Toni Morrison on Ritual and Writing

Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning author Toni Morrison is known for her novels which explore the good, the evil, and the love in human souls. She has written numerous novels including The Bluest Eye (1970), Song of Solomon (1977), Beloved (1987), and most recently Home (2010). She has also written children's books The Big Box and …

Helen J. Langer on Mindlessness

Helen J. Langer was the first woman to attain tenure in the psychology department at Harvard University. Langer is known for her edgy experiments into the power of the mind over the body and is considered a progenitor of the positive psychology movement. Langer's experiments involve studying how people's thinking and choices can physically change them. In …

Jane Piirto on Creativity

Jane Piirto is an educator, author of poetry and novels, and a photographer. She has made creativity the focus of her research studies and her life's work. Much of her research has been with talented young people where she has sought to find out what exactly sparks some people to great heights of achievement and innovation. …

Ellen Dissanayake On The Art of Making Special

Ellen Dissanayake is a self-taught scholar in a field she invented who takes an anthropological, evolutionary approach to defining art. Her work in India, Sri Lanka, Africa and New Guinea made her realize that Western definitions of what is art were culturally confined. Instead she proposes that art is a universal, biological imperative that all human beings …

Maxine Greene on a World of Possibility

Maxine Greene is best known as an indomitable fighter for the valuing of the arts and social justice in education. She has been Philosopher-in-Residence at the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education since 1976. In 2012 she founded the Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social Imagination. She is the author of numerous books that challenge …

Clara Barton on Weaving with Flying Fingers

Clara Barton celebrates a birthday this week. She was born on Christmas Day 1821. She was the first woman appointed to government office at the same wage as a man, although her salary was later reduced, and then the job eliminated altogether. During the Civil War she procured food and medicine and carried it to the front …

Jean Kilbourne on Women’s Image

Jean Kilbourne is a feminist author, lecturer, and filmmaker, critical of the media and advertising, who has published three books and four films. One of her main focuses is the effect of advertising on women's images of themselves. "Why 6,000,000 women who used to carry a little red book now carry a little red lipstick," says an …

Rose Winslow on Hungry for the Vote

"God knows we don’t want other women ever to have to do this over again.” Rose Winslow  was brought as a baby to the United States by her Polish parents so that she could grow up in a free democratic country.  Her father labored as a coal miner and steel worker and as a child …

Sandra Steingraber on Making a Difference

Sandra Steingraber has been called a "poet with a knife". She is a renowned ecologist, a cancer survivor, award-winning author, mother, and poet. She is the Rachel Carson of our times calling us to wake up and rid our earth of the toxins that affect the development of our children. Like Rachel she has been attacked by …

Madeline Grumet on Reading Texts

"Our stories are the masks through which we can be seen, and with every telling we stop the flood and swirl of thought so someone can get a glimpse of us, and maybe catch us if they can" Madeleine R. Grumet Madeline Grumet is Professor of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel …

Lisa Delpit on Teaching

 "We do not really see through our eyes or hear through our ears, but through our beliefs." Lisa Delpit is Director of the Center for Urban Educational Excellence. She is the author of numerous books on educating children of poverty and color and on improving teacher education. As a child she experienced segregation growing up …

Susan B. Anthony on the Right to Vote

I wonder what Susan B. Anthony would say in this age of voter identification and suppression? This is what she said at her trial for voting illegally in 1873. ...the United States Constitution, the supreme law of this land, says, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States...are citizens; no State shall deny or abridge the privileges …

bell hooks on I wanted to write…

A passionate scholar, philosopher, and educator, bell hooks is the critically acclaimed author of books on racism, feminism, education, class, and culture. A listing of just some of her titles shows the breadth and depth of thought and concerns: Critical Thinking, Teaching to Transgress, Sisters of the Yam, Teaching Community: The Politics of Hope, Art …