Launch of the Chancellor's Video Club (October 25, 2022)

Dear Colleagues and Students, 

We have had another rewarding launch to the academic year, and it's hard to believe that Thanksgiving and the Ohio State game are just around the corner. 

Last fall, I launched The Chancellor's Book Club as a way for our community to come together and share our thoughts about interesting ideas and perspectives. Many of us had a wonderful conversation about this year’s selection, When We Cease To Understand The World by Benjamín Labatut.

But provocative and important ideas are not solely constrained to the written form. So I am now launching the Chancellor’s Video Club. Our first selection is the short (less than one hour) video of James Baldwin vs William F Buckley: A legendary debate.

To be sure, this debate continues to stand as one of the most relevant, important, and consequential of our time; so much so that The Atlantic reviewing a new book on the event, The Fire Is Upon Us by Nicholas Buccola noted, “two American titans faced off on the subject of the country’s racial divides. Nearly 55 years later, the event has lost none of its relevance.” Indeed, this debate was so important that there have been multiple recent reenactments.  Just a few weeks ago (Oct. 2, 2022) the New York Times reviewed an experimental theater company staging of “Baldwin and Buckley at Cambridge,” directed by John Collins in Manhattan. 

I will lead a discussion on this monumental debate early in the Winter semester. Information on the date and location will be forthcoming. You can watch the debate on your own and/or join us for a public viewing just prior to the discussion. I encourage you to watch the debate before the holidays as it will provide fertile material for stimulating dinner table conversations as a prelude to our campus-wide colloquy. Of course, we will provide delicious cider donuts.

This will be a great way to enjoy each other's company as we discuss a major historical event  with current day implications and import.

I hope to see you there!

Domenico Grasso

Office of the Chancellor

1070 - Administration Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5500
Fax: 313-593-5204