Culture Briefing


What is the Meaning Behind These Categories?

These categories are intended to orient you to the substance of the article and to communicate our framework for understanding the endowments that constitute civic life. This “human ecology” model is at the core of the Thriving Cities Project, a research initiative of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.

College Admissions Shocker!

The New York Times

Bruni’s snarky satire points out that too often, the value of a college experience is tied directly to its exclusivity.

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#1 Party School

This American Life

There is a form of education happening in places like State College on weekends like this; the question is, is it a form of maturation?


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The University and the Pursuit of Happiness

Virginia Quarterly Review

Vaidhyanathan proposes an Epicurean approach to enjoying college, focused on contemplation, conversation, and “appreciation of simple tastes and sweet moments.”

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How Our Words Shape Our World


A summary and critical review of a new book by eminent philosopher Charles Taylor, called The Language Animal.

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Josh Yates on the Civic Endowments

Two People Podcast

Josh Yates of the UVA-based Thriving Cities Project explains the six “civic endowments,” an important framework for leaders interested in pursuing positive social impact.

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Save Our Public Universities


What is the true measure of the value of a university?

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Education as Introduction to Reality

Scheidewege Journal

Education is fundamentally about the achievement of humanity. The fundamental question is not what our children can accomplish, but what they learn to love.

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The Problem We All Live With

This American Life

A deep dive into ongoing efforts at school integration in school districts near Ferguson, Missouri and Hartford, Connecticut. 

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Margaret Spellings’s Vision for Higher Education

Inside Higher Ed

Professor Neem discusses North Carolina’s decision to appoint a non-academic to lead the state’s public university system.

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