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Book Talk | The Amateur Hour: A History of College Teaching in America

11/12 Thursday | 6pm

This event is a virtual discussion that will be live-streamed via Youtube. Guests can pose questions via Twitter and Youtube.

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you for a book talk for The Amateur Hour: A History of College Teaching in America featuring the author Jonathan Zimmerman and in conversation with Richard Arum.

The Amateur Hour is the first full-length history of college teaching in the United States from the nineteenth century to the present. In it, Zimmerman sheds new light on the ongoing tension between the modern scholarly ideal—scientific, objective, and dispassionate—and the inevitably subjective nature of day-to-day instruction.

Jonathan Zimmerman is the Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. A former Peace Corps volunteer and public school social studies teacher, Zimmerman received his Ph.D. in history from the Johns Hopkins University. His scholarship has focused broadly on the ways that different peoples have imagined and debated education across time and space. He has authored books about sex and alcohol education, history and religion in the curriculum, Americans who taught overseas, and historical memory in public schooling. His most recent work examines campus politics in the United States, the teaching of controversial issues in public schools, and the history of college teaching. Zimmerman is also a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New York Review of Books, and other popular newspapers and magazines. He came to Penn after 20 years at New York University, where he received NYU’s Distinguished Teaching Award. His former Ph.D. students have held positions at Carleton College, George Mason University, Brown University, and many other institutions. Zimmerman has received book and article prizes from the American Educational Research Association, the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, and the History of Education Society, where he served as president in 2009–2010. He is co-editor of the Histories of American Education book series at Cornell University Press and also of the History and Philosophy of Education series at the University of Chicago Press. His next book, Free Speech and Why You Should Give a Damn, will be published in spring 2021, with illustrations by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Signe Wilkinson.

Richard Arum is an American sociologist of education and stratification, best known for his research on student learning, school discipline, race, and inequality in K-12 and higher education. Arum has a B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University, an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Education, as well as a senior fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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