Ask The Prof

Dear Reader,

Hi, my name is Paul Croce. I teach American history at a college in Florida, Stetson University.  In particular, I teach courses on topics your grandparents might ask you not to bring up at the dinner table—in other words, on topics with deep values divides: on War and Peace, Science and Religion, Environmental Issues (two course, USA: The Natural Experiment, and Nature and the American Marketplace), Healthcare Debates, Political Campaigns and Political Ideologies, and the 1950s and 1960s (in a course I call The First Years of Our Times since we are still so divided about issues that hatched then).

For these topics and more, I’d like to get academic learning out from under the bushel basket of scholarly expertise and complex jargon. Welcome to Pub Classroom, the public classroom for usable ideas linking public curiosity to academic thinking.  And I’d like to provide a setting for people with different views to hear out still more different views.

Are there issues on the contemporary scene that bug you, or that are just plain confusing? Some of these issues are outrageous, and outrage may seem the only logical response. But once the dust settles, the problems are still there.

You have a choice: keep the outrage, or try learning.

This link is a place for you to turn those feelings into questions. I will try to provide contexts for you to understand how these outrageous or confusing situations emerged; and if I can’t provide such answers, I’ll turn to resources that can. Then back to you for your own reaction to the issues. Once armed with some more understanding, you might feel a little more power about how to deal. This probably won’t solve the problems—that’s a job for higher powers!—but it might give you a stronger position in relation to them.

Read on…. And talk right back.

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