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  2. Congratulations, Spring 2020 Grads!

“These—the humanities—also reflect a set of complementary wisdoms: those of the yard, and those of the tower. All societies require specialists, charged with responsibility for consolidating the conditions for survival and maintaining the sources of power. In recent years, by which I mean the past several hundred, some of us have gotten into the habit of distinguishing between specialists who work in the yard and those who work in the tower, between those who make themselves useful by concentrating on the particulars of the here and now, and those who set themselves above and beyond the everyday and dream––wonderfully, but worthlessly––about universals. The idea of what I call the yard resonates with the authenticity of the people, grounded in urgencies of the everyday and the gritty particulars of place; the tower, especially in its nineteenth-century ivory or ivied versions, rises up with an authority that is heightened by the privileges of detachment and contemplation.

A presumed antagonism between the yard and the tower plagues the academy these days. However, it is a false opposition, and we should know better, for it reflects an ancient dichotomy between particulars and universals and is part of an old, old story—a story of ideas and and things rooted in place and time, on the one hand, and those that transcend time and place. Both, we should know by now, are necessary for subsistence and survival, and both become sites of power and centers of sovereignty.”

Ted Chamberlin, “Bury the Dead and Pay the Rent” (1996)

Heartiest congratulations to our Spring 2020 grads Hisham Al Khatib (PhD), Rebecca Campagna (MA), and Deanna Young (MA).

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Congratulations, Spring 2020 Grads!