Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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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

 

Tuesday Links!

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* Something I wrote a few years back about Black Panther has finally popped up at Mayday: “Some Notes on the Nonexistence of Wakanda.”

* And Grad School Vonnegut #10 is up, on “Report on the Barnhouse Effect” and Watchmen with Adam Kotsko. I’m proud of the tweet hyping it.

* SFRA is seeking a web director. The Huntington has a new Octavia E. Butler research fellowship. World Science Fiction Studies is still seeking proposals for the 2021 book prize.

* CFP: Us in Flux: Community, Collaboration, and the Collective Imaginations of SF. Call for Papers: Serious Play. CFP: “Post-Utopia in Speculative Fiction: The End of the Future?”

This Ain’t Another Statement! This is a DEMAND for Black Linguistic Justice!

* For the second year in a row, George R.R. Martin has managed to make the Hugos all about him.

The Coronavirus Pandemic, Science Fiction, and the Contingent Nature of Roads. Last and First Men review – eerie sounds and unearthly images from a posthuman world. Apocalypse Then, Now—and Future? “Nostalgia for the Future”: Projecting a Post-Disability Image through Retro-Futuristic Aesthetics in Viktoria Modesta’s “Prototype.” The Name of This Feeling Is Revolution: On David Mitchell’s “Utopia Avenue.”

CDC predicts up to 11,000 people will die every week this month from coronavirus. CDC Predicts Grim Future. Young people are infecting older family members with coronavirus in multigenerational homes. Survivors of Covid-19 show increased rate of psychiatric disorders, study finds. One-third of COVID-19 patients who aren’t hospitalized have long-term illness. Lasting heart damage could be COVID-19’s legacy for some non-hospitalized survivors. How the Pandemic Defeated America. Vermont, History, and the Coronavirus. After Plummeting, the Virus Soars Back in the Midwest. We Just Have to Assume the Monster Is Everywhere. Every Decision Is A Risk. Every Risk Is A Decision. We Need to Talk about Ventilation. Trump’s New Favorite COVID Doctor Believes in Alien DNA, Demon Sperm, and Hydroxychloroquine.

In late July academia changed its mind about the fall term. Covid Tests and Quarantines: Colleges Brace for an Uncertain Fall. The Risk That Students Could Arrive at School With the Coronavirus. ‘The virus beat us’: Colleges are increasingly going online for fall 2020 semester as COVID-19 cases rise. Email From Columbia Admin Requests That Graduate Students And Faculty Reconsider Teaching Solely Online, Gives Three Days To Decide. UO is reopening dorms at full capacity *and* keeping their on-campus housing requirement. North Carolina colleges and universities reported COVID-19 cases on campus. More Than 6,600 Coronavirus Cases Have Been Linked to U.S. Colleges. The largest school district in Georgia reported Sunday that 260 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus or are in quarantine because of possible exposure as they prepare for the new school year. Staff in a district in Arizona is already 11% positive. Officials say the student attended part of the first day of school Thursday. Outbreak at Fraternity Row. UNC Tenured Faculty Tell Students to Stay Home Amid COVID Concerns: ‘It Is Not Safe for You to Come to Campus.’ Colleges Seek Waivers From Risk-Taking Students. “This is the worst, biggest crisis we have ever gone through UWM.” Let’s Look at the Numbers. Teachers Are Wary of Returning to Class, and Online Instruction Too. Will Kids Follow the New Pandemic Rules at School? ‘This Push to Open Schools Is Guaranteed to Fail.’ 9 ways America is having the wrong conversation about ‘reopening’ schools. How to Stop Magical Thinking in School Reopening Plans. Think school kids won’t be hurt by COVID-19? Experiences from the 1918–19 flu say otherwise. Covid-19 and the market model of higher education: Something has to give, and it won’t be the pandemic.

* And on the homefront: Whitefish Bay school board approves plan to start school year with in-person and virtual learning. Marquette Wire: MU must offer remote learning, teaching options for fall semester.

* Against vocational awe.

Essential or Expendable? Working in Higher Education during COVID-19.

* Acquiescent no more.

* ‘We are being gaslit’: College football and Covid-19 are imperiling athletes. On a call with SEC leaders, worried football players pushed back: ‘Not good enough.’ Ending the sham of NCAA amateurism will not end Title IX. Colorado universities are increasingly losing money on sports as coaches’ pay, recruitment costs rise.

* Wild @Sciencing_Bi hoax ends in absolutely wild fashion.

U.S. Economy Drops 32.9% In Worst GDP Report Ever. At least someone’s getting rich. NYC small businesses now closing for good. The Virus Turns Midtown Into a Ghost Town, Causing an Economic Crisis. These Businesses Lasted Decades. The Virus Closed Them for Good. Beach towns fear they won’t survive a summer of COVID-19. No football in Green Bay would be economic, emotional blow. America needs a bar and restaurant bailout. Self-employed Wisconsinites wait for word on unemployment payments. ‘Coronavirus has stolen our future’: young people’s despair as jobs evaporate. America.jpg. United States May Lose One-third of All Museums, New Survey Shows. Dunkin’s as Bellweather. Activism against evictions in New Orleans. As Pandemic Rages, the United States Slashes an Economic Lifeline. The incompetent criminals ruling the U.S. are about to push millions of Americans off a terrifying financial cliff. How the eviction crisis across the U.S. will look. The Pandemic Makes the Case for Sweeping Reform.

Companies Start to Think Remote Work Isn’t So Great After All.

Americans Aren’t Making Babies, and That’s Bad for the Economy. I guess the “baby boom or divorce boom” folks have their answer…

How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air.” Kushner’s COVID-19 Team Ended Plan For Nationwide Testing Because They Didn’t Want To Help Blue States.

Study: Men More Likely Than Women to Back COVID Conspiracies.

* Disgusting effort from the Manhattan DA office to drag the Trump name through the mud. Know Your Enemy. Nearly everyone believes that Trump can be reelected in November but almost no one believes he’ll do so with the support of a majority of the voting public. DHS compiled ‘intelligence reports’ on journalists who published leaked documents. Census Door Knocking Cut A Month Short Amid Pressure To Finish Count. Destroying the Postal Service for Fun and Profit. As Trump leans into attacks on mail voting, GOP officials confront signs of Republican turnout crisis. Pregaming the Coming November Trainwreck. How Trump Could Steal the Election. Warning Statement on the Potential for Mass Atrocities in the United States.

* Because it never stops being relevant: Umberto Eco’s Ur-Fascism.

* Harper’s v. Kenosha, WI.

* This TikTok thing is just nuts.

Counterfactual Criticism: Watchmen, Witch Armies, and Asking TV for More.

* The past isn’t over, it isn’t even past.

* Neo-Nazis Infilitrate the Police in Germany.

* Genocide in China.

* The gender-neutral b’nai mitzvah.

* U.S. Missionary With No Medical Training Settles Suit Over Child Deaths At Her Center.

Pewaukee priest once accused of sexual assault of a minor free to return to church.

* Miracles and wonders: uniQure Begins First-in-Human Gene Therapy Trials for Huntington’s Disease.

Zelda recipe appears in serious novel by serious author after rushed Google search. This really hits home — my dissertation had an entire chapter on Zelda Fitzgerald I had to take out at the very last minute.

* As transgender rights debate spills into sports, one runner finds herself at the center of a pivotal case.

* On the local beat: What happened at Comet Cafe?

What if nuclear power had taken off in the 1970s? The World’s Largest Tropical Wetland Is on Fire. It’s at least double.

* What sort of weird late-period William Gibson bullshit is this?

Is This the End of Writing in Cafés?

* Did a Goblin King write this?

* Remember when Google was useful?

* Former Deadspin staffers launch Defector, a new worker-owned media company.

* SWAT Mafia.

The DA’s Office Is Reviewing Hundreds of Cases Linked to (Just) 3 LAPD Officers.

* Michigan Today profiles Saladin Ahmed and his Dearborn-based superhero Starling.

* The headline reads, “Human sperm roll like ‘playful otters’ as they swim, study finds, contradicting centuries-old beliefs.”

* This is Katie Ledecky swimming the length of a pool without spilling a single drop of the chocolate milk balanced on her head.

* The X2 Cast Allegedly Almost Quit the Marvel Film Over Bryan Singer.

The ‘Star Trek’ Saga: How the Starship Enterprise Almost Landed in Las Vegas.

When Black People Appear on Seinfeld.

And Forrest MacNeil reviews living through a pandemic.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 4, 2020 at 10:31 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Submitted for Your Approval: Syllabus for ENGLISH 4717/5717: WATCHMEN!

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Since a lot of people have been interested in it, and I’m still trying to figure it all out, here’s the preliminary schedule for my Watchmen class this fall. This one will be an all-online class, as that’s the modality I’m in this semester; I’m using an S/S/A schedule where we do MW class sessions synchronously and F class sessions asynchronously. Most of the Friday classes are in the “sandbox” mode described here, some with suggested prompts and some completely open. The class has 30 people in it, so those synchronous sessions may need to break up to 15 and 15; I want to give it a try with the whole group for a week or two before I switch. Final assignment is a long paper or creative/curational project with at least some connection to Watchmen, comics, or American cultural studies, very, very broadly conceived…

Any and all suggestions welcome! I missed the first COVID semester due to my sabbatical so this is all still a bit new to me. I’m excited though: this class started in my mind as a lark and now I think it’s going to be one of the best syllabi I’ve ever planned.

101 MWF 12:00-12:50 Professor Gerry Canavan

Course Title:  Watchmen
Fulfills English Major Requirement:  Post-1900, American Literature

Course Description: This course surveys the history, reception, and artistic form of comics and graphic narrative in the United States, with primary exploration of a single comic miniseries that has had a massive influence on the comics industry and on the way we think about superheroes: Alan Moore and David Gibbons’s Watchmen (1986-1987)This semester ENGLISH 4717 will function almost like a single-novel “Text in Context” course; after grounding ourselves in the pre-1980s history of American superhero comics over the first few weeks of the course, we will focusing almost exclusively on Watchmen and its long afterlife in prequel comics, sequel comics, parody comics, homages, critiques, film adaptations, and, most recently, the critically acclaimed HBO sequel series (2019-2020). What has made Watchmen so beloved, so controversial, and so very influential on the larger superhero-industrial-entertainment complex? Why has DC Comics returned to Watchmen again and again, even as one of its original creators has distanced himself further and further from the work? What have different creators done, or tried to do, with the complex but self-contained narrative framework originally constructed by Moore and Gibbons? With superheroes and superhero media more globally hegemonic than ever before, what might Watchmen still have to say to us today?

Assignments: Class participation, including individual and group presentations; weekly reading journal; discussion posts; several out-of-class film screenings; one long seminar paper or creative/curational project

W Aug 26 S FIRST DAY OF CLASS

Introduction to the Course

A Brief Prehistory of Comics

F Aug 28 A Sandbox: Jim Henley, “Gaudy Nights” [Web]
M Aug 31 S The Golden Age of Comics

Action Comics #1

Selections from Wonder Woman

W Sep 2 S The Silver Age

Superboy #1 [D2L]

Umberto Eco, “The Myth of Superman” [D2L]

excerpts from David Hadju’s The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic- Book Scare and How It Changed America and Qiana Q. Whitted, EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest [D2L]

F Sep 4 A Sandbox: The Marvel Explosion

Fantastic Four #1, Tales of Suspense #39, X-Men #1, and Hulk #1

M Sep 7   LABOR DAY—NO CLASS
W Sep 9 S The Bronze Age

Saul Braun, “Shazam! Here Comes Captain Relevant” [D2L]

Green Lantern/Green Arrow #76, Amazing Spider-Man #121 and Iron Man #128 [D2L]

Spencer Ackerman, “Iron Man vs. the Imperialists” [D2L]

Gail Simone, “Women in Refrigerators” [web]

F Sep 11 A Sandbox: Marc Singer, “‘Black Skins’ and White Masks: Comic Books and the Secret of Race” [D2L]
M Sep 14 S The Dark Age

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen (1986-1987), #1-3

W Sep 16 S Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen (1986-1987), #4-6
F Sep 18 A Sandbox
M Sep 21 S Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen (1986-1987), #7-9

Anna C. Marshall, “Not So Revisionary: The Regressive Treatment of Gender in Alan Moore’s Watchmen” [D2L]

W Sep 23 S Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen (1986-1987), #10-12

Matthew Wolf-Meyer, “Utopias in the Superhero Comic, Subculture, and the Conservation of Difference” [D2L]

F Sep 25 A Sandbox: Watchmen sequel pitch session
M Sep 28 S Watchmen (dir. Zack Snyder, 2009)

Graham J. Murphy, “‘On a More Meaningful Scale’: Marketing Utopia in Watchmen” [D2L]

Jacob Brogan, “Stop/Watch: Repressing History, Adapting Watchmen” [D2L]

W Sep 30 S Andrew Hoberek, Considering Watchmen: Poetics, Property, Politics (excerpts) [D2L]

Kieron Gillen and Caspar Wijingaard, Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt

Alan Moore interviews (excerpts) [D2L]

F Oct 2 A Sandbox: Watchmen criticism survey
M Oct 5 S The Nostalgia Age?

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, All-Star Superman (first half)

W Oct 7 S Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, All-Star Superman (second half)
F Oct 9 A Sandbox: Watchmen vs. the MCU
M Oct 12 S Natacha Bustos, Amy Reeder, and Brandon Montclare, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: The Beginning (first half)
W Oct 14 S Natacha Bustos, Amy Reeder, and Brandon Montclare, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: The Beginning (second half)
F Oct 16   FALL BREAK—NO CLASS

PROJECT PROPOSAL DUE FRIDAY NIGHT 5 PM

M Oct 19 S Before Watchmen (2012-2013): Minutemen and Silk Spectre
W Oct 21 S Before Watchmen (2012-2013): Dr. Manhattan
F Oct 23 A Sandbox
M Oct 26 S Doomsday Clock (2017-2019), Book One
W Oct 28 S Doomsday Clock (2017-2019), Book Two
F Oct 30 A Sandbox
M Nov 2 S Watchmen (HBO 2019-2020), episode 1
W Nov 4 S Watchmen (HBO 2019-2020), episodes 2-3

interview with Damon Lindelof [Web]

F Nov 6 A Sandbox
M Nov 9 S Watchmen (HBO 2019-2020), episodes 4-5

interview with Lila Byock [Web]

W Nov 11 S Watchmen (HBO 2019-2020), episode 6

interview with Cord Jefferson [Web]

thinkpieces by Emily Nussbaum, Jamelle Bouie, Jorge Cotte, Jaime Omar Yassin, and others [Web]

F Nov 13 A Sandbox
M Nov 16 S Watchmen (HBO 2019-2020), episodes 7-8
W Nov 18 S Watchmen (HBO 2019-2020), episode 9

Aaron Bady, “Dr. Manhattan Is a Cop: Watchmen and Frantz Fanon” [Web]

Leslie Lee, “Whitewashing Watchmen” [Web]

Alyssa Rosenberg, “If HBO makes a second season of ‘Watchmen…” [Web]

F Nov 20 A Sandbox: Watchmen season two pitch session
M Nov 23 S Rorschach #1 (2020)

LAST DAY OF CLASS

Th Dec 3

12:30 PM

FINAL PAPER/PROJECT DUE IN D2L DROPBOX

FINAL REFLECTION DUE IN THE D2L FORUMS

 

Written by gerrycanavan

July 29, 2020 at 3:34 pm

Accidentally Closed a Bunch of Tabs and Can’t Get Them Back But Regardless Here Are Links

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* Coming soon! Paradoxa 31: Climate Fictions. There’s a ton in this gigantic issue; my contribution is called “The Legend of Zelda in the Anthropocene,” based off the presentation on Breath of the Wild I gave at ICFA last year…

For 60 years, Americans poisoned themselves by pumping leaded gasoline into their cars. Then Clair Patterson, a scientist who helped build the atomic bomb and discovered the true age of the Earth, took on a billion-dollar industry. The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of.

* Scenes from the class struggle at Marquette. Colleges Hoped for an In-Person Fall. Now the Dream is Crumbling. Universities that lived by the market model during the boom years face an extinction event as the bubble bursts and their business model pushes them to make perverse decisions about campus opening. ‘Ethically troubling.’ University reopening plans put professors, students on edge. Frat parties, bars could ruin fall 2020 college reopening plans.  The Humanities after COVID-19. Iowa. UNC. Akron. UMass. For First-Generation Students, a Disappearing ‘College Experience’ Could Have Grave Consequences. Colleges Are Getting Ready to Blame Their Students. Last Change for Universities? And the piece that made literally everyone mad last week: Struggle / Perish / Survive / Thrive.

* On a Knife’s Edge.

* Rethinking MLA 2021.

* The time for reform is now. If we want truly public education at a reasonable cost, the state and federal governments need to step up to help with funding and to insist on proper reforms to refocus our institutions on the academic mission. After this pandemic, our institutions need to have backed away from these destructive corporate-style approaches and to have restored focus on the academic mission. Instead of describing and accepting every academic loss as “the new normal,” our colleges and universities need to emphasize that higher education is a public good, not a private commodity. This means a return to investment in students, full-time faculty, research, and all aspects of the academic mission that have been overlooked for far too long.  

Exploit U: The Secret Underworld of College Athletics. Lost football season would crush Big Ten schools, including Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State. Rutgers professors sue over $100 million shifted to athletics.

* How Afrofuturism Can Help the World Mend. Insurgent histories and the abolitionist imaginary. The Argument of Afropessimism.

* The Man Whose Science Fiction Keeps Turning Into Our Shitty Cyberpunk Reality. How Fantasy Literature Helped Create the 21st Century. How Cyberpunk Saved Sci-Fi. Why We Need Dystopian Fiction Now More Than Ever.

* From Cixin Liu to Octavia E. Butler: An Interview with EN to CN Science Fiction Translator Geng Hui.

8 Anti-Capitalist Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels.

* Three Ways of Diversifying a Philosophy Syllabus.

Top Scientists Just Ruled Out Best-Case Global Warming Scenarios.

* The Last Giraffes on Earth.

* Men who call their colleagues “fucking bitches” in public hallways are making a threat and it should not be tolerated. PS: Don’t read the New York Times.

Vaccine Reality Check. Hygiene Theater. 16 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week. White House document shows 18 states in coronavirus “red zone.” Virus activity remains ‘high’ in 80% of Wisconsin counties. State reports 900 more COVID-19 cases and six Wisconsin children who got rare inflammatory condition that the coronavirus can trigger. New coronavirus cases in Wisconsin top 1,000 for the second time in three days. America’s coronavirus reopening falls apart. We’re Talking About More Than Half a Million People Missing from the U.S. Population. And some good news: Overall COVID-19 intensive care mortality has fallen by a third. Oxford scientists believe they have made a breakthrough in their quest for a Covid-19 vaccine. Can You Get Covid-19 Again? It’s Very Unlikely, Experts Say.

How Much Should You Worry About Air Conditioning and COVID-19?

There Are Literally No Good Options for Educating Our Kids This Fall. I Am Definitely Panicking. Teachers unions in largest districts call on Tony Evers to require schools start virtually. Fed up with remote education, parents who can pay have a new plan for fall: import teachers to their homes. Citing Educational Risks, Scientific Panel Urges That Schools Reopen. To Be a Parent Right Now Is To Be a Liar. They Come to Mommy First.

* Once again: against homework.

The Dark Obsessions of QAnon Are Merging With Mainstream Conservatism. Twitter bans 7,000 QAnon accounts, limits 150,000 others as part of broad crackdown. American Death Cult. What Could Happen If Trump Rejects Electoral Defeat? Previewing 2024.

* August is shaping up to be ‘ugly.’ Renters brace for evictions as moratorium ends. Mass Evictions Set To Begin – Communities Of Color To Be Hardest Hit. Here’s how the eviction crisis will impact each state. Millions of Americans Are About to Lose Their Homes. Congress Must Help Them. More Than Half of U.S. Business Closures Permanent, Yelp Says. Almost half of the U.S. population does not have a job. Child care industry ‘approaching a catastrophic situation’ due to COVID. Layoffs are growing again. More state spending cuts coming in Wisconsin. Many families in Wisconsin are ‘close to becoming homeless’ as effects of pandemic continue and help dries up. Home Prices May Be Dropping Soon. Here’s Why. How Remote Work Divides America. U.S. Capitalism Is in Total Meltdown. Gimme that stimmie.

* America ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids — in fact, it’s cold as hell

* Your Predominantly White Academic Organization (Yes, Even Yours) Is Exactly One Live-Tweeted Racist Event Away from Public Disgrace.

U.S. newspapers have shed half of their newsroom employees since 2008.

* My friend the brilliant Jillian Weise on Metafilter! You love to see it.

How the Child Care Crisis Will Distort the Economy for a Generation.

* There is just so much corruption in the justice system. I wish it were still shocking. Elsewhere on the justice beat: The 15-year-old Black girl who was incarcerated for not doing her homework has been denied release by a Michigan judge.

A British Skin Care Brand Pressured Asian Influencers To Promote Its Skin Whiteners. They Fought Back.

* The Racist History of Tipping.

* The Rick and Morty shorts are a whole thing, man.

* The best new Twitter account out there: @accidental_left.

* You’re not allowed to stop. You can never stop. The Existential Horror of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Why Children of Men haunts the present moment.

* Anti-Blackness in The Last of Us, Part Two.

J.K. Rowling and the Limits of Imagination.

The Inescapable Whiteness of AVATAR: THE LEGEND OF KORRA, and its Uncomfortable Implications.

Capitalism is the Parasite; Capitalism is the Virus.

What We Know About the Austin BLM Protest Shooting. Official Garrett Foster Memorial Fund.

* The fight against racism starts at home.

* John Lewis: Photos from a Life Spent Getting into Good Trouble. One of his last interviews.

* Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Nib Interview.

* Infinite Hyperobjects on Infinite Earths.

* Don’t tease us Doc.

* one of the kids at my job made this and i haven’t known peace since

* tinker tailor soldier spy if it was adapted today

* cat in the furnace, check

* wow ok I’m feeling personally attacked

* Two Americas.

* always has been — always has been

* just an update for all you non-biologists out there that biology twitter is currently in meltdown because a journal editor said some worms are overrated

* Even Highlights magazine is a grim read these days.

* I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you fucking deserve

* Obviously they should have changed their name to the I Don’t Care If You Have Purple Skins, but doing a Prince-style malicious rebrand to an unusable euphemism that keeps the old name at the foreground of everyone’s minds forever is clever too.

* Why is science fiction more prone to attracting ‘literary’ writers than, say, fantasy?

* What’s considered trashy if you’re poor, but classy if you’re rich?

* Yeah, I mean, I’m unnerved and I’m not even a commuter.

* “As shooting slowly resumes, your porn is about to look a lot different.”

* Yet another Watchmen sequel.

* And even if I don’t believe it, I believe it: Explosive UFO Report In NYT Mentions ‘Off-World Vehicles Not Made On This Earth.’

Written by gerrycanavan

July 27, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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GSV #9: Breakfast of Champions (with Robert T. Tally, Jr.)!

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This week Aaron and Gerry talk Breakfast of Champions with Robert T. Tally, Jr., author of Kurt Vonnegut and the American Novel: A Postmodern Iconography, which you should read! Whether you should read Breakfast of Champions, though, — that’s a big subject of debate on the show…

Written by gerrycanavan

July 21, 2020 at 8:19 am

What? THURSDAY Links? In This Economy?

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* Sneak preview: the landmark Paradoxa “climate fictions” issue, edited by the great Ali Sperling!

The 2020 Hugo Awards: The Political Hugo.

Hold the Starships — an Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson on Mars Settlement, Socialists in Space, Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Immortality, and the Purpose of Science Fiction.

A Second Coronavirus Death Surge Is Coming. Almost one-third of Florida children tested are positive for the coronavirus. Most air conditioning systems don’t protect against the coronavirus. In some cases, they can actually facilitate spread. How Arizona blew it. UnitedHealth posts most profitable quarter in its history. Disney World Fully Reopens to Crowds as Florida Surpasses 300K Coronavirus Cases. 51.3 million.

* First Coronavirus Vaccine Tested in Humans Shows Early Promise. The University of Oxford candidate, led by Sarah Gilbert, might be through human trials in September.

* More Than 40 Mayors Outline Their Vision for a Green Coronavirus Recovery.

* It’s the “bring their own chairs” part that makes it art. Budget ‘Bloodbath’ at University of Akron.

* Minimum wage workers cannot afford rent in any U.S. state.

* Giving the NYPD the power to declare journalists enemy combatants at whim seems bad actually. Biden winning by so much that maybe even Biden couldn’t blow it. The media is covering this election all wrong.

Another Monument to White Supremacy That Should Come Down? The Electoral College.

* Doomsday Clock only ended in December, but DC is already trying to sequelize Watchmen again. And elsewhere on the Watchmen beat: The Simpsons Watchmen Parody Is As Weird As You’d Expect.

* How did they write a graverobbing Gatsby prequel and then make it about Nick Carraway? Obviously the book is Jay Gatz.

* The most interesting thing you can just barely understand: How Gödel’s Proof Works.

* Know your risk.

* Today in tech.

* The important questions.

* The postal service is such an obviously beneficial and necessary public good they have no choice but to destroy it on principle.

What It’s Like to Be Single in Your 60s With $233,921 in Student Debt.

* All the blue checks got hacked and Twitter still wasn’t fun anymore. I did like talking the MCU with you all this morning, though. Backgrounder: Hackers Convinced Twitter Employee to Help Them Hijack Accounts.

* America’s child care problem is an economic problem.

* The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

‘Jaw-dropping’ global crash in children being born.

* Abolition is not a suburb.

* If you’re sufficiently rich and sufficiently diversified you make your money on the swing, not on the value. Chaos as investment strategy.

* And knives out for Joss Whedon. Just incredible to see his reputation transform like this.

Wednesday Links!

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* SFFTV 13.2 is out! It’s a great issue with some really great essays on wast and District 9, monster theory and Monsters, race and Arrival, and feminism and Ex Machina, but I want to put a special plug in for my co-editor Dan Hassler-Forest’s great essay on the nostalgia industry, Stranger Things, and Twin Peaks: The Return.

* Meanwhile, David Agranoff reads Extrapolation 61.1-2.

* And ICYMI: GSV #8: TBSF! And a little bit of viewer mail: Harrison Bergeron Is Black.

2020 Locus Awards Winners.

* Medical Humanities and the Fantastic: A Symposium.

* CFP: American Game Studies (deadline: August 1). How America Understands Poverty (deadline: October 1). Announcing The 11th Annual Imagining Indigenous Futurisms Award: Call for Emerging Writers. Queer Intersectionalities in Folklore Studies.

* Podcast alert: Marquette University’s COVID Conversations. And it’s a bit more flippant but I’ll never say no to Griffin Newman talking Muppets.

* Regarding Marquette’s Decision to Open for Face to Face Instruction for Fall 2020.

* Elsewhere on the Marquette beat: My terrific colleague Cedric Burrows talks about the racist origins of ordinary phrases.

* A 1997 interview with Octavia Butler. Toward a Waking Maturity: Octavia E. Butler Shapes A Liberated African Future in “The Book of Martha.” Behold Octavia Butler’s Motivational Notes to Self.

* Colson Whitehead is the youngest writer to win the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

El Nuevo Normal: The Coronavirus Crisis and Latin American Apocalyptic Fiction.

Will Dystopian Times Inspire Utopian Art?

* Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure. Who will ensure the safety of Black, LGBTQ+, People of Color, and Persons with Disabilities when Campuses reopen? Reopening schools safely can’t happen without racial equity. Black Study, Black Struggle. College football’s leaders are answering the wrong questions. Colleges are flimflamming students and parents about reopening. College Leaders Must Explain Why—Not Just How—to Return to Campus. College Leaders Have the Wrong Incentives. What do college students think of their school’s reopening plans? College students fume over having to pay full tuition for dubious online learning. The Summer of Magical Thinking. Lurching Toward Fall, Disaster on the Horizon. A Semester to Die For. CDC documents warned full reopening of schools, colleges would be ‘highest risk’ for spreading coronavirus. The main source of opposition? The faculty. Rush back to campus is sowing distrust at universities. Principles of Academic Governance during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Georgia Tech Professors Revolt Over Reopening, Say Current Plan Threatens Lives Of Students, Staff. Priorities. Boston University Gives PhD Students A Choice: Come Back To Campus Or Lose Your Health Insurance And Salary. Baton Rouge economy faces $50M loss if LSU football season is canceled or fans are excluded.

The Closure.

What can the humanities offer in the Covid era?

ICE Makes International Students Choose Between Risk of Coronavirus and Risk of Deportation. Long thread reading Harvard’s lawsuit. White House Rescinds Rules on Foreign Students Studying Online.

* “Does tenure matter anymore?” University Paid $504,000 to Get Rid of Professor. City University of New York lays off 2,800 adjuncts in wave of austerity.

* In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both. This Isn’t Sustainable for Working Parents. American Passports Are Worthless Now. The Republican coronavirus meatgrinder. ‘One Of Worst Parties In Power In Entire Democratic World.’ ‘I Can’t Keep Doing This:’ Small Business Owners Are Giving Up. Giant corporations may be the only survivors in the post-pandemic economy. Pay Restaurants to Stay Closed. How Many Have Closed Already? Covid-19 Is Bankrupting American Companies at a Relentless Pace. A Record 5.4 Million Americans Have Lost Health Insurance. 32% of U.S. households missed their July housing payments. Looming evictions may soon make 28 million homeless in U.S., expert says. Out of Work. The Story Has Gotten Away from Us. COVID-19 sent US into ‘depression’ and economy won’t be fully restored until 2023. Americans Are in Denial. There Is No Plan (For You). Trump’s incompetence has wrecked us. Where are the calls for him to resign? We are in the midst of a world-historic failure of governance. Why isn’t anyone in charge acting like they are responsible for it?

Coronavirus spread threatens to overrun school reopening plans. Israeli Data Show School Openings Were a Disaster That Wiped Out Lockdown Gains. U.S. Pediatricians Call For In-Person School This Fall, Then Take It Back. DeVos blasts school districts that hesitate at reopening. There Is a Way to Reopen Schools This Fall. Do We Have the Will to Make It Happen? Reopening schools safely is going to take much more federal leadership. One in Four. N.Y.C. Schools, Nation’s Largest District, Will Not Fully Reopen in Fall. Los Angeles and San Diego Schools to Go Online-Only in the Fall. Milwaukee Proposing Reopening with No Students in School Buildings. Evers once again gives up in advance. A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention. The Toll That Isolation Takes on Kids During the Coronavirus Era.

* Hospitals full in Houston. Hospitals full in Florida. Texas and Arizona. Young Americans Are Partying Hard and Spreading Covid-19 Quickly. Coronavirus is spreading so fast among Wisconsin 20-somethings that the CDC came to investigate. The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus. The Hidden Racism of Vaccine Testing. California’s slide from coronavirus success to danger zone began Memorial Day. It takes a special kind of inattention to human suffering to not notice how unfortunate it is that people have been left to face death alone. Is air conditioning helping spread COVID in the South? I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of dads suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Inside the body, the coronavirus is even more sinister than scientists had realized. July and August must be a period of intense preparation for our reasonable worst-case scenario for health in the winter that we set out in this report, including a resurgence of COVID-19, which might be greater than that seen in the spring. One to two months. Five years. Americans Are Sick of the Pandemic. The Pandemic Is Not Sick of Us. U.S. States Graded on Their Covid-19 Response. Zero COVID Deaths in Vietnam. How Iceland Beat the Coronavirus.

Are We Facing A Post-COVID-19 Suicide Epidemic?

Generation Z Is Bearing the Economic Brunt of the Virus.

* The end of New York.

* How has Wisconsin screwed up unemployment so completely? Workers are pushed to the brink as they continue to wait for delayed unemployment payments.

* The Meltdown Crisis. The Myopic Fantasy of Returning to “Normal.” Resilience Is the Goal of Governments and Employers Who Expect People to Endure Crisis.

* gimme that stimmie

* Damn, that is an American airline.

* A version of the election-stealing scenario I’ve been bleating on about for months that doesn’t even require state legislatures to do anything actively.

The Working Dead: Reviving the Crowd as a Protagonist.

* Fake Nerd Boys of Silicon Valley.

* Eight go mad in Arizona: how a lockdown experiment went horribly wrong.

* Starship Troopers and American decline.

Setting Fire to Wet Blankets: Radical Politics and Hollywood Franchises.

* Resistance Is Not Futile: On Jeff VanderMeer’s “Dead Astronauts” and Fighting the Good Fight.

* Teaching Shakespeare Under Quarantine.

* Is Unschooling the Way to Decolonize Education?

* Hamilton and Revolution. And Ishmael Reed, from the archives: “Hamilton: the Musical:” Black Actors Dress Up like Slave Traders… and It’s Not Halloween.

Masking and the Self-Inflicted Wounds of Expertise.

* The blog started “innocently enough” and just “got out of hand.”

Illiberalism Isn’t to Blame for the Death of Good-Faith Debate. From Thomas Jefferson’s own family, a call to take down his memorial. ‘The Flag is Coming Down’: Lawmakers Vote to Change Mississippi State Flag. Reddit bans r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse as part of a major expansion of its rules. Going too far.

* This was shocking, and I didn’t remember it at all: The Real Mud on Golden Girls.

The whole point in Wisconsin right now is to make anything but one-party GOP rule essentially illegal.

* Centering Blackness: The Path to Economic Liberation for All. Jacobin’s racial justice reading list. Wisconsin Schools’ Racial Inequality Worst in U.S.

How North Carolina Transformed Itself Into the Worst State to Be Unemployed.

According to establishment pundits and politicians, countries have “national interests” they carry out in the international arena. But “national interests” is just another phrase for ruling-class interests. The old socialist argument is true: workers of all countries have more in common with each other than their respective countries’ ruling elites.

* Climate change hasn’t forgotten about you: World could hit 1.5-degree warming threshold by 2024. South Pole warmed three times the global rate in last 30 years. Scientists’ warning on affluence. Climate Realism, Capitalist and Otherwise. Collapse of civilisation is the most likely outcome.

How to grow liveable worlds: Ten (not-so-easy) steps for life in the Planthroposcene.

* Took ’em long enough: Washington football team retires racist name.

* This ‘Equity’ picture is actually White Supremacy at work.

* Today in hell world.

* What Happens When You’re Disabled but Nobody Can Tell.

* The invention of the police. How Police Abuse the Charge of Resisting Arrest.

* She Said Her Husband Hit Her. She Lost Custody of Her Kids.

* Remembering the McDonald’s coffee lawsuit.

Why Animal Studies Must Be Antiracist: A Conversation with Bénédicte Boisseron.

* ‘You Could Literally See Our Shit From Space’: The Broken Bowels of Beirut.

* Hate to get owned this bad by a tweet.

* A Ranking of Every Movie with “Night of” in the Title.

Watching The Next Generation in a Time of Pandemic and Uprising. The Talk Doesn’t Exist in Deep Space Nine. The Sexist Legacy in Star Trek’s Progressive Universe.

Astronomers have discovered a vast assemblage of galaxies hidden behind our own, in the “zone of avoidance.” My sci-fi novel just got a title…

* This Is How Many People You’d Need to Colonize Mars, According to Science.

* How Not to Deal with Murder in Space.

* Harry Potter fan sites decide to stop giving J.K. Rowling attention.

* A Timeline of Recent Allegations in the Comic Book Industry.

A Megachurch Reels After Learning Pastor Let His Professed Pedophile Son Work With Kids.

* Gimlet Media Sued for Not Making Podcasts Accessible to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Kung Fu Nuns Of Kathmandu.

* Yes please.

* A short story about Serena Williams.

* Ban cars.

Second tribal leader calls for removal of Mount Rushmore. Want to tear down a monument to racism? Bulldoze LA’s freeways.

Banning the N-word on campus ain’t the answer — it censors Black professors like me.

Big Scrabble’s decision to eliminate offensive words has infuriated players like never before.

Why Is the Public Corruption Unit Prosecuting Ghislaine Maxwell?

The Life-Threatening “Ride” That Action Park Actually Decided to Abandon.

* Thanks Obama.

* A Long-Hidden His Dark Materials Short Story Is Now Getting Released.

* Love to learn old stuff about Jim Henson.

* Transporter. Words. Znurg. Two. Satire. Tin Man. Allies. Doctors. Mondays. Elon Musk. Pirates.

* Please scream inside your heart.

* And it took the end of the world, but the Far Side is back. Same joke but Clone High.

 

Written by gerrycanavan

July 15, 2020 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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