Jeremy David Bendik-Keymer
Beamer - Schneider Professor in Ethics & Associate Professor of Philosophy
The Beamer-Schneider Professorship was created to develop undergraduate ethics. Elmer G. Beamer was the accountant for Kent Hale Smith, and Hubert H. Schneider was Smith's lawyer. At a time when there was a lot of corruption in Cleveland, both men were known for their integrity.
Personally, I'm most concerned to develop in undergraduates a sense of responsibility to future generations and for becoming ecological citizens of Earth. This is the next phase of necessity for the dominant economy on Earth. It involves returning to some of the wisdom of the original nations in my country who were colonized centuries ago by "freedom" lovers and have still not received justice.
It can take a long time to grow up. Along the way, true love and meaningful, committed relationships are key. In our individualistic and short-sighted culture, it is also important to identify with a universal human task that sustains or improves our community, helping us grow up. One thing we can do is to help our culture recognize, repair, and mourn what our ancestors have done wrong, and another thing we can do is to prepare a more humane, just, and creative future.
"Off-cycle" (2007) w/ Z. Filipovic and I. Berbic, shown at Take a Deep Breath, Tate Modern, London
After attending public school (which I loved) and being an exchange student in France, I studied philosophy and literature at Yale University, primarily under Susan Neiman. On her urging, I attended the University for Chicago for graduate school in philosophy, studying under Candace Vogler, Jean-Luc Marion, Martha Nussbaum (who was wonderful!) and Charles Larmore, primarily. Yale, in my view, had and still has recalcitrant social justice problems in its entitlement and dismal relation to New Haven, and University of Chicago, while a genuine university (unlike Yale on some levels), had and perhaps still has serious problems with academic snobbery and rigidity. Creating a university that stays human is a task. My first book was The Ecological Life: Discovering Citizenship and a Sense of Humanity, and I co-edited Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change: Human Virtues of the Future with Allen Thompson of Oregon State University. In graduate school, I worked on the research team for Dan Scheinfeld, Sandra Scheinfeld, and Karen Haigh's We Are All Explorers: Learning and Teaching with Reggio Principles in Urban Settings -a book about one of the best school systems in U.S. at that time, and it served low income communities in Chicago. I am currently writing Between the Personal and Impersonal and Learning -Two Love Stories.