My Life in Six Songs

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 I am a musician and a music therapist; almost everything reminds me of a song. I recently saw a meme on social media that reads: “If you can’t handle me randomly blurting out song lyrics that relate to what you just said, then we can’t be friends.” This line made me laugh out loud, but it truly resonated with me, especially considering my line of work. Part of my job as a music therapist is…

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Our shared past and present: a faculty statement of support

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In 1873, Drury was founded by Congregationalists, many of whom were abolitionists, to “help heal the wounds of the Civil War” and provide a strong academic education in the liberal arts. Springfield, Missouri was chosen, in part, as it was an area that had been so scarred by the war; it was a place in need of continued healing. The university’s founders envisioned an institution that would offer students, including women, Native Americans, and those…

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Medieval Prestige at Drury

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One of the most complicated aspects of being a medievalist is that the term “Middle Ages” frequently brings to mind the most toxic connotations. In September the Middle Ages found center stage at the presidential debates when Trump claimed “medieval ISIS” as America’s worst fear, and later suggested that ISIS’s beheadings, and other extreme horrors, were indicative of “medieval times.” In the same week HBO’s John Oliver claimed that women in the Middle Ages had…

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“Gender-Bending” Chemicals, Science-for-Hire, and Philosophy

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In 2011, I was a first-year philosophy graduate student at the University of Minnesota. I was taking a philosophy of biology course focused on the topic of evolutionary developmental biology, or evo-devo. As I was trying to think of a good term paper topic, I came across the story of Tyrone Hayes, a UC Berkeley biologist. In the late 1990s, Hayes was looking at the effects of the herbicide, atrazine, on frog development in partnership…

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