The Columbia Chronicle

Senior marketing communication major Janet Rodriguez will use her admission into the Most Promising Minority program to share her vision of how Hispanics should be represented in media. 

Rodriguez represents Columbia in New York

February 3, 2014

After learning she was the only Columbia student accepted into the American Advertising Federation Most Promising Minority Students program, senior marketing communications major Janet Rodriguez created the hashtag #DrivenB...

Iraqi media outlet visits Columbia

By Heather Scroering

July 23, 2012

Five Iraqi journalists from a news outlet in the newly democratized nation visited Columbia’s Journalism Department on July 12.In the United States for a 16-day leadership program funded by the U.S. State Department, the members of the Iraqi Media Network came here to understand the inner workings of Columbia’s journalism program.“We are striving in Iraq to build new media outlets and have effective rule in new media outlets,” said J...

Who’s your radical?

By Alexandra Kukulka

February 13, 2012

by Ernie LoveAdjunct Faculty, First–Year Seminar“Death of a Salesman” (1949),  “An Enemy of the People” (1950) and “The Crucible” (1952) is a radical body of literary work reflecting Arthur Miller’s attempts to enlighten the consciousness of Americans in the post–World War II era: to be advised that the promise of freedom and prosperity in a communist-free America is rife with “multiple truths.”  He was, in fact, challenging America’s self-awareness.Miller’s 1950 adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play, “An Enemy of the People,” illustrates such themes as tyranny of the majority and shows how leaders can manipulate the masses. Miller’s decision to adapt Ibsen’s play is explained in his autobiography, “Timebends.” Specifically, Miller  confronted censorship of what were considered “un-American” plays at the time because of the “Red Scare” promulgated by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Miller expressed the following thoughts during the process of adapting Ibsen’s play in his autobiography:“I aspired to a rather exalted image of the dramatist as a species of truth-revealing leader whose brandished light would blind the monster chaos in his approach. Dramaturgy was the physics of the arts, the one that failed when it lied and succeeded when it cut to the first principles of human life.”For me, “Death of a Salesman” and “The Crucible” are his most prominent works because they popped up more than once in high school and college as core texts. These two works provided insight for reflecting on my experience in family relationships, personal growth and maturity, as well as a perspective on American culture and society.“The Crucible,”  is an allegory of McCarthyism I first encountered as a high school student in 1968. It was particularly influential in raising my awareness of the delicate balance that exists in the power structure of a democracy, as well as the role of a citizen in a democratic republic.Note that in 1956 and 1957, Miller was subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee and was convicted of contempt of Congress for his refusal to identify writers believed to hold Communist sympathies.The impact of “Death of a Salesman” did not register with me until my mid-20s. When it did, Miller’s critique of the American Dream made sense as I reflected on my friends, my family and the stories we could tell about our own successes and failures on life’s journey, particularly as these stories varied with respect to attainment of wealth, lifestyle comforts and a sense of self-worth.Miller was the first American writer to be elected president of PEN International. Miller was also posthumously honored by PEN in 2006 with the establishment of the annual Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture.  From PEN’s charter:“PEN stands for the principle of unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations, and members pledge themselves to oppose any form of suppression of freedom of expression in the country and community to which they belong, as well as throughout the world wherever this is possible.”It is fitting for Miller, whose activism took on varied forms throughout his life, to receive this honor.

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