Welcome to the Long View blog, where Dean Christopher P. Long and college community leaders share news, thoughts, and views on issues related to the arts and humanities.
In early November last year, I returned to the Leviathan.
In it, Thomas Hobbes grapples with the question of sovereignty and considers the human condition in a state of nature in which there is:Read More
Even if, as Hannah Arendt suggests, “we are always educating for a world that is or is becoming out of joint,” 1 our commitment to general education as “a distinctive cornerstone of the arts of liberty” gains urgency in times of uncertainty...Read More
As a junior faculty member, I attended every possible workshop on tenure and promotion I could find. Inevitably, however, as the shared wisdom of those who had successfully been tenured and promoted washed over me, my anxiety would slowly rise until...Read More
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff in the College of Arts & Letters:
Many of you have written to express your concern about the executive order signed by the President of the United States on January 27, 2017, that bars Syrian refugees and blocks citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States...Read More
Sometimes in our efforts to advocate for the importance of a liberal arts education, we fail to demonstrate what it means to put the arts of liberty into practice.
It’s easier to speak about the values of critical thinking, ethical imagination, excellent communication, and global interconnection...Read More
We in the College of Arts & Letters seek to advance the core values of Michigan State University — quality, inclusiveness, and connectivity — by practicing inclusion as a matter of institutional habit.Read More
I am fortunate to work at an institution that is proud of its status as the pioneering land-grant institution in the United States. But that status, like the word pioneering itself, is not without a troubling history.
Last year we developed a strategic plan in the College of Arts & Letters that called for a cluster hire in culturally engaged digital humanities that focuses on humanities questions of race, inclusion, cultural preservation, global interconnectedness, and engaged scholarship.Read More
In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, there is a famous passage in which he reminds us that “to be happy takes a complete lifetime; for one swallow does not make a spring, nor does one fine day; and similarly one day or a brief period of happiness does not make a person blessed and happy” (Nic. Eth., 1098a16–20).Read More
Traditionally, a curriculum vitae (CV) is an articulation of one’s qualifications and accomplishments in an academic context. The Latin root of the term suggests the extent to which the CV indicates a “course of life.”...
Whenever I talk to faculty and students about the use of social media in the academy, I advocate for a community building approach. The idea is relatively simple: communication has the power to enrich or impoverish our relationships with one another...Read More
Dear College of Arts & Letters Class of 2020,
Welcome to Michigan State University!
As you begin your journey in the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University, let me tell you a secret.Read More
In the wake of last week’s violence, we have again become caught up in the fraught dichotomy into which public discourse always seems to force us. It is as if somehow the human capacity to hold complex thoughts consistently together dissolves the moment ideas enter the public sphere.Read More
Lists seem increasingly to be the current vernacular of the internet. So, as I considered how I might share a few things I have learned during my first year as Dean of College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University that facilitate academic collaboration, I thought I’d try the idiom of the list:Read More
In a way, it all began with this picture. I was attending my first Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) conference in Ann Arbor to talk about digital scholarship and I didn’t know many people.Read More
On three different days in three different meetings, the same note was sounded. It struck a cord that resonated with me as I listened to faculty from three groups talk about their experience in the College of Arts & Letters.
Institutions of higher education across the country have long talked about diversity and inclusion. Many have established offices of equity or inclusion and hired staff to ensure that the institution is living up to its promise to foster an inclusive culture.Read More
I have been owning up to this affliction in each of the introductory department meetings I have had with faculty across the College during my first semester as Dean.Read More
I’ve begun thinking about strategic initiatives as catalytic. In chemistry, a catalyst causes a chemical reaction without itself being affected. But this isn’t exactly what I have in mind, because I don’t mind if the catalyst itself is enriched by its own activity.Read More
When I write regularly, I think I'm a better administrator — probably a better husband and father, certainly a better scholar. Writing affords me an opportunity to slow down and reflect, to craft a thought or articulate an idea. It gives me pause, and it opens a space for me to think holistically and strategically. Writing pulls me out of the busy-ness that captures so much of the time each day.Read More
There are twelve entrances to the sprawling campus of Michigan State University. Four of them (Farm Lane, Shaw Lane, Wilson Road, and Service Road) count twice as you can enter from either end, but each is a separate entrance.Read More
A theme of Dean Chris Long’s first message here at The Long View is one that resonates deeply with me: In order to succeed, institutions and their people need others to care for and about them. At MSU, we are fortunate to build upon the work of generations of others—students, faculty, administrators, and alumni—who have cared for and about our programs in the College of Arts & Letters.Read More
Dear College of Arts & Letters students, As the new Dean of the College of Arts & Letters it is my pleasure to welcome you to Michigan State University. Many of you have already experienced the network of pathways that figure prominently throughout the MSU campus.Read More
The places we inhabit habituate us. The virtues they cultivate are grounded in the values they embody. In 1855, a natural opening in the oak forest of the Burr farm was selected as a fitting site for the creation of the Michigan Agricultural College (M.A.C.)Read More
As I begin my tenure as Dean of the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University I find myself thinking of these lines adapted from Deuteronomy 6:10-12 by Peter Raible: “We build on foundations we did not lay. We warm ourselves at fires we did not light. We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant. We drink from wells we did not dig. We profit from persons we did not know.”Read More