Yale’s child in Singapore
Michael Fischer’s description (“Yale-NUS is not Yale,” March 23) of the relationship between Yale and Yale-NUS College is largely accurate. I believe the name “Yale-NUS College” appropriately signals that relationship.
Yale-NUS College is a child with two parents. As such, it is quite different from any branch campus. It is still quite young, but already it displays its own individuality while carrying the unmistakable influence of its parents. As with human beings, I doubt that this child will be confused with its parents, despite being similarly named. I have personal experience with this; my own father is a prominent academic, and while we share a surname, I do not recall a single incident in which his scholarly work was attributed to me or vice versa.
Certainly, the key participants are not confused about the relationship between Yale and Yale-NUS. Prospective students are aware that they are signing up for a different educational and social experience and for a different degree from what they would recieve at Yale College; prospective faculty members are acutely aware that they will not have appointments at Yale University.
Nevertheless, the influence of Yale on Yale-NUS College has been profound. Yale-NUS reflects Yale’s values and Yale’s concerns in a way that no college founded solely by NUS, or by any other institution in the world, could possibly do. Yale is deeply embedded in the DNA of Yale-NUS College, sufficiently so that it is appropriate that the new institution carry the Yale name, for the same reasons that individuals in all societies generally bear a name in part inherited from their parents.
The writer is A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of Astronomy and Physics and Inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Yale-NUS College
Writing minority experiences
The major publications of our time are in no way representative of the wide array of personalities and opinions that make up the world. The Yale Daily News, New York Times or Washington Post are by no means the only source of intellectual content on the globe. They are dominant influences on society, but not the entirety of it. On the Internet and in print, thriving communities give voice to more than the men Julia Pucci (“Why women don’t write,” March 26) bemoans — people of color’s voices, women’s voices, queer voices. This diversity is out there.
I am a woman. I am Asian-American. These identities have led to experiences that have shaped me profoundly. They color my interactions with the world. Not to speak of these issues is to cut out some of the most important things I can say as a human. I would not write so much about myself if there were anyone I knew better.
We keep writing feminine op-eds because they need to be heard to fight the marginalization of women’s rights. If the only form of diverse or interesting journalism is considered to be the traditional masculine fields — money, war and science, though important, have historically run rampant with the masculine hegemony — then we silence conversation before it even begins.
This is my experience. People of Yale, continue to write the things that move you. The human experience is not universal. We all have opinions and cannot be silenced.
The writer is a sophomore in Calhoun College.
Women’s issues are universal issues
Julia Pucci’s column (“Why women don’t write,” March 26) was poorly reasoned and factually unsound. She cites two statistics, the first of which simply refers to the ratio of male to female bylines in eight newspapers. From this lone statistic (plus a similarly content-blind gender ratio for submissions to a single paper), Pucci jumps to the unfounded conclusion that female columnists write only about women’s issues, which is based (as far as I can tell) on nothing more than Pucci’s unsubstantiated impressions. Beyond this irresponsible distortion of fact, much of the rest of Pucci’s thinking is un-rigorous and, frankly, offensive – the implicit equation of reproductive rights and feminism with Pucci’s “romantic endeavors” trivializes the very material stakes of these issues for millions of American women, and the attempted use of the Washington Post’s 2008 submissions ratio to prove that “this is no matter of the repression of female writers” is naive.
“Let’s talk about the economy, our military campaigns, science and the trials and tribulations of the human experience,” Pucci says. Even if there were some basis for her assertion that women are not already talking passionately and intelligently about these issues, the implied division of these topics from “the female angle” dangerously overlooks the manifold ways in which they shape and are shaped by the daily lives and thoughts of women (and, yes, even feminists). Indeed, perhaps one such feminist might explain for Pucci the ways in which discussions about, say, reproductive rights are discussions about the economy, science and the trials and tribulations of the human experience.
The writer is a junior in Morse College.