by Erin McCoy

After considering the subject “Feminist Perspectives on the Humanities and Higher Education,” the first question that flitted across my mind was: “What do women and the humanities have in common?”

Scrawled across my Snoopy notepad, my answer: “They have to fight to be heard.”

Of course, feminist perspectives don’t always mean “women,” and I’d add that “Higher Education” also often has to sing for its state and donor-funded supper. My vocal range is limited as a woman/feminist; my black and brown colleagues in Higher Education have it harder than me, so my voice must include and make space for theirs. And the Humanities – my official doctoral degree – usually has to raise its voice the loudest in the chorus, creating looping arias about “the importance of the humanities” over the percussive roll of “STEM, STEM, STEM, STEM” across the higher education landscape. Like the road for equality between the sexes, the path of the Humanities in the 21st century has been slow-going. As a woman working in the Humanities, I attribute part of the problem to the exhausting weariness that comes with repeatedly insisting your existence has value.

A few months ago, the University where I teach hired a consultant to assist in “restructuring” academics. As a member of the consultant’s working group – and as someone who teaches English classes – I felt dismayed when drafts of “academic organization” immediately combined my Department (English, Theater, and Interdisciplinary Studies) and the Humanities Department (Languages, History, Philosophy) with others as a first measure to cut costs. I called several colleagues – mostly women – to just listen to their thoughts; they were sharply articulate about the need for resources. One likened combining departments in the Humanities as “over-suffocating the garden”; she pointed out that money, faculty hire lines, and the overall Department budgets get a lot tighter if there’s too many plants in the pot. If anything, the Humanities need more space to breathe, as well as more water, more sunlight – more support.

And while I’d like that support to mean “people in the Humanities need to be paid more,” what I really mean is that the Humanities should be tapped for the wellspring of creative innovation they are. I recently virtually attended the annual Humanities Education and Research Association (HERA) Conference. I have been part of HERA – as a member, a newsletter editor, a non-voting board member, a conference participant – since 2011. So, as it is with Covid-19, I saw familiar HERA faces over Zoom, heard the hallmark throat-clear of a long-time HERA member over an un-muted mic, and watched seasoned and green humanities scholars probe ideas. I presented a paper on a course I’m teaching, Sports and the Humanities. I asked my audience: how do I better root the course in the Classical Humanities? I was rewarded with references to Ancient Greek urn art (as sports propaganda), the real name of Plato, and the “culture of celebrity” alluded to in antiquity texts. But it didn’t stop there. My privilege was duly checked, as were questions about including transgender and disabled athletes in the course materials.

That’s part of the problem with the Humanities – it’s so integrative, it is hard to argue that it deserves a room of its own.

To me, these exhilarating discussions essentially turn over and over William Faulkner’s assertion that “the past is never dead. It’s not even the past.” But how does literature, philosophy, Game of Thrones, Freud, Bridgerton fan-fiction, Tik Tok, etc. tell us about humanity, and it’s “present past”? I’d seen a similar exchange, but younger and more diverse, at a conference my University hosted in February – the First Virtual Interdisciplinary Studies Conference.

I’m really proud of that conference, because it was I who supplied the seed of it, and my colleague – a wife and mom and actor – took my arm and we ran with the idea. We were awarded a grant from the South Carolina Humanities Council, which funded our Zoom purchase and speaker fees. We were offered funds from Academic Affairs, but I wanted to prove that we were worth funding outside of the University. It was important that a project rooted in interdisciplinary humanities get money and thus be recognized in newsletters and Faculty Senate notes. People need to be reminded that the Humanities deserves investment. We had lots of help, support, and engagement from a third woman – another dear, female, colleague of mine, whose help with organizing the program was enough. But she went on to create presentations that brought current students and librarians together, and they were talking about race and health disparities with such grace and intelligence; it’s truly beautiful to see, our shared humanity mirrored back at each other.

The collaborative spirit – from our fellow women in the Grants and Accounts offices to our fellow faculty and to our delightful keynotes – underscored the real value of the Humanities. There were plenty of men who helped and supported the cause as well, I should add. We had a solid team helping each other out, which begets a more egalitarian product from the start; as Angela Davis noted in Freedom is a Constant Struggle (2016): “It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.” That’s part of the problem with the Humanities – it’s so integrative, it is hard to argue that it deserves a room of its own.

The 2021 NFL Super Bowl featured a spoken-word performance by poetry super-star Amanda Gorman. I cannot recall a time where a poem preceded the Super Bowl; Twitter already surged with academics and literature folks giddy over Gorman’s reading of her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration. The primetime Super Bowl spot put us over the edge. Popular music is full of poetry, sacred geometry found in nature is full of poetry – studying poetry thus helps us understand the world around us. It allows us space to think about different ways to interpret that world and how we might question it, as well as to recognize what came before it.

But it does not exist only to bolster shiny “new” things, like Digital Humanities (by default, everyone working in the Humanities is doing some digital things, because we live in a digital world). I am fascinated by one of my previously mentioned colleague’s work with Medical Humanities, and I think I can contribute to it in some way, even if it’s just supporting her ideas and championing her courses. But the Humanities don’t wholly exist in these new iterations; they have long existed on their own, but in concert with each other.

Credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

What’s hopefully clear, in this prose, is some celebration of the Humanities, often done in defiance of the perception that it is “lesser-than” other disciplines. The root of feminism is believing in equality, and the Humanities is a metaphor for the treatment of women inasmuch that the value of Humanities will never be the same as the value of Medicine, for example. My aforementioned partner in conferencing (and opera-trained vocalist), Ms. Libby Ricardo, read a draft of this essay and immediately followed the metaphor: “WE ARE THE ALTOS!  We create the support and foundation while others get to be flashy and thus recognized.  Everyone knows a famous Tenor or Soprano.  But an Alto?  And yet, they create the lushest sound.”  

That’s practical – we don’t hear the alto when we’re paying attention to the soaring soprano. We don’t need the arts and humanities to live (though our quarantine addiction to Netflix tells us otherwise). A friend of mine writes that he’s “a doctor, but not the kind that helps people” in his social media bio – it’s funny, but the self-depreciation also comes with defeat. When a very grumpy man derided the First Lady Jill Biden for using her professional title, Dr. Biden, because it “feels fraudulent,” academia roared back. The grumpy man’s article was also derisive, dismissive (he called Dr. Biden “kiddo”) and sexist. It goes without saying (but bares repeating) that no one would’ve written this crap about a man.

Another glass ceiling breaks, and the chorus sings on – in this anecdotal essay, the song was about women in the Humanities, and my limited, privileged view of feminism in the Humanities. I am writing this on International Women’s Day, which I’m happy to celebrate but feel put out that women only get a day; a week would be nice. But that’s how I approach some of the issues I’ve seen in higher education, in regard to Humanities – sometimes the gesture is made, but it feels half-baked. Yay, a day. Yay, an obligatory one-line “congratulations” email. But the Humanities echoes a strong lesson: If you’re always looking outside yourself (your state, your school, etc.) for support (funding, enthusiasm), you’ll never be complete, or feel “good enough.” But I think our voices are good enough. I think the Humanities has a rightful place in the Higher Education pantheon – and I plan to keep singing. Loud.

About the Author

Erin R. McCoy is an Associate Professor of English and Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. Her forthcoming book about the cultural historiography of the Viet Nam War is under contract with McFarland Press.

by AC Panella

A question sometimes asked to help folks reflect on their gendered experiences something similar to, “Do you remember the first time someone asked you to change your behavior, clothing, or language because of your gender?” This question intends to evoke a memory of feeling for folks who may not have thought about their gender in an examined way. The answers to this vary; experiences from toys and imaginary play to being asked to change clothes to ‘something more appropriate’ or something similar. 

Whatever the answer, these memories are important. First, they are interactions that may have encouraged or discouraged or complicated our understanding of how our bodies move in the world. Second, remembering this interaction may have a ripple effect on our understanding of the social practices that come around gender as a society. Finally, something makes them worth remembering. With the myriad of gendered interactions, one has been exposed to and chosen or needed to forget; memory may start to outweigh impact in daily life more than policy regulations or social policing of gender. Memory functions as the historian for gendered practices. Gender, then, as a concept is a mnemonic device for both regulating and remembering in a gendered world. 

Mnemonic devices are more than word play for remembering and retelling information; a mnemonic device can be any system that uses recollection to quickly use complex information. Gender as it’s currently invoked in a U.S. context tends to function to quickly recalling the complex histories of bodies and the expectations those bodies. Gender as a mnemonic device is a complex response to colonial and binary concepts of gender, it is the remembering, forgetting, and responding to memories regarding gender within a collective social group. 

Gender & Memory

Reformulating gender as a mnemonic device builds in the multi-sensory understandings of gender and may offer new forms of interruptions that expand the legitimacy of different gendered knowledges and practices. For gender to function as a mnemonic device, we must understand the development of social memories and how to create interruptions and reposition gendered memory from the personal to the ideological. 

A mnemonic device is an artifact or system to help remember elements or qualities of a particular moment. For example, you may have learned “Every good boy does fine” to learn the lines on the music stave. Or “my very easy method just set up nine planets” to learn the order of the planets, back when we still considered Pluto a planet. These are mnemonic devices intended to quickly recall a particular kind of academic fact.  Mnemonic devices used to capture experiences, memories, or short cuts to understanding. Souvenirs are tangible objects to remind of place experience, photos capture an emotional moment, and, in society, identity categories function as a short cut to understanding the complicated histories and emotions an individual may have experienced because of their connection to social groups.

This last quality of identity may help others and ourselves remember our own notions of that particular identity. When limited to binary definitions a gender, a person may remember ‘what it means to be’ a man or woman. However, gender in its current form of mnemonic device is insufficient for representing the range or experiences of a great deal of people. This is why trans (at its broadest definition) challenges a collective memory of gender¹. The tidy framework of binary gender doesn’t offer a way to reframe gender within the embodied memories of an individual. 

Susan Stryker, author of Transgender History notes, “Because most people have great difficulty recognizing the humanity of another person if they cannot recognize that person’s gender, encounters with gender- changing or gender-challenging people can sometimes feel for others like an encounter with a monstrous and frightening unhumanness.” One reason for this difficulty in recognition, is not being able to have a recall device that challenges one’s ability to enact social practice. Without this device a person may have a destabilizing response to experiencing gender based on a recollection of what gender “should be” or “used to be.” This mnemonic practice needs to be rewritten if we are to engage with everyone’s humanity. 

Art & Memory

Art is one intervention to mnemonic practices. Art can capture and reposition gender in a material and visual way. We can see how image works to captures and reiterate those gendered memories. Sometimes in more impactful ways than direct education or interaction. For example, we are more likely to remember The Last Supper as depicted in the painting, than we might reading the thick description in The Bible. This is one type of short cut to remember a part of a religion. Art by trans folks breaks this mnemonic practice because it invokes trans memory and gives insight to how gendered memories are preserved and passed on in public. 

When this is looked at on a group level, collective memory can be a way of quickly passing on and remembering important information across that shared experience. Memory can be shared through such practices as building physical monuments, holidays, or ceremonial traditions. For example, in the LGBTQ community, June is marked as LGBTQ pride month. Events, statues, and historical landmark designations have been created to honor the memory of the Stonewall Uprisings. This captures an important social turning point. Sharing the story of Stonewall through movies, artwork, and memorials can help in understanding a historic moment and may demonstrate how a collective has shifted. 

Memories, like Stonewall, become similar to a document that has been copied too many times. The original image gets incredibly dulled or distorted the more it’s copied. Collective memory is shaped through this process with each new monument, individual interpretation and reproduction. Today there is a democratization of knowledge and memory because of technology, social media, and other projects of globalization. When it comes to gender, trans people are gaining access to seeing and learning about trans histories, mythology, and memory. 

These memories for trans people can inform and validate identity; highlighting the complicated ways gender as a concept reinforces oppressive social structures based on patriarchal and colonized thought cementing binary gender as a memory construct. There is a myriad of trans artists who tackle trans history, futurity, and memory in their work. Chris Vargas, Nicki Green, and Vick Quezada are trans identified artists who challenge the way memory functions through interrogating institutionalization, religion, and biopolitical systems of gender. Their work contributes to material interruptions of gendered mnemonic practices. 

Photo Credit: Newtown Grafitti, via Flickr

One of the most commonly displayed works of Chris Vargas’ is The Museum of Trans Hirstory. A traveling exhibit, it uses real and created objects to codify moments of trans history. Objects include Sylvia Rivera’s high heel, signs from bars, and a mug from Compton’s cafeteria. Vargas says of this installation:

 “Stories of gay and lesbian civil rights victories like the dissolution of sodomy laws, the creation of employment nondiscrimination protections, and gay marriage all tend to trace back to rebellion, while the critical role that transgender women, many of color, played in these advances has slipped deep into unseen corners of historical memory” (99). 

What Vargas produces shines a light to that “unseen corner of historical memory.”  He connects trans lineage by displaying tipping points in trans history. These objects both memorialize trans experience and elevate its importance by positioning them within a historical institution. Vargas’ work inspires us to rethink how we might ‘trans’ art and museum space to reflect the vast array of genders their memories. 

These memories for trans people can inform and validate identity; highlighting the complicated ways gender as a concept reinforces oppressive social structures based on patriarchal and colonized thought cementing binary gender as a memory construct.

Museums are one way culture institutionally transfers gendered information; religion is another. Deeply connected to memory, religion often invokes gender in ritual thus preserving it in a collective memory. Nicki Green recreates artifacts related to gendered religious traditions through ceramics and sculpture. There are many Jewish traditions that Green has been excluded from because of her trans identity. She has recast ritual objects centering a trans feminine perspective; recognizing that the memory of these objects is layered and complicated across gendered experiences. As she says,

“I’m interested in the bedikah cloth because it’s a material way of recording the body. I recognize this practice and other ritual related to the regulation of women’s bodies can be and have been traumatic for many who participate. As a trans woman, I have this distance from these rituals because my body is not halakhically or historically included in these traditions, and that distance allows me the privilege to repurpose them in a way the feels empowering” (406). 

By repurposing ritual practice to be inclusive of trans experience, Green offers trans people a pathway to reconnecting and rethinking rites of passage and celebration within Western spiritual practice. Of note is that it is a Western colonized spiritual practice; there are a variety of indigenous practices that have capaciousness for genders beyond the binary. 

Artist Vick Quezada critiques colonialism by centering their art around indigeneity and on colonialist rewritings gender. They describe their work saying, 

“Plants, like humans, can be queer; they, too, are assigned genders. In terms of my work, gender is not always explicit, but it’s certainly embedded. I am the maker so I bring myself everywhere I go, right? But my critique of settler colonialism is consistent throughout my work. The structures created by Western colonial ideologies are the same ones that create systemic oppression and control gender constructs” (np).

Through their work, Quezada demonstrates how nation states codify and reinforce what gendered expectations should be. Often pulling from and erasing indigenous resources. 

These artists show how gender is a shorthand for societal expectations, historical knowledges, and predictive mechanisms for desire and connection. Gender as a memory device, highlights the ways we reinforce and distribute power and privilege in our society through placing emphasis on gender expectations. Trans people undermine this mnemonic practice by inhabiting multiple perspectives, creating new gender identities and challenging religious and social traditions that are tied to gendered expectations. To trans gender is to make new mnemonic devices for understanding and inhabiting bodies. 


People with trans identities and practices defy gender as a mnemonic device because rather than relying on historic social memory, gender practices are individualized and reinvented. These practices may be ignored throughout time because memory of a binary gender system is so strong. Consistently exposed to mnemonic devices that reinforce binary gender and not challenge it; this process is built through a combination of social practice and capitalist governmental forces. We check boxes, create policy, and build environments that all reinforce historic practice of gender making it nearly impossible for trans people to find themselves in space, history, or memory in public practice. Trans activist Marsha P. Johnson has said, “History isn’t something you look back at and say it was inevitable, it happens because people make decisions that are sometimes very impulsive and of the moment, but those moments are cumulative realities.” Our world can reflect our vast human experience and interrupting binary gender systems through artistic intervention is a way to reflect and share each new iteration.


  1. For this conversation, I’m defining trans as the actions and embodiment of people who do not use their gender assigned at birth to dictate their social expectations regarding tradition and desire. This can include transgender, non-binary, and gender expansive communities. This is a type of trans practice rather than a limited trans identity. For the sake of brevity, I’ll be using the term trans throughout the rest of this article but please know it’s not as an intention to obscure or erase these experiences but rather to encompass those identities and practices.

About the Author

AC Panella is a trans Ph.D. candidate in the Humanities at Union Institute and University. He has worked on a variety of projects including the Trans Leadership Academy, The LA Trans Health Coalition, and this year developing the Trans Oral History Project in conjunction with Georgia State University. His research is focused on trans collective memory and history as it’s represented in visual and material culture. When he isn’t nose deep in research, he is a full-time teacher, pet parent, and truncle (Trans-Uncle) to a super adorable three-year-old.

Feature Photo Credit: Ted Eytan via Flickr


by Volker Frank

I. By Way of Introduction: A Sociological Perspective of the Problem

A little more than a century ago, Emile Durkheim wrote his last book The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. In it, he explained why religion and faith are such universal human phenomena, regardless of their particular expressions, Gods, or sacred texts. To him, religion’s fundamental value was not the saving of the believer for an afterlife, but what religion – in its organized and collective form – did to those who believed and practiced it: they were members of a community of values. While Durkheim succeeded in making the point, he unfortunately failed in his other goal – the recovery of a consciously and collectively shared human morality, for which the Elementary Forms was a sort of preliminary study, a foundational perspective. Durkheim realized that modern life with all its scientific revolutions and progress (technological, medical, etc.) raised a serious challenge to community life of all sorts (the nation, the Church, the citizenry, the rural towns, the educational institutions). In fact, he argued, the birth and evolution of modern life produced secularizations and separations of all kinds. Even religion itself was not immune to this development. This was a problem, he argued, because while modern life produced a more complex division of labor that gave specialization, it also weakened our social and moral ties. He was quite skeptical about modern life’s ability to reproduce – in secular form – what religion had (presumably) accomplished before the arrival of modern life. In this vision that modern life will be diverse and yet profoundly divided, confused even, about values and what values we should nurture and protect and teach, he was not alone. Other famous Sociologists, Politicians, and Philosophers also feared that modern life will be increasingly about what we have and less about who we are and who we want to be and how we see ourselves as a part of something bigger. 

II. Diversity and Inclusion, Diversity or Inclusion?

 What has happened to Durkheim’s concerns? Has the University managed to address a central problem of modern times? And has the University not only addressed it, but arrived at a “good enough” conclusion or recommendation among its teachers and with its students? I am not so sure. In other words, while a lot of Universities and Colleges, and especially those who teach the Humanities, have recently – and rightfully so – engaged more intentionally with issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, frequently we are still not addressing a fundamental question: what are our values and beliefs, why do we have the values and beliefs we have, and what’s so unique about the Humanities in their attempts to clarify values for us? Is there a trade-off between diversity and inclusion? What lies underneath our talk of diversity and inclusion?

Let us assume for a second that the problem lies not so much with our attention given to diversity, but with inclusion. Many argue that finally, the Humanities are paying more attention to diversity of all kinds: here at “home” in the West (e.g. race, ethnicity, multiculturalism, gender, trans-gender, etc.) but also there “abroad” in the non-West (e.g. indigeneity, coloniality, cosmopolitanism). In the classroom, and among colleagues, talk about non-Western cultures, religions, and belief systems is not always easy. There are many reasons for this but two should be mentioned here. First, a lack of familiarity with “abroad” (produced, in part, by education biased toward the West, limited exposure to other cultures, reinforced by language limitations, and a lot more). To be blunt, or overly simplistic, not everybody who teaches about Africa, Latin America, or Asia, did what Levy-Strauss, or Geertz or Mead could do: spend years “abroad”. 

Second, and perhaps more importantly, a profound philosophical bias towards one-sided reason. Here we could mention a long line of intellectual thinkers who continue to have great influence over our Humanities: Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx, Smith, Darwin, Habermas, Foucault etc…Is it because they are all white males or is it because they share something that goes beyond race/ethnicity and gender? Maybe what they and others share is “subjectivism”, i.e. their ontological and/or metaphysical belief, philosophy, and their neglect of what in Anthropology is called a “wholistic worldview.” Looking beyond what is offered not only by Kant and company but also by most Sociologists and so many Social Theorists in terms of an explanation of who we are as human beings, is it possible that we are looking at a false dichotomy, and therefore not really looking at the bigger picture?

In other words, instead of looking at humans either as “agency” or “part of structure”, homo faber or homo ludens, instead of  disagreeing over whether we are, as Kant, Descartes, Smith, or Darwin had it, individuals in a competitive world, unable to fully understand and connect with the outside world, or instead of wondering if there is still a “grand narrative” since the Enlightenment (the modernization, democratization, secularization of the world), or whether the grand narrative is now a text to be de-contextualized, broken down into separate, distinct and different parts, instead of approaching the world from the perspective of Western vs non-Western, religious vs secular, developed or developing, rural or urban, rich or poor, healthy or sick, diverse and global, inclusive for some and exclusive for others, we ask again, who, what, and where are we as simple humans? But this time, we do so from a less “nominalistically” influenced world view. By nominalist I mean a world-view that assumes a dichotomous world: mind – world, subject – object, individualism – objective world, human nature is social vs. non-human nature is not social. Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Marx, Nietzsche, Weber, and Habermas, and others, present this world-view, their philosophical stand, their theoretical position, for some even their political position, and thus their theories represent a value to the degree to which they describe what is, what is natural, what is not, what we are, what we are not, what is reason, what is rational, what is not rational, what belongs to God and what belongs to humans, what is fact and what is (to them)  “mere ritual” and finally, what deserves to be learned and what not. These are then, at one and the same time ontological affirmations, metaphysical accounts, epistemological recommendations.

Looking beyond what is offered not only by Kant and company but also by most Sociologists and so many Social Theorists in terms of an explanation of who we are as human beings, is it possible that we are looking at a false dichotomy, and therefore not really looking at the bigger picture?

It is not that some would not have warned us. Here, one could mention a few voices: Weber argued quite eloquently that “the fate of an epoch which has eaten of the tree of knowledge is that it must know that we cannot learn the meaning of the world from the results of its analysis, be it ever so perfect; it must rather be in a position to create this meaning itself. It must recognize that general views of life and the universe can never be the products of increasing empirical knowledge” (Giddens 1971:136). E. F. Schumacher echoes Weber’s warning in that he asks “we know how to do many things but do we know what to do? He goes on to argue that the current crisis (moral, political, economic, and environmental) of western civilization is due in large part to a crisis of education. There has been, so to speak, a “metaphysical collapse” of our deepest convictions and he concludes “education which fails to clarify our central convictions is mere training or indulgence and education, far from ranking as man’s greatest resource, will then be an agent of destruction, in accordance with the principle “corruptio optimi pessima” (Campbell et al. 2002: 555).  

And so, steeped in this tradition, today our Humanities face some serious challenges. From a nominalist perspective, how do you make sense of a statement like this: The Dagara people (Southern Burkina Faso, North West Ghana), explains M. P Somé, “have no word for the supernatural.” Moreover, “the world of the Dagara does not distinguish between reality and imagination” (Somé 1995:7). Likewise, Achebe (1994) argues that, as a consequence of a Western-imposed world-view, economics and politics, philosophy and science, the “problematique” of post-colonial Africa is how to get its people “back to the authentic” or “out of” this modern or post-modern Africa. In a similar vein, Maldonado-Torres, following Heidegger, asks how can we remind or convince non-Western people that for many former colonial subjects, it is not Descartes’ I think, therefore I am, it is I am, therefore I think. How do you unpack this?! 

The good news is that there are some really interesting proposals how to get us out of this bias. And so, re-reading Achebe or Somé and others (e.g. Halton), I wonder, do they propose what in my view constitutes a non-nominalist theory, a philosophy that might acknowledge the other, the stranger, or that might even “otherize” and yet still explore common elements in our humanity as the real foundation? Thinkers like Goethe, Mumford and Gandhi, Morrison, among others, present us with the possibility that rationality (including the one so strongly represented in the Social and Natural Sciences, in the Humanities and in Philosophy), is only a part of what makes us human, and there is more to the human condition, as religion, as extra-rational, as nature shows us and perhaps unlike at any time before now, is even trying to tell us.  

III. A Modest Proposal

The way we understand each other, the way we communicate with each other, the way we are and who we might become is far from an individualistic project alone. Our common project is rational but it is also so much more, it is reasonable, emotional, symbolic, and yes, it is calculating and sometimes dishonest and, lately, very conflictual. Halton argues that ”the reasonable is far more than the rational and runs deeper than cultural and biological reductionists can admit. It includes empathic intelligence, which can feel what rational mind cannot know, as well as projective intelligence, which can body forth ideas, images, feelings, and forms utterly irrationally, though reasonably” (Halton 1995:74). Many theories and philosophies see the rational individual as the center of attention – and hence as the place from which to explain the social, yet in doing so they risk missing more than what they reveal. Emphasizing diversity at the cost of inclusion is also bound to make the same mistakes, to fall into the same bias. Diversity and Inclusion are distinct ways of looking at the world, but maybe Inclusion is more than the sum total of Diversity. Inclusion is more than adding stories about “diversity at home and diversity abroad” – as important and timely as these may be. Inclusion is about shared humanity, regardless of place and time. 


Works Cited

Achebe, Ch. Things Fall Apart. New York Anchor Books, 1994.

Giddens, Anthony. Capitalism and Modern Social Theory, An analysis of the writings of Marx,

Durkheim and Weber. London, Cambridge University Press 1971. 

Halton, Eugene. Bereft of Reason. On the Decline of Social Thought and Prospects for Its Renewal.

Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Maldonado-Torres N. “On the Coloniality of Being” In Cultural Studies, 21:2, 240-270.

Routledge, 2007.

Schumacher E.F. “The Greatest Resource – Education.” In Asheville Reader The Individual in the

Contemporary World. Edited by G Campbell, M Gillum, D Sulock, M West. Copley Custom Publishing Group, 2002, 540-555.

Somé, M. T. Of Water and the Spirit. Ritual, Magic, and the Life of an African Shaman. New York,

Penguin, 1995. 

Tantillo, A. O. Goethe’s Modernisms, New York, Continuum 2010.

Wiredu, K. and Gyekye K. Person and Community. Ghanaian Philosophical Studies I. Washington,

Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. 1992.