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What my students taught me this week

At a political science conference last January, another professor and I started talking about civic education and civic engagement among our students. This is something I’ve read about a bit, but it’s not something I’ve honestly made all that much of an effort to incorporate into my classes before. I’d trace the lack of effort …

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Politics

My letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) regarding Betsy DeVos

When Betsy DeVos was initially nominated to serve as Secretary of Education, I sent my Tennessee senators multiple postcards begging them not to confirm her. Lamar Alexander was one of her strongest supporters (in or out of Tennessee), and his letters in response to my pleas consistently emphasized how qualified she is, how much she …

Find your voice, shout it from the rooftops, and keep doing it until the people looking for you find you.

Three (really hard) things we all benefit from doing

What does it mean to be empowered? That’s the question we began with this weekend, as we stood in our power, took up space, and connected with our tribe. Each of those things defies the ability of mere words to communicate what is so much larger than a single thing or feeling or action. To …

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Books I read and loved in 2016

I was listening to Anna Guest-Jelley‘s podcast, Love, Curvy Yoga, this morning, and I heard her talk about her favorite books of 2016. And I thought — why haven’t I ever written such a list? It’s appalling, really. For someone whose first or second favorite hobby is buying books by the dozens (if you think …

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Life, Politics

The lost art of listening

The world is noisy this week: first, the giddy anticipation of Election Day, women all around this great country joining Pantsuit Nation on Facebook and proudly donning their “I voted!” stickers; then, the unfolding surprises on election night; finally, the reality slowly seeping in that a loud and bullish man was just elected president. The noise …

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Politics, Yoga

Why yoga makes sense for a political scientist

For a lot of 2016, I’ve thought about how divergent my life’s two biggest current passions are — political science and yoga. American politics this year have been — dare I say it? — unusually nasty, and yoga is the very opposite. What is the common thread? At first, my impulse was to think of yoga …