The actual “Cultural Preservation Today” symposium is tomorrow, Friday, March 27, in Raynor Library BC at Marquette — but two of my speakers will be speaking at UWM today if you have the time to check them out:
* Stephen A. Small will deliver a lecture titled “Public History and Reparations: Social Mobilization and the Legacy of Slavery in the African Diaspora today” on March 26, 2015 from 2:30 – 4:00pm in the American Geographical Society Library, UWM Libraries, Third Floor, East Wing.
* And John Patrick Leary will be speaking at the Center for 21st Century Studies today at 2 PM, delivering a lecture titled “Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Austerity: The Moral Economy of Branding and Entrepreneurship.”
* So you want to loot a public institution: CUNY edition.
The higher tuition rates have not provided students with greater access to full-time faculty. In 1975, the last year that CUNY offered a free education, there were 11,500 full-time faculty members teaching 250,000 students. Today enrollment is at an all-time high of about 274,000 students. Meanwhile, there are only 7,500 full-time faculty employed at CUNY, according to testimony given by CUNY Chancellor James Milliken to the state Assembly earlier this year. CUNY relies on poorly paid, part-time adjunct faculty to teach the majority of its classes.
* …UC edition. What a stunning, sickening photo.
For while social constructivism, cultural studies, critical pedagogy, theory, and abstract notions of the digital dominate our scholarly journals, the truth is that in most places the study of writing is the study of the research paper, the argumentative essay, the resume. This isn’t a contradiction with what I’ve said before; my argument is that writing scholars mostly research subjects that have little to do with the actual day-to-day reality of teaching students to express themselves in prose. But the teaching of writing is undertaken not by tenure-track academics who have a research responsibility but, dominantly, by adjuncts, graduate students, visiting professors, and permanent non-tenure track faculty. It’s these people that I most fear we fail, because they frequently are at permanent risk, risk that amplifies greatly if they don’t do the kind of traditional pedagogy they are expected to by their institutions. When they need guidance for how to better teach library research, or how to help students in basic writing courses use paragraphs, or what research shows about whether peer review is helpful or not, where can they turn? To a degree, not to rhetoric and composition journals, or at the very least, not to our flagship journals, which I will again say simply do not publish that sort of thing regularly anymore.
* Three-hundred-twenty-five staff members — including those with tenure — are being offered “go away” packages by University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt. That’s a third of the people who work there.
* Great moments in not understanding what satire is. The kicker:
Asked whether he posted any of the photos, the frat member said “No, no, absolutely not. I’m a good guy.”
* Australian man’s dream was to go to UNC, but he went to wrong school for four years. I love that the closer of this thing is the man singling out the English department for praise. Go Spartans!
* Now offering my services as a consultant to prevent this sort of thing from happening. $1000/hour.
* Woman abandoned as baby in Macon in 1915 dies at age 100. Bringing new meaning to the phrase “never live it down.”
* The preferential option for the poor: Catholic Cathedral Installed Water System That Drenches Homeless People To Keep Them Away.
* The past isn’t even past: Britons still live in Anglo-Saxon tribal kingdoms, Oxford University finds.
* And this just seems like a background joke from the set designers that we somehow accidentally noticed: Obamas may be buying ‘Magnum, P.I.’ home in Hawaii.
* Coetzee: There is nothing wrong with arguing that a good humanistic education will produce graduates who are critically literate, by some definition of critical literacy. However, the claim that only the full apparatus of a humanistic education can produce critical literacy seems to me hard to sustain, since it is always open to the objection: if critical literacy is just a skill or set of skills, why not just teach the skill itself? Would that not be simpler, and cheaper too?
…in the end, I believe, you will have to make a stand. You will have to say: we need free enquiry because freedom of thought is good in itself. We need institutions where teachers and students can pursue unconstrained the life of the mind because such institutions are, in ways that are difficult to pin down, good for all of us: good for the individual and good for society.
* If you can’t make a case for a discipline on the basis of the actual objects studied by that discipline, it’s doomed. The field needs to have confidence in the things it takes as its subject matter.
* Not for the first time, vandals are wreaking havoc in central Europe. Russian police say they’re looking for the intellectually minded miscreants who graffitied “Kant is a moron”—along with a flower and heart—on the philosopher’s home outside Kaliningrad.
* Keywords for the Age of Austerity 16: Flexibility. Special appearance by Plastic Man.
* The New York Times ran the Duke story—a story about the internal politics of an English department—on its front page.
* Everything’s different in Denmark: Porn belongs in the classroom, says Danish professor.
* What could possibly go wrong? The Scientist Who Wanted To Bring A Death Row Inmate Back From The Dead.
* Rise of the Gender Novel: Too often, trans characters are written as tortured heroes. We’re more complex than that.
* I’m Al Lowe and I created a series of games called Leisure Suit Larry for Sierra back in the ’80s and ’90s along with another 20 games and titles back in that period. I was with Sierra from 1982 until 1998 when it — well, it was the poor victim of a hostile takeover by criminals. How about that for an opening?
* Did Terry Brooks save epic fantasy? Given the years involved if anything did it seems more likely to me that it was Dungeons and Dragons, but it’s a nice remembrance of the franchise regardless.
* I’m good for five seasons at least: Bridgeport Priest Who Ran Meth Ring Pleads For Leniency.
* Really bad idea watch: Sherlock Goes Old-School For Its Christmas Special.
* You had me at fully automated luxury communism (FALC).
* And because you demanded it! Sam Jones Says New Flash Gordon Is A Sequel.
* The best news: Jaimee’s book has won the Anthony Hecht Prize at Waywiser Press.
* Ian Bogost: Video Games Are Better Without Characters.
* But in 2014, the financial year that appears to have been the final straw for Sweet Briar, total operating revenues were $34.8 million and total operating expenditures were $35.4 million, which means that the deficit the school is running is actually smaller than the cost of any of the bad deals it’s gotten itself into with banks.
* The United Arab Emirates, where New York University opened a new campus last year, has barred an N.Y.U. professor from traveling to the monarchy after his criticism of the exploitation of migrant construction workers there.
* If one arbitrary, designed-by-committee college ranking system is good, two must be…
* A household name to black audiences yet completely unknown to white audiences, Gary Owen, a blond, blue-eyed stand-up from Ohio, has a career wholly unlike that of any comedian before him.
* Almost seven years ago, a troubled 11-year-old girl reported that she had been raped — twice — in her Northwest Washington neighborhood. Despite medical evidence of sexual assault, records show that no suspects were arrested and the cases were given only sporadic attention by the police . Instead, in the second case, the police had the girl, Danielle Hicks-Best, charged with filing a false report.
* People who lose their jobs are less willing to trust others for up to a decade after being laid-off, according to new research from The University of Manchester.
* The two Wisconsin tween girls accused of stabbing a friend 19 times and leaving her in a park—because they believed doing so would protect their families from the mythical internet horror known as Slender Man—will be tried as adults for first-degree attempted homicide, a judge ruled Friday.
* Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has been on a mission to weed out purported voter fraud in the state since he took office in 2011. After launching an investigation into what he called an “expanding loophole” allowing non-citizens to vote in Ohio and potentially decide elections, he announced Thursday that 145 non-citizens were registered to vote illegally in 2014, amounting to just .0002 percent of the 7.7 million registered voters in the state.
* What could possibly go wrong? In South Africa, Ranchers Are Breeding Mutant Animals to Be Hunted. Have to say I’m really pulling for the mutant animals here.
* And now comes another, increasingly prevalent way to show appreciation for those who’ve served in the military: exempting them from taxes. Would you like to know more?
* I’ll be promoting this relentlessly once everyone gets back from Spring Break, but for now, here’s a taste: some information about my Cultural Preservation Today symposium at the end of the month.
* Deadline extended! CFP for MLA 2016: Feminist Voices in Diasporic Afro-Futurism.
* OnMilwaukee gets nostalgic for the old Milwaukee downtown.
* Dominic Barton, a managing director at McKinsey & Co. and a fellow co-chair, said one CEO (names were carefully guarded) captivated the group’s imagination when he admitted his pay structure would actually allow him to make more in a few years than his whole career by eliminating research and development spending and instead buying back stock. The company wouldn’t exist after 10 years, the CEO added.
* This article has got to be Exhibit A for anyone who thinks talk of “the Anthropocene” is about re-centering Europe. I just can’t seen any argument that would put the date of the Anthropocene at 1610 that wouldn’t push it back into prehistory.
* Illinois lawmakers have put a benefit commonly offered to college employees — tuition breaks for their children — on the chopping block at public universities in response to a big expected cut in state spending on higher education.
* It took him 25 years but Sid Meier finally made a version of Master of Orion.
* And it can happen here: Springfield, Illinois swears allegiance to Cobra Commander, declares war on G.I. Joes.