Illustration of birds and trees

Essay: From Teachers comes the Gift of Teaching Writing—and Writers

American Lit. Honors, Lathrop High School, Fairbanks, Alaska, Fall, 1987: our teacher, John Selle, acts out the “gazing grain” in Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death.” He bends his knees slightly, holding them together as if he is about to slalom between our desks, and, motionless, stares off into the horizon at […]
Miriam Valle-Mancilla ’16

Love at First Sight

To view one painting, the Beaune Altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden, in the 15th-century Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, Valle-Mancilla said, “you needed a magnifying glass but [the room] was pitch black. And then, when they turned on the lights, it was this huge painting that was covered in gold leaf. I was just so amazed […]
Jack Foner

Blacklisted but not Defeated

Change did come to Colby during Terrell’s time, but it came in the form of a new white professor in his late 50s who hadn’t taught in a college for 30 years because he’d been blacklisted as a communist sympathizer—and singlehandedly introduced African-American history to the curriculum. “It certainly did not matter that he was […]
Praying Mantis

From Bugs to Robotics

So says Colby neurobiologist Josh Martin, who recently received a $325,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to deepen the study of intelligence as it applies to robotics. His subject? The praying mantis. Martin, assistant professor of biology, and his collaborators will use the four-year grant to make robots behave like mantises, which researchers have […]
Data and DNA illustration

Big Data

Imagine that the resulting product, that huge number, represents tiny bits of data: information about what makes you human, what gives you brown eyes, and why your hair is curly. Now, take these data, these trillions of facts, this micro-universe of information, and use them to change the world. Far-fetched? Not anymore, and not at […]
Associate Professor of Global Studies Maple Razsa, right, and Milton Guillén ’15 take questions from the audience at a showing of their film, The Maribor Uprisings, at Rooftops Films festival in New York in June.

From Mayflower Hill to a Global Stage

The enthusiastic filmgoers did just that—just as crowds have done at film festivals in Copenhagen, Toronto, Cape Town, Maribor (the city in Slovenia where the protests took place), and other locations around the world. “It’s a story about collective protest movements and how to respond to repression by the police,” said Razsa, whose scholarly research […]

Abstract Impressions

These universal questions form our framework for understanding the world, according to Associate Professor of Philosophy Lydia Moland. “It (that framework) can be the basis of how we approach problems,” she says. And, Moland says, the study of philosophy may be more relevant than ever in a time of political upheaval, cultural shifts, and rapid […]
Blackboard with female equals male symbols

Breaking Free of the Cultural Biases The Surround Women (+Math)

That cultural bias, one that assumes men are better at math than women—and undermines women in the classroom and the discipline—wasn’t just a high school thing. It carries over to college—and beyond. “I think what we have to do here is not only teach women to be strong in a place where they’re a minority,” […]
Daumier Les bas-bleus illustration

Jealous of Genius

“Her name was Paula Henriques,” Paliyenko said. “She was in my seminar on French poetry of the 19th century, and she asked me, ‘I know they hired you because you specialize in poetry. So who were the women recognized as poets in the 19th century?’” Paliyenko, who had recently completed her Ph.D. in French literature […]
Neil Gross

What lies beneath: How sociologist Neil Gross explores the American social fabric

And the world is starting to take note of the Charles A. Dana Professor and Chair of Sociology at Colby: in the last year he has published five op-eds in the New York Times Gray Matter column and participated in multiple interviews about his scholarship on everything from collective trauma to why college professors are […]