Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘creative writing

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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All Your Friday Links!

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* The itself.blog Star Trek: Discovery event is underway! Star Trek: Discovery Is Optimism, But Not for Us. “Can you bury your heart”? Having feelings about Discovery. Star Trek: Discovery as the End of Next Generation Triumphalism.

* CFP: Activist Speculation and Visionary Fiction (MLA 19).

* Jaimee Hills is officially a dangerous woman.

* The Male Glance.

* The university in ruins: UW Stevens Point. The administration clearly doesn’t even understand what it’s proposing:

When releasing the plan, university officials said that English majors for teacher certification would continue. But Williams said that under the state Department of Public Instruction’s certification criteria, a person looking to become an English teacher has to have been an English major.

“They just both have to exist, or both have to be eliminated,” Williams said. “One depends directly on the other.”

Professors earn about 15 percent less than others with advanced degrees, finds a study circulated Tuesday by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Though perhaps some of us make it up in job satisfaction (really).

* It’s gotten so bad in the humanities even the Yale grads don’t get jobs handed to them as soon as they graduate.

Why Creative-Writing Programs Have Been Havens for Harassment.

It has taken me two and a half decades to recognize that my experience of having a senior male nominal adviser and a female (usually more junior) actual adviser is common throughout academe. On Ghost Advising.

* Abusers and enablers in faculty culture.

* 5% raises in West Virginia. Onward to Oklahoma.

* Marquette vs. Trauma.

Snowflake students claim Frankenstein’s monster was ‘misunderstood’ — and is in fact a VICTIM.

On the Blackness of the Panther.

* Loved this from Barbara Ehrenreich: Body Work: The curiously self-punishing rites of fitness culture.

If anything, the culture of fitness has grown more combative than when I first got involved. It is no longer enough to “have a good workout,” as the receptionist at the gym advises every day; you should “crush your workout.” Health and strength are tedious goals compared to my gym’s new theme of “explosive strength,” achieved, as far I can see, through repeated whole-body swinging of a kettleball. If your gym isn’t sufficiently challenging, you might want to try an “ultra-extreme warrior workout” or buy a “home fitness system” from P90X, which in 2016 tweeted a poster of an ultra-cut male upper body, head bowed as if in prayer, with the caption “A moment of silence please for my body has no idea of what I’m about to put it through.” Or you could join CrossFit, the fastest-growing type of gym in the world, and also allegedly the most physically punishing. The program “prepares trainees for any physical contingency,” the company boasts, “not only for the unknown, but for the unknowable, too. Our specialty is not specializing,” and the latter category includes the zombie apocalypse. The mind’s stuggle for mastery over the body has become a kind of mortal combat.

* Too big to tax.

In this economy you’re either burned out, or you’re boxed out.

* The Secret NYPD Files: Officers Can Lie And Brutally Beat People — And Still Keep Their Jobs.

A prosecutor who obtained a wrongful conviction that sent a Houston man to death row for nearly 10 years didn’t just withhold evidence but also denied under oath that he had information that supported Alfred Dewayne Brown’s alibi, court records show.

* Twilight of the cult film.

Could Trump get a White House job if he weren’t president? Didn’t we already know Trump couldn’t get a loan before he was president?

Beware Liberal-Baiting “White House in Chaos” Stories. Trump’s Position Is As Solid As It’s Ever Been.

* Gratuitous cruelty by Homeland Security. Lying to the immigrant soldiers you promised citizenship.

A Dozen Democrats Want To Help Banks Hide Racial Discrimination In Mortgages.

Guess Who’s Not Coming To America? International Students.

* Kobe Steel’s Chief to Step Down as It Discloses Wider Quality Problems Fifty-Year Conspiracy to Defraud Customers.

* Toddler feelings helpline.

— If you still feel pretty messed up about how they were just going to burn the Velveteen Rabbit, please mash all of the keys but mostly 2.

* White flight remains a reality.

* Liberate our schools.

‘50 or 60. If I get lucky maybe 150.’

* The grim reality of job hunting in the age of AI.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe only really makes sense when you remember Captain America is a trans man.

Wait, what exactly was Luke Skywalker’s plan in Return Of The Jedi?

* The opioid crisis has become an “epidemic of epidemics.” Meanwhile, a new study suggests opioids are no better than Tylenol for treating some kinds of pain.

* Kentucky’s ‘child bride’ bill stalls as groups fight to let 13-year-olds wed.

* U.N. Report On Magical Realism Warns Of Increased Incidences Of Women’s Tears Flooding The Entire World.

False news stories travel faster and farther on Twitter than the truth.

* There’s no idea so terrible there isn’t someone in favor of it.

York University philosophy professor and team submit brief supporting chimpanzee personhood.

* Ok, but you’re on a very short leash.

Her name was Kanga and she was trouble.

* I Am the Very Important Longread Everyone Is Talking About.

* The United States of Middle-earth.

* Understanding Fight Club.

* And the arc of history is long, but.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 9, 2018 at 11:39 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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tumblr_odnsb87wxf1vnjnxno1_500Marquette announces new January session. And I’ll be teaching! A hybrid literature/creative-writing section of ENGLISH 2010 called “Crafting the Short Story.”

* Marquette’s provost has also premiered a podcast.

* Our friend Nina has a piece in the New York Times today.

* CFP: Symposium on Amazing Stories: Inspiration, Learning, and Adventure in Science Fiction.

* Me, this Saturday afternoon at the Milwaukee Public Library! 150 Years of H.G. Wells in Milwaukee.

Perhaps, instead of being a parable of Christian salvation, the randomness of the Genius Grants is really a metaphor for our increasingly fragmented and pointless civilization. I didn’t get one either.

* But here’s someone who did! UWM theater artist Anne Basting wins MacArthur Foundation ‘genius’ grant.

Palestine, Settler Colonialism and Democratic Education at UC Berkeley.

* Can the adjunct speak?

If we’re serious about preventing catastrophic warming, the new study shows, we can’t dig any new coal mines, drill any new fields, build any more pipelines. Not a single one. We’re done expanding the fossil fuel frontier. Our only hope is a swift, managed decline in the production of all carbon-based energy from the fields we’ve already put in production.

* But that’s not all: Climate change is ruining fall.

* Experts say.

* 500 Million Yahoo Accounts Hacked. I’m shocked, and disappointed, and the Chinese spammers who stole my data from Yahoo three years ago are shocked and disappointed too.

51lo1bjparlWhy Trump’s Shady Foundation Practices Are A Major No-No In The Charity World.

* Trump has used his campaign to funnel a mere $8.2 million to his businesses.

Right now, Clinton is over the line by exactly one state. As of this writing, that state — what we also call the tipping-point state — is New Hampshire. But a group of states are closely lumped together, and Pennsylvania,Colorado and Wisconsin have all taken their turn as the tipping-point state in recent weeks.

* How Trump Could Will Win the Debate.

* Exciting new translation of The Brothers Karamazov will change the way you think of the book. A few others.

New research shows that all present-day non-Africans can trace their origins to a single wave of migrants who left Africa 72,000 years ago, and that indigenous Australians and Papuans are descended directly from the first people to inhabit the continent some 50,000 years ago. That makes them world’s longest running civilization. Some more details here.

* December 1969, the month that killed the 60s.

* Duncan Jones is finally making Mute, set in the Moon universe.

* The last days of Roger Ailes.

* Cheating and the SAT.

* Facebook overstates its advertising effectiveness by a mere 60-80%.

Black Lives Matter Fall 2016 Syllabus.

Bibliography on Workplace Harassment in Postsecondary Education.

* The X-Men and the Legacy of AIDS.

* who among us has not etc.

* And Nathan Fillion speaks the forbidden truth: Don’t Bring Firefly Back.

Closing All My Tabs Friday Morning Links!

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* The first review I’ve seen of Green Planets says “it was just okay for me dog.” Hopefully the praise in the next one will be a little less qualified…

* The “decent Left” was wrong: a blood soaked occupation did not lead to a promising post-Taliban future.

* How much does it cost to recruit a single college athlete?

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The results are readily apparent. The overwhelming number of retractions due to flawed methodology, flawed approach, and general misconduct over the last decade is staggering. Stories in almost every field have seen a rash of inaccuracies. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased tenfold since 1975.

* When Samuel R. Delany wrote Wonder Woman.

* A brief history of a Title IX.

* Da Vinci’s CV.

* Ask An Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major.

* But the biggest fundamental problem with the administration’s proposed ratings system is that it presents market principles as the cure for an illness that is itself caused by the indiscriminate application of market-mad nostrums to a context (education) where they don’t belong.

* ‘There Will Be No World Cup’: Brazil on the Brink.

* Norfolk, Virginia could be the first city we lose to climate change. Vox voxplains and revoxplains why we’re doomed, but never gets around to considering that flogging away uselessly in the same failed institutions might not be the answer.

* The coming grim death future has given us one gift, though: Darren Aronofsky Adapting Futuristic ‘MaddAddam’ Book Trilogy As HBO Series.

“Fixing” America’s schools “means changing America.”

* In other words, Louie is sketching out the psychology of an abuser by making us recognize abuse in someone we love. Someone thoughtful and shy, raising daughters of his own, doing his best. Someone totally cognizant of the issues that make him susceptible to the misogyny monster. Someone who thinks hard about women and men and still gets it badly wrong.

* Obama won’t take simple anti-corporate tax reform action he could institute unilaterally today. I suppose it’ll probably always be a mystery.

* Today in the rule of law: Attorney for teen set up by FBI in terror sting kicked out of courtroom while secret evidence is discussed. Judge Threatens, Allegedly Attacks Public Defender During Hearing. The public defender is very happy that cops are being sent to harass people who request public defenders.

* LAPD’s new air drone program will respect privacy. Well , that’s a relief!

Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death in the woods to please a mythological creature they learned about online. The two girls will be tried as adults because they’re making such mature, clear-headed decisions.

* Elsewhere in Wisconsin justice: this twenty-five-year sentence for a woman who smothered her toddler will send a strong message of deterrence for any other mothers who want to murder their kids.

Toddler Burned by SWAT Grenade After Raid On Home.

* My beloved alma mater in the news! Judge Orders Case Western to Grant Diploma to Medical Student.

* The Secret Service wants to build a computer that can detect sarcasm. Maybe the computer could then explain it to Twitter users?

* Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino sues NFL over concussions.

* LEGO to launch female scientists series after online campaign.

* This seems so nutty to me. I think I probably spent half my childhood wandering around in the woods without supervision and the other half in the back seat of a locked car.

* Solving the Fermi paradox: Sufficiently Advanced Civilizations May Invariably Leave Our Universe. Or maybe they’re hacking reality and we can’t understand that’s what they’re doing.

* A Hong Kong VC fund has just appointed an algorithm to its board.

* “Ann B. Davis stood, walked over to the trash can, and emptied her tray. She walked out of the cafeteria and into a small, gray town near Pittsburgh. I wanted her to *be* Alice. I wanted her to smile as if she loved me. I wanted her to say, ‘Buck up, kiddo, everything’s going to be all right.’ And what I’m trying to tell you now is this: I grew up in a split-level ranch-style house outside a town that could have been anywhere. I grew up in front of a television. I would have believed her.” RIP, Ann B. Davis.

Steven Moffat hires zero female writers for Doctor Who — for the fourth season in a row.

Loaded Handgun Found in Target Toy Aisle.

(Even More) South African Genre Fiction.

* About 10% of them, yes.

* The government plans to fix the NSA scandal by making it all legal.

* What is even the payoff for shining a laser at a plane? That’s bananas.

* Europe has thought it over, and they’re sticking with kings.

* The kids are all right: Two sixth grade math classes lost an entire week’s worth of instruction taking a trial run of a new test and now they want payment for their time.

* On Sept. 13, 1848, at around 4:30 p.m., the time of day when the mind might start wandering, a railroad foreman named Phineas Gage filled a drill hole with gunpowder and turned his head to check on his men. It was the last normal moment of his life.

Cleveland Politician Proposes Tying Stadium Money To Wins.

* Life as a spousal hire.

* I can’t imagine how colleges could do mandatory mental health screenings right, but less how badly they’d screw it up by trying to do it on the cheap.

* There are dozens of us! The AV Club rediscovers The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

* A cultural history of time.

* And George R.R. Martin says Game of Thrones was always intended to be 3 5 7 8 12 books.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 6, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Night Links

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A Scholarship of Resistance: Bravery, Contingency, and Higher Education.

Dear Professor James, #YOLO :). Riffing on this story, though this one is also in the background somewhere.

Fat profits at NCAA while athletes play for free.

* Against creative writing.

David Simon on America’s war on drugs and The House I Live In. Introduction to TNI‘s marijuana issue.

Open Casting Call for History Based Reality TV Show.

* Plot to rig the mayor’s race in New York City.

* The headline reads, “Pope’s foot-wash a final straw for traditionalists.” Elsewhere on the Catholic beat: A suspended Roman Catholic priest in Connecticut accused of making more than $300,000 in sales of methamphetamines is expected to plead guilty to one of the charges.

* So that’s why they act that way: Refusing to apologize can have psychological benefits.

Did Pacific Islanders reach South America before Columbus?

As Canada scrambles to dig up some of the world’s dirtiest oil, a bush doctor tracks mysterious diseases, poisoned rivers, and shattered lives. From 2008. I’m sure we’ve sorted it all out by now.

* The Atlantic interviews Kim Stanley Robinson.

KSR: With capitalism, we can say that it has very strong residual elements of feudalism. It’s as if feudalism liquefied and the basis of power moved from land to money, but with the injustice of the huge hierarchical feudal differences between rich and poor still intact. What is emergent in capitalism is harder to identify, but there may be something to the idea of the global village, also the education of the entire world population, so that everyone knows the world situation and wants justice, that may be leading the way to a more just global society. Seeing and exaggerating these emergent elements is something utopian science fiction tries to do. So the dichotomy is a sort of x/y graph in a thought experiment.

* One night in the life of a Boston cabbie.

* Game of Thrones renewed for fourth of eighty planned seasons.

Drawing the impossible? Fully dressed Superheroines.

* Wake up, sheeple! Only 4% of voters say they believe “lizard people” control our societies by gaining political power.

* Presenting Adam Kotsko’s grading lexicon.

* Feminism for women who can’t cry at work.

* And your headline of the day: Why I Study Duck Genitalia.