The Workers’ President Unmasked

In the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump ran and posed as a populist, inveighing against Wall Street, Washington swamp creatures, and the corruption of the elites. He championed and rode the wave of angst experienced by ordinary working Americans, while also feeding their darkest recesses of fear. As a majority of Americans continue to bemoan and mourn the Trump presidency on its third anniversary, it is a good time to take stock of how American workers have fared under its strain. Continue reading “The Workers’ President Unmasked”

The Workers’ President Unmasked

College and Community: A Watershed Partnership

eel survey.jpg
Eel survey, mouth of the Saw Kill at the Hudson

The need for improved water resource protection is urgent, yet land-use activities increasingly imperil our water supplies. With that in mind, we’re excited to present the second installment of a three-part blog series, “Watershed Paths to Water Protection,” on citizen stewardship of water resources by Karen Schneller-McDonald, author of Connecting the Drops: A Citizens’ Guide to Protecting Water Resources.

Watersheds connect people in multiple communities through a shared interest in water. Water doesn’t respect municipal boundaries, so watershed protection encourages water users to form partnerships—not only among towns and villages, but also with colleges and universities. Even if you don’t live in a college town, chances are good that the watershed that supplies your drinking water includes a college or university campus. Continue reading “College and Community: A Watershed Partnership”

College and Community: A Watershed Partnership

Treasure Language

By Steve Zeitlin, author of The Poetry of Everyday Life

“There are nine different words for the color blue in the Spanish Maya dictionary,” writes Earl Shorris, “but just three Spanish translations, leaving six [blue] butterflies that can be seen only by the Maya, proving that when a language dies six butterflies disappear from the consciousness of the earth.”

Over 6,500 languages—with at least that many words for butterflies—are spoken in our fragile world. By the end of the century more than half will disappear. Our languages are melting like the icecaps. Continue reading “Treasure Language”

Treasure Language

Robert J. Sternberg on How to Produce Students Who Can Change the World

80140100968370lQ & A with Robert J. Sternberg was published in the Chronicle of Higher Education (paywalled) on September 15. Dan Berrett of the Chronicle writes of Sternberg, “Over an extensive career, he has challenged orthodoxies on admissions, standardized testing, and academic culture. . . . In his new book, What Universities Can Be: A New Model for Preparing Students for Active Concerned Citizenship and Ethical Leadership, Sternberg synthesizes his research and evolving thinking on intelligence, creativity, common sense, wisdom, and leadership. . . . He proposes a new model that prepares students for what he calls ‘active concerned citizenship and ethical leadership,’ or ‘Accel.’ That means emphasizing access over exclusivity, he says, and cultivating broad abilities, like creativity, wisdom, and practical thinking, instead of narrow ones like memory.”

A few short excerpts of the interview follow: Continue reading “Robert J. Sternberg on How to Produce Students Who Can Change the World”

Robert J. Sternberg on How to Produce Students Who Can Change the World

Marina Rustow named 2015 MacArthur Fellow

Congratulations to Marina Rustow, author of Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate, who has been named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow on the basis of her work with the Cairo Geniza texts. From the MacArthur Foundation’s description of Rustow’s work:

“In Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate (2008), Rustow focuses on the period from 909 to 1171 C.E. and upends long-accepted ideas about the relationship between two rival Jewish communities under Fatimid rule. Prior historians, basing their interpretation on literary polemics, had depicted the Rabbanites and Karaites (or Qaraites) of Egypt and Syria as factions bitterly divided by theological difference, the latter branded as heretics and marginalized. Rustow examined nonliterary Geniza documents (such as letters, legal contracts, and state petitions and decrees) and revealed a wealth of social, economic, and political transactions between the two groups. The finding calls into question the depth of the religious schism, suggesting a higher level of tolerance and cooperation than had been assumed.”

Marina Rustow named 2015 MacArthur Fellow

Kathryn S. March on the Devastation in Nepal

In the Cornell Chronicle, Kathryn S. March, whose book “If Each Comes Halfway”: Meeting Tamang Women in Nepal features a CD of traditional songs recorded nowhere else, wrote this heartrending account of the fate of the village where she and David Holmberg, author of Order in Paradox: Myth and Ritual Among Nepal’s Tamang, have done fieldwork for decades: Cornell Perspectives: My village in Nepal is gone.

Other books Cornell University Press has published on Nepal include In the Circle of the Dance: Notes of an Outsider in Nepal by Katharine Bjork Guneratne and Many Tongues, One People: The Making of Tharu Identity in Nepal by Arjun Guneratne.

Kathryn S. March on the Devastation in Nepal

Robert Snyder on NY1 and in a Cornwall Conversation

Robert Snyder, author of Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City, recently appeared on NY1: Author Talks History of Washington Heights.

Snyder will also be speaking at Rutgers University Newark on February 18—details appear below.

The Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies

“New York’s Bittersweet Recovery from the Urban Crisis”

A conversation with Robert W. Snyder and Roland V. Anglin

Wednesday, February 18, 2015• 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Dana Room, John Cotton Dana Library, Room 404

185 University Avenue, Newark, NJ  07102

How did New York City emerge from the crime and decay of the urban crisis?

Robert W. Snyder, Rutgers University-Newark associate professor and author of Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City, argues that community activists who learned to cross racial and ethnic lines played vital roles in restoring order and vitality to upper Manhattan, only to see their work threatened by growing economic inequality.

Join him and Roland Anglin, director, Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, Rutgers University-Newark, in a conversation about what cities can learn from the revival of Washington Heights in upper Manhattan— a neighborhood formerly known for its German Jews that is now the home of the largest Dominican community in the United States.

Topics to be explored will include:

Improving police-community relations in a neighborhood once wracked by drug-related murders and the slayings of police officers.

The strengths and limits of community activism in housing and economic development.

The role of the arts and media in the revival of Washington Heights.

Free Admission


Seating is limited and registration is required.

Register for this event by Monday, February 16th.

To register click on link:

For more information, please contact Irene Welch at

Robert Snyder on NY1 and in a Cornwall Conversation