Joe Chaney

Michiana Chronicler

Joe Chaney is a poet living quietly in South Bend. He is director of the Master of Liberal Studies Program, an interdisciplinary degree for community leaders, life-long learners, public intellectuals, and people with a range of academic ambitions, at IU South Bend. Whenever possible, he travels to far-away places.

Ways to Connect

Wonder Woman in America

Nov 3, 2017

The recent sexual harassment scandals involving movie moguls and other powerful media men has led to thoughtful commentary on the sexualizing of women. We hear how some of the male perpetrators regularly discussed the sexual appeal of female performers. Call it the “locker room talk” of the news and entertainment business. Outside the locker room of executive offices, this evaluation encourages women to strive for attention from men.

The End of the Road

Sep 8, 2017

Back in the early 2000s I dreamed of writing a novel, but I wanted to set the story in the early 1990s to avoid scenes in which people sat composing emails. I didn’t want my characters to type out messages and then, at best, maybe hesitate dramatically before hitting “Send.” That’s what it’s like to be hung up on realism. Many authors still have their characters meet in person for extended conversations, but that’s a nostalgic take on our real lives.

Go Go Swallows!

Jul 14, 2017

My dream came true this summer when I got to attend a Japanese baseball game in Tokyo on a student “free day” during an overseas study program I co-directed with my Japanese colleague Yoshiko Green. I wanted to know how the quintessentially American game translates to Japanese culture. In the States, baseball reflects our individualism and our obsession with measurement. It’s a team sport in which individual players determine outcomes in a direct way – unlike football or basketball, in which the whole team executes coordinated “plays” and every player’s motion counts.

Death from a Distance

Mar 29, 2017

I’ve never been one for murder mysteries, but lately I’ve spent much of my “down time” watching the kind of British detective dramas that run on PBS stations – series like Inspector Lewis and Grantchester. In such shows, idyllic English villages and towns suffer an astonishing number of grisly murders.

This week is framed by two events that seem to be in tension with one another. Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and today is the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. The simmering tension between these two events boiled over in the conflict between Donald Trump and Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis. That conflict reveals a troubling trend in American culture.

Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays. The turkey dinner reminds me of the pilgrims at New Plymouth and the rich cultural contributions of the native tribes. I think of the Revolution and the achievement of the U.S. Constitution. Although I acknowledge the harshest and most disappointing elements of our history, what sustains me always is the sense that our Constitution can change and has changed over time, opening new freedoms for African Americans and women, for example.

Now is the time

Oct 7, 2016

Now is the Time

Joe Chaney

Praise

Aug 5, 2016

    Praise

"Temples and Shrines"

Jun 10, 2016

    Temples and Shrines

How to Make America Great

The drama of presidential politics has overwhelmed the country this year, giving rise to the hope or fear that one candidate or another can single-handedly transform American society. Some look for a savior. Their opponents fear a dictatorship, because tearing up the Constitution would seem to be the only way to realize the dream of a final solution to our woes.

 

"Dog World"

Feb 12, 2016

 

  Dog World

Joe Chaney

The Gift of Christmas

Jan 29, 2016

Joe Chaney's Comments about winning and the troubles it can cause.

"Why Bad Art is Bad"

Sep 18, 2015

Why Bad Art is Bad.

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