Part One: On the role of the arts and humanities in Purdue’s early days

University Hall from 1890s

A Purdue English professor since 1994 with a specialty in poetry analysis and literary criticism, I sometimes find myself wondering about the history of my disciplines at a leading STEM-oriented university. As Purdue celebrated the anniversary of its founding more than 150 years ago, I became increasingly curious to know if Indiana’s Land Grant has […]

Part Two: On the role of the arts and humanities in Purdue’s early days

Purdue faculty meeting 1899

Alongside the myth that liberal studies were inessential at early Purdue, I have often heard it said that Purdue did not offer graduate training or graduate degrees in English and history until the 1960s. The truth is that Purdue was offering graduate work and conferring graduate degrees in the humanities in the early years. The […]

Continuing the conversation on race

Isabel Wilkerson Image

America’s racial hierarchy functions like a caste system somewhat like those in India and Nazi Germany. While this assertion from Isabel Wilkerson’s acclaimed “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” is not necessarily new among civil rights historians, the 2020 book debuted at the perfect time to contribute to the national dialogue on racial inequity. Jolivette […]