The Blackboard

The Liberal Arts for Loss and Lament

The main posture of a liberal arts education is slowing down, rest, seeing. But if we just train students to only strive, reach, stretch for something more, then suffering will come as a wasteful, meaningless interruption.

The Classroom as Sanctified Space: Human Formation away from the Screen

For the sake of human formation and flourishing, it is essential to carve out sanctified spaces of peace and refuge away from the mesmerizing pull of screens.

Teaching Banned Books: Huck Finn

The censorship of slavery no longer dictates Huck’s morality. Unlike Tom, Huck has begun to question his society’s standards, to weigh and consider what is just and right, and I hope that by reading this story, my students may follow him in this difficult endeavor.

Reading Petrarch’s Secretum with College Sophomores

When Petrarch uses Augustine to call himself out for being bound and dragged down by the “chains of love and glory,” students are forced to consider what it is they are pursuing, in college and in life.

Education and Democracy in Disembodied Times: Emerson and Dewey on Humane...

In an age of knee-jerk innovation, the warnings articulated by Emerson and Dewey are more needed than ever. They advocated for applied knowledge, but they also insisted such technology must serve human ends.

Poor Little Lamb

Colin Phelps is not the first to discover a graced thing in college: it’s the unchosen self-knowledge that is most liberating.

Why The Cult of Smart is a Book for Every Parent...

The Cult of Smart is deeply entrenched in most modern systems of public education around the world, and the increasingly clear reality of cognitive and genetic differences between different human beings poses a sharp challenge to liberals whose membership in the Cult makes them want to deny this reality entirely.

The Battle Rages On: Eric Adler’s Battle of the Classics: How...

We all want students to think critically and to reflect on what they have encountered in the course of their education. In order to do that, however, they must have something to reflect upon.

The Instrumentalization of the Liberal Arts

The liberal arts aren’t for some utilitarian purpose; they’re to free young people to love rightly.

Where Is Our Freedom to Exercise Sympathy?

The same things that happened to the family farms, and to farmers like my father, are now happening to the colleges, and to faculty like me.