Dear Habermas Logo A Jeanne Site

Avatar Confused

Animated star from Barry's Clip Art Small stars from Rafi's Bullet Builder

Animated Gif from Barry's Clip Art
To Dear Habermas
Tours of the Site

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: January 28, 1999
Tour Committee on the Site.

Who IsDear Habermas?
Getting Around on the Site
Using the Site to Study
Science (Neutrinos) (Language) Social Science (Black while Driving)
History (WWII posters from NARA) Theory

Who Is Dear Habermas?

Dear Habermas is the nucleus of an academic community, in which you are invited to share. The name was inspired by the "Dear Abby" column for advice on almost everything. Dear Habermas provides advise, information gathering, and shared discussions on some of the major issues we face today, like justice, fairness, equality, access, social responsibility, violence in all its ugly forms. It does not provide Jurgen Habermas himself, only faculty and student distillation of what we believe he would say if you were to ask him.

Because we treasure the academic aspect of our community, we provide some theory for background, some discussion and exchange of ideas, an attempt to give always the liberal (sometimes radical), moderate, and conservative positions on these issues (along with their scholarly sources), and a forum in which voices from all perspectives are supported in their struggle to be heard. We ask not for suasion, not that you choose any perspective as "right" or "wrong," of feel compelled to establish your own "eclectic" view. We ask only that you listen in good faith to the many perspectives, and remain open to hearing new arguments as they arise from the new contexts that develop.

Dear Habermas has a KIDS' page, which seems to be turning into the core of our community. Genuine public discourse, if it is to operate as Habermas hoped, must provide training and practice at the skills of discourse. Sharing our concerns with the children in our families and community forces us to think about the issues in enough depth to explain them to the children in words and experiences they can understand. Good preparation for future discourse, and a good way to share across cohorts.

This process of creating a community not bounded by the physical campus provides us with a a new approach to space and time. It's fun to watch us become!

It is the guiding principle of this site that it will always be open to all whose intellect and curiosity lead them to seek out an academic community. It is our hope that the site will become an academic home space to which you will want to return, even many years into your professional and personal lives outside of the academy. Come. Bring your families, your friends, your children, your seniors. Through sharing we become a community at a time when technology is just beginning to investigate the future of communities.

Tour Committee on the Site:

P.J. Robinson, Administrative Director of Dear Habermas
Marlene Bokin, Administrative Coordinator of Community Outreach of Dear Habermas

Getting Around on the Site?

We have tried to make the site intuitive. That means that there is always a link available to you to move to another section or to move to e-mailing us or to the site index to search for what you want.

The site has been growing now for a year. Students were as much a part of that growth as faculty. We've had e-mail all along with questions like "Where is ... the ostrich, the worm, "Home Was a Horse Stall," that article of how flag waving can be co-optation? We have tried to answer them all by putting the requested phrases in the Site Index. (When we can find them! Sometimes we get lost, too. Then we send out calls asking everyone to tell us when they come across that lost story.)

Here's how we manage to get around on the site:

Avatar Confused Drawing. Click to return to Choices.Click Image to Return to Choices.

Avatar Confused

"Avatar Confused" drawing by Jeanne Curran. Permission to use. Avatar is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning "descent." "In English an avatar is a person who seems to be a descendant, indeed a replica or a reincarnation, of someone (usually famous) fro mthe past: (In his ability to tell an exciting long story in verse, he is the avatar of Homer." (From J. N. Hook, The Grand Panjandrum and 1,999 Other Rare, Useful, and Delightful Words and Expressions .

My drawing tends to be figurative and representational. I had in mind Santa Claus at a time in history in which his reincarnation must be having a little trouble with "naughty or nice." Jeanne