Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘comics

Monday Morning Links!

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*CFP: Call for Papers: Series Books and Science Fiction (National PCA Conference). CFP: Contemporary American Fiction in the Age of Innovation. CFP: Indigenous lands, waters, and ways of knowing.

The Labor Movement’s Newest Warriors: Grad Students.

“Time and again we’ve seen university administrators accommodate neo-Nazis with pious encomia to free speech only to cosign or encourage repression when it comes to Palestine and other matters of anti-racism.”

Schools Are Deploying Massive Digital Surveillance Systems. The Results Are Alarming.

* Appeals court consider whether youth can sue the government over climate change. A Levee Fails and an Illinois Town Is Thrown Back in Time. White House blocked intelligence agency’s written testimony saying human-caused climate change could be “possibly catastrophic.” Biodiversity loss is the very real end of the world and no one is acting like it. The Democrats are climate deniers too. And some more good news: Industrial methane emissions are underreported, study finds. 130°F heat index in South Texas, 13 days from the start of summer.

* The all-too-real possibility we must confront — and which David Wallace-Wells and Bill McKibben notably refuse — is that the story we’re living is a tragedy that ends in disaster, no matter what.

* Border Patrol is confiscating migrant kids’ medicine, U.S. doctors say. Reports reveal ‘egregious’ conditions in US migrant detention facilities. US opens new mass facility in Texas for migrant children. Third undocumented migrant in 3 days dies after being apprehended at US-Mexico border. ICE is struggling to contain spread of mumps in its detention centers. “He gave them food, he gave them water, he gave them a place to stay…He did a bad thing.”

* In 2014, China released sweeping plans to establish a national social credit system by 2020. Local trials covering about 6% of the population are already rewarding good behavior and punishing bad, with Beijing due to begin its program by 2021. There are also other ways the state keeps tabs on citizens that may become part of an integrated system. Since 2015, for instance, a network that collates local- and central- government information has been used to blacklist millions of people to prevent them from booking flights and high-speed train trips.

From Whole Foods to Amazon, Invasive Technology Controlling Workers Is More Dystopian Than You Think.

* While bioethics fiddles.

* YouTube is a radicalization engine for fascists.

* Prez in 2019: Are These Teenagers Really Running a Presidential Campaign?

* The heroes are split on opposing sides, and among the key matchups was a Wolverine vs. Mr. Fantastic battle that ended with Reed Richards pinning Wolverine down, extending his hands until they’re one molecule wide, and using them as scissors to cut the mutant’s arms off. You know, for kids.

When it comes to westerns, the difference matters. Especially in the streaming era, the words “television” and “movie” have gotten disconnected from their origins; no one watched the Deadwood “movie” in movie theaters (and the old “television” show lives in the same HBO app, on the same computer, as I watched the movie). But television Westerns are all about the gap between one event and the next — and the random vagaries of life that get lived in the interval — while it’s film Westerns that tell the Big Stories about History, epics about Beginnings and Endings and Grand Historical Transitions (with plenty of capital letters), with ordinary people getting swept by the tides of modernity and progress.

* John Wick as modern fairy tale. John Wick 3 Delivers the Justice We All Crave. I’m so out of touch I haven’t seen one of these.

* John Rieder reviews Nisi Shawl’s New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color.

A more honest show, I think, would acknowledge that there isn’t that much of a difference between Serena and Commander Lawrence.  They’re both smart people who created a hell on Earth to justify their own twisted notions of superiority, and they both realize that fact, on some level, and are tortured by it (though not nearly as much as their victims are and have been).  I think episode 3 is trying to draw a distinction between them when it has Lawrence continue his mind games with June (and his casual acceptance of female fawning from the dependent members of his household) while Serena at least opens herself up to the idea of rebellion.  It might be rooting that distinction in gender, in arrogance and humility, and even in religious faith.  But I don’t buy it.  A person who did the things Serena has done (notice how her orchestrating June’s rape has simply been memory-holed?  Not just ignored for the sake of expediency, but completely forgotten) wouldn’t be as open to remorse as she is.  You don’t just wake up one morning and think “you know, maybe creating a fascist, theocratic rape-dystopia was a bad idea.”

* The New Yorker remembers How To Read Donald Duck.

The Importance of ‘Godzilla’ Cannot Be Overstated.

* A finely oiled machine.

* A Joe Biden Nomination Would Solidify All Our Worst Fears About the Democrats. I mean really.

Newly Discovered Files Suggest GOP Lawmakers Lied in Court About Racial Gerrymandering to Stop An Election.

Inside the Fight to Define Extreme Poverty in America.

Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world? Give you one guess.

* Why aren’t states doing more to lower the cost of insulin ONE GUESS

A truly bizarre trend is having an impact on the economy — wealthy people and corporations have so much money they literally don’t know what to do with it.

Reflections of an Incarcerated Worker.

Beach Blanket Barbarism.

* Men with guns.

* Star Trek’s characters, like all of us, live in a universe full of injustice, suffering, and struggle—not a utopian vision, but an optimistic one, because they also live as if that better world is possible. We have to do that. We have to. When someone tells us that they’re in distress, in pain, in danger, or in a time loop, we have to say “I believe you. I’ll help however I can.”

Catholic Church spent $10 million on lobbyists in fight to stymie priest sex abuse suits.

* The new American religion of UFOs.

Ultimate limit of human endurance found. Me at the end of spring semester, am I wrong folks.

* 108 Women’s World Cup Players on Their Jobs, Money and Sacrificing Everything.

* Dodgeball is a tool of ‘oppression’ used to ‘dehumanize’ others, researchers argue. As an incredibly unauthentic and uncoordinated kid, I was unusually good at dodgeball — so I’ve got mixed feelings here to say the least.

* And it’s a cookbook! A cooooooookbooooooook!

Written by gerrycanavan

June 10, 2019 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Summer Syllabus: “21st Century Comics”

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It’s been hectic enough around here that I’ve neglected to post the syllabus for my comics class this summer, rebranded this time around as “21st Century Comics” due to some repeat students in the class. Check it out! Here’s the week-by-week reading schedule:

DATE READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS
M 5/20 Introduction to the Course

Action Comics #1 (in class)

T 5/21 Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics, chapters 1-4
W 5/22 The Silver Age

Superboy #1 [D2L]

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

Fantastic Four #1, Tales of Suspense #39, X-Men #1, and Hulk #1 [D2L]

Th 5/23 The Bronze Age and the Dark Age

The Amazing Spider-Man #121 and Iron Man #128 [D2L]

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

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

Watchmen (film clips) (in class)

Batman v. Superman, The Marvel Cinematic Universe, etc. (in class)

M 5/27 MEMORIAL DAY—NO CLASS
T 5/28 Warren Ellis and John Cassady, Planetary, Book One (first half)
W 5/29 Warren Ellis and John Cassady, Planetary, Book One (second half)
Th 5/30 Warren Ellis and John Cassady, Planetary, Book Two (whole book)
M 6/3 Mark Millar and Dave Johnson, Superman: Red Son (first third)
T 6/4 Mark Millar and Dave Johnson, Superman: Red Son (whole book)
W 6/5 G. Woodrow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel, vol. 1
Th 6/6 G. Woodrow Wilson, Jacob Wyatt, and Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel, vol. 2
Sat 6/8 TAKE-HOME MIDTERM EXAMS DUE BY 5 PM
M 6/10 Chris Ware, Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth (first half)
T 6/11 Chris Ware, Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth (second half)
W 6/12 Chris Ware, Building Stories (workshop)
Th 6/13 Chris Ware, Building Stories (discussion)
M 6/17 Ben Passmore, “Your Black Friend”

Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis 1 (first half)

T 6/18 Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis 1 (second half)
W 6/19 Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis 2 (whole book)
Th 6/20 David Mazzhuchelli, Asterios Polyp (first third)
M 6/24 David Mazzhuchelli, Asterios Polyp (second third)
T 6/25 David Mazzhuchelli, Asterios Polyp (whole book)
W 6/26 Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon, Daytripper (first half)
Th 6/27 Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon, Daytripper (second half)

Thierry Groensteen, “Why Are Comics Still in Search of Cultural Legitimization?”

Sat 6/22 TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAMS DUE BY 5 PM

Written by gerrycanavan

May 22, 2019 at 9:00 am

Take a Long Lunch on Me with these Monday Afternoon Links

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* CFP: Paradoxa 32, Comics and/or Graphic Novels.

* CFP: Energy Pasts and Futures in American Studies.

* The Museum of the Moving Image Announces a Series on Latin American Science Fiction Cinema of the 21st Century.

* A City on Mars Could Descend Into Cabin Fever and Nationalism. Just because that’s what happened on Earth doesn’t mean it would happen on Mars!

Philip K. Dick’s Unfinished Novel Was a Faustian Fever Dream.

* Some timely content for my games class: can colonialism and slavery ever be game mechanics?

* Reading ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ in Baghdad: What Vonnegut taught me about what comes after war.

One of his legacies is a famous passage in “Slaughterhouse-Five.” It’s about planes flying in reverse, where shrapnel flies out of people, back into the bombs and the planes take off backward from their runways, and so on, until everyone is just a baby again.

Vonnegut is saying it would be nice if the wisdom learned from a war could be used to reverse engineer the entire thing and keep it from happening at all. That is a nice thought.

* The bargaining phase of climate crisis: why don’t you just move to Duluth?

This Is How Human Extinction Could Play Out.

* Matthew Dean Hindman is reporting from the neoliberal gutting of the University of Tulsa.

* Faculty, students and community members rally for unionization at Marquette. More from Wisconsin Public Radio.

* How College Professors Turned Into Uber Drivers.

* Low-Income Students Told Brown U. That Textbook Prices Limited Their Choices. Here’s What the University Is Doing About It.

* A new study confirms that fraternity men and athletes are committing more sexual assaults than are those in the general student population — and that repeat offenders are a major problem.

I have a hunch, which is that professors are considerably less good at teaching than they think they are. And the hunch is based on the fact that we don’t train teaching assistants to teach, that we select and hire professors without any regard to their ability or potential as teachers, and that we don’t then give them further training or professional development. A hunch you say.

* Georgetown Students Agree to Create Reparations Fund.

* Faced with an unprecedented moral emergency in the Trump presidency, the Democrats have wisely decided to… play chicken with their base.

* Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile. Meanwhile.

* ‘Fox News brain’: meet the families torn apart by toxic cable news.

* Yemeni bodegas boycott New York Post over attacks on Ilhan Omar.

* Inside One Woman’s Fight to Rewrite the Law on Marital Rape.

* David Perry talks about antidepressant withdrawal.

* In Grand Rapids, Michigan, an unidentified man, age 40 is suing his parents for $87,000 for dumping his porn collection.

* Anti-beardism: the last acceptable prejudice?

* LARB considers Born in the USA.

* Can we build non-sexist and non-racist cities?

Bird scooters last less then a month and each one costs the company an average of $300.

* Played as anything but a goof, Quidditch is incredibly dangerous.

* The Dunbar number is probably wrong.

He Helped Wrongfully Convict a Vegas Man. Two Decades Later, His Daughter Worked on a Law to Make Amends.

* Today in dialectics: Are Plastic Bag Bans Garbage?

* Today in 21st century news: How to Scan Your Airbnb for Hidden Cameras.

* How Do Hospitals Stop the Spread of Drug-Resistant Superbugs Like C. Auris?
By ripping out floor tiles, reconfiguring pipes, and maybe deploying a hydrogen peroxide–spraying robot. Plus, a lot of bleach.

* I have a little scoop today: Pepsi says it wants to monetize the night sky by using satellites to project an artificial constellation that’ll advertise an energy drink.”

* Online trolls are harassing a scientist who helped take the first picture of a black hole. And you’ll never guess why!

* YouTube and racism, part a million.

* Hmm, weird, but I’m sure it’s fine.

* “Fewer clearer examples of Mark Fisher’s assertion that capitalism now only exists to block the emergence of common wealth than the fact that Google have apparently digitised every book in the world, and made them accessible to everyone, only with half the pages missing.”

* How ‘Game of Thrones’ linguist David J. Peterson became Hollywood’s go-to language guy.

* Now that’s commitment to a bit.

* And I have a bad feeling about this.

(and so on)

Written by gerrycanavan

April 15, 2019 at 11:03 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Saturday Links! Maybe It’s Won’t Be a Month Between Linkposts Every Time!

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* CFP (Journal of Futures Studies): “When is Wakanda? Afrofuturism and Dark Speculative Futurity.”

* Summer Course! ENGL 4717: “Twenty-First Century Comics”! Fall Courses! ENGLISH 3000 (“Magic and Literature”) and ENGLISH 6820/8282 (“Monsters of Theory”)!

All the Dem candidates as Michael Scott is the most accurate thing I have ever seen.

But a couple of scientists who study Mars are trying to burst that hermetically-sealed, oxygen-recirculating, radiation-shielded bubble. If a new analysis is correct, conditions on Mars make it impossible for existing technology to turn it into a garden of Earth-like delights.

* Trump Is Trying To Change The Meaning Of Instructor, And It’s Not Good.

* Flooding at an Air Force Base Exposes a Growing Threat to the US Military. The Midwest floods are going to get much, much worse. Terrifying map shows all the parts of America that might soon flood.

Interviewers are increasingly making absurd demands on applicants’ time. Here’s what to do if you’re asked to work for free.

* Struggling to stay alive: Rising insulin prices cause diabetics to go to extremes.

* ‘I made $3.75 an hour’: Lyft and Uber drivers push to unionize for better pay.

* liberalism.jpg

* politics.jpg

First leaks coming out now from the Mueller report and it’s not looking good.

* And Barbara Streisand has some of the most odious opinions on any subject I’ve ever seen. I’m still floored hours later.

New Summer Course Description! “21st Century Comics”

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ENGLISH 4717/5717: Comics and Graphic Narrative
MTWTh 9:45 AM – 11:20 AM

Thematic Title: 21st Century Comics

Course Description: This course surveys the history, reception, and artistic form of comics and graphic narrative, with particular focus on comics published in the last twenty years. How have comics shifted from their origins as a predominantly American, predominantly male fixation on the superhero towards an increasingly popular international art movement crossing gender, class, and ethnic lines? What are comics today, in 2019, and who are they for—and why, as Thierry Groensteen has pointedly asked, are comics still in search of cultural legitimization? As in previous instances of the course, we will consider science fictional and superheroic comics alongside high literary novels and confessional autobiographies to gain a full understanding of the medium and its possibilities.

Readings: The reading list is still being finalized (and open to suggestions!) but books could include (on the science fictional side) The Walking Dead, Superman: Red Son, Planetary, and Ms. Marvel, and (on the literary/autobiographical side) Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá’s Daytripper, and Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. Students can expect to read about one graphic novel per week, so around six in all.

Assignments: class participation and presentations, weekly D2L posts, take-home midterm, take-home final

Written by gerrycanavan

March 8, 2019 at 9:30 am

A Million Billion Links, Forever and Ever

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* I don’t think I’ve even seen anything that sums up academic labor as well as this image.

* I’ve been deposed, but SFRA soldiers on: SFRA Review #327 is out, this time with a special devoted to papers from the Worlding SF conference last December.

* I’d also suggest you very urgently check out Polygraph 27: “Neoliberalism and Social Reproduction.”

* My entry on Kim Stanley Robinson for the Oxford Research Bibliography in American Literature has gone live.

* Along with some of my colleagues I’ll be presenting at the Center for the Advancement of the Humanities conference this weekend; schedule here!

* Call for applications for the R.D. Mullen fellowship.

* Please support the AAUP-WSU Strike Fund.

* Do Catholic Universities Still Have a Value Proposition? Gee, I hope so.

Describing a UW System in transition with campuses facing falling enrollment and declining tuition dollars, its president, Ray Cross, said in a wide-ranging panel discussion Wednesday that the UW is not abandoning the humanities.

Thompson said among neighboring states, the condition of Wisconsin highways was rated “not only the worst, but it was worse by a gaping margin.”

* Nice work if you can get it: Dale Whittaker, who resigned amid controversy last week as president of the University of Central Florida, could collect $600,000 as part of a proposed severance package.

The End of the Remedial Course.

* Our in-house student satisfaction survey has found that every department scored 97%. However, within this, we have identified three groups: – Green: 97.7-97.99% – Amber: 97.4-97.69% – Red: 97.0-97.39%. As you can imagine, this is cause for concern.

* N.K. Jemisin’s preface to the new edition of Parable of the Sower. As of date, the Octavia E. Butler papers are the most circulated and accessed collection at the Huntington. What a potent reminder of the significance of her words, more than a decade after her passing. And a TED Talk from Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey: Why should you read sci-fi superstar Octavia E. Butler?

There’s No Severing Michael Jackson’s Art From His Obsession With Children.

* A 1983 EPA report titled “Can We Delay a Greenhouse Warming?”

* Climate change in Bolivia: a thread.

* America’s Northernmost City Is Having a Weird, Hot Winter. Homes lose $15.8 billion in value as seas rise, Maine to Mississippi. Extreme Weather Can Feel ‘Normal’ After Just a Few Years, Study Finds. Iceberg twice the size of New York City is set to break away from Antarctica. In the Mariana Trench, the lowest point in any ocean, every tiny animal tested had plastic pollution hiding in its gut.

Renewable hydrogen ‘already cost competitive’, say researchers. Lake Erie just won the same legal rights as people. The tick that gives people meat allergies is spreading. He’s on to us.

White Settlers Buried the Truth About the Midwest’s Mysterious Mound Cities.

* Tenure and promotion letters — a thread.

* Writers love to hate creative writing programs, graduates of them most of all. In 2009, literature scholar Mark McGurl published The Program Era, in which he declared the rise of creative writing “the most important event in postwar American literary history.” For an academic book full of graphs and terms like “technomodernism,” it reached a wide audience, prompting reviews and editorials from publications like The New York Times Book Review and The New Yorker. While McGurl steered clear of either celebrating or condemning the creative writing program — seeking “historical interpretation,” not valuation, he emphasized — his reviewers did not. Charles McGrath, the former editor of the NYTBR, called creative writing a Ponzi scheme. Chad Harbach, a founding editor of n+1, suggested that the MFA program had transformed books from things to be bought and read into mere “credentials” for professors of creative writing. Literature scholar Eric Bennett wrote that the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, his alma mater, discouraged all writing that wasn’t either minimalist, conversational, and tenderhearted, or magical realist. Junot Díaz, a Cornell alum, argued that the creative writing workshop secured the whiteness of American literature. And the attacks keep coming, not that they have slowed applications. Some 20,000 aspiring writers apply to MFA programs every year, and the numbers continue to rise.

The range of writers who come out of graduate programs in creative writing make it difficult to argue that the MFA has somehow flattened literature, that T. C. Boyle, Sandra Cisneros, and Denis Johnson all write with something called “Iowa style.” The world of creative writing isn’t homogeneous, and for a lot of writers it offers time rather than instruction, two years to complete a book-in-progress rather than two years to mimic their advisor’s prose or verse. But creative writing also didn’t come out of nowhere. It emerged from a long-since-forgotten philosophical movement that instituted creative writing as a discipline for learning about yourself rather than the wider world.

* When you definitely didn’t do any crimes in 2006.

* Never tweet: Elon Musk Faces U.S. Contempt Claim for Violating SEC Accord. Seems like the jig may almost be up.

* New horizons in cheating to win.

* Really saying the quiet part loud here.

* News from a failed state: At issue is the number of hours the armed teachers and staffers would have to train, the 27 in the district’s policy or the more than 700 required of peace officers. Pater said his reading of the statutes doesn’t require school staff to be treated as security personnel requiring 700-plus hours of peace officer training.

* Living with Type 1 Diabetes When You Can’t Afford Insulin.

Every parent with a disability could benefit from a friend like Carrie Ann. The fact that she is no longer in our world just enrages me more now. The fact that the systems that should be in place to maintain the care and wellbeing of people with disabilities and their families, killed her. The fact that her insurance company thought that the medication she needed to recover from a lung infection was too expensive and instead approved a drug that would lead to her loss of speech and her eventual death. Carrie Ann Lucas died to save $2000, even though it ended up costing the insurance company over $1 million to try and salvage their error.

* Oh no, not my stocks! “Health Insurers Sink as ‘Medicare for All’ Idea Gains Traction.”

* As Doctors, It Is Our Responsibility to Stop Racism in Medicine.

* Why White School Districts Have So Much More Money.

Texan Determines It’s Cheaper to Spend Retirement in a Holiday Inn Than a Nursing Home.

* “Mom, When They Look at Me, They See Dollar Signs.” How rehab recruiters are luring recovering opioid addicts into a deadly cycle.

* Maybe not the strongest argument, but… You Don’t Have to Like Bernie Sanders to Like Bernie Sanders.

* The U.S. war in Afghanistan has been going on for so long that the newest recruits weren’t alive when it started. Drafting Only Men for the Military Is Unconstitutional, Judge Rules. Clothes, violence, war, and masculinity. Would you like to know more?

* Then ruin them!

* Solving homelessness by giving people homes.

Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth.

When Morrison and Millar Almost Had Professor X Destroy the Universe.

Under the terms of the deal, science fiction novels would be periodically interrupted by scenes in which the characters would drop everything and start eating Maggi soups, smacking their lips and exclaiming over just how delicious they were. It actually sounds at least as well as achieved as the interruptive ads in comics.

We gradually become less attentive as we age—and not just because we stop giving a damn. The phenomenon is due to a shrinking “useful field of view,” the feature of visual attention that helps us recognize at a glance what’s important to focus on. Studies show that kids have a similarly limited field of view, hindering their ability to register the complete visual world around them.

* Toxic parenting myths make life harder for people with autism. That must change.

China blocks 17.5 million plane tickets for people without enough ‘social credit.’

* Upsetting subplot.

California keeps a secret list of criminal cops, but says you can’t have it.

Thousands of migrant youth allegedly suffered sexual abuse in U.S. custody.

* Late abortion: a love story.

* What is the Global Anglophone, anyway?

* Superheroes and traumatic repetition compulsion.

* Whoever wins, we lose.

* A Brief History of the Grawlix.

* I might have done this one before, but: video games as pulp novel covers.

* Still a bit long honestly.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wants the Country to Think Big.

* And I’ve weirdly become a complete sucker for this category of photography: Winners of the 2019 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 28, 2019 at 4:20 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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