Meritocracy in Higher Education
On February 19th, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Program for Public Discourse will convene this forum on "Meritocracy in Higher Education." The event will be hosted by Sarah Treul, a political scientist at UNC, and feature the New York Times opinion columnist Ross Douthat, the anthropologist Caitlin Zaloom, the philosopher Anastasia Berg, and the writer Thomas Chatterton Williams.
Date: February 19, 2020
Times: 05:30 pm – 07:00 pm
Audience: Public Event
Venue: Howell Hall
Caitlin Zaloom is a cultural anthropologist and an associate professor of Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University. She studies the cultural dimensions of finance, technology, and economic life. Her latest book, Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost, explores how the financial pressures of paying for college affect middle-class families. Zaloom is also author of Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London, Editor in Chief of Public Books, and co-editor of the recent volumes Think in Public and Antidemocracy in America. Zaloom’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and her work has been featured in outlets including The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, NPR, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Times Higher Education.
Ross Gregory Douthat is an American conservative political analyst, blogger, author and New York Times columnist. He was a senior editor of The Atlantic. He has written on a variety of conservative topics, including the state of Christianity in America and "sustainable decadence" in contemporary society. Douthat attended Hamden Hall, a private high school in Hamden, Connecticut. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in 2002, where he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. While there he contributed to The Harvard Crimson and edited The Harvard Salient.
Thomas Chatterton Williams, is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Harper’s. Williams is the author of two memoirs, Losing My Cool and Self-Portrait in Black and White, which recount his struggles with racial identity as a teen-ager and as an adult. The son of a Black father and a white mother, he describes himself in his second book as "an ex-black man." He is known for his critique of Ta-Nehisi Coates, whom Williams believes overemphasizes race and racism, creating "a fantasy that flattens psychological and material difference within and between groups.
Anastasia Berg started as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the fall of 2020. She spent the previous three years as a Postdoctoral Junior Research Fellow in Philosophy at Corpus Christi College, the University of Cambridge. She holds a BA from Harvard and an MA and joint degree Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought and the Philosophy Department at the University of Chicago. Her academic research interests lie at the intersection of contemporary moral philosophy, metaethics and moral psychology and the history of moral philosophy, especially Kant and post-Kantian German Idealism, but also Aristotle and Heidegger.
Sarah A. Treul is an Associate Professor specializing in American political institutions, with an emphasis on the U.S. Congress and courts. She earned her B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from Wellesley College and her M.A and Ph.D., both in Political Science, from the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include the voting behavior of U.S. senators, bicameralism, and state delegations in Congress. She is currently working on a project analyzing how a decline in state economic interests has contributed to polarization in Congress.