It was last year, at a black-studies conference at Northwestern University, that my colleague Stacey Patton noticed something surprising. All those graduate students and young professors milling about? They looked sharp—really sharp, actually.
Of course, this isn’t exactly par for the course at an academic gathering. So Stacey asked a group of folks why they were so well turned out. “You don’t know?” one of them asked her. “Black dandies are the in thing in the academy.”
And it’s not just the academy. Whether you’ve heard them called “dandies” or not, you’ve seen plenty of African-Americans looking mighty soigné lately. Think of Kevin Durant, the NBA player, who sports nerdy glasses and mysterious backpacks at his postgame press conferences. Or Andre 3000, the hip-hop star, who’s fond of matching pink shirts with green polka-dotted bowties. It’s all part of a process that Monica…
When we first conceived of the AfterWord podcast, it was based on a couple of pretty simple ideas: that Chronicle reporters do a lot of fascinating work, and that you might like to hear some of the stories behind their stories.
The response we got was great, and the interviews I conducted were always entertaining. But that’s essentially what they were—interviews. When I chat with a reporter who’s just wrapped up a big story … well, odds are good that we’re going to hew pretty closely to the framework of that story. Too closely, maybe.
The goal here, after all, is to dig more deeply into the fascinating backstories, the behind-the-scenes stuff, that informs the best pieces in The Chronicle and the Review. So we’re changing things up a bit. Instead of focusing on relatively quick interviews, we’re going to turn AfterWord into a full-blooded audio show. And instead of just…
… what would it look like? The University of North Texas at Dallas, which is reinventing itself with the help of Bain & Company, might provide some answers. Goldie Blumentsyk, a Chronicle reporter, explains why the institution is one to watch.
You’ve probably heard that conventionally-grown beef tends to come loaded with drugs and hormones. But you might not realize that land-grant universities have played a crucial role in making that so. Melody Petersen, an author and former New York Times reporter, explains how animal scientists have helped pharmaceutical companies make inroads in the beef industry.
Three years ago Antioch College was shuttered. Now it enrolls 33 students, and it’s hatched a plan to attract many more. Lawrence Biemiller, a Chronicle editor, explains the institution’s unique comeback strategy.
What makes the American college experience valuable—and how can we preserve it? Andrew Delbanco, director of American studies at Columbia University, wrestles with those questions in his new book, College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be. He spoke with us about why liberal education is a principle worth fighting for and how colleges can lead the charge.
It might not be what you think. Dan Berrett, a Chronicle reporter, explains why some disciplinary societies are still paying for decisions made decades ago—and charts the path forward for struggling scholarly groups.
After five decades, the massive Dictionary of Regional American English has made it through the alphabet: It just published its fifth volume, covering Sl-Z. The Chronicle‘s Heidi Landecker chats with Joan Houston Hall, the dictionary’s chief editor, about some of her favorite vernacular words and phrases.
A growing number of admissions officers are having doubts about those big, glossy brochures that get shipped to prospective students. Beckie Supiano, a Chronicle reporter, explains why some viewbooks might be due for a makeover.
In a nation whose institutions typically teach to the test and leave little room for elective courses, general-education programs are starting to gain a foothold. Karin Fischer, a Chronicle reporter, explains why China is growing more interested in the liberal arts.
AfterWord is an audio program about academic life and research. The mission is simple: to share great stories, and to tell them in a creative way.
Brock Read, a senior editor at The Chronicle, is the show's host, reporter, and editor. As a reporter he has profiled Wikipedia vandals, campus radio stations, and collegiate croquet contests, among other things.