Eva Brems, Laurens Lavrysen, and Lieselot Verdonck (Ghent): Universities as Human Rights Actors. Should studying literature be fun? “No” is too often the answer, as scholars signal their professionalism. Why literature professors turned against authors — or did they? Gold among the dross: Academic research in the US is unplanned, exploitative and driven by a lust for glory — the result is the envy of the world. The hard part of computer science? Getting into class. Thread: “OK, I should really write another thread about university-centric regional development, because I think people often make some (very understandable) mistakes when thinking about this issue”. Dean Baker Harvard’s choice: Hedge funds or scholarships. Art-school confidential: The expensive superficiality of M.F.A. programs.

Forget Stanford, Tsinghua beckons: America is losing African and Asian students to China. Academic ideas are supposed to thrive on their merits — if only. Europe has a plan to force academic publishers to make research free to read. Joi Ito on the quest to topple science-stymying academic paywalls. Andrew Marzoni on how academia is a cult. History majors are becoming a thing of the past, except in the Ivy League. Overworked and isolated: The rising epidemic of loneliness in academia. Graduate school can have terrible effects on people’s mental health.

Is email making professors stupid? It used to simplify crucial tasks — now it’s strangling scholars’ ability to think. No tuition, but you pay a percentage of your income (if you find a job). The liberal arts may not survive the 21st century.

Valeriano Diviacchi (Harvard): Race and Class: Are They Social Constructs or Ontologically Real and How Are They Related? (A View From the Bottom Up). On Iran, it’s Trump’s national security adviser vs. Trump’s intel chiefs. Perry Bacon on 6 things to listen for when the 2020 Democrats talk about policy. “Progressive prosecutor”: Can Kamala Harris square the circle? Amy Klobuchar, latest presidential candidate, faces questions about temperament, treatment of staff (and more and more). “This is my space”: Kirsten Gillibrand’s unabashedly feminist campaign. “A woman, just not that woman”: How sexism plays out on the trail. Emily Stewart asked Wall Street insiders whether they’d prefer Elizabeth Warren or Donald Trump — it turned out to be a hard question. Blackwater mercenary Erik Prince has a new $1 trillion Chinese boss.

Sharp rise in anti-Semitic acts in France stokes old fears. The gatekeepers: Mychal Denzel Smith on the burden of the black public intellectual. Black women freedom fighters: An interview with Keith Gilyard and Joseph R. Fitzgerald. Does Trump’s success vindicate or undermine liberal theory? Samuel Scheffler on the Rawlsian diagnosis of Donald Trump. Sinaloa cartel marches on after El Chapo arrest, conviction. Historian who shamed Davos elites Rutger Bregman says Tucker Carlson called him a “fucking moron” in meltdown. Wait, what’s going on in Thailand? Here’s the background. Are we rational when it comes to rationality? Jakub Rudnicki reviews Rationality and Decision Making: From Normative Rules to Heuristics, ed. Marek Hetmanski.