Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘genre

Monday Morning Links!

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* On Saturday night the SFRA announced its award winners. Congrats to all! And here’s a Storify of the weekend’s #SFRA2017 tweets.

Civilizations in Crisis: Chinese Speculative Fiction. And at the New Yorker Radio Hour: The Cultural Revolution and the Alien Invasion.

* The Jobless Utopia of La Zarzuela.

SF, Pulp & Grit.

‘Seat 14C’ short stories imagine a 20-year time warp – and now you can hop on board.

As one of the four finalists for the Edward Said Chair, I returned from the campus interview to experience a prolonged waiting period. When the news was finally delivered, I did not learn whether I had gotten the position or not. Rather, the email informed me that the position had been cancelled altogether, due to unforeseen administrative issues.

Constructing the cyber-troll: Psychopathy, sadism, and empathy.

* President Trump appears to have sourced his CNN wrestling tweet from a racist troll on Reddit.

Let us instead critique liberal multiculturalism and liberal feminism, while advancing a socialist-feminist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist vision. And let us try to leave behind the sectarian divisions that have hampered us and seize the opportunity to build a new left.

* Proponents insist that the emails, as deranged as they might seem, work. Critics argue that the tactic has a short shelf life and is deceptive. But Their Emails.

D.C. police are investigating whether patrol officers struck an 11-year-old bicyclist with their cruiser Thursday night in Northwest Washington’s Park View neighborhood and drove away without reporting the incident.

* Did Trump break the law over alleged Morning Joe National Enquirer blackmail threat? Oh honey. The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians. Trump’s CNN Tweet Linked To Reddit User HanAssholeSolo.

* Democrats completely around the bend.

How handsome is Mike Pence? We asked the experts.

* Once we dispense with the pragmatic-compromise explanation for the MSPRA, it’s much easier to understand what CAP is doing. They are proposing a “bipartisan” patch on Obamacare, not because they think they can win through compromise, but because they largely agree with what Republicans want to do. They are promoting market-based healthcare instead of embracing popular support for single payer because they do not want to see single payer succeed. There’s no counter-intuitive chess game going on here; liberals are telling the left exactly what they want, and we would do well to take them at their word.

* Generation Catalano rebrands again, again.

University of Melbourne Associate Professor of Sociology Dan Woodman—who, probably not coincidentally, was born in 1980—says the “Xennial” label applies to those born between 1977 and 1983. It’s a unique demographic group, he argues, because Xennials spent a significant chunk of their childhoods without access to computers—and indeed, will someday be among the last people on Earth to remember a time before the internet—but experienced the internet revolution early enough to still become early adopters of new technologies. People who were actually college aged when Facebook came out, in other words.

* Another one: Generation Space.

The forgotten cyberspace of the Neuromancer computer game.

* Okja and translation.

* Iran’s temperature hit 127 degrees yesterday.

* Being James Thomas Hodgkinson’s widow.

* Methadone for social media addiction.

As Cost Of Opioid Epidemic Rises, One City May Consider Not Reviving Addicts Who Repeatedly Overdose.

* How valuable is Stephen Curry?

Phone Sex Operators Say They Are Making Less Than Minimum Wage.

Escaped elephant takes a stroll through Wisconsin neighborhood.

* Ancestry.com presents: Descendents of the Founding Fathers.

* disappointedspringsteen.gif. I mean really.

* Debt and the future.

* McConnell’s nearing a deal. Don’t sugarcoat this. Trump just called for 32 million people to lose health coverage.

* A Muslim doctor in Trump country.

New Florida law lets any resident challenge what’s taught in science classes.

* ‘Terrorism’ misspelled on bench at Indiana war memorial.

Mass Grave Of Dozens Of Tortured Black Men Found In Deceased KKK Leaders Estate. UPDATE: This was a fake story.

* Personally, I think teaching is improv.

* Against Gorsuch. Against Gorsuch. Against Gorsuch.

* Fascinating analysis: The newspaper offered no definitive answer, but the question itself points to a broader issue that tends to be underexplored in the context of wrongful convictions: what typically happens with respect to the underlying crime—and, by implication, the cause of justice and of public safety—when the person found legally responsible for committing it later is determined not to be.

A Brutal Intelligence: AI, Chess, and the Human Mind.

Privilege and responsibility are the words we call on when the dream of a society organized by individual merit runs up against the hard world of systematic and intractable inequality.

In Honoring Enslaved Laborers, Colleges Seek to Blunt the Force of Their Pro-Slavery Icons.

* Wikipedia as Text Adventure.

* The Hardest Job in the World. I’m like an X-Man with psychic attack powers. Time Management: A Guide for Busy Moms.

* Factionalism / small talk. All things carry yin and embrace yang. Look for the helpers.

Horror is the only film genre where women appear and speak as often as men.

* Never meet your heroes.

* And I consider this a canonical part of Zefram Cochrane’s backstory.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 3, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Morning Links!

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Dragons Are for White Kids with Money: On the Friction of Geekdom and Race. Posted in a Facebook thread about this snippet of a review I finished today (which references this immortal Pictures for Sad Children comic).

* Hemingway, or My Mother’s Email?

If We Live Another Billion Years, a Lot of Crazy Shit Is Going to Happen.

* Like this! Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador. “It’s far worse than what has already been reported.” White House Staff ‘Hiding’ as Russia Chaos Engulfs West Wing.

* Trump to fire everyone? A special prosecutor or an independent commission? Enter the ACLU. 29%. Trump’s Premium on Loyalty Poses Hurdle in Search for FBI Chief. How Trump Gets His Fake News. Republicans who are complicit in Trump’s abuse of power will soon have a big problem. Oh, honey, no. You know, economic anxiety. An all-time great “experts say.” And here’s a bananas story that doesn’t even make the list this week.

* Suddenly relevant: Constitutional Cliffhangers: A Legal Guide for Presidents and Their Enemies.

* If Trump can stop this, though, he deserves a second term.

* Trying in vain to breathe the fire we was born in: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-My Hometown) ratted a woman out to her boss after she spoke out against him.

* Profiles in courage: Richard Burr.

On at least one occasion, he climbed out of an office window to avoid reporters, while carrying his dry cleaning, according to a senior Republican aide who has spoken to him about the episode.

Racist North Carolina Voting Law Now Permanently Dead.

* There is a fear, among some at MSNBC, that Lack is making programming decisions in an effort to appease the Trump administration (an accusation that has been made of CNN and Fox News), which may lead to more access to the White House and in turn, conservative viewers. O’Donnell was #1 in his timeslot just a few days ago.

* You didn’t think free speech was free, did you?

How Noncompete Clauses Keep Workers Locked In.

Doxing the hero who stopped WannaCry was irresponsible and dumb.

* Twilight of Windows XP.

* Stolen bees recovered in California sting operation.

A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard. Farmers Scramble to Adapt to Volatile Weather. Monumental Hands Rise from the Water in Venice to Highlight Climate Change.

Hearing on UW protest bill shows conflicting views on state of campus speech.

* Klan cosplay in Charlottesville. Disgusting.

* Even as the Trump administration prepares to loosen oversight over immigrant detention facilities, medical care already can be so substandard that cancer is treated with ibuprofen, schizophrenia with Benadryl and serious mental illness with solitary confinement, two new reports found. And if you’re not mad yet: Federal Immigration Agent Allegedly Inquired About 4th Grader At Queens Public School.

* Inside the big wood-paneled downtown library here, a sign spells out the future in four words. Come June 1, “All services will cease.”

* The pension thieves.

* The end of department stores.

Where is North Korea? Here are guesses from 1,746 adults.

The project, called Your Brain Manufacturing, was an extension of Bekking’s Brain Manufacturing project, which explored whether designers can use brain analysis to determine what people really like, rather than what their social conditioning leads them to believe they like. The answer may surprise you!

* Really, DC’s coming desecration of Watchmen just looks so unbelievably terrible. I can hardly stand it.

* What is dead may never die. What is dead may never die.

* Star Trek: Mirror Broken looks good though.

‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ live tour coming to Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater.

* If it isn’t set on Purge Day, it’s just a documentary.

An A.I. Dreamed Up a Bunch of Dungeons & Dragons Spells. They’re Surprisingly Perfect.

* The arc of history is long, but Nintendo might be making a Legend Of Zelda mobile game. This has my attention, too: Paradox Publishing A “Hardcore” Strategy Game About Mars.

* Science has proved you’re not drunk, you’re just an asshole.

* Also.

* And in a time without heroes, there was @WeRateDogs.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekend Links!

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* My upcoming Studies in Genre course has been cancelled because it has been rendered superfluous.

* I realized I’d never gotten around to adding Paradoxa 28 to the sidebar. Check it out, if you haven’t yet!

tumblr_olklhhyinn1romv9co1_540* Cuban highlighted English, philosophy, and foreign language majors as just some of the majors that will do well in the future job market. “The nature of jobs is changing,” Cuban said.

* Love as Political Resistance: Lessons of Audre Lorde and Octavia Butler. Parable Of The Sower – Not 1984 – Is The Dystopia For Our Age.

* Wikipedia vs. the deletionists.

* Style guide: the look of white supremacy.

* This was beautiful: Coed CYO hoops team defies archdiocese order to kick girls out, forfeits season.

“Is your decision to play the game without the two young ladies on the team, or do you want to stay as a team as you have all year?” asked parent Matthew Dohn. “Show of hands for play as a team?”

Eleven hands shot up in unison. No one raised a hand when asked the alternative.

Assistant coach Keisha Martel, who is also the mom of one of the girls, Kayla Martel, reminded the team of the consequences. They had been told that playing the girls would mean the rest of the season would be forfeited.

“But if the girls play, this will be the end of your season. You won’t play in the playoffs,” she warned.

“It doesn’t matter,” one boy replied and others echoed, before the team began to chant, “Unity!”

In the crowd, supporters cheered along. Several parents began to cry.

* Scenes from the Day without Latinos in Milwaukee.

* What It Feels Like When Your World Ends: Rebecca Evans on Black Wave.

* How many pounds do you need to be able to life to teach a literature class?

The Trump White House Is Screwed, Big League. Justice Department warned White House that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, officials say. Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence. Warren v. Flynn. Taking a Step Back. The Fog of Trump. What a Failed Trump Administration Looks Like. Republicans Won’t Stand Up and Stop President Trump. So you want to brief the president. That’s a hell of an act. Democrats Demand Mar-A-Lago Membership List. As Presidents Live Longer, Doctors Debate Whether To Test For Dementia. Authoritarian government watch: 6/10. The Great Government Breakdown Has Begun. A New Breakthrough in the History of the “S—gibbon.” Trump Official Obsessed Over Nuclear Apocalypse, Men’s Style, Fine Wines in 40,000 Posts on Fashion Style. The press conference from Hell. Is It Time to Call Trump Mentally Ill? Admit it: Trump is unfit to serve. ‘President Supervillain’ Puts Trump’s Quotes in Red Skull’s Mouth, and It’s Disturbingly Perfect.

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* Pitting class against race in the Age of Trump. Shadow of the Plantation.

Before the Flood: Karel Čapek and the Destructive Drift of History.

* Fantasies of the deep state.

* Rise and Fall of a K Street Renegade.

* Russia has secretly deployed a new cruise missile that American officials say violates a landmark arms control treaty, posing a major test for President Trump as his administration is facing a crisis over its ties to Moscow.

* ICE detains a woman at a courthouse receiving an order of protection, likely after receiving a tip from her alleged abuser. ICE shows up at a women’s shelter. ICE Agents Arrest Men Leaving Alexandria Church Shelter. Why Did ICE Arrest & Imprison a 23-Year-Old DREAMer and DACA Recipient Living Legally in the U.S.? Trump Considering Using National Guard for Immigration Raids. How new is this? Is ICE Out of Control?

* Well this all seems in order: EPA nominee Scott Pruitt won’t say if he would recuse himself from his own lawsuits against the agency. He’s since been confirmed, of course.

* Geoengineering LA.

* DIY to Mars.

Hillary Clinton should absolutely not run for president in 2020. And Democrats should stop her if she tries.

* Shocked, shocked to find gambling in the casino: Maybe College Isn’t the Great Equalizer. (More here.)

* Same joke but new study confirms that voter ID laws are very racist.

* Academics, your moment is here: Depression Is an Unlikely Advantage in the Fight Against Fascism.

The Campus Free Speech Battle You’re Not Seeing.

* Why American airports suck.

* I’ll allow it: There’s Going to Be a Mystery Science Theater 3000 Comic Book.

* So preoccupied with whether they could, etc: Woolly mammoth on the verge of resurrection, scientists say.

* Though this one is pretty good too.

* The LEGO commandments.

tumblr_olklhhyinn1romv9co2_1280What We Talk About When We Talk About a Women’s Strike.

* What if we pretended something that was obviously an effect of wealth were biological? I think it might look a little something like…

Obamacare Repeal Could Cripple Efforts To Combat The Opioid Epidemic. Paul Ryan wants to bring back lifetime limits. Millions now rely on these plans, and we should defend them until we can win something better. But we also shouldn’t entertain any illusions: the ACA marketplaces rest on a flawed health care ideology that tellingly attracts many adherents on the Right, including Ryan.

* News you can use: The 8 Most Inaccurate Depictions of Mars Ever Put on Film.

The surgeon who wants to perform a head transplant by 2017.

* Marquette in the news! Marquette Law alum chosen as the first black Bachelorette.

Lost Essay Reveals Winston Churchill Was Almost Certain Aliens Exist. He met the Daleks! It’s canon.

* On dogs and justice.

* Is it really time to teach 1984?

* “I understand that they feel like that is their body,” he said of women. “I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant,” he explained. “So that’s where I’m at. I’m like, hey, your body is your body and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.”

* Another apocalypse: The oceans are losing oxygen.

The New Star Wars: Aftermath Novel Reveals the Pitiful Fate of Jar Jar Binks. This bummed me out a lot, actually.

* Incredible: Suspect in North Korea killing ‘thought she was taking part in TV prank.’

* Of course you had me at “Squid Communicate with a Secret, Skin-Powered Alphabet.”

* And the reviews are in.

stephenfrug_2017-feb-17

Written by gerrycanavan

February 18, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Upcoming Courses, Summer and Fall at Marquette! SF, Tolkien, Genre Theory, Utopia, Hamilton…

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Summer 2017!

ENGLISH 2010: Literature and Genre
MW 5:30-9:00pm
Thematic Title: Science Fiction and Genre

Course Description: What is a “genre”? How does the idea of genre impact the way we read and understand literary texts? In this course we will explore these questions by studying the development of the science fiction genre in the twentieth century. What defines science fiction? What makes science fiction different from other sorts of fictions, or other types of texts? Does the name “science fiction” designate a certain set of intellectual concerns, a certain set of narrative and visual clichés, even perhaps a certain type of reader? Is it all just a marketing strategy? What makes one text “science fiction,” another text “literary fiction,” and still other texts “fantasy,” “horror,” or “fairy tale”? Does science fiction imply a certain type of politics, or a particular sort of ethics? Can it teach us anything? Is it good for us or bad for us? We will draw from a wide variety of short stories, comics, novels, games, television series, and films as our archive as we seek to understand how science fiction has adapted and thrived as a genre, even as the “real world” itself becomes more and more indistinguishable from science fiction with each passing year.

Readings: Octavia Butler, Dawn; Ted Chiang, Stories of Your Life and Others; Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go; Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead vols. 1 & 2; coursepack

Assignments: Midterm, final project, in-class presentations, class participation, and weekly responses

 

ENGLISH 6800: STUDIES IN GENRE
MTWTh 3:05-4:35pm
Thematic Title: The Law of Genre

Course Description: The law of genre, Derrida wrote, is “a principle of contamination, a law of impurity, a parasitical economy.” While genres may initially appear to us to be discrete, even obvious publishing and marketing categories, in fact these boundaries are often incredibly fluid, and difficult to define or police. In this special summer session course we will thus explore texts that operate at the weird intersections of genres — texts which seem to operate in more than one generic mode, or which switch fluidly or unexpectedly between genres, or which challenge our understanding of the aesthetic structures, commercial pressures, and political-ethical assumptions that undergird our generic categories. The course includes both literary and popular texts, allowing us to explore how genre circulates within multiple contexts and communities of discourse; in lieu of a traditional seminar paper, your assignments will be directed instead towards the generation of teaching materials and “thinkpiece”-style mini-papers, potentially suitable for publication at digital outlets or as review essays in scholarly journals.

Readings: I am open to suggestions for substitutions based on student interest, but the current planned book list for the course is Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, China Mieville’s The City and the City, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Nabokov’s Lolita,and J.K. Rowling’s The Cursed Child. We will also explore short stories from Flannery O’Connor, H.P. Lovecraft, David Foster Wallace, and Donald Barthelme, as well as academic and popular criticism and at least one recent film.

Assignments: Class participation; weekly reading journal; two “thinkpieces” / mini-papers; in-class presentations; sample course syllabi, lesson plans, and statement of teaching philosophy



Fall 2017!

ENGLISH 4610/5610: INDIVIDUAL AUTHORS
MWF 12-12:50
Thematic Title: J.R.R. Tolkien

Course Description: This decade has seen the hundredth anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien’s earliest writings on Middle-Earth (The Book of Lost Tales, begun in 1917) alongside the completion of Peter Jackson’s career-defining twenty-year project to adapt The Lord of the Rings for film (1995-2015). This course asks the question: Who is J.R.R. Tolkien, looking backward from the perspective of the twenty-first century? Why have his works, and the genre of heroic fantasy that he remade so completely in his image, remained so intensely popular, even as the world has transformed around them? Our study will primarily trace the history, development, and reception of Tolkien’s incredible magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings (written 1937-1949, published 1954-1955)—but we will also take up Tolkien’s often contested place in the literary canon of the twentieth century, the uses and abuses of Tolkien in Jackson’s blockbuster films, the special appeal of Tolkien in politically troubled times, and the ongoing critical interests and investments of Tolkien fandom today. As Tolkien scholars we will also have the privilege of drawing upon the remarkable J.R.R. Tolkien Collection at the Raynor Library here at Marquette, which contains among other treasures the original manuscripts for The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Farmer Giles of Ham.

Note: No prior knowledge of Tolkien is required. The course is designed for a mix of first-time readers, frequent re-readers, and people who are returning to the books for the first time as adults after many years away.

Readings: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and selected additional readings

Assignments: final paper or creative project; weekly forum posts; one presentation; enthusiastic and informed class participation

 

ENGLISH 6700: STUDIES IN 20TH CENTURY LITERATURE
MW 2:00-3:15
Thematic Title: Utopia in America

2016 marked the 500th anniversary of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, which inaugurated a literary genre of political and social speculation that continues to structure our imagination of what is possible. We will read Utopia and selected 19th-century utopian texts from the U.S., as well as consider utopian critical theory from thinkers like Fredric Jameson, Darko Suvin, Carl Freedman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Susan Buck-Morss, and Michel Foucault. 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 several key canonical writers of the 20th century: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Flannery O’Connor, Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood, Philip K. Dick, and Octavia Butler. 

Readings: Major texts will include Utopia, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Slaughterhouse-Five, Galapagos, Oryx and Crake, The Man in the High Castle, Parable of the Sower, and Parable of the Talents, as well as short stories and critical readings distributed via D2L.

Assignments: class participation; weekly forum posts; in-class presentations; sample course syllabi, lesson plans, and statement of teaching philosophy; seminar paper

 

UPDATE: Oops, forgot one! It’s not a traditional course, but in the fall I’ll also be doing a twelve-week seminar for the honors program on Hamilton.

HOPR 1953: FIRST-YEAR HONORS SEMINAR
F 2-3:15
Thematic Title: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton

This twelve-week course is devoted to interdisciplinary study of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash musical Hamilton, looking at the play from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: literary studies, history, cultural studies, theater studies, fine arts, and more. Closely studying the musical first in its entirety and then moving through it track-by-track, we will also explore the unexpectedly wide impact of Hamilton in the larger world of popular culture and national politics, including (in multiple ways) the 2016 presidential election. Why Hamilton? Why *this* Hamilton? And why now? Hamilton’s immense popularity, its rich intertextuality, and its incredible internal structural complexity make it a perfect opportunity to become acquainted with academic methods that will, I hope, serve you well across the rest of your time at Marquette and beyond.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 14, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Rage, Rage against the Dying of the Links

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* Some of my own stuff from the weekend: Making America Great Again with Octavia Butler and the formal, official, can’t-take-it-back-now release of Octavia E. Butler in Kindle, hardback, and paperback. CFP: Buffy at 20. Jaimee’s election poem at the New Verse News: “Donald Trump, Kate McKinnon, Leonard Cohen.”

* CFP: Capital at 150. CFP: Marxist Reading Group: Genre and the Crisis of Narrative.

* Jerome Winter on the new space opera.

* Other books I’d rather be reading: In a Galaxy 90 Miles Away: The View from Cuban Science Fiction. No Mind To Lose: On Brainwashing.

How I Wrote Arrival (and What I Learned Doing It). A Ted Chiang profile in The Guardian.

* A history of Chinese science fiction. An Islam and Sci-Fi Interview with Kim Stanley Robinson.

* The Two Americas.

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* www.holyfucktheelection.com

* Shirtless Trump Saves Drowning Kitten. The Trump Meltdown Begins. There is no way to predict where this is heading. (Okay, maybe we can predict a little bit.) How Trump Won. The counties that flipped parties to swing the 2016 election. It probably wasn’t voter suppression (except maybe in Wisconsin). We have 100 days to stop Donald Trump from systemically corrupting our institutions. Yeah, good luck. It Can’t Happen Here in 2016. The Plot Against America in 2016. Sixteen Writers on Trump’s America. Preparing for the Worst: How Conservatives Will Govern in 2017. Trump takes to Twitter to blast ‘hater, loser’ children; vows retribution. Where the Democrats Go From Here. How to Build an Exit Ramp for Trump Supporters. Amazing what a week can do. Blue Feed, Red Feed. Abolish the Electoral College. Post-Election College Grading Rubric. Google Emoluments Truth. The nine liberals you meet in hell.

* He might as well try: Obama Can and Should Put Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court.

Hillary Clinton’s Vaunted GOTV Operation May Have Turned Out Trump Voters. The Democrats’ Real Turnout Problem. Clinton Aides Blame Loss on Everything but Themselves. Comey! The Clinton Campaign Was Undone By Its Own Neglect And A Touch Of Arrogance, Staffers Say. Epic. This didn’t have to happen. They Always Wanted Trump: Inside Team Clinton’s year-long struggle to find a strategy against the opponent they were most eager to face. Twilight of the Messageless Candidate. Blame the Clintons. Obama after Obama. Whatever happened: The whole Democratic Party is now a smoking pile of rubble. 2009: The Year the Democratic Party Died. The decimation of the Democratic Party, visualized. Does the Democratic Party Have a Future? Well, have you met the Democrats? The Worst Possible Leader at the Worst Possible Time. These are the key governors’ races the Democrats will blow in 2018. Blueprint for a New Party.

* DNC Aiming To Reconnect With Working-Class Americans With New ‘Hamilton’-Inspired Lena Dunham Web Series.

* From the archives: Umberto Eco on Ur-Fascism.

* Historians under Hitler. When Hitler Pivoted. Autocracy: Rules for Survival. What Is The “Alt-Right”? A Guide To The White Nationalist Movement Now Leading Conservative Media. Prepare For Regime Change, Not Policy Change.

Why FiveThirtyEight Gave Trump A Better Chance Than Almost Anyone Else. More from Nate’s Twitter. And from another angle entirely: Things look an awful lot like they would if we decided elections by coin flip.

So many more examples could be given, but it’s getting late, and one general takeaway from the 2016 Election seems clear: our popular media, from those producing it to those sorting it with editors and algorithms, are not up to the task of informing us and describing reality. This won’t happen, but those people who got Trump sooo consistently wrong from the primaries to Election Day should not have the job of informing us anymore. And if you were surprised last night, you might want to reconsider how you get information.

* The New Inquiry has been all over the Trump Resistance. Waking up in Trump’s America. Lose Your Kin. Against Extinction. Fuck. The Gamble. And the struggle goes on: “Thanksgiving is the festival of white reconciliation.”

* No President. What a proper response to Trump’s fascism demands: a true ideological left.

* Richard Rorty, 1998.

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* Do any laws bind electors to vote along with their state? Not really. But this cuts both ways, and basically ruins any sort of “hack the Electoral College scheme” from the jump too. Meanwhile, let’s hack the Electoral College, because what could possibly go wrong.

* Truly, only the superrich can save us now.

* Beginning to look a lot like Christmasttime: UPS strike. O’Hare strike.

* Rise of the Sanctuary Campus.

And yet, to my knowledge, no one has explained clearly enough that globalization is over, and that we urgently need to reestablish ourselves on an Earth that has nothing to do with the protective borders of nation-states any more than the infinite horizon of globalization.

* Being Productive in Scholarly Publishing: Advice from Jason Brennan. No one said you’d like it.

* A GoFundMe for SEK’s medical bills. I only wish the prognosis were better.

The New Intellectuals: Is the academic jobs crisis a boon to public culture?

* Title IX is effectively finished, at least in its current form. More here. “College” as a concept may not be all that far behind.

* On toxifying, rather than repealing, the ACA.

Trump Will Have Access To Personal Info Of “Dreamers” For Deportation Efforts. This precise possibility, of course, was raised as an objection to Obama’s action at the time.

* Democrats, 2016, preserving the state, and the man of lawlessness.

* After a tweet blaming this all on Bill Clinton, Steve Shaviro provided a time-travel novel to soothe my pain: The X-President.

* The coming Democratic defeat on infrastructure.

What Women Used Before They Could Use the Law.

* Trans in Trump’s America.

* Passing the baton.

* I want things to be different.

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* This world is so messed up. Let’s go do something good.

* How to Reverse Engineer Smells.

november_2016* The Official November 2016 Guide for Making People Feel Old.

* The 100-Year-Old Man Who Lives in the Future.

* Why kids need recess.

Fact-checking doesn’t ‘backfire,’ new study suggests. Calling people racist might, though.

Harry Potter and the Conscience of a Liberal.

* What if X-Men were a Gothic novel?

* Calexit.

The economists are leveraging their academic prestige with secret reports justifying corporate concentration. Their predictions are often wrong and consumers pay the price.

* Next crash brewing.

* Huge, if true: Report finds many graduate students are stressed about finances.

* An Oral History of My So-Called Life.

* The Fate of Reading in a Multimedia Age.

* I think I did this one a few months ago, but at least somebody has a plan: Optimal search path for finding Waldo.

* We asked eighty-six burglars how they broke into homes.

* New research suggests the Earth’s climate could be more sensitive to greenhouse gases than thought, raising the spectre of an ‘apocalyptic side of bad’ temperature rise of more than 7C within a lifetime. With Trump’s election I think any hope of solving this without geoengineering is over, and perhaps all hope period.

The North Pole is a mere 36 degrees warmer than normal as winter descends. Give it a chance!

Stephen Hawking says we’ve got about 1,000 years to find a new place to live. So you’re saying we have 999 years before we even need to think about this.

* But it’s not all bad news! Blood from human teens rejuvenates body and brains of old mice.

* And the thrilling conclusion to the thisisfine.jpg trilogy, truly the epic of our times.

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 18, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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

New Fall Syllabus #1: Alternate History!

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

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

A few other things I was very sad to lose:

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

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

M Aug. 29 FIRST DAY OF CLASS

in-class writing exercise: “What If…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

W Oct. 5 Sid Meier’s Civilization

videos: Civilization V timelapse gameplay videos [YouTube]

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

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

F Oct. 7 Sid Meier’s Civilization

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

 
M Oct. 10 FIRST PAPER DUE

SECOND PAPER GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FINAL PROJECT GUIDELINES DISTRIBUTED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

F Dec. 9 FINAL PROJECT WORKSHOP

LAST DAY OF CLASS

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

 

 

Get June Started Right with June Links

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* CFP for the first issue of Fantastika Journal.

* David Higgins reviews Paradoxa 27: The Futures Industry.

Ending Their Wars: On Memorial Day, socialists honor the victims of war and struggle for a world free of it.

* This Is What Extinction Sounds Like.

* “Society doesn’t need a 21-year-old who is a sixth century historian.”

* So here’s my question: if this is all so “common sense” and “modest” then why do you have to lie so much about process and intentions? Why are people who drone on about “accountability” for others allowed to act without any accountability to the institutions they are supposed to represent?

* The Life Cycle of Genres.

Where genre is concerned, this means that our goal is no longer to define a genre, but to find a model that can reproduce the judgments made by particular historical observers. For instance, adjectives of size (“huge,” “gigantic,” but also “tiny”) are among the most reliable textual clues that a book will be called science fiction. Few people would define science fiction as a meditation on size, but it turns out that works categorized as science fiction (by certain sources) do spend a lot of time talking about the topic.

[whispers] Well, my dissertation and book-when-I-finally-get-around-to-massively-revising-it does define science fiction as a meditation on size…

* Bonus Ted Underwood content! The Real Problem with Distant Reading.

* In response to McGurl’s call we intend to create a digital database along with a visualization tool that can be used to map the professional itineraries and social networks of everyone who ever studied or taught creative writing at Iowa since the Workshop’s inception to the present date.

Duke University enters hotel business with $62 million project. You know, nonprofit for educational purposes.

University Of Akron President Resigns After Financial Controversies.

Is It Time for Universities to Get Out of the Hospital Business?

* …if you take up these old positions about what a higher education in the humanities should involve, you end up dancing with some very conservative people. I found myself in very strange company when I began to hold out for education, not as a credentialising process, but what I think of as encouragement for the revolutionary force of individual curiosity–pursued without limit.

* On some campuses, a dogmatic form of identity politics clearly has taken hold. But what’s too often missing from this picture is the very thing that opponents of political correctness so often decry: a sense of proportion and judgment, and an awareness that what transpires on the radical edges of elite universities is not always an accurate barometer of what’s happening in the wider world.

* Rule-Breaking Iceland Completes Its Miracle Economic Escape.

Middle Eastern Writers Find Refuge in the Dystopian Novel.

* Which City Has the Most Unpredictable Weather? Of course Milwaukee makes the top-ten for major metropolitan areas.

* It’s 2016. Why is anyone still keeping elephants in circuses?

* How rich does a black criminal have to be to get treated like a white one?

* Vindicated! A new meta analysis in Perspectives in Psychological Science looked at 33 studies on the relationship between deliberate practice and athletic achievement, and found that practice just doesn’t matter that much.

* 11 History Books You Should Read Before Writing Your Military SF Novel.

* On Early Science Fiction and the Medieval.

* Literature and prestige.

* Careerism and totalitarianism.

 Genocide, she insisted, is work. If it is to be done, people must be hired and paid; if it is to be done well, they must be supervised and promoted.

* Trump and the university.

* On Progressive Racism.

Progressive racism is how racism is enacted by being denied: how racism is heard as a blow to the reputation of an organisation as being progressive. We can detect the same mechanism happening in political movements: when anti-racism becomes part of an identity for progressive whites, racism is either re-located in a body over there (the racist) or understood as a blow to self-reputation of individuals for being progressive. This term “progressive whites” comes from Ruth Frankenberg important work on whiteness studies. She argues that focusing on whiteness purely in negative terms can  “leaves progressive whites apparently without any genealogy” (1993, 232).  Kincheloe and Steinberg in their work on whiteness studies write of “the necessity of creating a positive, proud, attractive antiracist white identity” (1998, 34). Indeed, the most astonishing aspect of this list of adjectives (positive, proud, attractive, antiracist) is that antiracism then becomes just another white attribute in a chain: indeed, anti-racism may even provide the conditions for a new discourse of white pride.

When we peel back its progressive pedagogical covering, the teaching-tool defense is embodied in unequal reasoning. It is embodied in racist logic: our national inability to value the same, to reason the same, to think the same for different racial groups.

What effects has “ban the box” had so far? Two new working papers suggest that, as economic theory predicts, “ban the box” policies increase racial disparities in employment outcomes. So disheartening.

Shady accounting underpins Trump’s wealth. No! I won’t believe it!

What’s the Matter with San Francisco: How Silicon Valley’s Ideology Has Ruined a Great City.

* Well, the establishment’s also pretty bored by literary work that deals with our treatment of the rest of being — you know, other animals, the rest of life on Earth, the creatures beyond the man-apes. Like the tragedy of how our men treat our women, the tragic way humans treat nonhumans is still, to many U.S. fiction arbiters, also irrelevant as a conversation, often dismissed as a boutique topic that’s the fodder of cranks and tree huggers. Women and the rest of species in existence: two flaming badges of uncool.

* Harambe launches a thousand thinkpieces.

The Black Film Canon: The 50 greatest movies by black directors.

Jessica Valenti: my life as a ‘sex object.’

* How an industry helps Chinese students cheat their way into and through U.S. colleges.

Nearly half of young black men in Chicago out of work, out of school. All told, over that same 14-year stretch, Chicago’s black population decreased by an estimated 200,000 residents, or nearly 19 percent. Illinois now has the highest unemployment rate in the United States.

If you were designing the worst place to be poor in decades ahead, you’d come up with a low-density, auto-dependent, aging and declining suburb.

* AP FACT CHECK: Clinton misstates key facts in email episode. Hillary Clinton vs. Herself. Hillary Clinton Remains the Most Likely 45th President of the United States.

After Being Called Out, Trump Hastily Donates the Veterans’ Aid Money He Said He’d Already Donated. Meet David French: the random dude off the street Bill Kristol decided will save America from Trump.

* This is good fun but pretty seriously slanders Magneto and the Joker.

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The Republicans’ Military Budget Could Make Every Homeless Person In America A Millionaire.

The Male Gaze in a Math Book.

* Coming from Pixar, 2022: Swarm of bees follows woman’s car for two days to rescue their queen.

* The paralogisms of pure dismissal.

* Fandom Is Broken. A Retort. I’m mostly just impressed with how hard I nailed it.

* Baby abandoned at SF State now one of its grads.

Quitting Your Job to Pursue Your Passion is Bullshit.

* Timeline maps.

* Hyperattention and hyperdistraction.

* Not a Review of Neoreaction a Basilisk. I for one welcome our artificially intelligent overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted writer and educator, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground zinc caves.

* Make Bayesianism Work for You.

A Renegade Muscles In on Mister Softee’s Turf.

“Let me tell you about this business,” Adam Vega, a thickly muscled, heavily tattooed Mister Softee man who works the upper reaches of the Upper East Side and East Harlem, said on Wednesday. “Every truck has a bat inside.”

A Fascinating Video Essay Explores the Key Reason Why Calvin and Hobbes Remains So Beloved Today.

* This is a little old, but DC has basically gone ahead and made it real, so…

David Mitchell buries latest manuscript for a hundred years.

Algorithms: The Future That Already Happened.

Judith Butler on the Value of the Humanities and Why We Read.

* Time to panic about Rogue One.

* I still can’t believe The Cursed Child is a real thing. Even photographs can’t convince me.

[somberly drags FerrisBueller.privilege.Salon.docx to the trash can]

Business Of Disaster: Insurance Firms Profited $400 Million After Sandy.

* Over a third of coral is dead in parts of the Great Barrier Reef, scientists say.

* And to imagine the ocean of the future: picture a writhing mass of unkillable tentacles, forever.

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 1, 2016 at 8:31 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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