The Big Lie

How the story of an ambitious chemistry professor in Colorado who forged a letter and lost everything.

Published: Sep 4, 2018
Length: 15 minutes (3,947 words)

I Worked With Avital Ronell. I Believe Her Accuser.

“When scholars defend Avital — or ‘complicate the narrative,’ as we like to say — in part this is because we cannot stand believing what most people believe. The need to feel smarter is deep. Intelligence is a hungry god. “

Published: Aug 30, 2018
Length: 7 minutes (1,907 words)

Who’s Left to Defend Tommy Curry?

A black philosopher at Texas A&M thought forcing a public discussion about race and violence was his job. Turns out people didn’t want to hear it.

Published: Jul 27, 2017
Length: 32 minutes (8,030 words)

‘The Great Shame of Our Profession’

When an adjunct literature instructor from Harvard won a prestigious literary criticism award, he chose to deliver a scathing critique of his discipline as his acceptance speech.

Published: Feb 12, 2017
Length: 11 minutes (2,993 words)

What’s Wrong with Literary Studies?

How a group of English scholars are trying to bring emotion and engagement back into the study of literature.

Author: Marc Parry
Published: Nov 27, 2016
Length: 13 minutes (3,380 words)

The Ties That Bind Jihadists

Most scholars of radical Islam focus on doctrine, military tactics, and political statements. However, a small but growing number of academics have turned their research to the seemingly mundane but rich field of jihadist culture, exploring everything from dreams and jokes to poetry.

Published: Nov 28, 2015
Length: 8 minutes (2,116 words)

Bringing Up Genius

With his daughters as the test subjects, Laszlo Polgár set out to prove that genius is made, not born. One daughter became the first woman ever to earn chess’s grandmaster title, another the best female chess player of all time.

Published: Nov 8, 2015
Length: 18 minutes (4,532 words)

The Rich Man’s Dropout Club

In 2010, billionaire investor Peter Thiel created a fellowship that awarded $100,000 to a select few young people to quit college and become entrepreneurs. The Chronicle spoke to nine fellows from the inaugural class to check on their progress.

Published: Feb 8, 2015
Length: 11 minutes (2,835 words)

Confessions of a College Athletics Fixer

How one former coach perpetuated a cheating scheme that benefited hundreds of college athletes.

Published: Dec 28, 2015
Length: 22 minutes (5,550 words)

Saskia Sassen’s Missing Chapter

Adolf Eichmann was a frequent visitor to sociologist Saskia Sassen’s childhood home in Argentina. This essay meditates on Sassen’s life and career, her father’s past and the notion of public and private lives. A response from Sassen can be found here.

Author: Marc Parry
Published: Dec 4, 2014
Length: 13 minutes (3,433 words)