Christmas culture wars are nothing new, experts say

Tis the season for perennial battles between true believers and atheists, between mass marketers and the devout souls who worry about blatant commercialization of “the holiday season.”  While it may seem like it’s getting worse then ever, learning more about the facts behind these arguments might help all of us understand one another a bit better, suggest legal and religious history experts at Washington University in St. Louis.

Elusive civil rights court records now just a click away with new online database

Photo courtesy Library of Congress.Thurgood Marshall (center) with George E.C. Hayes and James Nabri celebrating the historic Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.For the past 50-plus years, civil rights litigation has greatly affected Americans’ lives. It has secured our Constitutional rights, and it has dramatically improved many of our public and private institutions. Information about these cases, however, has been exceedingly difficult to locate. Until now. More…

Wayne Fields to deliver Assembly Series talk on rhetoric

FieldsDistinguished professor and writer Wayne Fields will present the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities/Phi Beta Kappa/Sigma Xi Lecture for the Assembly Series at 11 a.m. April 12 in Graham Chapel. The talk, on “Love and Seduction: Our Anxiety About Rhetoric,” is free and open to the public.

Leading jazz, American culture scholars to instruct high school teachers this summer

Some of the country’s leading scholars of jazz and American culture will teach at Washington University’s National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for High School Teachers July 4-29. “‘Teaching Jazz as American Culture’ will offer participants an exciting opportunity to learn about one of the most extraordinary art forms the United States has ever produced,” says Gerald L. Early, Ph.D., Washington University’s Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters and director of the Summer Institute. “The instructors in the institute are among the most noted jazz scholars, writers and composers in the country,” says Early, “and the high school teachers’ exposure to this collection of expertise should be both enriching and inspiring.”

Weidenbaum Center Forum explores whether America is as bitterly divided as media suggests, March 28

Morris Fiorina, author of a new book on the perceived deep divide between America’s “red” and “blue” states, will lead a discussion on “Polarization, Tolerance, and the State of American Public Opinion” in a community forum at 7:30 p.m. March 28, in May Auditorium, Simon Hall. James L. Gibson, Ph.D., the Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government at Washington University, will join Fiorina for public discussion of his comments.