Saturday, May 8, 2010

Going Back to the Alma Mater

While I was never terribly "Boola Boola" as an undergraduate at Yale--indeed, I was almost anti-boola boola, although I almost idolized my Professors--for the second time, I will be returning to Yale during the 2011 calendar year, this time as a Henry Chauncey Jr. '57 Fellow, where I plan to use the year away from teaching to write a book about the intersection of academic expertise (defined as anyone with a PhD) and the American military in Iraq.  During the 2004/5 academic year, I had been an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center, where I also got the privilege to teach in the Directed Studies program, of which I am myself a proud alumnus.  Being now an irritable military historian who once spent a year representing American interests in an Iraqi qada of roughly 150,000 people and regularly mocks the comic opera aspects of academic life, it's sometimes hard for me to imagine how I was a wide-eyed 17-year old in 1997 absolutely determined to figure out why Plato's Republic was such an important book, and who saw Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War as something of a revelation.


  1. You are aware that the New Yorker has a "'Boola' Dept." tag for Boola Boola columns? (And really, how can anyone not be Boola Boola after


  2. The New Yorker is one of those publications I'm "supposed" to read, but don't really keep up with. Considering Yale's connections to NYC, I suppose it isn't a surprise that there's a Boola Dept. column.

    Well, that video was..... different. I bailed pretty quickly, but was amused. Some of the alumni commentary struck me as overwrought and too clever by half, although perhaps there is someone out there who can divine the larger social significance of the video. Or it could be just a bunch of college students out to have some fun, and an admissions office willing to humor some seriously outside-the-box marketing.