Tonight, UCS is hosting an open forum discussion on Brown’s Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion Plan. The working draft of the plan, which was released on November 19th in an community wide email from President Christina Paxson P’19, can be read in full here. Provost Richard Locke, Dean of the College Maud Mandel,Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Liza Cariago-Io, Dean Mary Grace Almandrez, and Senior Associate Dean of the Faculty Janet Blume will all be participating in the panel at 8:00 p.m. in Salomon 001. Free Flatbread pizza and cupcakes will be served. If you can’t attend, but want to follow what’s happening, Blog will be covering the event live on the feed below.
Online feedback on the plan may be submitted until December 4th.
In an email to the Brown community this morning, Dean of the College Maud Mandel announced that Michelle Alexander’s 2010 bestseller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness, will be the First Readings book for the incoming Class of 2019. Alexander’s book has won rave reviews for its searing, comprehensive look at how the incarceration system in the United States consistently and deliberately targets black Americans, turning many into second-class citizens without basic rights, including the right to vote. Mandel called the selection “compelling and timely,” and she is “confident that this choice for the First Readings Program will inspire productive discussions among students and their seminar leaders.”
Bluestockings published a petition endorsing the selection last December. The letter argued for The New Jim Crow‘s selection on the basis of its merits as a powerful conversation starter for incoming Brown students:
We identify the first-reading as a critical opportunity to begin redefining a culture at Brown that would ask students to constantly grapple with the myriad social constructs that each of us exist within. Brown’s institutions, just as those in the academy and American society at large, perpetuate systems of inclusion and exclusion that are not yet bled of their racist and classist roots. While Michelle Alexander specifically handles the case of contemporary anti-black and anti-brown policing and incarceration strategies, embedding these strategies in historical racism and classism, her book can offer lessons for the immediate Brown community. It is our hope that the conversations that stem from the first-reading discussion groups will introduce students to engagement with the intersections of race and class (within Brown and beyond) as well as spark a sustained interest in examining these and other systems of oppression.
Our new Dean of the College Maud Mandel seemed a little jealous that her predecessor (and our obsession) Katherine Bergeron had a BlogDH original game named after her, BergeMash. So we decided we needed to give Dean Mandel her own game. After a genius idea from one blogger extraordinaire, we put our heads (read: Facebook comments) together and came up with MaudMash.
Here’s how it works: think of a place or building on Brown’s campus. Make it into a musical artist or band. Make it punny. Bam, you just MaudMashed. Check out the ones we’ve come up with, and as you’re walking around campus, open your Spotify (or Blogify) and come up with your own!
Main Green Day
Gene Simmons Quad (formerly Linkin Field)
J. Walter Wilson Phillips
J. Walter Will Smith
Aqualung Family Gallery
Slater Hall and Oates
Young O the Giant
Neil Young O
Maud Mandel is still in the first few months of her new position as the Dean of the College, and we thought that there was no better way to welcome her than to sit her down and interrogate interview her. Dean Mandel graciously agreed, and we’re thrilled to share her thoughts here.
We will admit that since Dean Katherine Bergeron, the previous DoC, left Brown to become the president of Connecticut College, there has been KBerge-sized hole left on Blog and in our hearts. We also have to say, however, that Dean Mandel is already filling that gap, and she is poised to become the new star of BlogDH’s photoshop game. Read on for Dean Mandel’s thoughts on her role as DoC, capes, her book, Beyoncé, and more:
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
BlogDailyHerald: What was your path to Brown?
Dean Maud Mandel: I went to Oberlin College in Ohio, which is a small liberal arts school with an open curriculum. I was an English major, and then I worked for a year before going to graduate school in history at the University of Michigan. I got a PhD in the subfield of Modern Jewish History, and I was just finishing up my doctorate when a position opened up as a visiting professor in Jewish History at Brown. So I came here, and it was a wonderful opportunity because it brought together these two paths – the open liberal arts curriculum of my undergraduate years and the serious research of my graduate school years. I couldn’t have found a better fit. And I’ve been here ever since—I say they’ll have to cart me out in a coffin.