Professor of Education Adam Howard and Addy Seeman ’21 presented a paper at the Comparative and International Education Society Conference in late April, this year held virtually. Their paper, “Aesthetics of Privilege: Lessons Embedded in the Social Aesthetics of Elite Schools,” explores the meanings attached to the “social aesthetics” (that is, in part, the perception of and experiences within social spaces) of elite schools across the world and the ways in which these meanings communicate particular lessons that reinforce privilege as a collective identity. Howard and Seeman employ the concept of social aesthetics as an interpretative notion for understanding the dynamics of privilege that are hidden in plain sight at elite schools.
Howard and Seeman began working together during Seeman’s first year when she was a presidential scholar. They continued working together for the past four years on the research reported in this paper. They will turn the paper into an article that will be out within the next year.