Haley Scholars Spring 2013 Reading Groups
By Cindy Lyles
In his essay “True Colors” from What the Dog Saw, Malcolm Gladwell discusses how hair-dye
related to a variety of ideas and processes concerning cultural
perspectives, psychology, feminism, and identity. Gladwell notes, at one
point, that quite a few things were “bound up together, the profound
and the trivial.” So, he makes a case for including issues associated
with hair and coloring when writing the history of women in the postwar
The notion that seemingly “trivial” issues might in fact be integral to
major historical and cultural shifts is fascinating, even if it runs
somewhat counter to popular conceptions of significant events.
Let’s consider these issues locally.
When and if we write an educational history at SIUE and more
specifically, an educational history of “underrepresented” students at
SIUE, what ‘profound and trivial’ issues might we be inclined to discuss
at the same time? Why?