Wednesday, October 11, 2017
American politics is in disarray. On our airwaves, talking heads and trolls shout past each other in a 24/7 stampede of snark and invective. And on college campuses, psychological theories of trauma dampen exchange and discussion. Jonathan Zimmerman P'18 talk will examine the origins of these patterns and suggest ways that our educational institutions can challenge them.
A former Peace Corps volunteer and public school social studies teacher, Jonathan Zimmerman P'18 is a professor of history of education at the University of Pennsylvania. His scholarship has focused broadly on the ways that different peoples have imagined and debated education across time and space. He has authored books about sex and alcohol education, history and religion in the curriculum, Americans who taught overseas, and historical memory in public schooling. His most recent work, co-authored with Emily Robertson, The Case for Contention: Teaching Controversial Issues in American Schools (University of Chicago Press), examines campus politics in the United States, including controversies over diversity, sexual assault, and “political correctness.”
Zimmerman’s academic work has appeared in the Journal of American History, the Teachers College Record, and History of Education Quarterly. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New York Review of Books, and other newspapers and magazines. Before teaching at Penn, he taught for for 20 years at New York University, where he won NYU's Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008 and where he also served as chair of the department of Humanities and Social Sciences in NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Zimmerman holds a Ph.D. in history from the Johns Hopkins University.
Author of several books, he has received book and article prizes from the American Educational Research Association, the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, and the History of Education Society, where he served as president in 2009–2010.
Professor Zimmerman's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the President's Leadership Fund.