VPDT Christia Mercer pens NY Daily News op-ed

Friday, Apr 2, 2021

The New York Daily News recently published an op-ed by Christia Mercer, the Gustave M. Berne Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and UCHV Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching (2020-2021).  The op-ed is about Mercer's Just Ideas program, in which undergraduates and professors at Columbia engage with people in New York prisons to debate profound philosophical questions in readings as challenging as Aeschylus’ "The Oresteia" and Plato’s "Republic."

In “Bodies trapped, minds free at MDC: Lit class changes lives of imprisoned students," Mercer focuses on the program at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), a maximum security prison in Brooklyn, NY, which was suspended due to COVID, to poignantly illustrate her belief that "Existence in prison during COVID has become a kind of perpetual Cartesian nightmare." 

Read Mercer's full op-ed, which appeared online and in print, here.