“Alternative Facts” and the Humanities

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I have been concerned about “alternative facts” even before that term got popularized in the last month or two. I have studied African American culture for the past two decades, and I have learned how the history of racism was (and is) built on a series of “alternative facts”: whites are smarter than blacks, blacks are lazy, black bodies are weaker or stronger, blacks are violent, etc. These alternative facts become the narratives that shape…

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The Consolation of Art and Literature

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  The night of the 2016 election, my pain was visceral. I felt sick to my stomach. How long will progressive social policies stand up to the next Supreme Court? Never mind that: how long will the world survive climate change deniers? There was no end to my anxieties. “At least the republic will survive, right?” I asked my good friend, an unflappable optimist and a retired professor of political philosophy. “I’m not so sure,”…

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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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