Currently browsing posts authored by rory

Follow rory via RSS

Identity Evropa is Racist and the below post is idiotic

I can’t stay silent on this and am disgusted David could even pose question 2 rhetorically. There will be no comments on this post because there is no need. Identity Evropa is a racist hate group trying to recruit college students and David is doing work for them on this site with that garbage post. One google search is all it takes. Aren’t we ephs? Don’t we know how to do basic research?

From their founder:

“I think one of the major books that got me started was David Duke’s My Awakening, and I think from there the rest was really history.”
—Nathan Damigo on Red Ice Radio, June 16, 2016

From their 2nd leader in 2018 (edit: also, he lied about serving in Iraq):

“I work in HR firing n***** and s**** all day. Before that, I was in the army and I got to kill Muslims for fun. I’m not sure which one was better: watching n****** and s**** cry because they can’t feed their little [racist term for kids] or watching Muslims brains spray on the wall. Honestly both probably suck compared to listening to a k***’s scream while in the oven.”


The third leader is smart enough not to say the quiet part loud, but he did host shows on Red Ice Radio, you know, the white nationalist/supremacist platform. F*ck this


Idiot’s Books second only to Lennon/McCartney…

Robbi and Matt

at least in Slate’s mind. Ephs Robbi Behr and Matthew Swanson (both ’97) have been mentioned before on ephblog as a wonderful duo who write and publish their own prints/books/posters (I own that one)/witty things of all types (including this t-shirt that my girlfriend has promised me for two straight special occasions and failed to deliver). They’re also good people and have a great blog that you should read. It’s fun and Matthew jumps over entire mountains in it.

Anyway, check out Slate’s four part series starting here. It’s a fascinating look at both the creative process and a family. Congrats!

Also worth a direct link: the fun flash graphic description of their writing process here.

Someone who knows how to play with images, please fix the image size.


Rephsearch #3: I almost forgot

So we get a rushed version with a special one for next week.

Considering my lateness in preparing for this week and the recent honoring of Gaudino, I thought I’d travel back in time as oldies are still, sometimes, really goodies in the research world. And so, without much more lead in (seriously, does anyone need more lead in with regards to Gaudino?) I present this link to his doctoral dissertation . It may have been linked before, but who cares: read it for the first time, read the intro, re-read it. He’s a Williams legend. The intro alone is amazing. For example: “Higher education has two dimensions. It exists as a public institution and as a way of life.”

Random tangential thought beneath the fold Read more


Rephsearch #2: My classmate and current williams prof

Update: I love the internet! Justin was kind enough to e-mail me with a copy of his more recent article. Justin’s also open to answering questions, so let’s get started.

Who better to exemplify how bad-ass Williams people are than an alumni who is just finishing his first year (I believe) as an Assistant Professor? We turn, then, to Justin Crowe’s work. Professor Crowe’s work is on the role of the Supreme Court in the American political system and its history. It’s a topic Williams has often had a strength in, and it’s quite nice to see a Williams alum return to keep that tradition going!

His most recent article was just published almost exactly one month ago in Studies in American Political Development and is not available for free online (sad!). Fortunately, (yay!), the abstract is available here and earlier work can be downloaded in its entirety here . In light of Stevens’ retirement, the work available in full seems particularly interesting and relevant: the decline of short-term judges in the federal judiciary and an attempt to bring a social science outlook into a field of interest traditionally dominated by law professors. And there are many stories I could tell about law professors sticking their necks into the social sciences without adequate preparation, so it’s extra nice to see Justin’s work do the opposite and (it seems to me) with adequate preparation. Abstracts below the fold: Read more


Rephsearch #1: Popular kids aren’t friendly

Rephsearch is a new weekly post detailing one or two or possibly three pieces of research with a Williams professor, student, or alumni author. The post will try to summarize the article in layperson’s terms and, occasionally, include insights from the author. This is our first Rephsearch. Suggestions welcome!


The idea for Rephsearch came from my desire to avoid revising a paper for a third time because one of the peer reviewers–a sociologist–felt that we were being overly dramatic by spending more than “a couple sentences on the difference” between popularity and network structure. I grew frustrated–part of the point of our article was to show how that mistake was endemic to sociology and the flaws it led to in our thinking. I was annoyed.

Oops, this is supposed to be for non-social scientists…let’s back up…below the break Read more


Re-eph-search (needs wittier title) #1

Williams people do research. That should come as no surprise. But, while that research by alumni and faculty is heralded as an important sign of the vitality of the school and its education, academic research is not necessarily the most…accessible thing. Not only is it often behind pay walls online, but it can be extremely esoteric or esoterically written or complex, even for a brilliant eph to follow (note: I’m not that brilliant eph. I’m just saying–even for the most brilliant of us brilliant people, some of this stuff is weird). However, even the most confusing or esoteric seeming research probably has some value or could spark some dialogue or interest. And hey, why not toot Williams’ research horn? (*paging Dick Swart’s photoshop* I need an image of the Williams “research horn)

God knows I barely can follow half of the research that comes out in my field (half?!? I’m being too kind to myself. 2/3rds of my field is almost unknowable if that particular subfield isn’t your speciality. Speaking of which, anyone want to explain a “transivity model of the tau statistic of a social network is? Bueller? Bueller?). Nonetheless, a lot of this research provides amazing insights into the banal and non-banal (exciting? complex?) aspects of our world. Weekly, from here on out, I will be doing my best on Thursdays to provide a quick summary of a paper written by a Williams professor or alumni in the social sciences (maybe occasionally venturing into the humanities. Natural sciences I dare not try to understand. Maybe someone is willing to trade off with me?), why it might be interesting to people, a polite critique perhaps or suggestion of what I’d love to see if I could control the research agenda of others (if only I could…everyone prove why the Pennsylvania Liquor Board is a waste and how to get rid of it! GO! DO IT!), etc. Ideally, I’ll be able to do so for articles or papers that are freely accessible and not behind pay-walls, but I don’t promise that. I also don’t promise to bring the funny. I will try.

If you are interested in helping out via either presenting (natural scientists?!? please?!?!) or have a recommendation for a paper or author I should do in future weeks, please just submit a comment. I’ll compile those and get back to you.

Right now, I’ve got one in mind that I’ve used in a paper of mine that *knock of wood* a journal accepts after 3 revisions from a current psychology professor. Ideally, I’ll be able to include a comment from the author about why they researched that topic and what they think of the paper as well. Speaking of which…let me email that professor now.


On Race in Selective Higher Education

This post was requested here as a means of hopefully providing some counterbalance to the overwhelming number of words David Kane ’88 has written about his opinion on the persistence of racial inequality in elite education. In sum, these books and articles are intended to be a collection of relatively easily available (I hope) examples of the scholarly research. Where possible, I will include links to publicly available versions of the articles themselves.

While I originally intended for the comment section to be turned off, I will instead keep it on. However, it will not be a place for opinion. Instead, factual questions and additions to the list of scholarly work are welcome. Please keep them to recent work.
Read more


CGCL VI: Learning from Black Williams

First, an apology for any grammar mistakes and lack of clarity. I had great plans to spend this afternoon revising this piece and the excellent work of the students who wrote this history of Black Williams deserves those revisions (sad note: I had to revise this sentence twice due to grammar mistakes!). Unfortunately, my own work has a deadline and has called me away from this much more fun endeavor.

I engaged the report (available here), written as a winter study in 2003 (the story of that alone is interesting and told in the introduction) in four ways, though only one will be the focus of this write up:

1. As an example of a winter study: Wow. I never did anything like this for winter study. Hats off to all involved for doing something intellectually engaging, but also valuable to the Williams community.
2. As a fellow academic (in other words, with swords sharpened and ready to impale): The lack of citations bothers me a little and I wonder if they should have attempted to first find the narrative arc of Williams and then split up the chapters. Then again, see my above comment. Any critique comes only after acknowledging how superior this work is to 99% (90% whatever, you get the idea) of the stuff submitted for winter study.
3. For lessons to learn: This is a history with which a new president must grapple and must try to move forward.
4. Awkwardly: HA! I know all of the authors as classmates and many as friends. Kind of strange to review this for ephblog knowing what I know about that winter study (shades of Sharifa stressing out while I looked at her thinking “dear god, it’s a freaking winter study!” Guess she was right about making sure this work came together and I was wrong when I thought it was no big deal. Lesson: Sharifa’s always right).

More details below Read more


Attention Ephblog: Not all political writers hate Coakley ’75!

In case the…biases…of certain ephblog authors weren’t clear to you already, consider the following views of Coakley:

Left wing media supports Coakley .

Or this evidence that her opponent might be a dick/IRS cheat . Apparently, the health care coverage is less important than the fact that he’s making his staffers pay their own taxes so he can avoid payroll tax.

Or there’s Vicky Kennedy’s endorsement to consider .

Or the huffington post gets mad at centrists flip flopping .

And now, back to your regularly scheduled ephblog…


What should we ask Presidential candidates?

hat tip to JeffZ for the idea (see previous post here)

It’s time, ephbloggers, for Williams to undergo a rare reformation by hiring a new President. Professor Macgregor Burns describes two types of leadership, transformational and transactional. What type of leader do we want for Williams? Why? And, more importantly, what questions would we pose to a Presidential candidate for Williams?

Also, to make the exercise more interesting, why not try to answer your own question were you a presidential candidate? I take a shot at it below

Read more


John Jackson is cool

So if you’re on campus on Thursday evening at 7:30  pm and free, you should go to his talk on Racism, Post-Raciality, and the Hidden Injuries of Colorblindness. If you aren’t free–you should free yourself up and go.

He’s a great professor, good presenter, sharp dresser, and all-around good guy. Hat tip to the college news section of the new, improved ephblog for bringing his talk to my attention.


A Plea for more civility/ephdom

Hi all,

I spent the weekend without internet (and it was glorious). I came back and saw the same tired electoral crap I read on political sites. The same back and forth with the same five or six people. The same (arguably) racist arguments used, the same people plagiarizing other sites, the same emotional spillover and calming down. The same stuff that got one alum to e-mail me and ask for ephblog to talk more about Williams than the presidential campaign. Perhaps eph pundit could be a sub-page or something so those who only want Williams things on Ephblog don’t get overwhelmed by it?

I can’t believe I pine for the days of affirmative action debates and alcohol policy planning from us alumni years removed from college, but that was much better. Can we slow down eph pundit so as to allow ephblog to become more…well…eph-y?

Your former president (and pen winner!),



And a good time was had by all

I’ve never posted before on Ephblog, and I wasn’t planning to begin now. However, the combination of missing our scheduled meeting Saturday morning (Paula Moore Tabor ’76 grabbed me and shepherded me, lovingly, to the 2003 section when I was walking towards the balcony) and seeing as my return to ephblog from the ephoric (yes, I know, terrible pun) heights of reunions a couple of posts about the Iraq War and questioning each others patriotism (that’s what we do at ephblog now? really?) either directly or in vague insinuations, I decided it was my duty to try to change the tenor of the conversation.

First, it was  HOT this weekend all over the East Coast, and Williamstown was no exception. That meant little to the fun of reunions, except, perhaps for explaining the absurd number of alumni and children swarming the free gelato stand whenever it was open. Swarming, truly, is the only adequate term for it. 

Seeing campus again was a wonderful treat and I’m still somewhat overwhelmed by the mixed feelings I had–the joy of seeing so many great friends again and how most of us seem to have found a good path only 5 years out of college was coupled with the return of some of those pathetic freshman insecurities I had thought I had fully outgrown (will I be cool enough? Who will remember me?). It was, however, overall a truly wonderful weekend.

A couple stories to get it started may help. In the small world category, one of my hallmates freshman year is now teaching in public school outside of NYC and mentioned the reunion to one of his fellow teachers, who happens to have been my high school mentor way back when he taught in Princeton before moving. So, if they happen to find ephblog, Austin and Mr. Heyman, hi! 

In the “Morty’s not just our President, he’s a bad-ass” category, Morty promised me we’d share a beer the Saturday night with the massive open bar. Unfortunately, the fifth year reunion was somewhat…impatient…with our consumption and by the time Morty made it over to our reunion (around 10 pm), we were out of beer. Fortunately, someone found him an unopened (but warm) can of PBR. So picture Morty with a rotating group of 5 or 6 26-27 year olds all of us just off of a three hour open bar and him politely and kindly holding a warm can of PBR. In thirty minutes of talking, I didnt see him sip from it once, but I still give him credit for it. 

Finally, in the “why do I get myself into these things”, while David might not have met me, he probably got a good look at me at the alumni meeting. When the class of 2003 (03! 03! 03!) won the attendance award (I know, not surprising at all), no class officer was in attendance at the meeting (d’oh). So while every alumni waited patiently for someone–ANYONE–to step up and accept the award so we could move on to more interesting stuff, no one in our class knew what to do. Enter my stupid/brave/slighty hungover self. Jumping over classmates, I raced to the stage, got the cup and then thought “wait, what do I do now?” Kindly, our Alumni President in one of his last acts of his presidency was polite enough to whisper to me “now bring it back”. Unfortunately, with my coffee still struggling to kick in, I didn’t realize where “back” was. Thinking that it meant back to where the cup had been (on the far side of the stage) before I saved my class the embarrassment of not picking up its one and only award (curse you 2004 for your high giving rates!), I took a couple hesitant steps towards the other side of the stage before being (again, very politely) told “no, back to your class”. Now somewhat red with embarrassment, I turned, faced the crowd and raised the cup before retreating back to our section with the biggest darn bowl I’d ever seen.

So David, and anyone else who was at reunions, that confused guy from the class of 2003 in the brown shirt? That’s me!


Currently browsing posts authored by rory

Follow rory via RSS