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Jacob B

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy


US education law and/or policy, labor relations, critical race theory, dignity and belonging in the workplace

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

COVID-19 and Education Policy: Veni, Vidi, Infici?

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted society at all levels and in all corners, especially in the public policy arena. What kinds of changes have been made in eduation policy in your city, state, or country? And are those changes temporary or here to stay? Describe, analyze, or critique those changes.

X Marks the Spot: Mapping Policy Decisions

Choropleth maps convey a lot of meaning through vibrant color-coded visualization. No matter your policy interests -- economics, education, health, immigration, labor, voting -- you can bring those issues into stark relief in static or interactive displays. What similarities or differences do you see? What are the implications for residents in different parts of your map?

What's Past is Prologue; What's Next is Intertext

When Antonio observes, in Shakespeare's "The Tempest," that "what's past is prologue," he implies that the present and future are shaped by previous events. That may be so, but the literary concept of intertextuality allows us to reframe earlier texts and imbue them with new meaning that may not have been intended by their authors. One example of intertextuality is Aimé Césaire's "Une Tempête" ("A Tempest" in English translation), which reinvents Shakespeare's famous final play and addresses it to a new century's issues. Can you discover any other intertextual reinventions? What can we learn about the past, present, or future through a modern interpretation of a classic?

On "Divisive Concepts"

Legislative action in the realm of public school curriculum has been in overdrive since early 2021 when states saw a wave of bills aimed at so-called "divisive concepts." The sponsors of these bills have variously described Critical Race Theory (CRT) as seditious, anti-American, and racist. However, the existence of CRT is virtually non-existent below the college level and is much more prevalent at the graduate level and in law schools. This project describes the tenets of CRT, the origins of the "divisive concepts" wave of legislation, and indications of chilled speech among instructors at all levels of education.

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