Selected Writings, Interviews, and Presentations by Diana Senechal


Diana Senechal, Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2011).

Tomas Venclova, The Junction: Selected Poems, ed. Ellen Hinsey, translated by Ellen Hinsey, Constantine Rusanov, and Diana Senechal (Highgreen, UK: Bloodaxe, 2008).

Tomas Venclova, Winter Dialogue: Poems, translated from the Lithuanian by Diana Senechal, with a foreword by Joseph Brodsky and a dialogue between the author and Czesław Miłosz (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1997).

Articles and op-eds

"You Are Embarked: How A Philosophy Curriculum Took Shape and Took Off," American Educator, Spring 2015.

"Strong Teachers Are Crucial," in the forum "The Right Approach to Reading Instruction," Room for Debate (New York Times), July 2, 2014. With E. D. Hirsch, Pedro Noguera, Claire Needell, Lucy Calkins, Mark Federman, and Ebony Elizabeth Thomas.

"The Folly of the Big Idea: How a Liberal Arts Education Puts Fads in Perspective," American Educator, Winter 2012–2013.

"Should We Educate to Meet the Demands of the Age?" FORUM: A Publication of the ALSCW, no. 5 (What Is Education? A Response to the Council on Foreign Relations report, "U.S. Education Reform and National Security"), Autumn 2012.

"The Cult of Success" (excerpts from Republic of Noise), American Educator, Winter 2011–2012.

"In Defense of Diane Ravitch," The New Republic (online only), December 12, 2011.

"Let Us Not Abandon Listening," Education Week, August 31, 2011.

"Let Strategies Serve Literature," Educational Leadership, March 2011.

"The Spark of Specifics: How a Strong Curriculum Enlivens Classroom and School Culture," American Educator, Winter 2010–2011.

"Why Do We Need a Philosophy of Education? The Forgotten Insights of Michael John Demiashkevich," American Educational History Journal 37, no. 1 (2010).

"The Most Daring Education Reform of All," American Educator, Spring 2010.

"Solitude: A Flashlight Under the Covers," Education Week, May 27, 2009 (online only).

Interviews and presentations

On April 26, 2016, I delivered a TEDx Talk ("Take Away the Takeaway") at TEDx Upper West Side. A video is forthcoming.

On September 26, 2015, I spoke at the Education Forum in Dallas. Here is the video (which includes my talk, Matthew Crawford's talk, and our panel discussion).

On June 29, 2015, I gave a presentation at the PLATO Conference in Seattle, in a session with Carl Rosin. The founding co-editors-in-chief of CONTRARIWISE, Ron Gunczler and Nicholas Pape, presented as well (Nicholas by Skype); current co-editor-in-chief Kelly Clevenson helped with technology. (Here's a photo from the second day of the conference.)

A video by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture—about the future of the humanities—features interviews with three Hiett Prize winners—and a special appearance by CONTRARIWISE!

On September 13, 2014, in Snowbird, Utah, I delivered the keynote address at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Schools of Dance.

In April 2014, I took part in a discussion of solitude on the BBC World Service's flagship discussion programme The Forum, along with award-winning authors Eleanor Catton and Yiyun Li and host Bridget Kendall. There is a podcast. (See also the Kate Chisholm's commentary in The Spectator.)

On April 16, 2014, I spoke at SUNY Cobleskill about solitude and my book.

On February 19, 2014, I delivered a lecture titled "The Slow Murmur of Learning: Honoring Substance and Solitude in Education." This event was part of the lecture series "'Civil' Society? On the Future Prospects of Meaningful Dialogue," hosted by the University of Florida's Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. An article about the lecture appeared in the Gainesville Sun.

On October 11, 2013, in St. Louis, I spoke (and took part in a panel discussion with Franklin "Buzz" Spector and Hugh Dubberly) at the Annual Meeting of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Read the text of the speech.

I was interviewed by Judith Regan (SiriusXM Stars) on Saturday, April 27, at 11:30 a.m. (Podcast available by subscription or free trial.)

On Friday, February 22, 2013, I was interviewed by Leah Wescott, editor-in-chief of The Cronk of Higher Education. Download the podcast.

I gave the principal address, "Measure Against Measure: Responsibility Versus Accountability in Education," at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the National Association of Schools of Music, San Diego, November 19, 2012.

On August 22, 2012, I spoke to faculty at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. These teachers read Republic of Noise for a summer seminar, led by English teacher Stella Schindler, on "Silence and Solitude in the 21st Century." After the talk, each seminar participant gave a presentation on something related to the book; topics ranged from mathematics to icon-painting to gardening.

I was interviewed by Bill Newman on WHMP (Northampton, MA), March 1, 2012. With Reverend Peter Ives and Rabbi Justin David. (Interview begins at 37:40 in the podcast.)

I spoke about my book and about the purpose of education at the Education Forum of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture on February 17, 2012.

I talked about my book on the Veronica Rueckert Show, Wisconsin Public Radio, on Friday, January 13, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST (10–11 a.m. CST). Listen to the podcast.

I talked about my book on the David Sirota Show (AM 760 Colorado) on Friday, January 6, at 10:05 a.m. EST (8:05 a.m. MST). Listen to the podcast.

In December 2011, I was interviewed by Alice Karekezi at Salon about my new book, Republic of Noise.

I delivered two Hiett Prize lectures on October 26. Listen to the luncheon lecture, "Inside the Tricky Topic of Solitude."

I was interviewed by Krys Boyd on the KERA talk show "Think" on Tuesday, October 25. Listen to the podcast.

I discussed my book in an interview with the Dallas Morning News, October 22, 2011.

On May 26, 2011, I gave presentations to principals and teachers in a network of public schools in New York City. Lively discussions followed.

Selected satirical blogs

"Colleges Purchase Second-Best Practices," The Cronk of Higher Education, March 25, 2014.

"District Leader Calls for Inhumanities," Diana Senechal, March 21, 2014.

"Faculty Shows Restraint During New President's Speech," The Cronk of Higher Education, November 4, 2013.

"The Low-Inference Room," Diana Senechal, June 15, 2013.

"College Denies Allegations of Teaching," The Cronk of Higher Education, May 23, 2013.

"Superintendent Tells Principals What to Think," Diana Senechal, May 19, 2013.

"College Library De-Offensifizes All Holdings," The Cronk of Higher Education," May 7, 2013.

"Teacher Reprimanded for Assigning Book," Diana Senechal, February 18, 2013.

"Pangloss University Eliminates All Teacher/Learner Distinctions," The Cronk of Higher Education, January 22, 2013.

"College Drops Kant, Purchases Clickers," The Cronk of Higher Education, December 4, 2012.

"To Boost College Readiness, Colleges Become Student-Ready," The Cronk of Higher Education, November 15, 2012.

"To Save Kids, District Adopts No-Sitdown Policy," Diana Senechal, October 13, 2012.

"Faculty Denied Tenure Are Branded 'Thoughtful,'" The Cronk of Higher Education, October 9, 2012.

"Breakthrough Research Shows Role of Study in Learning," Diana Senechal, September 2, 2012.

"College Composition Embraces Obfuscation," The Cronk of Higher Education, August 9, 2012.

"Philanthropist Funds Misfit Database for Kindergarten," Diana Senechal, July 21, 2012.

"University Celebrates Annual Paradigm Shift," The Cronk of Higher Education, July 2, 2012.

"District Announces Value-Added Bazaar," Diana Senechal, July 2, 2012.

"My Galvanic Afternoon," Diana Senechal, June 19, 2012.

"To Boost Results, College Bans Literature," The Cronk of Higher Education, April 23, 2012.

"Mathematician Discovers He Is Valid, Too," The Cronk of Higher Education, February 29, 2012.

"Scholars Discover New Personality Type: Nice," The Cronk of Higher Education, January 26, 2012.

"College Pledges to Be Research-Based by 2014," The Cronk of Higher Education, January 17, 2012.

"University Offers New Major in Self," The Cronk of Higher Education, January 12, 2012.

"New Software Boosts Student Marketability," The Cronk of Higher Education, December 15, 2011.

"University Library Enlists Collaborative Cheerleaders," The Cronk of Higher Education, November 30, 2011.

"How Socrates Would Fare on New Teacher Evaluation Plan," The Answer Sheet (blog), June 14, 2011.

"Group Brainstorming: An Educational Nutshell," The Core Knowledge Blog, July 16, 2010.

Selected non-satirical blogs

"Introversion: Pro-Idea, Anti-Noise, or Something Else?" Diana Senechal, September 19, 2016.

"Time, Money, Happiness, and a Bit of Skepticism," Diana Senechal, September 11, 2016.

"Bad Lemon Logic," Diana Senechal, August 24, 2016.

"They Usually Come Out Wrong," Diana Senechal, August 22, 2016.

"Anger Endangered," Diana Senechal, August 20, 2016.

"The Cult of the Spiffy Solution," Diana Senechal, August 9, 2016.

"Have We Given Up on Conversation?" Diana Senechal, May 10, 2015.

"The Dialogue of Thought with Others," Diana Senechal, May 4, 2015.

"The Ubiquitous Team," Diana Senechal, March 22, 2015.

"The Remedy Is the Poem Itself," Diana Senechal, January 1, 2015.

"A Sounder Conception of Change," Diana Senechal, December 18, 2014.

"Dylan Thomas and Deuteronomy," Diana Senechal, November 16, 2014.

"I Contemplate a Tree," Diana Senechal, November 16, 2014.

"Our Unwitting Teachers," Diana Senechal, October 17, 2014.

"Questions of Community," Diana Senechal, September 21, 2014.

"Mourning: Together or Alone?" Diana Senechal, August 18, 2014.

"Homophonia and Parekbasiphobia," Diana Senechal, August 3, 2014.

"Pairing Serious Inquiry with Play," Chalkbeat, June 24, 2014.

"Solitude of Time," Diana Senechal, April 17, 2014.

"What Is Joy, and What Is Joy in Learning?" Diana Senechal, March 31, 2014.

"Why 'Turn and Talk' Instead of 'Pause and Think'?" Diana Senechal, December 23, 2013.

"And comes that other fall we name the fall," Diana Senechal, August 19, 2013.

"Literature Class Is Not Reading Class," Diana Senechal, August 12, 2013.

"Free Will and Education Reform," Diana Senechal, August 8, 2013.

"The 'Old Verities' and the Lamentation Sprawl," Diana Senechal, August 4, 2013.

"A Different Way of Being with Others," Diana Senechal, July 12, 2013.

"Teaching, Reserve, and Listening," Diana Senechal, July 7, 2013.

"Curriculum: A Springboard to Creativity," The Core Knowledge Blog, June 20, 2013.

"How Student Work Can Illuminate Teaching," GothamSchools (now Chalkbeat), April 12, 2013.

"Belonging and Apartness in Intellectual Pursuit," Diana Senechal, January 21, 2013.

"They Guided Me in My Sense of What Is Significant," Diana Senechal, December 23, 2012.

"Daydreams, Lectures, and Helices," Diana Senechal, December 7, 2012.

"A Few Thoughts About Thomas Hardy's 'The Going,'" Diana Senechal, December 1, 2012.

"A Way to Think for Myself As If Under Their Eyes," Diana Senechal, November 17, 2012.

"Is Teaching a Calling?" Diana Senechal, November 1, 2012.

"David Bromwich's Politics by Other Means," Diana Senechal, October 27, 2012.

"Puttering, Responsibility, and Beauty," Diana Senechal, October 19, 2012.

"Enter This Landscape," Diana Senechal, October 8, 2012.

"Tobias Wolff's Old School: Truth, Tangent, and Return," Diana Senechal, September 16, 2012.

"Yearning and Return in Education," Diana Senechal, September 15, 2012.

"Why the Lecture Isn't Obsolete," Diana Senechal, August 7, 2012.

"The Biometric Bracelet and the End of Daydreaming," Diana Senechal, June 17, 2012.

"Why Do Teachers Stay?" Diana Senechal, May 11, 2012.

"Research Has Shown—Just What, Exactly?" Diana Senechal, January 27, 2012.

"The Importance of Saying Nothing," Diana Senechal, December 18, 2011.

"Evidence Isn't Everything or Everywhere," The Core Knowledge Blog, October 5, 2011.

"Putting Group Work in Its Place," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), May 16, 2011.

"Whatever It Takes? Maybe Not," The Core Knowledge Blog, December 7, 2010.

"The Problem with Race to the Top Is the Race," The Answer Sheet (blog), Washington Post, August 11, 2010.

"Tell Us, Six-Year-Olds, What's the Author's Purpose?" Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), January 29, 2010.

"There's No Such Thing as 'Teaching,'" The Core Knowledge Blog, January 7, 2010.

"Guessing My Way to Promotion," GothamSchools (now Chalkbeat, August 17, 2009.

"Show Me Your Goals, Sir," Joanne Jacobs (as guest-blogger), May 21, 2009.

"A Measure of Privacy," The Core Knowledge Blog, February 11, 2009.

"Learning from Parents" (under pen name "Otter"), New York Teacher, March 1, 2007.


"Making Schools Work for Our Kids," letter to the editor, New York Times, February 5, 2007.

"Reading, Rehashing, 'Rithmetic," letter to the editor, New York Times, March 28, 2006.



"The Auditorium," Watchword, Issue 5 (Autumn 2003).

"The Diagnosis," Watchword, Issue 3 (Spring 2002).


Played cello (both the plucked and bowed parts) on the song "Though the Light Seem Small" by Art of Flying.

Self-released an album of songs in 2000. (You can listen to the songs on YouTube.)

Recorded a six-song EP, O Octopus, at Tiny Telephone in 2001. John Croslin engineered it.

About the author
Republic of Noise
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