Democracy and Justice Studies Prof. Jon Shelton was quoted in The New York Times about what it’s like to be a teacher in 2020. Also, he connected the reporter to a local teacher with whom he has collaborated on social justice work in Green Bay.
You can view the September talk of the 2020 Common CAHSS: Beyond Sustainability Speaker Series via CAHSSeffect.org. Common CAHSS is a set of programing tied to a particular theme and brought to you by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS, pronounced “cause”) at UW-Green Bay. The 2020 theme is Beyond Sustainability and Prof. Staudinger’s Sept. 24, 2020 talk was titled Making Good Choices: Thinking about Ethics Beyond Sustainability. Prof. David Voelker, the co-chair of Common CAHSS, provided an introduction to the talk and this year’s theme.
Staudinger (Democracy and Justice Studies) explored the difficulty of ethical action in the face of multiple crises, drawing on the work of Alexis Shotwell whose book Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times, argues that alongside the temptation to give up on ethics altogether is a desire to remove ourselves utterly from messy, complex systems through completely pure action.
On Sept. 24, 2020 from 6 to 6:55 p.m., in Microsoft Teams, Associate Prof. Alison Staudinger (Democracy and Justice Studies) will lead this discussion which will explore the difficulty of ethical action in the face of (multiple) crises, drawing on the work of Alexis Shotwell, whose book Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times, argues that alongside the temptation to give up on ethics altogether is a desire to remove ourselves utterly from messy, complex systems through completely pure action. She suggests that both approaches are unsustainable, and that instead, “if we want a world with less suffering and more flourishing, it would be useful to perceive complexity and complicity as the constitutive situation of our lives, rather than as things we should avoid.” Drawing on her work, Staudinger calls on us to think together about what “good choices” might be possible in conditions of complexity and complicity, and offer some reasons why trying to make them might be worth it, and necessary for life “beyond sustainability.” (Even though we’re likely to make mistakes). It’s free. See more.
In the new episode of the Left Anchor podcast, Ryan Cooper and Alexi the Greek are talking with recently retired Prof. Harvey Kaye about his new book, FDR on Democracy: The Greatest Speeches and Writings of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Professor Kaye has other show appearances talking about Thomas Paine and the American Radical Tradition. Watch and listen:
Associate Prof. Eric J. Morgan (Democracy and Justice Studies and History) is featured in this week’s episode of Business Insider’s podcast, “Brought To You By…” The episode explores the story of the Polaroid Corporation’s engagement with South Africa and apartheid during the 1970s. “What responsibilities do corporations have to support social justice, democracy, and human rights?” Morgan asks. “It’s about the influence that individuals can have, in this case the Polaroid Revolutionary Workers Movement and its supporters, in putting pressure on large, powerful organizations.” The podcast’s host, Charlie Herman, learned about Polaroid and South Africa after reading Morgan’s article on the subject, which was published in Enterprise & Society: The International Journal of Business History.
UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Kimberley Reilly (DJS, History, Women’s and Gender Studies) has published a book, The Politics of Prosperity: Mass Consumer Culture in the 1920s, with Oxford University Press. The book is part of the “Debating American History” series, edited by David J. Voelker (UW-Green Bay) and Joel M. Sipress (UW-Superior), which allows students to consider competing interpretations of the past using primary source evidence. Reilly’s book helps students to debate the question, “did mass consumer culture empower Americans in the 1920s?”
When Chicago educators hit the pavement last month with picket signs demanding police-free campuses, they challenged a security strategy that teachers unions have long embraced — and one that continues to divide school staff nationwide.
“It’s not a coincidence” that teachers unions are calling for police-free schools in cities like Denver and Los Angeles, where raucous educator caucuses committed to social movements and anti-racism platforms have gained significant influence, said Jon Shelton, an associate professor (Democracy and Justice Studies) at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. “They’re more militant; they’re willing to galvanize their members and go on strike,” such as in the recent “Red for Ed” protests demanding more money for schools. “And these unions have largely been winning,” he added.
As the start of the school year approaches—and the pandemic rages on—many teachers are reaching a breaking point. They’re scared to go back inside school buildings. They’re frustrated with state guidance, which they feel leaves more questions than answers. And they feel like their voices are not being heard in the push to reopen schools.Over the past couple years, teachers have organized strikes and walkouts in more than a half-dozen states and at least five big cities to fight for higher wages and more school funding. Even so, any labor action on a national scale would be “wholly unprecedented,” said Jon Shelton, an associate professor in the department of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, who studies teacher strikes.
In most of the country, teacher strikes are illegal. And even in the 15 states where strikes are legal or not covered by statute or case law, teachers still have to follow a process before they go to the picket lines. Strikes are typically the last resort in a contract negotiation process between the local teachers’ union and the district, after negotiations and mediation fail.
“There’s virtually no state where there’s just an unqualified right to strike,” Shelton said.
Associate Prof. Jon Shelton (Democracy and Justice Studies) and vice president for higher education with the American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin labor union gave input on Tommy Thompson’s start as the UW Systems Interim President.
He said while he doesn’t agree with some of the policy platforms Thompson championed during his four terms as governor from 1987 to 2001, he feels that Thompson knows the importance of funding the UW System and ensuring it serves the state.
Shelton also said it’s possible that Thompson’s connections at the federal level could help in securing federal aid for universities suffering heavy financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shelton welcomed Thompson’s inclusive approach, which he said was lacking during the past decade when the UW Board of Regents was dominated by appointees of former Gov. Scott Walker.
“A lot of faculty and staff have felt like they haven’t had people at the system level really listening to their concerns,” Shelton said. “So I think this is a really good step in the right direction.”
Lawmakers, regents, chancellors, staff and faculty all largely praised former Gov. Tommy Thompson’s appointment to serve as interim UW System President.
University insiders say the unanimous Board of Regents pick of June 19 means there will be a passionate advocate for the system through tumultuous budget constraints brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a pretty bold move,” said Jon Shelton, UW-Green Bay faculty representative and American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin vice president. “The system could’ve tried to go with somebody internal, but I think this indicates they’re looking to bring in some firepower to advocate for the system right now.”