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Fall 2014

On My Bookshelf: Senior Lecturer Steven Seidel Ed.M.'89, Ed.D.'95

Currently reading:
The Cave Painters by Gregory Curtis — a study of both the cave artists of France and Spain and the people who have, over the last hundred years or so, discovered and studied those artists and their paintings.Horse cavepainting

The thing that drew you to it:
I’m fascinated by these early painters who, some 40,000 years ago, created these lasting works of art. The discovery of their art provides a terrific opportunity to reflect on the impulse to make art — to draw, paint, make music, tell stories, and so on — and the role of art in human communities. Like graffiti, the cave paintings must have been tremendously challenging physical work, and, like most graffiti artists, the cave painters must have been young people. I love the idea that these remarkable and lasting works of art were done by unschooled young artists who were basically inventing the art of painting — just as the caves were the first art galleries!

Favorite book from childhood: 
Comics! I wasn’t into superheroes so much as the psycho/social comic-dramas in Charles Schultz’s Peanuts.

Book that has been on your shelf the longest:
Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. It has been read, reread, and is waiting to be read again. In my long effort to understand the possibility of democracy in America, I keep returning to Whitman.

Reading rituals:
Well, I still like actual books. I like their feel, their smell, and their weight. I tend to treat them with care. After all, they are works of art. I don’t write in them, though I often put bits of paper in to mark passages I want to return to.

Favorite spot to curl up with a good book:
I love reading in the early morning, before anyone else is up, at the kitchen table with a cup of tea.

Next up:
Claude Steele’s Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do. [Lecturer] Pamela Mason, M.A.T.’70, Ed.D.’75, suggested it as a great book for all of us at HGSE to read. It’s next!

Claude Steele spoke at the Askwith Forum on November 5. Listen to an EdCast with Steele: http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/14/11/harvard-edcast-how-stereotypes-aff....