Finished Writings


Bronx Beauty Marries Londoner: An Oral History of the Courtship and Marriage of Jean Klein and Jack Rose

WRITINGS > FINISHED [→ ONLINE ARCHIVE MATERIAL]

After my sister Fanny passed away, we closed the piano and moved away. We moved up to the Bronx where my father was a builder and we moved into one of the buildings that he built. During the summer we used to go away on vacation. My sister Rose used to go for the entire summer because her two children went to camp nearby. And my mother used to go there, I think, for the whole summer too. ◊ More →


The Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults Archive Highlights

WRITINGS > FINISHED

Produced as part of the preparation for the Basic Program’s 50th Anniversary (1996–1997), four volumes of the highlights of archival material gathered from various sources concerning the origins and development of the Great Books Movement with emphasis on the role of the University of Chicago in general and the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults in particular.

  • Volume 1: Internal Documents
  • Volume 2: Public Documents
  • Volume 3: Press
  • Volume 4: 1958-59 Self-Study
    ◊ More →

An ‘Is’ and ‘Ought’ of Developmental Psychology: Toward a Scientific Study of Human Ontogeny

WRITINGS > FINISHED

This paper is an attempt to weave an account of developmental psychology that is alternately descriptive and normative.  In the descriptive mode it takes the discipline as data for which it seeks an explanation.  In the normative mode, it takes the discipline as an enterprise for which it seeks optimal goals, theories and methodologies.  Descriptive, it is anthropological, examining a Western sociocultural artifact.  Normative, it is psychological, participating in a scientific undertaking to systematically study human ontogeny.  Descriptive, it is on the outside looking in; normative, it is on the inside looking out.  Collectively this paper claims that developmental psychology neither is what it says it is nor what it ought to be and asks: What is this project called “developmental psychology” and how ought it best be conducted? ◊ More →


Greeks Bearing Texts; Or, Whose Odyssey is it Anyway?

WRITINGS > FINISHED [→ ONLINE ARCHIVE MATERIAL]

Did you ever want to be a hero?  As a child did you ever fantasize about being the Lone Ranger?  Or a knight in shining armor?  Perhaps your taste ran more towards Superman and Batman. ◊ More →


Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’: Non-sense Not Nonsense

WRITINGS > FINISHED [→ ONLINE ARCHIVE MATERIAL]

Although Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” is traditionally considered to be ‘nonsense’, such a characterization ultimately rests on a Western folk notion of language as fundamentally semantico-referential.  A more semiotically- and pragmatically-informed view of language and language-use, however, is capable of describing in considerable detail both the means by which a text such as “Jabberwocky” “makes sense” and the ends to which such a text can be put.  Indeed, such a view shows that some discursive ends are particularly suited to attainment by means of so-called “nonsense” texts such as Jabberwocky.  This paper outlines such a view and applies it to “Jabberwocky”, which is thus seen to make both denotational and interactional “sense”. ◊ More →


Literary Pragmatics and/of Homer’s Odyssey

WRITINGS > FINISHED

This paper is an essay in the full sense of the word: it is an attempt — and essay — to simultaneously work out two problems, one theoretical and one practical.  On the one hand it seeks to articulate a theory of texts in social contexts.  On the other it seeks to apply such a perspective to Homer’s Odyssey.  From the point of view of the first problem, then, the Odyssey is simply an example, an empirical means to a theoretical end.  From the point of view of the second problem, however, an understanding of the Odyssey is an end in itself. ◊ More →


Mediating Mormonism: The Book of Mormon in Mormon Culture and Cognition

WRITINGS > FINISHED

The dissertation proposed is an effort to further the development of an overarching model of the “textual mediation of culture and cognition” through an initial interdisciplinary case study of the dialectical relationship which has existed between the Book of Mormon and Mormonism since the publication of the former and the founding of the latter in 1830. ◊ More →


Read, Think, Listen, Speak: A Guide for New Students

WRITINGS > FINISHED [→ ONLINE ARCHIVE MATERIAL]

Welcome to the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults. You and your classmates are about to embark upon a voyage. A voyage that adults in Chicagoland have embarked upon for 50 years. A voyage that, experience shows, may literally change your life. To help you get your “sea legs,” as it were, I offer the following words of advice. ◊ More →


Self-Evident Truths? Origin Myths and the Founding of America

WRITINGS > FINISHED

Every people has stories that it tells about itself-stories about where it comes from, about its place in the universe, about its essential characteristics. Indeed, one of the key functions of “culture” is to impress these stories on each succeeding generation. When successful, this process makes these stories so “obvious” to insiders as to be self-evidently true (despite the fact that these same stories remain self-evidently dubious to outsiders). In these respects, the American people and American culture are no different than any others. From the beginning, Americans have constructed stories —political, historical, literary — as a way of defining themselves and their place in the world and thus as a way of shaping their destiny. A look at works as diverse as The Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers, The Scarlet Letter, The Gettysburg Address, and “Paul Revere’s Ride,” can illustrate this phenomenon and help us temporarily stand outside ourselves as we seek a better understanding of who we truly are. ◊ More →


Somebody Killed Something: Ambiguous Hero and Beast in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’

WRITINGS > FINISHED

Since its publication in 1871 as part of Through the Looking-glass, Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky” has become one of the quintessential examples of “nonsense poetry” in the English language.  Such a classification largely reflects the poem’s apparent non-referentiality when set against the background of a theory of language that claims unambiguous reference as the sole (or at least, highest) goal of language use.  Since Carroll used a number of words that appeared to have “no sense”, and hence no referents, “Jabberwocky” as a whole appeared to be not fully “meaningful”, and hence not fully referential — i.e. the poem appeared to be “nonsense”. ◊ More →


The Scientific Construction of Developmental Norms

WRITINGS > FINISHED

Although the notion of a dialectical (or reciprocal) relationship between psychology and culture has been nominally acknowledged for over a generation, it is only recently and tentatively that the study of developmental norms has begun to be shaped by this fact.  This paper presents a theoretical outline of this relationship and the resulting need for a self-conscious (or reflexive) study of developmental norms. ◊ More →


The Truth of Muhammad al-Dura: A Response to James Fallows

WRITINGS > FINISHED [→ ONLINE ARCHIVE MATERIAL]

Whether or not a particular 12-year-old boy died at the hands of Israeli soldiers, the image of Mohammed al-Dura is an authentic symbol of the Israeli occupation.  Avoiding this harsh truth does a disservice to Israel and the Jewish people, as well as to the Palestinians, hinders the quest for peace, and endangers everyone if the wrong lessons are drawn from the al-Dura incident. ◊ More →


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