Spinning the Passion Story

This version of the oft-told Passion Story unexpectedly includes Muslims. And Judas, betraying Jesus in the first scene, reappears in the crucifixion scene not as he’s typically portrayed—having committed suicide—but alive, engaged, and capped with a golden glow, a nimbus. These alterations to an otherwise familiar story puzzled a team of Colby researchers, who spent […]

Dickinson in Pandemic Days

My recent essay about teaching Emily Dickinson and the presence of the past (last winter in the Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin) might seem at first an elegy for the pre-pandemic world. In part it is, as I offer a play-by-play description of a particularly lively class unfolding in a unique on-campus space, the Robinson […]

What Kids Can Teach Us

The kids’ jury, according to findings by Professor of Psychology Martha Arterberry, an expert on infant, child, and adult cognition and perception. In their study, Arterberry and coauthors Brittany Hughes ’12 and Barbara Mejia ’14 tested how children judged the actions of characters in an illustrated storybook about a boy who won’t share his toys and a […]
Book cover, Chicken by Paul Josephson

Tastes like Chicken? It’s Not that Simple

What tasted different to you about the chicken in Europe? In the book, the EU doesn’t come off much better than the U.S. in terms of its practices. Right, the processes are quite similar. There’s a bit more room given to the animals raised for our eating purposes in the EU. There is a much […]
Civil rights march

Unfinished Business

As you follow today’s situation, do you think we’re entering into another Civil Rights Movement? It’s a profound question. I feel that African-Americans have been struggling for rights, going back to before there was a United States, and at times it reaches a sort of critical mass before it gets national attention. But the root […]
Empty downtown shops

A Tale of Two Economic Crises?

How does the scale of government intervention (CARES Act, etc.) compare to the scale of the government relief projects that FDR belatedly introduced to take the edge off the Depression?  We hear a lot about the scale of the CARES Act. It is certainly unprecedented. To put it in perspective, the federal deficit was never […]

An Unprecedented Downturn—with a Possible Silver Lining

  Back in February of this year, the unemployment rate in the United States was 3.5 percent: the lowest rate since 1969, said Pugh Family Professor of Economics David Findlay, now in his 35th year teaching macroeconomics. But just a month later, unemployment claims had increased by 30 million, and the unemployment rate skyrocketed to […]

Award-Winning Playwright Bess Welden Amplifies Marginalized Voices

Welden, a teaching artist at Colby since 2010, pondered this question, developed it into a script, and birthed the play Refuge Malja ملجأ, named a finalist for the 2020 National Jewish Playwriting Contest and Tour. The play explores a relationship between a Jewish-American photojournalist and a Syrian refugee, played by a middle schooler who speaks […]

A New Window Into Children’s Memory

Not necessarily, says Professor of Psychology Martha Arterberry, who together with her research assistant, Bowdoin College senior Eliana Albright, published a new study, “Children’s Memory for Temporal Information: The Roles of Temporal Language and Executive Function,” in the Journal of Genetic Psychology: Research and Theory on Human Development in its special issue on temporal cognition […]

Much to Fear, Then and Now

Looking back—way back—medieval historian and Professor of History Larissa Taylor turns to the Middle Ages, and to the plague of 1347-50 specifically, for answers. Her conclusion isn’t overly comforting. “I’m not sure that we’ve learned so many lessons,” Taylor said. “Or at least I think there are more lessons to be learned.” COVID-19 gives us […]