazine entitled “As A Weapon in the Hands of the Restless Poor (On the Uses of a Liberal Education).” I was fortunate to speak to Earl Shorris before he died about Books@Work. He inspired me deeply and supported my then-fledgling idea of partnering with employers to reach working adults. When Clemente and Books@Work became co-grantees in the Teagle Foundation’s special initiative, Liberal Arts Beyond the Academy, Lela and I were introduced. What follows is a snippet of our ongoing dialogue.