Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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Friday Night Links!

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UPDATE: oof.

* ICYMI: Grad School Vonnegut #14: Happy Birthday, Wanda June! This one is Aaron’s “Vonnegut and Africa” episode.

* CFP: Utopia and Tabletop Games. CFP: NeMLA 2021 Creative Session, “Speculative Figures and Speculative Futures: Our Uncanny Postapocalypse.”

* Two core pieces of Watchmen criticism from my Watchmen class this week: “Panelling Parallax: The Fearful Symmetry of William Blake and Alan Moore” and “The Forgotten Story of Watchmen’s Unsung Hero.” The second one comes via my pal Jacob Brogan, who was kind enough to shoot some ideas about Watchmen, Higgins, and auteurship with me back and forth the other day.

When I ask Damon Lindelof, showrunner for the upcoming HBO series Watchmen, about John Higgins, his mind goes straight to the Beatles. “John Higgins remains one of the unsung heroes of Watchmen,” he says. “Certainly Moore and Gibbons were John and Paul, but Higgins was George and Ringo combined, and his striking colors reinvented the genre every bit as much as Alan’s words and Dave’s pencils.”

Higgins was indeed a hero of the graphic novel that Lindelof’s show riffs on, having been the man who did the coloring for the book. That makes him one of only three collaborators who created the Watchmen comic, along with writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, and he is indeed underappreciated, even by the book’s supporters. But even that bold analogy isn’t enough: It’s more as if Beatles fans assumed the band consisted only of John and Paul and didn’t even know George and Ringo existed, much less that they created music of their own.

Let’s Stop with the Realism Versus Science Fiction and Fantasy Debate.

Wisconsin’s daily COVID-19 case count breaks record again, tops 2,500. They had to rescale Marquette’s COVID Dashboard today. Outbreak Stresses Town-Gown Relations in Wisconsin. Millennials and Gen Z are spreading coronavirus—but not because of parties and bars. Laughin’ and a-runnin’, hey hey. Skippin’ and a-jumpin’.

* Huge, if true: The United States is backsliding into autocracy under Trump, scholars warn.

* Federal judge temporarily blocks USPS operational changes amid concerns about mail slowdowns, election. The U.S. Commerce Department has announced it plans to block downloads of the Chinese-owned social apps WeChat and TikTok, beginning on Sunday. “The Trump administration argued against a challenge to its 2020 census plans by saying the Constitution requires a count but does not say it must be accurate.” Bill Barr’s Titanic Lack of Self-Awareness. Independently of Trump and this presidency, William Barr, his henchmen, and his Federalist Society supporters represent a powerful threat to the fundamental values of liberal democracy. The Department of Education as Right-Wing Troll.

* Only going to get worse: NYPD Crushes Tiny Anti-ICE Protest With Overwhelming Force And Bloody Arrests.

* The U.S. Is on the Path to Destruction.

Friends And Family Members Of QAnon Believers Are Going Through A “Surreal Goddamn Nightmare.” It Makes Perfect Sense That QAnon Took Off With Women This Summer. Meet the families torn apart by toxic cable news. The Toxic Slime Will End Us.

Where Is Biden’s Ground Game?

* All roads lead to 269-269.

* Ugh, Tatiana Maslany is great casting for She-Hulk. I thought I was done with these!

* Academic freedom in action: U of T law school under fire for opting not to hire human-rights scholar after pressure from sitting judge. Search for new director of U of T law faculty’s International Human Rights Program leads to resignations, allegations of interference.

* On Quitting Academia.

* BLM and the University of Chicago English department. I had some thoughts about this (blessedly left out of the article) the other day (and again the next morning).

Big Ten announces football returning Oct. 23-24. No confidence at the University of Michigan.

The Black Community in Indianapolis has been left reeling — as shocking and disturbing details released in the last 24 hours have emerged regarding a disgraced activist exposed for posing as a Black Woman. This one has exciting estate fraud on the side.

* Restaurants need a bailout. The Big Corporate Rescue and the America That’s Too Small to Save. Inequality Robs $2.5B from American Workers Each Year.

Russia’s space agency chief declares Venus a “Russian planet.” Quick, someone wake up Rachel Maddow!

* When overwhelmed unemployment insurance systems malfunctioned during the pandemic, governments blamed the sixty-year-old programming language COBOL. But what really failed? Meanwhile, in Wisconsin: Tony Evers firing DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman over unemployment claim backlog.

The battle over dyslexia.

* Pedagogy corner! The Moment Is Primed for Asynchronous Learning.

Dallas school district apologizes for assignment describing Kenosha shooter as ‘hero.’

* Anti-maskers and whiteness.

Reprogramming a Game By Playing It: an Unbelievable Super Mario Bros 3 Speedrun.

The Boys confronts real American Nazis better than most comic-book stories.

* Songs of Love and Hate: “Layla” and Martin Scorsese’s ‘Goodfellas.’

* Patrick Blanchfield goes deep into the Call of Duty storyworld in my menchies.

What happened when I decided to bet against the Dow—and the financial services industry tried to stop me.

* And it’s not all bad news: the sequel to one of the best Metroidvania games I’ve played in years is out on the Switch. And I’ve been loving Baba Is You, too! It’s a golden age for video games. AND NOTHING ELSE.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 18, 2020 at 6:14 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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GSV #14: Happy Birthday, Wanda June!

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Gerry and Aaron tackle Vonnegut’s 1971 play Happy Birthday, Wanda June in their most dramatic episode ever! Come for the Theatre of the Absurd, stay for snippets from Aaron’s dissertation on American fantasies of Africa…

If, like me, you’d never touched the play, gaze upon it!

Written by gerrycanavan

September 18, 2020 at 8:27 am

Thursday Morning Links!

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* Hey, this is finally out! Imagining Apocalypse Now with Mark Soderstrom & Gerry Canavan.

* And the BBC has re-released its Afterwords: Octavia E. Butler series, but it’s still not available to listen to in the US.

* Presenting The Ancillary Review of Books.

* CFP: Journal of Science Fiction Special Issue on Middle Eastern Science Fiction.

Come Unstuck in Time with Ryan North & “Slaughterhouse Five.” Everything about the new Slaughterhouse-Five graphic novel is beautiful, and nothing hurt.

* Wildfires Bring New Devastation Across the West. 500,000 people in Oregon forced to flee wildfires. 7 People Die in West Coast Wildfires. California blaze caused by firework at gender-reveal party. Your phone wasn’t built for the apocalypse. Nothing to see here, folks. I Need You to Care That Our Country Is on Fire. Think 2020′s disasters are wild? Experts see worse in future. Nature sends us a wake-up call. When the Sky Is Orange. It’s Ecosocialism or Barbarism. The coming climate migration.

* Torrential rain triggers widespread flooding in D.C. area, inundating roads, stranding motorists. Floods Washed Away More Than 25% of Nigeria’s Rice Harvest. Animal populations worldwide have declined nearly 70% in just 50 years, new report says. Animal Populations Fell by 68% in 50 Years and It’s Getting Worse. How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled. 10 Years Ago, World Leaders Set Biodiversity Goals. They Haven’t Met a Single One.

* The end of the university. House of cards: can the American university be saved? The Necroliberal University. Strike at Michigan. “We are striking as an act of community care.” What a strike is for. Graduate employees reach deal with University of Michigan to end strike. As Colleges Open During a Pandemic, Student Life Remains Closed. How Colleges Became the New Covid Hot Spots. Tracking Covid at U.S. Colleges and Universities. Marquette University orders all students at Schroeder Hall to quarantine for 2 weeks. Some students heading home, after Marquette University enforces Schroeder Hall quarantine. Some Marquette students are leaving campus after being ordered to quarantine, while those stuck in their rooms wonder: ‘Is this hell?’ Marquette students scramble to quarantine, grad workers union blames university. Marquette University leaders draft checklist to prepare for possible online transition. No Wifi, No AC: Inside the Chaos of 1,400 COVID Cases at One College. Twenty-three Greek houses at Michigan State University were ordered by the county to quarantine for two weeks. Notre Dame and Michigan State Shifting Online as Campus Outbreaks Grow. UA official says ‘nothing wrong’ with school’s COVID-19 measures. UW students describe chaos as COVID-19 raged through residence halls, leading to lockdown. College Football Player Dies at 20. Shaming and blaming students can make it worse, experts say. Nice work if you can get it. What if Everyone on Campus Understood the Money? Class Of COVID-19: The Horrifying Sadness Of Sending My Kids To College During A Pandemic. Low-income students are dropping out of college this fall in alarming numbers.

Blackademic Lives Matter: An Interview with Lavelle Porter.

* The Rules of the Game: How the U.S. News rankings helped reshape one state’s public colleges.

* What could go wrong in formalizing relationships between a multi-billion dollar industry where fortunes change hands in seconds, and a multi-billion dollar enterprise where the actual workers are paid nothing and could lose their entire futures in a single play

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral. The Pandemic Is an Intuition Nightmare. The Pandemic Is a ‘Mental Health Crisis’ for Parents. The Crushing Reality of Zoom School. US daily death toll from COVID-19 shoots back up over 1,000. New Cases Have Reached Record Levels in the Midwest. What Young, Healthy People Have to Fear from COVID-19. How the Coronavirus Attacks the Brain. Obesity and the coronavirus. Maine wedding ‘superspreader’ event is now linked to seven deaths. None of those people attended. Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Is Now Linked to More Than 250,000 Coronavirus Cases. Signs of depression have tripled in the U.S. since the COVID-19 pandemic got underway. A Dentist Sees More Cracked Teeth. What’s Going On? Stop Expecting Life to Go Back to Normal Next Year.

* The stock market is now so decoupled from the real economy that no one can see the economy is in absolute freefall. A pandemic, a motel without power and a potentially terrifying glimpse of Orlando’s future. Two kids, no support system and $167 in unemployment benefits: One single mom’s plight in the age of Covid-19. 1 in 5 American workers has filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. Half of out-of-work Americans were unable to cover basic expenses in August. The Unemployed States of America. Why the real unemployment rate is likely over 11%. 52% of young adults in the US are living with their parents. That’s the highest share since the Great Depression. Billionaires won corona. ‘We were shocked’: RAND study uncovers massive income shift to the top 1%.

* Baltimore schools estimate only 65% of students are logging on every day. Children with disabilities are falling behind in school. School in the Time of Coronavirus.

* Darko Suvin: Thoughts within the Coronising siege: a work in progress.

* Some real Ministry of Truth shit at DOJ and HHS.

‘Like an Experimental Concentration Camp’: Whistleblower Complaint Alleges Mass Hysterectomies at ICE Detention Center. Exclusive: Georgia doctor who forcibly sterilized detained women has been identified.

* Cancel culture strikes again: National U Holds Off on Name Change to Honor Donor Investigated for Child Porn.

* The pandemic and UBI.

Benford’s Law and COVID-19 reporting.

* Sometimes you just know.

* As a delusion, “transgender Black Marxists are seeking the overthrow of the United States” is almost charmingly retro. How Conspiracy Theories Are Shaping the 2020 Election—and Shaking the Foundation of American Democracy. QAnon is a Nazi Cult, Rebranded. QAnon Incited Her to Kidnap Her Son and Then Hid Her From the Law. No, The Government Did Not Break Up A Child Sex Trafficking Ring In Georgia. Trump lands likely endorsement. What If Trump Loses and Won’t Leave? Barr Tells Prosecutors to Consider Charging Violent Protesters With Sedition. Bill Barr Pushes ‘Wild’ and ‘Fanciful’ Felonious Postman Hypothetical. Don’t miss what Kayleigh McEnany just said about election night. I don’t think they should have told Trump about the heat ray.

* The Whitelash Next Time.

* What happened in Georgia was a crime. Rick Perry’s Ukrainian Dream. Louis DeJoy’s rise as GOP fundraiser was powered by contributions from company workers who were later reimbursed, former employees say. Another story that would have been a major scandal a few years ago and is now just seen as perfectly ordinary politics.

https://twitter.com/PatBlanchfield/status/1305894015062216705

* What’s the big deal? He’s not like he’s gonna lose Michigan.

* “I Have Blood on My Hands”: A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation. Facebook is allowing a campaign to ditch face masks en masse to spread.

* Man obsessed with drinking the blood of the young to stay healthy turns out to have some questionable political beliefs.

* The Senate is bad, yes, but we could always make it worse.

* At least 37 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project. That figure exceeds those displaced by conflict since 1900, the authors say, with the exception of World War II.

* New York’s homeless students.

Why Screen Time Can Actually Be Good for Your Kids.

12-year-old suspended in Colorado over toy gun seen in virtual class.

* Dozens of Black former franchisees sue McDonald’s over alleged discrimination.

* Unions threaten work stoppages amid calls for racial justice. White House directs federal agencies to cancel race-related training sessions it calls ‘un-American propaganda.’

* Parents vs the childless! Whoever wins, the bosses win a whole lot more!

* Serial killer at Ft. Hood? It’s up over 23 deaths. What on Earth is happening there?

The OAS Accusation of Electoral Fraud Against Evo Morales Is Bullshit — And Now We Have the Data to Prove It.

* When does a model own her own image?

* Dune as anti-white-savior narrative.

* Civil War generals as Muppets: a definitive thread.

* “Safety driver” as “moral crumple zone.”

* Imagine the absolute blessing of waking up one morning to find that someone who treated you this way was trending on Twitter.

* J.K. Rowling’s new book imagines a fantasy world where she is right about trans people.

David Graeber, 1961–2020. A Jewish Goodbye to David Graeber. Remembering My Friend, David Graeber. That Was David Graeber.

* capitalism.jpg

* Semenya loses at Swiss supreme court over testosterone rules.

John Cage musical work changes chord for first time in seven years.

* Movies were great. I’m sad about movies.

* For a topic about which American society seems to have a conversation quite frequently (particularly when celebrities are involved), “depression” is bewildering territory. Where does it come from, and why would evolution preserve something so disabling and agonizing as a feature of the species? Can it be driven off? What kind of documentation of it can be made? Is it possible to narrate and interpret, or does it defeat exegesis? What do you say to someone in its grip? In his new book, How To Be Depressed, the renowned journalist and critic George Scialabba observes that “[t]he pain of a severe clinical depression is the worst thing in the world.” This, it turns out, is both pretty much all you can ever say about the topic and a door opening onto the vast field of what we might call depression humanism.

* We stan.

Time Travel as White Privilege.

* Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds.

The Entire Universe Might Be a Neural Network.

* Are aliens hiding in plain sight?

* Eugenics, sperm donation, and the law.

* Rules & Roberts.

* Of course you had me at a Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Switch game.

* And I volunteer.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 17, 2020 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Grad School Vonnegut Lucky Thirteen: DEADEYE DICK!

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This week, on Grad School Vonnegut: After Dark, Aaron and Gerry talk Deadeye Dick with Bee Gabriel! Check out Bee’s Twitter! Check out their Patreon! Sorry about the audio in just a few places; we were working with a truly messed-up record on one of the tracks and did our best…

Written by gerrycanavan

September 8, 2020 at 9:12 am

Saturday Morning Links! Twice the Nonsense! Half the Links!

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* Everyone’s been talking about David Graeber, so here are two pieces of his that haven’t been in the conversation as much that I really like: “Army of Altruists” and “ON THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF GIANT PUPPETS: broken windows, imaginary jars of urine, and the cosmological role of the police in American culture.”

How David Graeber Changed the Way We See Money.

* Pray for r/DaystromInstitute, the Star Trek canonicity subreddit, going mad in the face of the Lower Decks cartoon.

As a result there’s no reason not to believe that in the Star Trek universe, the universe is (and always has been) resting on the back of a koala.

* Northeastern dismisses eleven first-year students for partying. “Their $36,500 tuition for the semester will not be refunded.” Indiana University sees ‘alarming’ spike in COVID-19 at frat, sorority houses. Immediate all-student quarantine at Gettysburg. Hundreds of Tulane students are placed under quarantine after coronavirus cases jump. University of Alabama reported on Friday another 846 students tested positive for COVID-19 between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3, bringing total number infected since classes began to almost 1,900. UW-Madison orders 9 sororities, fraternities with positive COVID-19 cases to quarantine. Back on campus, UW students make up a quarter of Dane County COVID cases. Argentina Professor with Covid-19 Symptoms Dies After Gasping for Air in The Middle of Zoom Lecture.

Acedia: the lost name for the emotion we’re all feeling right now.

* Covid-19’s painful, lingering legacy. ‘Carnage’ in a lab dish shows how the coronavirus may damage the heart. 3 deaths, 147 coronavirus cases now tied to Maine wedding. “The three people who died as a result of the outbreak did not attend the wedding.”

* GW History: Our Statement on Jessica Krug. Jessica Krug’s former students speak out. A White Woman Admits She’s Been Rachel Dolezal-ing Us for Years—and I Feel Fine.

* Showcasing… @MarquetteU! This campus WELL KNOWN for the St. Joan of Arc Chapel! Keeping on with the religious theme, The Gesu Church is a MASTERPIECE! Check out how STUNNING the campus city is! WOW!

* This is important. And no one is talking about it.

* “Past perspectives on the present era of abrupt Arctic climate change.”

We find that warming rates similar to or higher than modern trends have only occurred during past abrupt glacial episodes. We argue that the Arctic is currently experiencing an abrupt climate change event, and that climate models underestimate this ongoing warming.

* Kenosha’s looting is a symptom of a decrepit democracy.

If looting and rioting have no place in a well-functioning democracy, then perhaps we should pause to consider that these are signs that Americans are not, in fact, in a functioning democracy.

* this is why it is so vitally important that we attack and dethrone god

* the fucking wheelers man

* This class is really fun and I don’t see how what I do is work exactly.

* And I know she’s a complete wackadoo, but seriously, imagine it.

Surprise Friday Night Links for a Day You’re Probably Surprised Is Actually Friday

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* Don’t sleep on Grad School Vonnegut’s Jailbird episode! Next week: Deadeye Dick, (genuinely) my sleeper hit of the summer…

* One of my better citations: “Fitness Fanatics: Exercise as Answer to Pending Zombie Apocalypse in Contemporary America.”

* I’ve got book chapters in two new books: Monsters: A Companion (talking about District 9) and Literary Afrofuturism in the Twenty-First Century (talking about Black Panther).

* Also out now: SFRA Review 50.2-3!

* Octavia Butler just made the NY Times Bestseller List for the first time ever — 14 years after her death.

Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and the Language of Black Speculative Literature.

“The daily blitzkrieg of the news,” bemoans Tom Barnard in leftist science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson’s 1990 novel, Pacific Edge. “Every day everything a little worse.”

* A Message from Future Generations.

* Announcing the Ancillary Review of Books.

* “Can we talk abt the fact that Liu Cixin supports internment camps for minorities?”

* Post45 kicks off the academic year with a stunner: The 7 Neoliberal Arts.

After emotional gathering, Marquette agrees to Black students’ demand for cultural center, scholarships, other support. This comes after some occupations and street closures last week. Update from president and provost following meeting with Black student leaders.

* Which doesn’t count the die-in.

* One of the things I’ve had go most viral on Twitter was a simple call to be kind to students.

* Elsewhere in my social media empire: On Voting Twice. On the Wisconsin gerrymander. On firing university administrators. On self-dealing boards of trustees. On that same thing. On Duke. On running the government like a glitch-exploiting speed-run. It’s happening here. Private insurance. UI. If you want a vision of the future. And when Kurt Vonnegut tells the future, he simply does not fuck around.

* We are calling for a Scholar strike #Scholarstrike on September 8-9 2020 to protest ongoing police violence and murders in America.

Unsurprisingly, this is shaping up as the worst year ever on the academic history job market; less than half as many TT jobs listed through August 31 than even in 2009, and a quarter what there were last year.

* Tenured GWU professor reveals she has been pretending to be Black her entire career. (It’s GW’s second case of this this year.) Why Did Jessica Krug Create The Jess La Bombera Persona? The view from her students.

Yale Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld Has Been Suspended for Sexual Harassment.

* CFP: The Journal of Fantasy and Fan Cultures is an annual journal of scholarly work and creative non-fiction by undergraduate and graduate students. Our first issue, on Harry Potter, will be published in Spring 2021. Submissions for this issue are now open until December 2020, but they are limited to UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS. CFP: “Race and Science Fiction: The 5th Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium.”

* Stop them before they kill again! Game of Thrones’ Benioff and Weiss to adapt sci-fi epic The Three-Body Problem at Netflix.

* Sports come to a halt: NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS postpone games as players protest Jacob Blake shooting. The Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers Strike for Racial Justice.

The Social Fabric of the U.S. Is Fraying Severely, if Not Unravelling. We Don’t Know How to Warn You Any Harder. America is Dying. The RNC Makes a Compelling Case for America’s Imminent Collapse. For Election Administrators, Death Threats Have Become Part of the Job.

* Today in the Wisconsin gerrymander. Half of Wisconsin’s Black Neighborhoods Are Jails. Wisconsin’s record of brutality against people of color. Wisconsin is a window into how Republicans who once rejected Trump now cheer him on. Nine people arrested by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for allegedly being outside agitators were in town city to distribute food to protesters, a director of the nonprofit kitchen says.

* A 17-Year-Old Aspiring Cop Has Been Charged With Murder In Kenosha. Kyle Rittenhouse is America’s future. Could A Backlash Against Black Lives Matter Hurt Biden? The Two Don’t Appear Linked So Far. Alleged Kenosha Killer Loved Cops, Guns, Trump, and ‘Triggering the Libs,’ Former Classmates Say.

* Meanwhile: A fascist manifesto is gaining fans on the right, including state Sen. Roger Chamberlain. “When Violence Is Necessary To Defend Civil Society.” Right-wing extremists have killed 329 victims in the last 25 years, while antifa members haven’t killed any, according to a new study. Missouri lawmakers pass bill making it legal to give guns to kids without parents’ permission.

* Teen who held BLM event gets $2500 bill for police overtime. Encounter with Phoenix police leaves teenage girl with permanent burn scars. The Police Are Pretty Sure They’re Going to Get Away With It. Cops admit vandalizing cars of man who filed complaint against them, prosecutor says. What Can Stop Cops In Cities Like Kenosha From Brutalizing Black People Like Jacob Blake? Precrime in Florida. The Terrible History of the NYPD’s Challenge Coins. The Abolition moment.

* QAnon explained. QAnon is a collective delusion, and that’s what BuzzFeed News will be calling it from now on. How QAnon, a fringe online movement, is drawing followers in Wisconsin and across the U.S. with a stew of conspiracies.

* Cases Spike at Universities Nationally. UNC-Chapel Hill Reports 31.3 Percent of Students Tested Have COVID—And There Are Probably More. NC State students ordered to leave university housing after ‘rapid spread’ of COVID-19. In North Carolina and Around the US, Neoliberal Universities Are Sending Students Into Hell. University of Miami Reports Nearly 100 Positive COVID Tests in One-Week Period. Wisconsin Universities Begin Reporting Cases Of COVID-19. Higher Ed’s Hottest Hot Spot? Some Colleges Planned Early for an Online Fall. Here’s What They Learned. JMU shifting to online classes, asking students to leave campus after 500 coronavirus cases. UW-Madison orders 9 sororities, fraternities with positive COVID-19 cases to quarantine. Colleges Lost the Moral Authority to Blame Students. The influencer twins I’m weirdly obsessed with just tested positive for COVID while on campus at Baylor. My college reopened. Now I’ve got COVID-19, along with nearly 500 other students. The University of Alabama reports 566 coronavirus cases after just a week of classes. University of Alabama to Profs: Don’t Tell Students About COVID-Infected Classmates. OU Interim provost instructs professors not to hold in-person classes online, notify classes of students’ positive COVID-19 cases. Frustrated with fall reopening, faculty members consider vote of no confidence in administration. Trump White House Warns Colleges: Don’t Send Your COVID-Infected Students Home! University COVID Model.

Teaching this fall is not glorified Skype. The University We’re Losing. Between f**ked and a hard place. The Pandemic Is No Excuse to Surveil Students.

University of Oregon Will Charge Students for a Full Year of Dorm Housing Even if They Can’t Enter the Classroom.

* Why New Jersey’s Plan for In-Person Schooling Is Falling Apart. State report shows hundreds test positive for COVID-19 at Florida schools in August. Here’s what happened when students went to school during the 1918 pandemic.

Our Faculty Union Exposed the University’s Debt—And Who’s Paying for It.

* Deeply unappreciated fact: the most “impactful” person in science right now is this Kazakhstani hacker queen. She is the one-woman bridge to the largest repository of scientific knowledge ever collected.

* Biden campaign desperate for digital access to students as college campuses remain closed and students don’t know where they’ll be on Election Day.

* Legionnaire’s Disease pathogen found in water at some schools reopening after Covid-19 lockdowns.

* Damn you, Oberlin undergrads! The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason.

Eugene Debs Believed in Socialism Because He Believed in Democracy. The Young Eugene V. Debs.

* Bernie Sanders’s Five-Year War: How he lost and where we go from here.

* The Radicalism of Woody Guthrie.

* Republicans already boobytrapping 2021. Why a Historic Eviction Wave Is Bearing Down on the U.S. Shhhh, we’re not talking about a government shutdown, are we? ‘We shouldn’t have to beg’: Americans struggle without unemployment aid as Congress stalls on extending benefits. As permanent economic damage piles up, the Covid Crisis is looking more like the Great Recession.

* Jessamyn Ward: Grief in the Time of Coronavirus. How COVID-19 Led To Soaring Divorce Rates In The US, Visualized. Surge in calls from male domestic violence victims during Covid-19. I thought I was a master doomscroller but “pregnant schoolteacher dies of coronavirus three days after surprise baby shower” actually made me wince in pain.

55% of coronavirus patients still have neurological problems three months later. New Trump pandemic adviser pushes controversial ‘herd immunity’ strategy, worrying public health officials. Drug cocktail touted by Trump to treat coronavirus increases chance of death by 27%, study shows. COVID-19 Might Mean Humanity Has Entered An Age Of Pandemics, Tony Fauci Warned.

* Active shooter drills correlate with a 42% increase in anxiety and stress and a 39% increase in depression among those in the school community, new report finds. Teens’ anxiety levels dropped during pandemic, study finds.

* Black men in D.C. are expected to die 17 years earlier than White men. Here’s why. Black Homeowners Face Discrimination in Appraisals. Woman, 105, leads lawsuit seeking reparations for 1921 Tulsa massacre. Black Former N.F.L. Players Say Racial Bias Skews Concussion Payouts.

* Trials by Whiteness: Definitions of Whiteness and Eurocentrism, and Their Relevance Post-Racefail.

* The Literature of White Liberalism.

* Kentucky Man Accused Of Breaking Canada’s COVID-19 Rules Faces $569,000 Fine.

* Bruce Wayne Gives Up Being Batman After Three Therapy Sessions.

The Aftermath of Hurricane Laura. Sights, sounds, reactions from historic landfall, recovery across Louisiana.

Why climate change is a civil rights battle. I do think Pelosi, Trump, Biden, Schumer, and McConnell are the last generation of politicians who are correct in wagering that they can spend the rest of their careers downplaying climate change and not suffer personally from it. A second Trump term would mean severe and irreversible changes in the climate.

Watchmen director Stephen Williams on uncovering the series’ real American hero story. Watchmen screenwriter Cord Jefferson on Hooded Justice and the privilege of nostalgia.

Why Uber’s business model is doomed.

Serious Supply Issues Disrupt the Book Industry’s Fall Season.

Union-Busting and Quakerism Collide at Brooklyn Friends School.

* Chadwick Boseman. David Graeber. Charles R. Saunders (back in May).

* Never too early: Disney Grapples With How to Proceed on ‘Black Panther’ Without Chadwick Boseman.

* All roads lead back to All My Children.

* John Boyega vs. Disney, and it’s about time.

* Stan Lee’s American pantheon.

On Age and Desire and Willy Wonka.

* More from MetaFilter on Go after AI.

An Instagram Account Is Waging War on Sexual Assault at Case Western Reserve University.

* Today in dystopia: According to Amazon, how you speak is a useful indicator of your wellbeing, both emotionally and physically. Consequently, the Halo Band will monitor your tone to determine if you’re feeling positive enough to get through your day.

* Amazon Is Hiring an Intelligence Analyst to Track ‘Labor Organizing Threats.’

* Understanding Batman.

* Understanding Tasha’s Hideous Laughter.

* Attention nerds: Gloomhaven May Be One Of The Best-Selling Comic Books (Or Not).

Development ceases on Amazon Prime’s CULTURE TV series, at the request of the Iain Banks Estate.

* Ah dinnae ken this: I’ve discovered that almost every single article on the Scots version of Wikipedia is written by the same person – an American teenager who can’t speak Scots.

* One Community, Burnout, and That One Scene from Deep Space Nine. Star Trek: Discovery’s third season to introduce franchise’s first transgender, non-binary characters.

* Not today, Satan: Expert says invasive ‘jumping’ earthworms with destructive potential appearing in Western New York.

* I said the world would end before New Mutants was a #1 movie — and I was right!

* Fuck The Next Call Of Duty Game.

* And we may live in hell, but Nintendo just announced a whole boatload of Mario games and rereleases.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 4, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Grad School Vonnegut #12: Jailbird!

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Gerry and Aaron discuss 1979’s Jailbird! Labor, prison, massacres, communism, Reagan, Watergate, finance, Einstein, Jimmy Carter, Judas Iscariot, and Kilgore Trout, too…

Written by gerrycanavan

August 31, 2020 at 8:57 pm

Monday Links!

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I’m pretty deep into the procrastination cycle of shame so don’t miss these still-perfectly-fresh Sunday Morning Links.

* Protests and state of emergency declared in Kenosha after a black man is shot seven times in front of his children after breaking up a fight. Despite erroneous social media reports, Jacob Blake remains alive and will hopefully survive this attack.

* The Pandemic Recession Is Approaching a Dire Tipping Point. ‘Not just a low-wage recession’: White-collar workers feel coronavirus squeeze. Goldman Sachs Confirms Roughly 4 Million Employees to Remain Unemployed Into 2022.

* Chinese government releases new guidelines for science fiction.

* How Can We Plan for the Future in California? An extremely dire description of the situation.

* Zoom Is Down at the Worst Possible Time wheeeeeeeee

* The Corner That State Universities Have Backed Themselves Into. Blame Game.

William Faulkner’s Southern Guilt.

Seven missing Doctor Who episodes identified, in negotiations to be returned to the UK.

* Progressives have gotten all they can out of the election season. After November, they will have to raise a ruckus to secure victory. The Biden Era Will Put the New Left to the Test.

27 GOP ex-lawmakers back Biden on first day of Republican National Convention. No Sitting President Was As Far Behind As Trump Going Into The Conventions. Can Biden’s Center Hold?

* Un-Adopted: YouTubers Myka and James Stauffer shared every step of their parenting journey. Except the last.

Job insecurity, low pay, working from home: we’re all millennials now.

* Yes, I know how shops work.

* Neopets: A True Crime Story.

* 2020’s got my head so turned around Chuck Schumer made me laugh.

* And finally, some is making sense: Could We Force the Universe to Crash?

Sunday Morning Links!

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* Released yesterday: Grad School Vonnegut #11, Cat’s Cradle with Patrick Iber! We had some minor but annoying audio problems with this one, so the editing took a bit longer than usual — so please enjoy, and look forward to, well…

* Apocalypse Now: Covid-19 and the SF Imaginary: Gerry Canavan, Jennifer Cooke and Caroline Edwards in conversation with Paul March-Russell.

* Registration for the “Beyond Borders: Empires, Bodies, Science Fictions” conference is now open. Call for Papers: Journal of Posthumanism. And ICYMI: SFFTV’s Call for Reviewers.

* Polygraph has a new issue! Marxism and Climate Change.

USPS changes blamed for deliveries of thousands of dead chicks: ‘We’ve never had a problem like this before.’ ‘Like Armageddon’: Rotting food, dead animals and chaos at postal facilities amid cutbacks. Washington Postal Workers Defy USPS Orders And Reinstall Mail Sorting Machines. How a viral photo of USPS collection boxes became a lesson in misinformation. The barn door will now be closed.

* Starting to regret my vote for Trump: In secretly recorded audio, President Trump’s sister says he has ‘no principles’ and ‘you can’t trust him.’ Senate committee made criminal referral of Trump Jr., Bannon, Kushner, two others to federal prosecutors. Inside the chaotic, desperate, last-minute Trump 2020 reboot. What happens if when Donald Trump fights the election results? We Shouldn’t Have to Remind People George W. Bush Was a Terrible President.

* The K-Shaped Recovery. Coronavirus stimulus: Loss of extra $600 unemployment benefits leads to 44% drop in spending. Economists foresee an unemployment “tsunami” coming. The COVID economy means millions of Americans are at risk of food insecurity. Nearly 30 million Americans told the Census Bureau they didn’t have enough to eat last week. Evictions are expected to skyrocket as pandemic protections come to an end.

* New York lays off hundreds of EMTs amidst historic budget crisis.

* Joe Biden’s Campaign Is Making It Very Clear: They Will Push Austerity in the White House. Biden to ABC’s Robin Roberts: ‘I don’t want to defund’ the police, but Trump does. Joe Biden: An Old Man Trying to Lead a Young Country. Prepare yourself for the Biden century.

* Wisconsin lacks ideal coronavirus testing capacity for reopening of college campuses, schools, top health official says. Trending the wrong way. Wisconsin unemployment rate drops, still double last year. ‘The system is not built for problems:’ Attorneys point to Gov. Walker reforms amid unemployment delays. Wisconsin Is a Microcosm of America’s Democratic Decline.

* But it’s not all bad news! Sculpture Milwaukee 2020 works now on display. A Brief History of Frozen Custard, Wisconsin’s Favorite Dessert.

* University Staff Are Worried Their Recorded Lectures Will Be Used Against Them. The Neoliberal University Is Failing on Coronavirus. How Covid-19 United the Higher-Ed Work Force. Company that builds and maintains student housing sent letters to public universities in at least two states in May as they weighed in-person fall classes, reminding them of hundreds of millions of debt. Deserted College Dorms Sow Trouble for $14 Billion in Muni Bonds. Records from before reopening show experts warned UNC of COVID-19 outbreaks. UNC fiasco reveals truth about reopening colleges. Early Movers to Online Don’t Regret Decision. Will Shame Make Students Stop Socializing? News from the Daily Tarheel. Don’t make us write obituaries. Blaming students at Syracuse, UNC, NC State. University of Michigan professors have ‘no confidence’ in administration’s plan to contain coronavirus. Michigan State, Notre Dame Back Off From Fall Reopening Plans. Detroit Teachers Authorize ‘Safety’ Strike Over School Reopening Fears. ‘I just can’t do this’: UI student who tested positive for COVID-19 recounts school response. Alabama goes from 1% positivity to as high as 29% in one week. NYU students use TikTok to expose the school’s bleak quarantine meal plan. Inside the Slow-Moving Disaster of Students Returning to College Campuses. ‘They put us all in danger.’ Georgia State QB Mikele Colasurdo diagnosed with heart condition linked to COVID-19. Marquette in-person class decision detrimental to non-tenure faculty, TAs. Marquette University’s reopening plan draws backlash. Faculty, Students Protest at MU President’s House. “Christian Colleges Ask: Would God Want Us to Reopen?” The New College Drop-Off. Remote learning: a poem. True shamelessness. This is everyone’s fault but mine.

* Ghouls, ghouls, ghouls.

* Andrew Cuomo, Leader.

Study suggests ‘horrifying’ rise in domestic violence during pandemic. Long-Haulers Are Redefining COVID-19.

* Evidence grows that children may play a larger role in transmission than previously believed.

9 reasons you can be optimistic that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be widely available in 2021.

* Are You Overpraising Your Child?

* America’s Terrible Internet Is Making Quarantine Worse. Blow up plans for the school year and get creative, you fools. Understatement of the year: Working parents face tough decisions as schools reopen. Scientists warn it may be years before students can return to school without masks, social distancing.

* The Lesson Americans Never Learn.

* What Happens If the 2020 Census Fails?

* “Fears about Peak Oil are gone. Now we plan for Peak Demand.”

* Millennial Futures Are Bleak. Incarceration Is to Blame.

* Looking for Solace and Solidarity in a Broken-Hearted World.

Black newborns more likely to die when looked after by White doctors.

* California is burning, again. The state is suffering from a severe lack of firefighters due to the COVID-19 depleting the ranks of prisoners who normally do the work for $3/day (and then are barred from being firefighters after release). Severe inhumanity.

* The Mysterious Life of Birds Who Never Come Down.

* The Enduring, Pernicious Whiteness of True Crime.

* TOS FTW. ‘The Before Time’: A Sci-Fi Idea That Has Made Its Way to Real Life.

* The Evolution of Ransomware.

* This week’s thing we’re supposed to bicker about on Twitter is just absurd. I’m still not over last week’s thing.

* There’s friendship, and then there’s friendship.

* A new theory of historical fantasy from N.K. Jemisin.

* The QAnon Century. A Primer. How three conspiracy theorists took ‘Q’ and sparked Qanon. Trump’s Cloud of Gossip Has Poisoned America. The Republican Embrace of QAnon Goes Far Beyond Trump.

How UFO culture took over America.

* Never a good thing to star in your own dystopian fiction.

* Twilight of DC Comics. But they’re bringing Milestone back!

* In search of Bombadil.

(Behold?) The Vision’s Penis: The Presence of Absence in Mutant Romance Tales.

* #MLA21 goes virtual.

* What about the bad job offers?

* ‘Watchmen’ Writer Cord Jefferson on Fresh Air.

* ‘The mystery is over’: Researchers say they know what happened to ‘Lost Colony.’

* I could listen to anything on eight cellos, it turns out.

* The latest in my recurring series of grad school advice tweets.

* J. G. Ballard’s book for children were not a success.

* And I believe America’s best days are still in front of it.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 23, 2020 at 9:55 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Grad School Vonnegut #11: CAT’S CRADLE! (with Patrick Iber)

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Like boko-maru for your ears, it’s episode 11 of Grad School Vonnegut, on Cat’s Cradle, with UW’s Patrick Iber!

Written by gerrycanavan

August 22, 2020 at 2:26 pm

The Syllabus as Apology

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My full Fall 2020 syllabi are done, so I thought I’d post them as an example of one way to talk about format and special circumstances this semester. The key language is below as a screenshot. My thanks for my colleagues for their help in thinking through this stuff, especially to Angela Sorby, who gave me the original “special circumstances” language that I modified below.

ENGLISH 4717/5717: Watchmen

ENGLISH 3000: Utopia in America

Written by gerrycanavan

August 19, 2020 at 9:09 am

SCIENCE FICTION FILM AND TELEVISION Call for Reviewers – Fall 2020!

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The academic journal Science Fiction Film and Television (Liverpool University Press) is seeking reviewers of recent works of SFS and SFS-adjacent critical theory as well as recent SF visual media (still primarily film and television, though we remain interested in expanding into video games).

While we accept pitches, we also have the following books available for reviewers:

  • Brian E. Crim, Planet Auschwitz: Holocaust Representation in Science Fiction and Horror Film and Television
  • Kerry Fine, Michael K. Johnson, Rebecca M. Lush, and Sara L. Spurgeon, eds., Weird Westerns: Race, Gender, Genre
  • Two entries from the Contellations: Studies in Science Fiction Film and TV series, Rollerball (Andrew Nette) and Robocop (Omar Ahmed) (could be joint review)

Reviews typically run 1000-2000 words, or 2000-4000 words in our “review essay” format. Samples of both types of review are available upon request.

We are currently in the process of shifting the format of our media review section. We are now primarily interested in:

  • reviewers who are calling attention to things that have gone overlooked in the larger entertainment-media-complex landscape, especially international film;
  • reviewers with a specific aesthetic, political, or philosophical “take” on a text, as opposed to a more traditional review that recapitulates the plot at length and advises the potential viewer whether or not they ought to watch it.

This notion of a specific “take” is especially important for blockbuster franchise fare, like the MCU or Star Wars movies; in most cases we would only be interested in a review essay for such a film, discussing it within some larger critical context.

Due to a recent review backlog we have not been actively soliciting reviewers; as a result, much SF media from 2018-2020 is still available for reviewing, including major tentpole works like Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: Episode IX. If there is a film you are interested in reviewing, please contact gerry.canavan@marquette.edu and let him know the name of the film and what you think you’d like to say about it. Deadlines are quite flexible. We look forward to hearing from you!

Written by gerrycanavan

August 18, 2020 at 10:18 am

Monday Morning Links!

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* CFP: Living in the End Times: Utopian and Dystopian Representations of Pandemics, Cappadocia University, Thu, Jan 14, 2021 – Fri, Jan 15, 2021. CFP: Science Fictions, Popular Cultures.

* I have made a table of sixteen general classifications into which it seems to me all science fiction stories written to date can be placed.

* New issue of MOSF Journal of Science Fiction, on Environmental SF.

* ExoTerra is an online collaborative research role-playing game (RPG) community, in which students from all disciplines, from physics to literature, pool their expertise to design a new world. Participating students play the crew of a space colony ship traveling from Earth to a newly-terraformed exoplanet, and must work together to design the new world they will create: its ocean biosphere, its capital city, its educational system, its power grid, its laws.  Over the three quarters of the 2020/21 school year, students will explore the new solar system, unlock its mysteries, and debate and decide the foundations of their new civilization.  All students at the university can participate as an extracurricular, but each quarter a selection of courses in many fields (Social Sciences, Humanities, Arts, STEM) will offer ExoTerra as an integrated course component, guiding the class through researching and producing a design for the new world as part of the class itself.

Students, faculty, staff raise concerns about Marquette’s reopening plan. Milwaukee County Currently Suppressing COVID-19. ‘I can’t afford tuition’: College students face financial strains, health concerns from pandemic ahead of fall semester. Notre Dame sees spike in COVID-19 cases. Entire OSU sorority house in quarantine after 23 sisters test positive for coronavirus. UNC faculty call special meeting as fourth COVID-19 cluster among students reported.

* People Are Struggling To Cope With The Physical Manifestations Of Their COVID Stress.

* Inside the Prison Where California’s Coronavirus Outbreak Exploded.

* “This is the first Fire Tornado Warning we are aware of in history.” In Derecho’s Wake, More Than 250,000 in Midwest Struggle Without Power. California Braces for More Blackouts as Heat Wave Persists. Greenland’s ice sheet has melted to a point of no return, according to new study. Just thinking about how virtually shutting down the entire world economy wasn’t enough to lower carbon emissions by the amount necessary.

* Biden Dems simply cannot wait to screw over their voters. And everybody else.

* Milwaukee’s Lost Mega-Event: ‘It’s the Ghost Convention Now.’

* Truants! Truants!

* The Mayor Is Ready for School to Open. The School Buildings Are Not.

QAnon Promotes Pedo-Ring Conspiracy Theories. Now They’re Stealing Kids.

* Get in on the ground floor of this exciting coronavirus cure.

* Congress finally moving on the USPS crisis. Once more with feeling, Sara Nelson for president.

* Gun Enthusiasts Celebrate Man Who Shot Himself in the Balls as Their King.

* Video games and French fries ftw, again.

* Going viral: NYC Is Dead Forever. Here’s Why.

* Another awesome optical illusion.

* And a chilling vision of things to come.

Behold: MEGALINKS

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* We had an amazing department retreat yesterday morning with a ton of really generative conversations, including a long discussion with Marquette’s Black Student Council about how their English classes failed them. Too many resources to link to, but here are some highlights: This Ain’t Another Statement! This is a DEMAND for Black Linguistic Justice! Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a Socially Just Future. Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom. What If We Didn’t Grade? A Bibliography. How I Contract Grade. Teaching and the N-Word: Things to Consider. Unsilencing the Writing Workshop. Against Cop Shit.

* My essay on “The Legend of Zelda in the Anthropocene” from Paradoxa 31 is finally out! Read Ali Sperling’s introduction here!

* I was on Marquette’s COVID Conversations podcast this week, talking about rereading and Grad School Vonnegut.

* More Marquette news: Marquette University’s reopening plan draws backlash. President Lovell’s son withdraws from university after posting racist, sexist remarks on social media.

* New MA program in Science Fiction and Fantasy at Richmond University.

International Conference on ‘The Possible and Impossible Worlds of Science Fiction’ (11 – 12 September 2020, via Zoom).

* UNC has two clusters and classes began five days ago. University of Tennessee at Knoxville has 28 cases. Notre Dame has 44 cases on campus after one week. East Carolina University police shut down 20 parties, one with nearly 400 students, days into fall semester. A Mississippi town welcomed students back to school last week. Now 116 are home in quarantine. Students at school touted by Pence for reopening must quarantine due to COVID-19. Nine People Test Positive for COVID-19 at Georgia School That Went Viral Over Crowded Hallways. And 97,000 More. Its Plan Is Risky, Its Community Is Vulnerable, and Cases Are Surging. Why Is This University Reopening? So Georgia privatized its dorms and now they have to fill up the dorms so the company makes its money? Sounds totally normal. ‘The kids will forget’: Custodians, housekeepers and other support staff brace for college reopenings. Wisconsin colleges’ fall plans hinge on testing thousands of students for COVID-19. Will it be enough to keep campuses open? Worrying new research suggests children may be biologically similar to humans, could even carry some of the same diseases. Virus keeps spreading as schools begin to open, frightening parents and alarming public health officials. Mississippi teacher’s death during first week of school stokes COVID-19 outbreak fears. Within 11 days of schools opening, dozens of students and teachers have gotten COVID-19: ‘I truly wish we’d kept our children home.’ Billionaires Want to Reopen Schools Amid a Pandemic. They Might Unleash a Teacher Strike Wave. Lost Summer. Remember to think happy thoughts. And never stop the hustle.

https://twitter.com/JuliusGoat/status/1291717016907390976

Massive COVID-19 outbreak hits Rutgers football team. The Big Ten becomes the first Power 5 conference to postpone fall football. CSU athletes, staff say athletic administration covering up COVID-19 health threat. Trump Is The Main Reason We Won’t Have College Football. #BigTenUnited.

The other crisis facing higher education. Fall’s Looming Child-Care Crisis. KSU employees told if they telework, they may have to prove they have childcare.

* Survey finds that 40 percent of incoming freshmen at four-year colleges are likely or highly likely not to attend.

Teachers Aren’t Sacrificial Lambs. No Essential Worker Is. Cancel College. Keep Campus Closed. The Biggest Cuts Need to Come from the Top. Making Remote Learning Relevant. Beyond the Neoliberal University. Colleges Are Deeply Unequal Workplaces. Not Expendable. On Refusal.

* Wild story of a hoax COVID death at ASU hits the New York Times.

* Advice for teaching this fall.

* The Reality of Covid-19 Is Hitting Teens Especially Hard. Coronavirus Turmoil Raises Depression Risks in Young Adults. CDC: One quarter of young adults contemplated suicide during pandemic. What Climate Grief Taught Me About the Coronavirus. Hitting the Wall.

* Scientists Say Lithium Should Be Added to Drinking Water to Prevent Suicides.

* The Unique U.S. Failure to Control the Virus. Winter is coming: Why America’s window of opportunity to beat back Covid-19 is closing. How COVID-19 signals the end of the American era.

* I said this on this Slate podcast, but perhaps it’s worth saying here, too. Fall and winter will be bad. So give yourself a mental and social break now, socialize outdoors responsibly, and build up stamina again for the long road ahead.The Winter Will Be Worse.

* Another illegal Trump administration policy, and yet another premature Trump administration victory lap. Trump aides exploring executive actions to curb voting by mail. The Post Office Is Deactivating Mail Sorting Machines Ahead of the Election. Internal USPS Documents Outline Plans to Hobble Mail Sorting. What a Mail Carrier Is Seeing on the Ground Right Now. You’ve Got No Mail. What Democrats Have to Do to Save the Postal Service in Time for the Election. The George W. Bush Administration Lives on in Donald Trump. Team Trump Isn’t Even Hiding Its Support for QAnon Kooks Anymore. Makes the Kanye thing seem almost quaint. Thank God for Elizabeth Warren.

The 10 Scariest Election Scenarios, Ranked. Getting from November to January.

* QAnon as alternate reality game. QAnon groups have millions of members on Facebook, documents show. Mt. Rushmore is the final level.

* Meanwhile: Census to stop counting Americans a month early amid growing fears of an undercount.

* Love 2 vote in Wisconsin.

 

Your Old Radiator Is a Pandemic-Fighting Weapon. A Small Border Hospital Battles the Coronavirus. The Odds of Catching Covid on a Flight Are Slim. What Happens to Viral Particles on the Subway. The Plan That Could Give Us Our Lives Back. Facebook, Twitter penalize Trump for posts containing coronavirus misinformation. Bad News About Those COVID-Sniffing Dogs. ‘Everyone tested positive’: Covid devastates agriculture workers in California’s heartland. Immunology Is Where Intuition Goes to Die. Some scientists are taking a DIY coronavirus vaccine, and nobody knows if it’s legal or if it works. Scientists Uncover Biological Signatures of the Worst Covid-19 Cases. Candyland and the Polio Wards. Abolish nursing homes.

* Masks May Reduce Viral Load. Homeless people not getting coronavirus in the disastrous waves experts had feared. The Virus Is Killing Young Floridians. Race Is a Big Factor. If You Love Your Family, Stay the Hell Away From Them.

Coronavirus shutdown causes new risk at CDC: Legionnaire’s disease.

* ‘This is unstoppable’: America’s midwest braces itself for a Covid-19 surge.

First cruises to set sail post COVID-19 abruptly canceled due to outbreak.

* Solved that little problem.

One death every 80 seconds: The grim new toll of COVID-19 in America. Tracking the Real Coronavirus Death Toll in the United States.

The coronavirus has laid bare the flaws in our economy. Can we remake it to be more inclusive of all Americans? Wave of evictions expected as moratoriums end in many states. How The Eviction Crisis Could Compound Voter Suppression Come November. America Could Have ‘Great Depression’ Levels of Homelessness by Year’s End. One-Third of American Renters Expected to Miss Their August Payment. Bring on Trump’s Half-Baked Executive Orders. An Eviction Crisis Is Coming — We Need to Treat Housing as a Right. ‘Economic tsunami’: US cities and states hit by Covid-19 face dire budget cuts. The Covid-19 Crisis Has Wiped Out Nearly Half Of Black Small Businesses. In the meantime, gimme that stimmie. No Relief in Sight. The Senate Just Abandoned the Working Class Without a COVID-19 Relief Package. The Disconnect Between the Stock Market and the Real Economy Is Destroying Our Lives. R Is for Recession Unless We Can Go Below 1. Ten bucks left, no place to go. None of us asked to be laid off. In These Neighborhoods, the Jobless Rate May Top 30 Percent. A growing side effect of the recession. Shecession.

* gaaaaaaaasp

* My “Eastman’s Newsweek Column Has Nothing to Do With Racist Birtherism” shirt is raising a lot of questions already answered by my shirt. Well, at least they’re sorry.

* Read in the light of traditional craft values, the constitutional text, we think, demonstrates convincingly that there has been no legitimate president of the United States since Zachary Taylor. The Citizenship Clause Means What It Says.

* Trump’s tweets about saving the “Suburban Lifestyle Dream,” explained.

* Normally what that would be called is a Ponzi scheme, and it’s a little bit funny to think that the world economy would be illegal if it was run this year in the state of California, but it’s not that funny because we’re in it and it’s the law everywhere. KSR: The Great American Sci-Fi: Utopia or Dystopia?

* A great multiverse story from Ted Chiang, from his latest collection: “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom.”

* Diacritics special issue on terraforming.

* it me

* Yes, you have heard this story before: we face a serious problem, which is likely to become much worse if we do not take serious measures to stop it now. But the immediate measures we need to take are pretty painful — not as painful as what sufferers in the future will experience, but they are not necessarily us. They may be people we care about, our children or grandchildren, but, even so, their future distress feels less real than actual, albeit lesser, distress happening right now to us (especially to me). Why sacrifice our well-being for their better-being? Economists call this “having a steep discount rate,” the sinister twin of compound interest: we value things in the future less the further out they are. The economists’ language has the clinical asepsis of much of their lexicon and does not quite convey how inevitable, even fated, the intrinsic reaction is.

* Incredible development of the Alex Morse story. The Left Needs to Stop Falling for Absurd Sex Panics.

Parents Like Me Shouldn’t Have to Fight This Hard to Ensure Schools Go Remote.

The Seven Right-Wing Attacks Against Kamala Harris. The DNC Is Still a Week Away and I’m Already Annoyed. The first piece of Biden propaganda that’s ever worked on me.

Deputies accused of being in secret societies cost L.A. County taxpayers $55 million, records show. Dozens Of NYPD Officers Swarmed The Home Of A BLM Protester But Didn’t Make An Arrest. Which NYPD officers have most complaints against them? Body Bags and Enemy Lists: How Far-Right Police Officers and Ex-Soldiers Planned for ‘Day X.’ Louisiana Supreme Court upholds Black man’s life sentence for stealing hedge clippers more than 20 years ago. “Police detained and handcuffed a Black mother and four children after mistaking their SUV for a stolen motorcycle from another state.” 

When You Have Diabetes, Even a Routine Police Encounter Can Turn Fatal.

Madalena McNeil is accused of buying red paint before a protest. Under aggressive new criminal charges, it could mean she spends the rest of her life in prison.

* Hurricane, Fire, Covid-19: Disasters Expose the Hard Reality of Climate Change. Rising temperatures will cause more deaths than all infectious diseases – study. What Climate Scientists Really Think. Dangerously intense, prolonged, and humid heatwave for most of California. U.S. Sees Up to Six Major Atlantic Hurricanes Forming This Year. Canadian ice shelf area bigger than Manhattan collapses due to rising temperatures. An inland hurricane tore through Iowa. You probably didn’t hear about it. It’s Worse in Cedar Rapids Than You Know. A Quarter of Bangladesh Is Flooded. Millions Have Lost Everything. The evolution of Extinction Rebellion.

* Concentration camps and forced labor: China’s repression of the Uighurs, explained.

* Disney World Set To Reduce Hours After Bob Chapek Admits People Are Cancelling Trips. Disney posts its first quarterly loss since 2001.

* Avatar-mania has hit my house hard, so this comes just in time: The Legend of Korra’s messy, complicated legacy.

The Racist Foundation of Nuclear Architecture. How to build a nuclear warning for 10,000 years’ time.

* The ‘Cancelling’ of Flannery O’Connor?

* The Great Captain Planet/Hitler Face-off of 1995.

Hamilton in the Time of Trump.

* ok here we go. DRAGONLANCE characters as academic types, a thread. 1/

* Once more, with feeling: Duke University researchers say every brain activity study you’ve ever read is wrong.

* Poetry rebrands.

Slaughterhouse-Five: The Graphic Novel.

Paramount’s New President Is Trying to Figure Out What to Do About the Star Trek Movies. Star Trek: Lower Decks Is an Entertaining Entry in a Franchise Suffering an Identity Crisis.

* Thinking about Watchmen: A Film Quarterly Roundtable.

* College-Educated Professionals Are Capitalism’s Useful Idiots.

* Wireless phone charging is an ecological disaster waiting to happen.

* Sensitive to claims of bias, Facebook relaxed misinformation rules for conservative pages. How Pro-Trump Forces Work the Refs in Silicon Valley. Reports: Facebook Fires Employee Who Shared Proof of Right Wing Favoritism. Buzzfeed confirms.

* TikTok and the Evolution of Digital Blackface.

Jeannette Ng Was Right: John W. Campbell Was a Fascist.

* I honestly don’t know.

* Dibs on the screenplay.

* this is a maritime news article from 2014 describing a ship carrying ammonium nitrate that had been docked/abandoned at the Beirut port since 2013, this is what exploded today. words fail to describe organized negligence at this scale.

* New York Attorney General Moves To Dissolve The NRA After Fraud Investigation.

* Zombie stories are going to have to change.

* They stole the house out from under Angela? Damn that’s cold.

 

* Imagine how badly you have to screw up as a CEO for anything to try and hold you accountable for anything.

* Alas, Uber!

The Princess Bride Board Game Is an Inconceivably Good Idea.

* Extremely my shit: I made a set of Twilight Struggle cards based on the Bond films.

Why The Matrix Is a Trans Story According to Lilly Wachowski. Netflix, fresh from cancelling her series, is there with praisehands emoji.

* I prefer to think of this as BSG-style anti-Cylon security rather than incredibly terrifying.

* How FiveThirtyEight’s 2020 Presidential Forecast Works — And What’s Different Because Of COVID-19.

* Still waiting for this shoe to drop.

Oh, Christ, Not the Science Fiction Canon Again.

* ‘We’ve Already Survived an Apocalypse’: Indigenous Writers Are Changing Sci-Fi.

The Truth Is Paywalled But The Lies Are Free.

* Look what one of my former students had made! Thanks @GingerSnap!

* And of course the Fillmore bros came out of the woodwork.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 15, 2020 at 1:47 pm

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Fall Syllabus #2: ENGLISH 3000: Utopia in America!

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And here’s the other course for this fall, “ENGLISH 3000: Utopia in America.” Like the Watchmen class, it will be using a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction to muddle through this weird semester…

101 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Gerry Canavan

Course Title:  Utopia in America

Course Description: 2020 marks the 505th anniversary of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, which inaugurated a genre of political and social speculation that continues to structure our imagination of what is possible. This course serves as an entry point for advanced study in the English discipline, using depictions of political utopias from antiquity to the present as a way to explore how both literature and literary criticism do their work. We will study utopia in canonical historical literature, in contemporary pop culture, and in the presidential election, as well as utopian critical theory from major thinkers like Fredric Jameson, China Miéville, Derrick Bell, Toni Morrison, Ursula K. Le Guin, and N.K. Jemisin — but the major task before us will be exploring the role utopian, quasi-utopian, dystopian, and downright anti-utopian figurations have played in the work of major authors of the 20th century, among them Gabriel García Márquez, Vladimir Nabokov, and Octavia E. Butler.

Assignments: Class participation, including individual and group presentations; discussion posts. Students will also construct their own utopian manifesto.

W Aug 26 S FIRST DAY OF CLASS

Introduction to the Course

What Is Utopia?

F Aug 28 A New Criticism

How to Interpret Literature: “New Criticism”

Robert Frost, “Mending Wall” [D2L]

M Aug 31 S Sir Thomas More, Utopia, “Concerning” and Book One
W Sep 2 S Sir Thomas More, Utopia, Book Two
F Sep 4 A China Miéville, Introduction to Utopia (2017): “Close to the

Shore” and “The Limits of Utopia”

M Sep 7   LABOR DAY—NO CLASS
W Sep 9 S Structuralism

How to Interpret Literature: “Structuralism”

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

F Sep 11 A Intertextuality

N.K. Jemisin, reply to Le Guin [Web]

M Sep 14 S Marxism

How to Interpret Literature: “Marxism”

Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels, “The Communist Manifesto” [Web]

Mark Bould, “The Futures Market: American Utopias” [D2L]

W Sep 16 S Utopia

Fredric Jameson, “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture” (first half; second half optional) [D2L]

Black Mirror: “San Junipero” [Netflix]

F Sep 18 A Sandbox: Fredric Jameson, “Utopia as Replication” [D2L]
M Sep 21 S Postcoloniality and Race Studies

How to Interpret Literature: “Postcolonial and Race Studies”

Derrick Bell, “The Space Traders” [D2L]

W Sep 23 S Toni Morrison, “Recitatif” [D2L]

Toni Morrison, excerpt from Playing in the Dark [D2L]

F Sep 25 A Sandbox: #BlackLivesMatter Syllabus [Web]
M Sep 28 S Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapter 1
W Sep 30 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 2-3
F Oct 2 A Sandbox: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 4-6
M Oct 5 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 7-9
W Oct 7 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 10-12
F Oct 9 A Sandbox: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 13-15
M Oct 12 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 16-18
W Oct 14 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, whole book

Gabriel García Márquez, “The Solitude of Latin America” [Web]

Gregory Lawrence, “Marx in Macondo” [D2L]

F Oct 16   FALL BREAK—NO CLASS
M Oct 19 S Feminism

How to Interpret Literature: “Feminism”

Karen Joy Fowler, “Game Night at the Fox and Goose” [D2L]

W Oct 21 S Sexuality

How to Interpret Literature: “Queer Studies”

Alice Sheldon as James Tiptree, Jr., “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?” [D2L]

F Oct 23 A Sandbox: Octavia E. Butler, “Bloodchild
M Oct 26 S Environmental Studies

How to Interpret Literature: “Environmental Criticism”

Ramin Bahrani, “Plastic Bag” [YouTube]

W Oct 28 S Disability Studies

How to Interpret Literature: “Disability Studies”

Octavia E. Butler, “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”

Octavia E. Butler, “Speech Sounds”

F Oct 30 A Sandbox: Octavia E. Butler, “The Book of Martha”
M Nov 2 S Historicism and Cultural Studies

How to Interpret Literature: “Historicism and Cultural Studies”

Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire, “Foreword” and “Pale Fire”

W Nov 4 S Pale Fire, “Foreword and “Pale Fire” continued
F Nov 6 A Sandbox
M Nov 9 S Pale Fire, Commentary, Canto I
W Nov 11 S Pale Fire, Commentary, Canto II
F Nov 13 A Sandbox
M Nov 16 S Pale Fire, Commentary, Canto III
W Nov 18 S Pale Fire, Commentary, Canto IV (including index)
F Nov 20 A Reader Response

How to Interpret Literature: “Reader Response”

Pale Fire, whole book and interpretations

M Nov 23 S FINAL PROJECT WORKSHOP
F Dec 4

5:30 PM

  FINAL PROJECT DUE IN D2L DROPBOX