News & Notes

by Alex Kerai '19


Dean of Global Education Tom D'Agostino P'15 was featured in an August Newsweek article about American study abroad in Hong Kong. With protests escalating during the summer, D'Agostino discussed the Colleges' study abroad program, which sends students to more than 60 destinations worldwide and was ranked third in the nation by the Princeton Review. "We want them to go - we're not canceling our program - but at the end of the day our responsibility is to take all the information we have, give it to our students and their families, and they need to be comfortable with the decision," D'Agostino said.

Philbrick Yadav

Associate Professor of Political Science and Yemen expert Stacey Philbrick Yadav appeared on CNN International and on the BBC World News to discuss the Yemen civil war, specifically the campaign in the port city of Hodeidah and its implications for the humanitarian crisis and prospects for newly-announced negotiations. "[Yemeni government and Saudi-backed] coalition forces have been tightening around the port - and we have already seen a rapid deterioration in humanitarian conditions over the past several months," she explained on the BBC.


Clifton Hood, the George E. Paulsen '49 Professor of American History and Government, discussed New York City's City Hall subway station in an article in The New York Times. "There's this jewel of a station below City Hall right in the heart of Manhattan," Hood told the paper. "Almost no one knows about it and very few people have seen it firsthand." The article highlighted Hood's expertise on New York City history, in particular its subways.


Professor of Religious Studies Michael Dobkowski, an expert on the Holocaust, genocide and terrorism, discussed rhetoric around the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela in a Miami Herald article. Asked if the term genocide applies to events in Venezuela, he told the paper, "If we start calling everything a genocide, when we really face a genocide nobody's going to pay attention."


Associate Professor of Theatre Heather May was selected for Indy Convergence's artist residency in Indianapolis and a performance in Portland, Maine, at PortFringe this summer. May's piece, "Rearranging the Furniture," was "incited by a round of visits to doctors that left me feeling unmoored," she says. "This performance is a diagnosis of a disease plaguing us: lack of vision." The piece promotes May's scholarship and artistry through community, dialogue and social justice.


Looking at King through a New Lens

by Bethany Snyder

In his first book, The Drum Major Instinct: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Theory of Political Service, Associate Professor of Political Science Justin Rose examines what he argues is one of Dr. King's "greatest contributions to the struggle for justice - his theory of political service."

The concept of the drum major instinct comes from a sermon King delivered just months before his assassination in 1968, in which he told the congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga.: "We all want to be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction, to lead the parade." King warned that this desire could lead to "snobbish exclusivism" and "tragic race prejudice." He then implored his congregation to adopt a redefinition of greatness, one which was predicated upon serving others. When defined in this manner, King argued, "Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve."

By drawing on King's sermons, political speeches and writings, Rose uses his book to explore how King transformed the Christian notion of service into a politically salient concept. He argues that King wanted all to work to create a more just, democratic society and that his thoughts continue to resonate in contemporary struggles.

"We have to get involved in collective action that transforms structures of injustice," Rose says. This idea informs the way Rose approaches his work at the Colleges, including teaching about social justice and chairing the Admissions and Retention and the Diversity, Equity and Social Justice faculty committees. "It's about using my privileged perch to constantly work to create a more just society."