Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Judging a Book by Its Cover: OCTAVIA E. BUTLER

leave a comment »

Well, it looks like University of Illinois Press has settled on a cover for my book Octavia E. Butler, coming out this fall:

51VBC4RoPsL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

…now how much would you pay? Act fast, because supplies are running out, etc. etc. etc.!

Saturday Morning Links!

leave a comment »

* Really exciting new anthology I just heard about: Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation.

* CFP: Station Eleven and Twenty-First-Century Writing.

* CFP: The Literature of the Anthropcene.

* CFP: The International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts 2017.

* After Columbia: Deans often feign surprise at graduate student complaints, and claim not to notice the thousands petitioning them every semester. An n+1 roundtable on the recent NLRB decision.

Monsters and Mythical Creatures of Higher Education.

* Just can’t win: Diversity training and mandates seem to have a backlash effect.

* Black in Naperville.

* Ghosts of White People Past: Witnessing White Flight From an Asian Ethnoburb.

* The New York Times interviews N.K. Jemisin, the first black writer to win a Hugo.

* A history of little people in Hollywood.

Still, if he ends up with 7 percent of the vote — as we’d expect based upon history and the current polls — the Libertarian Party will qualify for federal campaign funding in 2020, and Johnson will claim the highest share of the vote of any non-major party nominee in 20 years.

* Who works for the workers? Unions and bureaucracy in America.

* If you ever hope to imagine hell, come to a prison, and I’ll show you what hell is like.

* The Strange Reason Nearly Every Film Ends by Saying It’s Fiction (You Guessed It: Rasputin!).

* But as Coulter let slip, the rightwing pundit class is on the verge of losing its long-term hold on the actual conduct of politics on the ground. In other words, the conservative media elite is in precisely the same structural position that the nascent forces of the new right sketched out for the great liberal media conspiracy circa 1972: assiduously manufacturing consent to an audience that was rapidly moving on to other grand political narratives. That, comrades Hannity and Coulter, is what we cranky leftwing culture critics call the cunning of history.

* Meanwhile: Republicans Are Already Planning How to Ruin a Hillary Clinton Presidency.

* Protesting too much: HAARP’s new owner holds open house to prove facility ‘is not capable of mind control.’

* Secret origins of the Choco Taco.

* And an intriguing BET science fiction web series about slavery and time travel very few people seem to have known about (I didn’t!): Send Me. Thanks to Ayana Jamieson for the tip!

Last Weekend Before the Semester Links!

leave a comment »

* ICYMI: My new syllabi for the fall! Infinite Jest and Alternate History. There’s also a new version of my “Video Game Culture” class, set for a new eleven-meeting schedule and with a “Capitalism” week added centered on Pokémon Go (what? oh, that thing). Relatedly: Milwaukee County Parks are trying to remove Pokemon Go from Lake Park.

* The NLRB has ruled that graduate students at private universities can unionize. How letting grad students unionize could change the labor movement and college sports. The NLRB Columbia Decision and the Future of Academic Labor Struggles. The Union Libel: On the Argument against Collective Bargaining in Higher Ed. But elsewhere in academic labor news: Adjuncts in Religious Studies May Be Excluded From Religious College Unions.

* Are PhD Students Irrational? Well, you don’t have to be, but it helps…

The point, then, is that a rational choice theory of PhD pursuit is self-sealing: by allowing the job market, and the job market only, to police our understanding of what’s rational, we’re ignoring that doctoral study is a way of accomplishing what the market typically cannot — a long-term, self-directed research project.

* Colleges hire more minority and female professors, but most jobs filled are adjunct, not tenure track, study finds.

* This morning everyone’s fighting about academic freedom and trigger warnings at the University of Chicago.

* I thought I was the only prof who didn’t really care about deadlines. But apparently there are dozens of us!

* That’ll solve it: Replace college instruction with Ken Burns movies.

A New Academic Year Brings Fresh Anxiety at Illinois’s Public Colleges.

Poor and Uneducated: The South’s Cycle of Failing Higher Education.

* Actually, I’m teaching these kids way more than they’re teaching me.

* I’ve dreamed about this since I was a kid: An Epochal Discovery: A Habitable Planet Orbits Our Neighboring Star. Time to teach The Sparrow again…

* Philosophical SF.

* CFP: Futures Near and Far: Utopia, Dystopia, and Futurity, University of Florida.

Cuban science-fiction redefines the future in the ruins of a socialist utopia.

Puppies, Slates, and the Leftover Shape of “Victory.” On that Rabid Puppies thing and my Hugo Award-winning novella Binti.

It was a long time before anyone realized there was something not the same about her.

From all indications, the next X-Men movie will hew closer to Claremont’s original Dark Phoenix story than the previous cinematic effort. But any sense of authenticity it achieves will only arouse and prolong the desire for closure of the loss not only of a treasured character who might have lived endlessly in the floating timeline, but also of the very narrative finitude in which this loss could only happen once. Comic Book Melancholia.

* Bingewatching vs. plot.

* A new book series at Rowman and Littlefield explores Remakes, Reboots, and Adaptations.

Hot Tomorrow: The Urgency and Beauty of Cli-Fi.

Do Better: Sexual Violence in SFF.

* The real questions: How Long Would It Actually Take to Fall Through the Earth?

How did an EpiPen get to costing $600? Earned every penny. A Case Study in Health System Dysfunction. But, you know, it’s all better now.

* Amazing study at Duke: Virtual Reality and Exoskeleton Help Paraplegics Partially Recover, Study Finds.

The Epidemic Archives Of The Future Will Be Born Digital.

How One Professor Will Turn Wisconsin’s Higher-Ed Philosophy Into a Seminar.

* Becoming Eleven. Concept Art Reveals Barb’s Original Stranger Things Fate and It Will Depress You. We Will Get ‘Justice for Barb’ in a Second Season of Stranger Things. This Stranger Things fan theory changes the game.

Arkansas City Accused Of Jailing Poor People For Bouncing Checks As Small As $15. An Arkansas Judge Sent A Cancer Patient To ‘Debtors’ Prison’ Over A Few Bounced Checks.

* And elsewhere: Drug Court Participants Allegedly Forced To Become Police Informers.

The times of year you’re most likely to get divorced. Keep scrolling! We’re not done yet.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 10.35.10 PM

Are these the best films of the 21st century? I’m not sure I enjoyed or still think about any film on this list more than I enjoyed and think about The Grand Budapest Hotel, though There Will Be Blood, Memento, Caché, and Children of Men might all be close.

CBS is bound and determined to make sure Star Trek: Discovery bombs.

Dr. Strangelove’s Secret Uses of Uranus.

* An Instagram account can index depression.

* After neoliberalism?

* Parenting and moral panic.

How Screen Addiction Is Damaging Kids’ Brains.

The technical language obscured an arresting truth: Basis, which I had ordered online without a prescription, paying $60 for a month’s supply, was either the most sophisticated fountain-of-youth scam ever to come to market or the first fountain-of-youth pill ever to work.

* Nazis were even creeps about their horses.

tumblr_nc27oekkA11t3cxt2o1_500* The Republicans were right!

* Mapping the Stephen King meganarrative.

* Good news for Dr. Strange: Dan Harmon wrote on the reshoots.

* My colleague Jodi Melamed writes in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on white Milwaukee’s responsibility.

The Man Who Stole Himself: The Slave Odyssey of Hans Jonathan. Translated from the Icelandic.

* Saddest postjournalism story yet: “Vote on the topic for a future Washington Post editorial.”

Katherine Johnson, the human computer.

* I arrived at my friend’s party. A few hours later she died, exactly as planned.

* Uber loses a mere 1.2 billion dollars in the first half of 2016. Can there be any doubt they are just a stalking horse for the robots?

* It’s been interesting watching this one circulate virally: Giving up alcohol opened my eyes to the infuriating truth about why women drink.

William Shatner Is Sorry Paramount Didn’t Stop Him From Ruining Star Trek V. Apology not accepted.

Hillary Clinton will likely have a unique chance to remake the federal judiciary. How the first liberal Supreme Court in a generation could reshape America.

Many donors to Clinton Foundation met with her at State. You don’t say… 4 experts make the case that the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising was troubling.

* Does he want a few of mine? Donald Trump Used Campaign Donations to Buy $55,000 of His Own Book.

Curt Schilling Is the Next Donald Trump. Hey, that was my bit!

* Oh, so now the imperial presidency is bad.

* Good news, everyone!

At least Democrats are currently on track to retake the Senate.

* Scenes from the richest country in the history of the world: Texas has highest maternal mortality rate in developed world, study finds. Raw sewage has been leaking into Baltimore’s harbor for five days, city says. It appears aquatic life — the moss that grows on rocks, the bacteria that live in the water and the bugs that hatch there — are the unexpected victims of Americans’ struggle with drug addiction. Ramen is displacing tobacco as most popular US prison currency, study finds.

No Man’s Sky is like real space exploration: dull, except when it’s sublime.

A.J. Daulerio, bloodied but unbowed. How Peter Thiel Killed Gawker. Never Mind Peter Thiel. Gawker Killed Itself. Gawker Was Killed by Gaslight. And if you want a vision of the future: A Startup Is Automating the Lawsuit Strategy Peter Thiel Used to Kill Gawker.

* Greenlit for five seasons and a spinoff: The astonishing story of how two wrestling teammates from Miami came to oppose each other in the cocaine wars — one as a drug smuggler, the other as a DEA agent.

* Also greenlighting this one.

* The legacy board games revolution.

25 1/2 gimmicky DVD commentary tracks.

The millennial generation as a whole will lose nearly $8.8 trillion in lifetime income because of climate change. The children of millennials will lose tens of trillions.

* When Icon fought Superman.

* Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks.

An Exciting History of Drywall.

* Title IX: still under serious threat.

* And it’s not a competition, but Some Turtles See Red Better Than You Do.

ldevuxo4dp0ao0ume4fv

Written by gerrycanavan

August 26, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Fall Syllabus #2: INFINITE JEST!

with 4 comments

And here’s the Infinite Jest syllabus. This one turned out to be a surprisingly difficult puzzle to put together, just because I felt strongly that the book absolutely had to be finished by the class period before the class period before Thanksgiving (and later determined that we really needed a whole week to talk about the book just as a whole) — while I also felt (after the experience of the Tolkien class was so great) that it would be really good to have a slow start where we talked a bit about Wallace as a thinker and read some of his other work. This seemed especially urgent to me because of the fact of the suicide, which really does seem to risk retrospectively poisoning some aspects of the book and Wallace’s larger career (I’ve included the MLA panel we’re doing explicitly in the course as a last-day exercise, though I realized yesterday while prepping the course that I seem to have completely cryptomnesically ripped off Tom Bissell in my panel abstract — very embarrassing).

I decided early on that “beginning with the end” was the way to do this course, discussing the suicide openly and concretely at length at the very start of the class. My workshopmates in my Jesuit pedagogy seminar last semester very helpfully suggested some strategies for making the course a comfortable place to talk about some very uncomfortable things, and strongly suggested that I include an explicit content note in the syllabus (which as you can see, I did, a fairly lengthy one; I don’t think I’ve ever done one before, except in briefly offering the possibility of an alternate assignment for Lolita in a sophomore-level survey).

The result of all this is a syllabus that I’m pretty happy with and that I hope won’t be too demanding. I’ve thought a lot about not just trying to generate buy-in and a spirit of shared endeavor, but also how to make sure I don’t lose a ton of people along the way. In the end, with a MW class meeting trying to read a 1,079-page novel in nine weeks while leaving space at the beginning and end for other conversations about Infinite Jest, I decided I just couldn’t do much better than around 50-70 pages per class period for the long haul, especially in the back half. I hope the assignments and the structure of the course pull them through, and give them space to get something valuable out of it, even if (as seems inevitable) some number of them completely hate both the book and me by the end…

As before, full syllabus with course procedures and all assignments at the link, but here’s the day-by-day schedule:

M Aug 29 FIRST DAY OF CLASS

 

audiobook: “This Is Water” (Commencement Address to the Kenyon College Class of 2005) (in class)

W Aug 31 “Alas, Poor Yorick” monologue from Hamlet, Act V, sc. i [D2L]

 

George Saunders, “Informal Remarks from the David Foster Wallace Memorial Service in New York on October 23, 2008” [D2L]

Jonathan Franzen, “Informal Remarks from the David Foster Wallace Memorial Service in New York on October 23, 2008” [D2L]

 

roundtable discussion: How to Talk About Sad Things, Together

 

(after class) Mandatory D2L Post #1

M Sep 5 LABOR DAY—NO CLASS
W Sep 7 David Foster Wallace, “The Planet Trillaphon as It Stands in Relation to the Bad Thing” (1984) and Afterword by Kevin J. H. Dettmar (2016)
M Sep 12 David Foster Wallace, “Octet” (1997/1999)

Guest Lecture: Tom Moore

 

(after class) Mandatory D2L Post #2

W Sep 14 David Foster Wallace, “Octet” discussion continues

 

Infinite Jest forewords by Dave Eggers (2006) and Tom Bissell (2016) [D2L]

 

roundtable discussion: How to Talk About Literature, Art, Artists, Genius, Greatness, Pretension, Ambition, “Trying Too Hard,” Success, Failure, Annoyance, Fondness, Commitment, Honesty, Community, Solitude, Work, Intellectual Experiences That Might (or Might Not) Change Your Life, &c.

 

(after class) Mandatory D2L Post #3

 

INFINITE JEST

IJPPD(A)(NCF)*
M Sep 19 Infinite Jest through p. 17

 

brief primer: How to Read Infinite Jest [in class]

14
W Sep 21 Infinite Jest through p. 63 46
 
M Sep 26 Infinite Jest through p. 127 64
W Sep 28 Infinite Jest through p. 171 44
M Oct 3 Infinite Jest through p. 226 55
W Oct 5 Infinite Jest through p. 283 57
 
M Oct 10 Infinite Jest through p. 342 59
W Oct 12 Infinite Jest through p. 398 56
 
M Oct 17 Infinite Jest through p. 450 52
W Oct 19 Infinite Jest through p. 503 53
 
FALL BREAK
 
M Oct 24 Infinite Jest through p. 589 86
W Oct 26 Infinite Jest through p. 648 59
 
M Oct 31 Infinite Jest through p. 711 63
W Nov 2 Infinite Jest through p. 775 64
 
M Nov 7 Infinite Jest through p. 845 70
W Nov 9 Infinite Jest through p. 911 66
 
M Nov 14 Infinite Jest through p. 981

“CONVERGENCE” DUE

70
W Nov 16 Samuel Cohen, “To Wish to Try to Sing to the Next Generation: Infinite Jest’s History”

N. Katherine Hayles, “The Illusion of Autonomy and the Fact of Recursivity: Virtual Ecologies, Entertainment, and Infinite Jest

OPTION #3 PROSPECTUS DUE BY TODAY

 
M Nov 21 Research Workshop with Heather James (Raynor)

Bring in the general topic you think you might want to write about, as well as some useful research questions.

     
    THANKSGIVING BREAK

* Infinite Jest pages per day (approximate) (not counting footnotes)

 

CODA: AFTERLIVES

M Nov 28 OPTION #1 and #2 PROSPECTUS DUE TO ME ON D2L

 

Michael Pietsch, editor’s note, The Pale King (2011) [D2L]

David Foster Wallace, “Good Old Neon” (2001) [D2L]

W Nov 30 Lee Konstantinou, “No Bull: David Foster Wallace and Postironic Belief” [D2L]

Adam Kelly, “David Foster Wallace and the New Sincerity in American Fiction” [D2L]

M Dec 5 Ed Finn, “Becoming Yourself: The Afterlife of Reception” [D2L]

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, “Infinite Summer: Reading, Empathy, and the Social Network” [D2L]

MetaFilter.com, “RIP, DFW” [Web]

The Howling Fantods, Wallace-L, etc.

W Dec 7 FINAL THOUGHTS: MLA 2017 panel: “Infinite Jest at 20” [D2L]

 

PROJECT WORKSHOPS

Bring in four copies of the prospectus for your final project.

 

LAST DAY OF CLASS

W Dec 14 FINAL PROJECT DUE BY 12:30 PM

New Fall Syllabus #1: Alternate History!

leave a comment »

I’m teaching three classes this semester, ENGLISH 4615/5615 (“Infinite Jest”), ENGLISH 2010 (“Alternate History”), and HOPR 1953 (“Video Game Culture”) (one-credit, pass/fail, now with Pokémon Go!). I’m very excited about all three. The Infinite Jest course is one I’ve wanted to do for a very long time — I came up with the whole idea of adding the new 4615/5615 course number to the Marquette English just so I could do this course — and the alternate-history course has been puttering around in my brain as a pedagogical opportunity for just about as long.

I got a lot of help from folks on Twitter and Facebook with the alternate history novel course, both at the level of generating texts but also at the level of conceptualizing the course a little different so it could be more inclusive, and I’m really grateful for that. I was finally sold by Alexis Lothian on the idea that I was being silly by being resistant to stories like The Lathe of Heaven and “The Book of Martha,” for instance, and that the practical effect of that resistance was to make the class much whiter and much maler than it really needed to be. Now, the course is still pretty white and very male, but the genre itself is, and somehow or another that’s something I want to start to talk about as the semester progresses. The excellent suggestion of Karen Joy Fowler’s story “Game Night at the Fox and Goose” will really help me make that pivot, I think, as will In the United States of Africa (a great novel I couldn’t believe I forgot to include until it was pointed out to me I’d forgotten to include it, I think by Aaron Bady).

A few other things I was very sad to lose:

  • I was originally going to do “an alternate history of an alternate history” thing to end the semester, Superman: Red Son, but it just didn’t make sense the way the course took shape. I held on to the idea way too long, and only cut the book two days ago. Sorry, bookstore!
  • The whole original point of all this was to use the course as an excuse to teach The Years of Rice and Salt, a book I love which seems just too long too teach in any other context. And it still seems too long to teach (at least at the sophomore level). I had to give it up, and wasn’t able to include even any excerpts because I crammed in too much other stuff. Someday!
  • Another thing that fell out of the course was a group presentation structure in which individual groups researched the actual history of the hinge point of each divergence and reported on it. I realized that with the newer, more expansive idea of the course this wasn’t going to work very well for at least half the books, and probably would have been reductive and overdetermined our conversations in practice, so it had to be abandoned as well.
  • I really, really wanted to include a Ted Chiang what-if-religion-were-empirically-verifiable story like “Hell Is The Absence of God,” but, again, it seemed just a bit far too off the mark this time.
  • I am, indeed, doing literally just one page from The Plot Against America, fulfilling my perverse desire to do so.
  • There were many other great suggestions for books that I wasn’t able to use. A few that I really struggled over:
    • Life After Life: a Replay-style reincarnation novel about World War I;
    • Replay itself, which is just too time-travel-ish for this (though I’ve always really liked it);
    • I likewise ruled out some other really good alternate-timeline stories because they were really time travel stories, from my puritanical perspective;
    • Something longer from Butler, perhaps Wild Seed (again, just too far afield generically for what I’m hoping to do);
    • Something truly (“merely”) generic, like Turtledove or Bring the Jubilee;
    • Lion’s Blood, Atomik Aztex, The Indians Won, The Bird Is Gone, The Heirs of Columbus, etc. I was so hung up on the idea of doing The Years of Rice and Salt that it crowded out this space for me (and then I added In the United States of Africa instead, to take on this question from a different direction). Next time.
    • Swastika Night, 1984, Handmaid’s Tale, Battle Royale: all good suggestions but didn’t hit the sense of “pastness” required by my conception of alternate history as a genre, as they were all future histories in their original moment of production;
    • District 9: only (re-)occurred to me at the last second because I was talking about it to somebody in another context, and didn’t have time to do it because the syllabus was (again) too crammed with too much other stuff. Someone had suggested Born in Flames to me as well, which also would have been great.
    • I also really wanted to play some board games like Twilight Struggle, Risk, Axis and Allies, and Chrononauts, but it seemed like it would be unwieldy and pointless with 35 students in the room. I think Civilization could scratch the same itch, though…

All right, with all those caveats, apologies, and thanks, here’s the week by week schedule (and full syllabus with all course procedures)! Three papers, the first two “traditionally scholarly,” the third one with a creative option, as well as a few creative micro-assignments here and there. If there’s anything more I should explain or you have any questions about the decisions I made, feel free to ask in the comments!

M Aug. 29 FIRST DAY OF CLASS

in-class writing exercise: “What If…”

W Aug. 31 class discussion: “What If…”
UNIT ONE: ALTERNATE WORLD WAR IIs
F Sep. 2 Kim Stanley Robinson, “The Lucky Strike”
M Sep. 5 LABOR DAY—NO CLASS
W Sep. 7 Kim Stanley Robinson, “A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions”
F Sep. 9 FIRST PAPER GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

Star Trek: “The City on the Edge of Forever” (discussion only; watch it on your own!)

criticism: H. Bruce Franklin, “Star Trek in the Vietnam Era” [D2L]

M Sep. 12 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 1-3
W Sep. 14 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 4-6
F Sep. 16 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 7-9
M Sep. 19 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, chapters 10-13
W Sep. 21 Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle (whole book)
F Sep. 23 The Man in the High Castle (2015 Amazon pilot) (discussion only; watch it on your own!)
M Sep. 26 Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds (discussion only; optional screening date and time TBA)
W Sep. 28 Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds (discussion continues)

·      review: Ben Waters, “Debating Inglourious Basterds” [Web]

·      review: Michael Atkinson, “The Anti-Blockbuster” [Web]

·      review: Lee Siegel, “Tarantino’s Hollow Violence” [Web]

·      review: Jeffrey Goldberg, “Hollywood’s Jewish Avenger” [Web]

F Sep. 30 Lauren Davis, “Quentin Tarantino’s Spin Through Alternate History” [io9.com]

 

creative writing: Draft a short flash fiction [500-1000 words] or create an artifact, document, or image set in the 2016 of the world of Inglourious Basterds

 

Philip Roth, The Plot Against America (excerpt) [D2L]

UNIT TWO: OTHER HISTORIES
M Oct. 3 FIRST PAPER WORKSHOP

Bring in at least your introductory paragraphs, main claim, and an outline of your paper.

W Oct. 5 Sid Meier’s Civilization

videos: Civilization V timelapse gameplay videos [YouTube]

post: Trevor Owens, “Sid Meier’s Colonization: Is It Offensive Enough?” [Web]

thread: Lycerius, “I’ve Been Playing the Same Game of Civilization for Almost Ten Years. This Is the Result” [Reddit]

F Oct. 7 Sid Meier’s Civilization

criticism: Kacper Pobłocki, “Becoming-State: The Bio-Cultural Imperialism of Sid Meier’s Civilization”

 
M Oct. 10 FIRST PAPER DUE

SECOND PAPER GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” [D2L]

W Oct. 12 Karen Joy Fowler, “Game Night at the Fox and Goose” [D2L]
F Oct. 14 criticism: L. Timmel Duchamp, “Playing with the Big Boys: (Alternate) History in Karen Joy Fowler’s ‘Game Night at the Fox and Goose’” [Web]
M Oct. 17 Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
W Oct. 19 Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

thinkpiece: Jennifer Schuessler, “Hamilton and History: Are They in Sync?” [Web]

interview: Rebecca Onion and Lyra D. Monteiro, “A Hamilton Skeptic on Why the Show Isn’t As Revolutionary As It Seems” [Web]

F Oct. 21 FALL BREAK—NO CLASS
M Oct. 24 Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain, pgs. 1-66
W Oct. 26 Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain, pgs. 67-119
F Oct. 28 Terry Bisson, Fire on the Mountain (whole book)
M Oct. 31 Abdourahman A. Waberi, In the United States of Africa (part one)
W Nov. 2 Abdourahman A. Waberi, In the United States of Africa (whole book)

criticism: Justin Izzo, “Historical Reversibility as Ethnographic Afrofuturism: Abdourahman Waberi’s Alternative Africa”

F Nov. 4 CONFERENCES—CLASS CANCELLED
UNIT THREE: DREAMING OF DIFFERENCE
M Nov. 7 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 1-4)
W Nov. 9 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 5-6)
F Nov. 11 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 7-9)
M Nov. 14 SECOND PAPER DUE

FINAL PROJECT GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 10-13)

W Nov. 16 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 14-16)
F Nov. 18 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (chapters 17-19)
M Nov. 21 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (whole book)

Martin Puchner, “When We Were Clones” [D2L]

W Nov. 23 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
F Nov. 25 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
M Nov. 28 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (chapters 1-4)
W Nov. 30 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (chapters 5-8)
F Dec. 2 Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (whole book)
M Dec. 5 Octavia E. Butler, “The Book of Martha”

creative writing: Imagine God comes to you with the same offer he/she/it brings to Martha. What one change would you make to the world, and why?

W Dec. 7 Octavia E. Butler, “The Book of Martha” (discussion continues)

creative writing: Draft a flash fiction [500-1000 words] or create an artifact, document, or image set in the world that exists sometime after the end of “The Book of Martha.”

 

Octavia E. Butler, “Afterword to ‘The Book of Martha’”

Gerry Canavan, Octavia E. Butler (excerpt) [D2L]

F Dec. 9 FINAL PROJECT WORKSHOP

LAST DAY OF CLASS

F Dec. 16 FINAL ASSIGNMENT DUE BY 12:30 PM
     

 

 

Monday Morning Links!

leave a comment »

In Milwaukee, I lived two lives. On the East Side was the liberal Catholic school I attended for nine years; on the North Side was everything else. Dateline Milwaukee: Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation. Some Lesser Known Justice Facts about Milwaukee and Wisconsin. And a more positive Milwaukee profile: How Milwaukee Shook Off the Rust: The Midwestern hub reclaimed some of its industrial glory by doing a surprising thing. It cleaned up.

Google’s response to inquiries was chilling: “Google News Archive no longer has permission to display this content.” Entire Google archive of more than a century of stories is gone. Why?

A narrow street dead-ends at the Detroit River, where a black-and-white boat bobs in the water, emblazoned with a Postal Service eagle. This is the mail boat J.W. Westcott II, the only floating ZIP code in the United States.

Hugo Awards Celebrate Women in Sci-Fi, Send Rabid Puppies to Doghouse. Special congratulations to N.K. Jemisin, whose The Fifth Season I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and to Nnedi Okorafar, whose “Binti” I have read already and is fantastic. Relatedly, Abigail Nussbaum asks: Do the Hugos actually need saving?

In Conversation With Colson Whitehead.

* This seems like a pretty big deal: Justice Department Says Poor Can’t Be Held When They Can’t Afford Bail.

U.S. Army only fudged its accounts by mere trillions of dollars, auditor finds.

An Indiana City Is Poised To Become The Next Flint.

* Trump’s Empire.

* Another late-summer syllabus: Problems in Posthumanism. #WelfareReformSyllabus. And a study guide for a world without police.

* “It’s ridiculous—we are talking about the biggest retailer in the world. I may have half my squad there for hours.”

Ranking the Most (and Least) Diverse Colleges in America. Marquette sneaks in at #86, while my alma mater Case Western is a surprisingly high #40 and Duke gets #32.

Top100_HD

* The strangeness of deep time.

* How to make an R2-D2.

“The jobs that the robots will leave for humans will be those that require thought and knowledge. In other words, only the best-educated humans will compete with machines,” Howard Rheingold, an internet sociologist, told Pew. “And education systems in the US and much of the rest of the world are still sitting students in rows and columns, teaching them to keep quiet and memorize what is told to them, preparing them for life in a 20th century factory.” Nothing can stop Judgment Day, but with the liberal arts you just might have a chance of surviving it…

98 personal data points that Facebook uses to target ads to you.

* Hot.
Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 9.33.43 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 9.34.02 PM

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 9.34.11 PM

Only about a hundred groups of isolated indigenous people are believed to still exist, with more than half of them living in the wilderness that straddles Peru’s border with Brazil. Fiona Watson, the field director of the tribal-people’s-rights group Survival International, told me that the situation was dire for the region’saislados, as isolated people are called in Spanish. In a cramped London office, Watson laid out satellite maps to show me their territory, small patches in a geography overtaken by commerce: arcs of slash-and-burn farmland; huge expanses where agribusinesses raise cattle and grow soy; mining camps that send minerals to China; migrant boomtowns. Some of the indigenous groups were hemmed in on all sides by mining and logging concessions, both legal and illegal. One tribe in Brazil, the Akuntsu, had been reduced to four members. Near them, a man known to anthropologists only as the Man of the Hole lives in a hollow dug in the forest floor, warding off intruders by firing arrows. He is believed to be the last of his tribe.

The poet and activist June Jordan once wrote that “poetry means taking control of the language of your life.” Solmaz Sharif does just that in her excellent debut collection, “Look,” pushing readers to acknowledge a lexicon of war she has drawn from the Defense Department’s Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Language, in this collection, is called upon as victim, executioner and witness.

Mr. Robot and Why TV Twists Don’t Work Anymore.

* Pittsburgh and the birth of the self-driving car.

* Iceland and revolution.

While people around the world will no doubt continue to project various fantasies onto the tiny island republic, the fact remains that Iceland has yet to see any surge in left mobilization comparable to that in Portugal and Greece — or even the more modest adjustments being made inside the two trans-Atlantic establishment left-liberal parties in the form of the Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn campaigns.

This brilliant map renames each US state with a country generating the same GDP.

576156d852bcd0210c8c9425-960-627

88 College Taglines, Arranged as a Poem.

* The movie you’ve already completely forgotten about will indeed have a sequel bound to disappoint you.

Lang will reprise his role as Colonel Miles Quaritch, Avatar’s villain who appeared definitively dead at the end of the film after taking several huge Na’vi arrows through his chest. Despite that setback, Quaritch is expected to be resurrected in some way and will appear in all the remaining sequels.

Eywa* save us all.

* Reader, I googled it.

* Lovecraft and suburbia and Stranger Things.

* Anyway, the point I’d like you to take away from this is that while it’s really hard to say “sending an interstellar probe is absolutely impossible”, the smart money says that it’s extremely difficult to do it using any technology currently existing or in development. We’d need a whole raft of breathroughs, including radiation shielding techniques to kick the interstellar medium out of the way of the probe as well as some sort of beam propulsion system and then some way of getting data back home across interstellar distances … and that’s for a flyby mission like New Horizons that would take not significantly less than a human lifetime to get there.

I Went on a Weeklong Cruise For Conspiracy Theorists. It Ended Poorly.

* My new favorite Twitter bot: @dungeon_junk.

* Viacom is hemorrhaging money, in part on the basis of the struggling Star Trek (and Ninja Turtles, and Ben Hur) reboot franchises.

Friend acquires a lot of cheese. What to do with it?

* And of course you had me at Historic Midcentury Modernist Motels of the New Jersey Coast.

7089b3.jpg.CROP.original-original

Written by gerrycanavan

August 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No One *Ever* Expects Saturday Morning Links

leave a comment »

* CFP: Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Narrative, Characters, Media, and Event.

* There’s really not much evidence here besides pure speculation, but this sold me on a Star Trek: Discovery season centered on “The Cage”‘s enigmatic Number One.

* Disability is everywhere once you start noticing it. A simple awareness of who we are sharing our public spaces with can be revelatory. Wheelchair users or people with walkers, hearing aids, canes, service animals, prosthetic limbs or breathing devices may seem to appear out of nowhere, when they were in fact there all the time.

* Syllabus for History 5305: “Ideas across Borders: Transnational Intellectual Studies in U.S. History.”

Madley argues—and this is the core of his book—that California’s elected officials were in fact “the primary architects of annihilation,” and that they were funded and enabled by the federal government. Together, state and federal officials created what Madley describes as a “killing machine” composed of US soldiers, California militia and volunteers, and slavers and mercenaries (so-called “Indian hunters”) in it for the money. He argues that “it took sustained political will—at both the state and federal levels—to create the laws, policies, and well-funded killing machine that carried [this genocide] out and ensured its continuation over several decades.”

In reality, the increase in the supply of highly educated workers will reduce the value of that labour – more graduates will mean lower graduate wages. Nonetheless, many students will increasingly be looking long and hard at business management courses even if they’d rather do art. If you incur a £40,000 debt, with regressive interest rates, you’re probably going to be thinking about your degree in narrow economic terms. This is the thing that Michel Foucault noticed about neoliberalism. It is a prospectus for social engineering masquerading as a social theory. And since the system will now reproduce social inequality in new ways, ratified by educational outcomes, the rich will be confirmed in their existing belief that they are uniquely talented and deserving. Those who lose out will blame themselves. That might, in fact, be what governments mean by meritocracy.

* Classic College Movies Updated for the Adjunct Era.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Martha, the alcoholic daughter of the dean, is married to George, an adjunct professor. She invites Nick, another adjunct professor and his wife over for a drink. But Nick has way too many papers to grade, and George can’t spare a minute away from his academic job search to socialize, anyway. A drunk Martha falls asleep on the couch as the credits roll.

Run Time: 5 minutes

* Louisiana and/as the bad future.

* Also, Miami-Dade.

With the Zika virus spreading to Miami Beach, federal health officials on Friday advised pregnant women not to visit a 20-block stretch of one of the country’s most alluring tourist destinations. They also told them to consider postponing travel anywhere in Miami-Dade County.

“He said, ‘I don’t care what people think. I’m marrying you.’” How has this not been a movie already?

The publication is highly significant, because it demonstrates that the notion of ageing as a treatable disease has moved from a fringe theory held only by a small percentage of researchers to a widely accepted notion being used as the basis for widespread research strategies.

* Even since I found out a few weeks ago that they’re making Bad Boys sequels, I’ve been unable to accept this isn’t a colossal hoax.

* I’m also morally opposed to this The Tick reboot, since you asked.

A feminism based on lionizing hyper-successful women obscures the unjust structures that need to be dismantled.

* Having a permanent host for the Olympic Games would be a bummer, too.

A Brief History of Cheating at the Olympics.

At the U.S. Olympic marathon trials held in Los Angeles to choose the team for the Rio Olympic Games this year, 30 percent of the runners dropped out of the race due to the heat. “By 2085, only eight (1.5 percent) of 543 cities outside of western Europe would meet the low-risk category,” they wrote.

* “What It’s Like to Be a Celibate Pedophile.” These articles get posted every so often on various sites and they always seem like elaborate put-ons to me.

* Is Paul Manafort headed to jail?

How Big Is A Fart? Somewhere Between A Bottle Of Nail Polish And A Can Of Soda.

A Dallas officer caught Adkins riding a bicycle without a helmet in September 2014. But the cop never should’ve written the ticket. Months earlier, the City Council had scrapped the bicycle helmet ordinance for adults. Adkins is 46.

Adkins didn’t know the law had changed until a reporter told him recently. At the time, he assumed he was indeed guilty. But he said he couldn’t come up with the money for the $10 fine. Now he has a warrant out for his arrest, which he can pay off for $259.30. 

What’s needed is some way to protect essential infrastructure investments from the vicissitudes of congressional politics and the cyclical ups and downs of the economy. There may be no ideal solution, but one thing that could help is resurrecting an old idea: the establishment of a separate capital budget for the federal government, with its own financing arrangements. If decisions about approving infrastructure investments were considered apart from the rest of the budget, they could be judged on their own grounds, and they would be insulated, to some extent, from spending cuts. It’s a strategy that other countries, such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand, have used with some success.

What Went Wrong With This Summer’s Blockbusters?

* Who Killed Gawker? Elsewhere on the Gawker beat: Former Gawker Editor Lashes Out At Peter Thiel, Calls Freeze On His Checking Account ‘Ludicrous.’ With the Gawker Sale, What’s Next for the First Amendment?

* …with its flawlessly staged setting and piled-up homages to 80s movies, Stranger Things has performed a kind of time travel: it has reached back into my memories, Total Recall-like, and inserted characters who now seem as though they were there all along. Nancy, the nerd-turned-monster killer who can like more than one boy at once. Barb, the buttoned-up babygay whose best friend won’t let her be disposable. Eleven, the terrifying, funny, scared, brave, smart weirdo whose feelings could save the world.

* Anthony Weiner claims Huma Abedin was never supposed to appear in Weiner. This whole piece is breathtakingly sad, by the way.

He was 21. I was 14. Here’s how I realized I was sexually abused.

* Just the headline nearly made me break down: A 4-year-old found beaten and abused said she thought her name was ‘Idiot,’ according to police.

* “bruce springsteen published the opening of his memoir and it is the most springsteen thing of all time”

* Don’t air-conditioning-shame me.

* Grifting and the right, a case study.

Judge recommends criminal charges for Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The Fine Line Between Safe Space and Segregation.

Our conversation with Civilization VI’s senior gameplay designer – Part 1.

3,900 Pages of Paul Klee’s Personal Notebooks Are Now Online, Presenting His Bauhaus Teachings (1921-1931).

Klee-Notebooks-1

Written by gerrycanavan

August 20, 2016 at 10:00 am

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,537 other followers