Catching Up with Dean Edwards

Attendees at a Tulane alumni event with Dean Brian Edwards

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been on the road nearly as much as I have been in New Orleans. This has of course meant that my days back on campus have been even busier than usual, as we try to squeeze a week into two or three days before I turn around again. We’ve even had a few meetings as I walked from Newcomb Hall across campus to Gibson.

I traveled first to Washington, D.C., where I met with a number of alumni at an Audacious Campaign event at the gorgeous Warner Theatre and elsewhere around the city. I also connected with foundations and organizations that have funded faculty research in order to learn where their own priorities are and to share some of the new initiatives here. 

From D.C. I traveled directly to Indiana University to speak at a symposium dedicated to international education. There I spoke about challenges in language education posed by technology (think Google translate) and what I call a creeping monolingualism in the U.S. I also offered ideas for curricular innovation that may help students see the value of a global liberal arts education.

After a few days back at Tulane, I flew to Chicago to speak to a gathering of parents of current Tulane students. These meetings allow me to share some of what is going on in SLA and to learn how things are going with their Tulanian children.

We think of our newsletter as a way to share this same excitement. This edition’s stories showcase both new scholarship and innovative, collaborative teaching as they make their way into the world. Three faculty in Theatre and Digital Media Production coordinate to teach a complementary set of courses that allow students to create, direct, and film their own comedy series “Eye of Newt.” We get an insight into the inspiration for the Wladis Seminar on Curatorial Careers. And SLA faculty give us updates on their own scholarship. Anthropologist and director of our linguistics program Ọlanikẹ Ọla Orie—a key partner in our global language initiatives—describes her work editing Festschrift volumes honoring pioneers in the field of Yoruba and African linguistics. Political scientist and department chair Nancy Maveety gives us a sneak peak at the argument of Glass and Gavel, a book on the relationship between alcohol (including its role in social history) and the Supreme Court. Finally, we learn about a timely panel on the future of the U.S. Supreme Court.

As you read through these stories you can certainly understand my enthusiasm as I travel to Tulane’s many outposts. I’ll be back on the road again soon, but in the meantime I look forward to welcoming so many of our alumni and parents to campus for homecoming-reunion weekend. 

Please join us on Friday, November 9 at 2 p.m. when I speak about our vision for the liberal arts at Tulane, and come by our tailgate tent number 23 (on the Newcomb Quad) at the football game on Saturday. View a full list of homecoming events.


Read more from the SLA November 7, 2018 Newsletter.