Dr. Loughead releases “Politics of Maturity”
By Ava C. Green, Editor-in-Chief
On Monday, Oct. 23, a celebration was held in the lowest level of Palisano Pavilion to commemorate philosophy professor Tanya Loughead’s new book, “Politics of Maturity,” released on July 21, 2023. The event, planned and introduced by Dean Tom Chambers, provided refreshments, a reading by Loughead of pieces of her introductory chapter and an unsurprisingly thorough philosophical question-and-answer portion at the end.
Dr. Loughead reminded The Griffin that research in their given field is expected of professors as she humbly deflected The Griffin’s praise. She was pleasantly surprised at the great turnout and support, mentioning that her 2015 release, “Critical University: Moving Higher Education Forward,” did not receive as much campus-wide recognition.
During Loughead’s reading of her introduction, the audience was quickly faced with the title issue addressed in the book. She explained that everyone thinks about maturity, and although each individual is incredibly different, those ideas of how someone can act with maturity or be mature, are, to Loughead, too standardized and too unforgiving. She added she’d be viewing the topic through the “lens of critical theory and psychoanalysis.” She began by saying the chapter would highlight “what maturity is not” but by the end reiterated that maturity is an action of being constantly open to change and accepting of new ideas and points of view.
A Griffin staff member and former student of Dr. Loughead, Liz Shingler noted, “The previews, like, that first little bit, literally sounds exactly like she does in class.” Her bright red lipstick was no match in holding back her laugh at this comment, which she said was intentional. The book, along with her teaching, call on real issues and events as a means of discussion, comparison and analogy.
Dr. Loughead’s book can be read as a testament to her study and love for philosophy and the humanities. She believes that a university, specifically one with a liberal arts focus like Canisius’s, is a good environment to foster and encourage maturity because “classes in philosophy, religion, history [and] literature” force people “to think about themselves and their place in the world.”
Loughead explained to The Griffin that the writing and researching process took her about half a decade, and proofreading and editing put the release another year back. By taking her time and allowing the work to be open to revision and criticism, Loughead fostered a great environment for the maturity of her work and ideas.