Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Marquette

Just Another Monday Morning Linkpost

with one comment

* I asked “If you were going to do a NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF THEORY AND CRITICISM lit crit class where the gimmick was that you always returned to a foundational text for application, what would you choose?” and got some really good ideas. Right now, if I do it rather than a multiple-choice or wheel-of-fortune variant, it looks like it’s going to be Frankenstein.

* CFP for SFRA 2019, at Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Her Eyes Weren’t Watching God: The Empathetic Secular Vision of Octavia Butler.

N.K. Jemisin – Building a World.

Nicholas Hoult as J.R.R. Tolkien in first look at ‘Lord Of The Rings’ author’s biopic. Deadwood Movie Confirmed for Spring 2019 Premiere. And the new Aladdin movie looks worse than I ever could have possibly imagined.

* This week I went on a journey into the madness of The Phantom Podcast, which reviews the Star Wars prequel trilogy as if the series began with Episode 1, and I regret nothing. Scroll all the way down.

Active-Shooter Drills Are Tragically Misguided: There’s scant evidence that they’re effective. They can, however, be psychologically damaging—and they reflect a dismaying view of childhood.

* america.jpg

Students and Faculty Plan Walkout Over Johns Hopkins’ ICE Contract.

* How to Make Grad School More Humane.

Should You Allow Laptops in Class? Here’s What the Latest Study Adds to That Debate.

International Graduate-Student Enrollments and Applications Drop for 2nd Year in a Row.

* WTF Is Going on at Wright State? Seriously. Seriously. Seriously. Seriously.

* “Student Loan Relief or Paid Vacation? These Workers Get a Choice.” Here’s Why So Many Americans Feel Cheated By Their Student Loans.

* The real political correctness on campus is the feckless submission to anyone remotely rich and powerful, no matter how they behave.

* Every tweet in this thread is enraging. Every one.

* Plan S and the humanities.

Julian Glander’s Art Sqool is about Froshmin, a small, round person who is going to an art school run by an artificial intelligence that is going to help Froshmin become a great artist. Or at least some kind of artist. Actually, thinking about it, the weird little robot who evaluates all of your art doesn’t make any promises about ability or skill or fame or recognition as a product of the time that Froshmin spends at Art Sqool. Wait, shit, is this a scam?

When Jamaica Led the Postcolonial Fight Against Exploitation.

When the Camera Was a Weapon of Imperialism. (And When It Still Is.)

How Flight Attendants Grounded Trump’s Shutdown.

The battle for the future of Stonehenge.

* The Museum at Auschwitz.

* 250 dead, $91 billion in damages: 2018 was a catastrophic year for U.S. weather; 4th-warmest for globe. A hole opens up under Antarctic glacier — big enough to fit two-thirds of Manhattan. Melting glaciers reveal ancient landscapes, thawing mummies, and long-dead diseases. Rising Temperatures Could Melt Most Himalayan Glaciers by 2100. Tasmania is burning. The climate disaster future has arrived while those in power laugh at us. Global warming could exceed 1.5C within five years. Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’. The end of the Colorado. Polar thinking.

A Huge Climate Change Movement Led By Teenage Girls Is Sweeping Europe. And It’s Coming To The US Next.

Latinos, blacks breathe 40 percent more pollution than whites in California, study says.

Liberal Democrats Formally Call for a ‘Green New Deal,’ Giving Substance to a Rallying Cry. More here.

* Day care for all.

* Ugh. Gotta preserve this flawless system.

Please Stop Writing Nancy Pelosi Fan Fiction.

Tax the Hell Out of the Rich, When They’re Alive and When They’re Dead.

* Meanwhile, it sounds like things going great in Britain.

Brett Kavanaugh Just Declared War on Roe v. Wade.

* Parable of the Talents watch: Missing Migrant Children Being Funneled Through Christian Adoption Agency.

“I made mistakes”: Jill Abramson responds to plagiarism charges around her new book.

* On the NPC meme.

* Sesame Workshop has finally given up on Bert and Ernie.

* On the end of The Good Place.

* Patreon planning to completely betray its user base, of course.

* Google is already way down that road. As is everyone else.

* Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is preparing for New York’s establishment Dems to eliminate her district.

* Headlines from the end of the world: “Ketamine Could Be the Key to Reversing America’s Rising Suicide Rate.”

Sexual Abuse of Nuns: Longstanding Church Scandal Emerges From Shadows. 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms.

Customs And Border Protection Apologized After An Agent Questioned A BuzzFeed News Reporter About Trump Coverage.

* “Hackers using black-market Israeli ICE-breakers to extort a billionaire who’s replacing his employees with robots, at the behest of a shadowy tabloid/petromonarchy alliance, is actually the cyberpunk future we were promised, and yet.” But for real.

* On Jaws 4. On a legally distinct Harry Potter.

* Young engineer upgraded the LEGO bionic arm he built for himself.

* I’m amazed it’s even legal to sell these paintings in Germany.

* Where do the lines cross?

Fun fact, if you want to go from one side of Maui to the other you have to take this weird, 30-mile, up-and-back-down detour UNLESS you are Oprah Winfrey, who owns a private 4-mile road that she has paved and everything, connecting the narrowest part of the route.

* Finland gave people free money. It didn’t help them get jobs — but does that matter?

* The meat industry vs. lab-grown meat.

* On autism in women.

* Neoliberalism evolves.

* An antibiotic-style treatment for cancer? Let’s hope.

* Maybe she’s born with it.

* And not all heroes wear capes.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 11, 2019 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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

612 Frozen Hellscape Links for All Your Frozen Hellscape Needs

with 2 comments

* In case you missed it, I posted my syllabi for the spring last week: Classics of Science Fiction, Game Studies, and Methods of Inquiry: The Mind. And just in time for my games course: Marquette announces that esports — competitive video gaming — will be a varsity sport next year.

* Another just-in-case-you-missed-it: I was on the most recent episode of Random Trek talking about Voyager episode 7.18, “Human Error.”

* I was interviewed for this Octavia E. Butler audio documentary at the BBC, though it’s geolocked at the moment and even I can’t listen to it…

* Polygraph 22 (“Ecology and Ideology”), coedited by me, Lisa Klarr, and Ryan Vu in 2010, has been put up in its entirety at the Polygraph site. Some sort of retrospective involving the three of us is coming in Polygraph 25 on Marxism and climate change…

* And you can read our introduction to The Cambridge History of Science Fiction for free at CUP! Put in a purchase order with your institutional library today!

* CFP: Marxism and Pornography.

* CFP: Canadian Science Fiction.

* CFP: After Fantastika.

* Science Fiction and Social Justice: An Overview.

* Special issue: Queerness and Video Games.

Speculative Anthropologies.

* Absolutely worst week of weather since we moved to Wisconsin. Ancient Plants Reveal Arctic Summers Haven’t Been This Hot in 115,000 Years. Sea levels could rise by metres amid record Antarctic ice melt, scientists warn. And meanwhile, in Australia.

* For and against hopepunk.

* The hope in dystopia.

* The radical hope of Octavia E. Butler.

* Snowpiercer was a documentary.

Fantastic Beasts and Muggles: Antihumanism in Rowling’s Wizarding World.

* The next Cixin Liu: Supernova Era.

Red Moon, Red Earth: the radical science fiction of Kim Stanley Robinson.

* A year-end (oops) roundup post about great science fiction stories from 2018.

The Largest J.R.R. Tolkien Exhibit in Generations Is Coming to the U.S.: Original Drawings, Manuscripts, Maps & More.

* At its core was an algorithm so powerful that you could give it the rules of humanity’s richest and most studied games and, later that day, it would become the best player there has ever been.

* What’s a dirty secret that everybody in your industry knows but anyone outside of your line of work would be scandalized to hear?

* The University in Ruins: Colleges Lose a ‘Stunning’ 651 Foreign-Language Programs in 3 Years. The life and death and life? of the English major. Getting Students to Study Literature.

Proceedings Start Against ‘Sokal Squared’ Hoax Professor. Landmark controversy could determine once and for all whether journal editors are people.

* The MSU autopsy.

Being Poor in America’s Most Prestigious M.F.A. Program.

The median salary for a full-time writer in America is $20,300.

* When you kill the humanities, you kill the sciences’ revenue stream.

4. The real analogy to make here is how many monuments do you see to, say the “genocidal regime” in Germany? Are there statues of Hitler at the University of Berlin? Of course not. There are “historical remnants” across Germany. But that is different than erecting monuments.

Racism and the Wisconsin Idea. And while we’re beating up on Wisconsin: Mandela Barnes Is First African-American In Decades To Hold Statewide Office In Wisconsin.

How Ph.D.s Romanticize the ‘Regular’ Job Market. Okay, y’all, let’s talk quick about what my experience was getting an #altac job. And from the archives: Alt-Ac Isn’t Always the Answer.

* Federal judge allows to proceed a suit in which white student says an admissions officer told her she might improve her odds of getting into medical school by discovering Native American or African American lineage.

* Baby Boomers to steal college from their grandchildren, again.

* Hampshire College struggles to stay afloat.

* College of Theseus.

* The university at the end of the world.

How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation. Generation Layoff.

A $21,000 Cosmetology School Debt, and a $9-an-Hour Job.

Not lazy, not faking: teaching and learning experiences of university students with disabilities.

In this context, diversity banners are not evidence of Maoism on the march. They are evidence of an institution whose ideals are at odds with its social function. Few in higher education want to work in a laundering operation that exchanges parental capital for students’ social capital so that they can turn it back into material capital again.And yet…

The Data Colleges Collect on Applicants. Chinese schools are using ‘smart uniforms’ to track their students’ locations.

* Journalism in ruins. What will Google and Facebook do when they’ve killed off every industry they’re parasitic on? BuzzFeed’s Unpaid 19-Year-Old Quiz Genius on Her Tricks, the Layoffs, and Jonah Peretti. Do You Still Have A Job At BuzzFeed?

* How to build a Medicare-for-all plan, explained by somebody who’s thought about it for 20 years.

* The Foxconn deal just gets worse and worse.

Whiteness in 21st century America has an endgame, and it is this: to divest itself from the shame of its power, while working to revive the fear it needs in which to thrive.

In the face of climate apocalypse, the rich have been devising escape plans. What happens when they opt out of democratic preparation for emergencies? Call me crazy but the horse may have left the barn on this one.

Our national amnesia and insouciance is so advanced (sort of like those of our president) that we have already forgotten that Malibu burned down this fall and the celebrities had to flee, many losing their multimillion-dollar mansions. Ocean Warming Is Accelerating Faster Than Thought, New Research Finds. Billionaire Miami Beach Developer Dismisses Rising Sea Levels as ‘Paranoia.’ Ancient Plants Reveal Arctic Summers Haven’t Been This Hot in 115,000 Years. The Democrats are climate deniers. What It’s Like to Be a High School Senior and Lose Everything in the Worst Fire in California History. Managed retreat. This is what extinction feels like from the inside. Everything is not going to be okay.

* Consider de-extinction.

Soy boom devours Brazil’s tropical savanna.

* The end of the monarch butterfly.

Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, would have to pay $4.1 billion in the first year under U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax, based on his current net worth of $137.1 billion. Article never quite gets around to mentioning that that’s about three weeks of Bezos’s earnings.

* Meanwhile: Hospitals Are Asking Their Own Patients to Donate Money. The wallet biopsy.

* Politicians have caused a pay ‘collapse’ for the bottom 90 percent of workers, researchers say.

* Joe Manchin’s Daughter Was Responsible For Increasing EpiPen Prices By 400%.

* “If True, This Could Be One of the Greatest Discoveries in Human History”: The head of Harvard’s astronomy department says what others are afraid to say about a peculiar object that entered the solar system.

Mysterious radio signals from deep space detected.

Surely You’re a Creep, Mr. Feynman.

* Surviving R. Kelly.

The Bulletproof Coffee Founder Has Spent $1 Million in His Quest to Live to 180.

J’Accuse…! Why Jeanne Calment’s 122-year old longevity record may be fake.

CBS All Access playing with fire with my precious baby wants to create the next generation of Trekkies with multiple animated Star Trek series. On the plus side, Michelle Yeoh is good. On the down side, she will be playing a fascist, and the show will be poorly lit.” Star Trek 4.

* Trump scandal watch 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

* What even is Fox News?

* The ACLU made the Border Patrol reveal its terrifying legal theories.

* Face it, tiger, you just need a new Constitution.

* Twilight of the UCB.

* Bandersnatch stats. The Illusion of Free Will: On “Bandersnatch” and Interactive Fiction. The biggest thing missing from Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’s horror story about a career in games. Paging the Reddit detectives.

* Ainehi Edoro on the New Image of Africa in Black Panther.

* I have a problem with Black Panther: Anyone committed to an expansive concept of Pan-African liberation must regard ‘Black Panther’ as a counterrevolutionary film.

Was Jane Jetson a Child Bride?

Dozens of college-age men dead from ‘accidental’ drownings—but a team of retired detectives say the boys were drugged and killed by a shadowy gang with a sinister symbol.

The year was 2005. That same year, National Book Award-winning author George Saunders traveled to Kathmandu to meet Bomjon, or “Buddha Boy” as the Western press had dubbed him. Saunders trekked deep into the unruly jungle that’s shadowed by the distant Himalayas and recalled his adventure for GQ, reporting back that he felt as though he’d experienced a miracle. A divine presence. Dark Secrets of Nepal’s Famous Buddha Boy.

‘Nobody Is Going to Believe You.’ How is Bryan Singer still working?

* Sex after Chernobyl.

Winners of the 2018 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest. There’s more posts after the links, I just liked a bunch of these.

* Uber and Lyft singlehandedly wipe out US transit gains.

* AAVE and court stenography.

General Strike: Fierce Urgency of Now.

Research shows that encouraging all women to breastfeed comes with serious risks. Will our perception of it ever catch up?

* The end of forever: what happens when an adoption fails?

* When Isaac Asimov predicted 2019.

* The United States of Rage.

Facebook knowingly duped game-playing kids and their parents out of money.

How The Lord of the Rings Changed Publishing Forever.

* Maybe fixing schools isn’t actually about cutting budgets down to nothing and calling it a day.

* Automation at Amazon. Automation everywhere.

* The future is here, it just isn’t very evenly distributed: Wielding Rocks and Knives, Arizonans Attack Self-Driving Cars.

The Fascinating ’80s Public Access Films Produced by a California UFO Cult.

“Black babies in the United States die at just over two times the rate of white babies in the first year of their life,” says Arthur James, an OB-GYN at Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University in Columbus. When my daughter died, she and I became statistics.

How Sears Was Gutted By Its Own CEO. Sears bankruptcy court OKs $25 million in bonuses for top execs.

Math against crimes against humanity: Using rigorous statistics to prove genocide when the dead cannot speak for themselves.

* The Future of the Great Lakes.

The Owner of One of the Biggest Comedy Clubs in the Country Tells Us Why She Said No to Booking Louis CK. Walking away from Louis C.K.The end.

* Fake-porn videos are being weaponized to harass and humiliate women: ‘Everybody is a potential target.’

I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America.

2018: The Year In Ideas: A Review Of Ideas. What Will History Books Say About 2018?

* The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda.

* 538 really covering its bases: How Kamala Harris Could Win The 2020 Democratic Primary. How Pete Buttigieg Could Win The 2020 Democratic Nomination.

* This Is What Happens When You Try to Sue Your Boss.

Tesla chief Elon Musk’s corporate jet flew more than 150,000 miles last year, or more than six times around the Earth, as he raced between the outposts of his futuristic empire during what he has called “the most difficult and painful year” of his career, according to flight records obtained by The Washington Post.

In the time it has taken for a child to grow up in Chicago, city leaders have either closed or radically shaken up some 200 public schools — nearly a third of the entire district — a comprehensive new tally by WBEZ finds. Boston’s economy is booming, but schools seem cash poor. Why? Hidden crisis: D.C.-area students owe nearly half a million in K-12 school lunch debt.

* Yes, there are online preschools. And early childhood experts say they stink.

Gym Class Is So Bad Kids Are Skipping School to Avoid It.

* The end of tag.

* The generation gap in the age of blogs.

Why a Medieval Woman Had Lapis Lazuli Hidden in Her Teeth.

AI Algorithm Can Detect Alzheimer’s Earlier Than Doctors.

* The secret of my success: A small literature demonstrates that names are economically relevant. However, this is the first paper to examine the relationship between surname initial rank and male life outcomes, including human capital investments and labor market experiences. Surnames with initials farther from the beginning of the alphabet were associated with less distinction and satisfaction in high school, lower educational attainment, more military service and less attractive first jobs. These effects were concentrated among men who were undistinguished by cognitive ability or appearance, and, for them, may have persisted into middle age. They suggest that ordering is important and that over-reliance on alphabetical orderings can be harmful.

Waukesha college helps answer ‘What’s next?’ for people with autism.

* Today in dark, dark headlines: Female veterinarians committing suicide in record numbers.

We’re Working Nurses to Death.

* Grifts in everything: GoFundMe Provides Refunds To Donors Duped By Viral Campaign.

* The DNA grift.

* “Look, a lot of Twitter is bad. No question. But only Twitter can take you on a journey like this. What a website.”

It is one of the neoliberal commandments that innovation in markets can always rectify any perceived problems thrown up by markets in the first place. Thus, whenever opponents on the nominal left have sought to ameliorate some perceived political problem through direct regulation or taxation, the Russian doll of the [neoliberal] thought collective quickly roused itself, mobilized to invent and promote some new market device to supposedly achieve the ‘same’ result. But what has often been overlooked is that, once the stipulated market solution becomes established as a live policy option, the very same Russian doll then also rapidly produces a harsh critique of that specific market device, usually along the lines that it insufficiently respects full market efficiency. This seemingly irrational trashing of neoliberal policy device that had earlier been emitted from the bowls of the [neoliberal thought collective] is not evidence of an unfortunate propensity for self-subversion or unfocused rage against government, but instead an amazingly effective tactic for shifting the universe of political possibility further to the right.

* And a tiny fraction of the genius Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has been laying down day after day after day while I’ve been gone: When sociologists make movies. Pickup lines. I couldn’t live without you. Domestication. Can video games be art? Honestly, Frank, that sounds like conspiracy theory territory. On Framing. I come from the future. Econ 101. Do you think humans are capable of suffering? Machine ethics.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 30, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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

Spring 2019 Syllabi! “Classics of Science Fiction” and Game Studies

leave a comment »

I’m teaching three courses this semester: a graduate level course titled “Classics of Science Fiction,” a first-year seminar on game studies, and the second half of our yearlong “methods of inquiry” sequence (also for first-years). You can see the full syllabi in all their glory at my website:

ENGL 6700: Classics of Science Fiction

Main texts: Jack Finney, Invasion of the Body Snatchers; Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed; Octavia E. Butler, Kindred; William Gibson, Neuromancer; Octavia E. Butler, Bloodchild and Other Stories; Kim Stanley Robinson, The Lucky Strike; Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen; Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), 2001, Blade Runner, and Star Trek: The Next Generation; “That Only a Mother,” “The Evitable Conflict,” “All You Zombies,” “The Heat-Death of the Universe”; “Houston, Houston, Do You Read” and “The Screwfly Solution,” “The Gernsback Continuum,” “Game Night at the Fox and Goose”; “The Space Traders”; criticism from Suvin, Sontag, Jameson, Freedman, Delany, Csiscery-Ronay, Rieder, and even Gerry Canavan himself

HONORS 1955H: Game Studies

Main texts: Ian Bogost, How to Do Things with Video Games; Alexander Galloway, Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture; Frans Märyä, An Introduction to Game Studies; The Stanley Parable, Doom, Journey, Bandersnatch, Tetris, Candy Crush, Civilization, SimCity, The King of Kong, Braid, FIFA 19

CORE 1929H: Methods of Inquiry: The Mind

WEEK ONE—HISTORY: George Rousseau, “Depression’s Forgotten Geneaology: Notes Towards a History of Depression”

WEEK TWO—STRUCTURE: Luigi Esposito and Fernando M. Perez, “Neoliberalism and the Commodification of Mental Health”

WEEK THREE—PERSONAL NARRATIVE: Leslie Kendall Dye, “It Isn’t That Shocking”

That last one is a 1.5 credit course that’s mostly devoted to independent research in the second half, but it did allow me the chance to formalize something like a definition of the difference between the physical sciences and the academic humanities as I see them operating, at least at the level of the very extreme generalization, for better or worse:

Last semester we were working at the intersection of the sciences and the humanities, exploring the ways each of these two “cultures” engage questions of knowledge production and dissemination. In contrasting the humanities to the sciences, I suggested that contemporary humanities approaches—speaking of course extremely generally—tend to extend from a few assumptions that are not always shared by the sciences (especially the physical sciences, but also some historically conservative social science disciplines like economics or political science):

1) social causation: the proposition that the best explanations for social phenomena originate in social structures, rather than in individual psychologies, pathologies, or choices;

2) social construction: the proposition that knowledge is embedded within social structures like language, ideology, history, and economics, rather than existing radically apart from social structures in supposedly objective facts or eternal truths;

3) social justice: the proposition that knowledge has a politics, and that we should choose methods of knowledge production and dissemination that help heal the world rather than do harm or simply remain neutral.

Black Friday Links! Will Not Save You Money!

leave a comment »

* The Buffy at 20″ special issue of Slayage is out, with an introduction by me and James South, interviews on the future of Whedon Studies with Rhonda Wilcox and Sherryl Vint, and seven terrific articles by conference attendees on “Restless,” “Normal Again,” Fuffy, Spike, mental health, anger, and the soul. Check it out! I think the interview with Sherryl is especially interesting if I do say so myself, and raises some intriguing questions about the status of Whedon Studies as a discipline going forward: “Whedon Studies after Whedon.”

* CFP: 21st Century Climate Fiction.

Students Want to Write Well; We Don’t Let Them. We Aren’t Here to Learn What We Already Know.

* Frankie Muniz doesn’t remember the show that made him famous.

* Becoming Anne Frank: Why did we turn an isolated teenage girl into the world’s most famous Holocaust victim?

Here Are the Outrageous Incentives That Losing Cities Offered Amazon for HQ2. How to Stop the Amazon Extortion From Happening AgainBreak up Amazon. More and more and more. And of course.

* It still doesn’t even approach the scale of the Foxconn con. Time to check in on the old job creators.

Indigenous women kept from seeing their newborn babies until agreeing to sterilization, says lawyer. In 2017.

* With illness in shelters and hotels at capacity, wildfire evacuees desperately seek refuge. Made homeless by flames, evacuees face hardship, disease and desperation. California Wildfires Are A Bigger Public Health Nightmare Than Anyone Imagined. Dozens dead, thousands missing.

Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities.’ The Ecological Is Political. What were Ocasio-Cortez and 150 young activists doing in Nancy Pelosi’s office? The Green New Deal. And, you know, for kids: the Civ 6 climate change expansion.

For First Act in Power, Democrats Consider Making Their Own Agenda Impossible to Pass.

* Silicon Valley’s boosters say it’s an innovative, meritocratic wonderland that rewards brilliant visionaries and just might save the world. That’s nonsense.

* Presenting your attorney general. This is going to be wild. It’s only been like a week.

“I see this morning we are down to 26 ICE detainees,” Lt. Dan Lindhorst wrote in an email. “Could you please see if you can get these numbers up.”

* Trump spent $200,000,000 on the election stunt of sending 6,000 troops to the border, then withdrew them before the caravan arrived. A steal at twice the price!

* Authorities find a rocket launcher and pipe bombs during massive Florida white supremacist sting. The Great Race Panic. Scary Clowns. Brookings running cover for Bolsonaro, already.

* “Aides squared off against administration immigration hawks over an order they said was beyond the president’s constitutional powers.”

Essentially every right wing media operation in the country is run at a huge loss while screeching about markets, markets, markets. It’s a truly amazing grift.

* On doctors and guns: staying in your lane.

Girl, 13, Who Wrote Essay on Gun Violence Is Killed by Stray Bullet.

Cop not charged, not disciplined, cleared of any wrongdoing and back on the job.

* Is any bit of this legal? The new “Cabinet order” was signed by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, not President Donald Trump. It allows “Department of Defense military personnel” to “perform those military protective activities that the Secretary of Defense determines are reasonably necessary” to protect border agents, including “a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary), crowd control, temporary detention. and cursory search.”

* When your medicine spies on you. It’s becoming a habit.

Northern Michigan U. Compensates 4 Who Were Threatened With Punishment for Speaking of Suicide. Bombshell Lawsuit Against Dartmouth. This gay college athlete was disowned by her parents and left with nothing. Just 96 of 30,000 people who applied for public service loan forgiveness actually got it. Stevens Points doomed to repeat it.

The Gospel According to Mark Fisher.

Of course Wes Anderson’s curated museum exhibit is full of weird oddities.

* The Reckoning. Children of the apocalypse.

* More on when AIs cheat.

Facebook Is a Normal Sleazy Company Now. Targeted Advertising Is Ruining the Internet and Breaking the World. Delany, Deny, and Deflect.

* Twilight of Harry Potter.

Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive.’ I don’t know, I think we can beat it.

* I only report the facts.

The encounter between sovereignty and the natural life of the turkey is thus a failed one, and therein lies the turkey pardon’s messianic promise. The ultimate sovereign prerogative of the presidential pardon falls idle in its application to a subject who is incapable of guilt or innocence. As against the “zone of indistinction” that opens up between law and life in the sovereign exception, here we have a separation of the two orders without any overlap — a law that is inapplicable, and a life that is simply lived, in blissful ignorance of the legal order. In the messianic kingdom, we will all, in a sense, be the pardoned turkey that is left to live out its life in peace.

* brb working on like six different screenplays

* Sports always turns out to be more interesting than I thought.

I Found the Best Burger Place in America. And Then I Killed It.

* Hey, Listen! Ocarina of Time, like me, is old. Even more at MetaFilter.

* No other work of art has so beautifully captured the feeling of the Trump years. It was actually a very good night for tweets.

* And nothing ever ends, Adrian.

Spring 2019 Course Descriptions: “Game Studies” and “Classics of Science Fiction”

leave a comment »

I have a pretty good schedule coming up last semester, if I do say so myself, teaching a new-ish freshman honors “Foundations in Rhetoric” course on Game Studies (modeled after my very fun, sadly defunct one-credit seminar) and a totally new grad-level course on “Classics of Science Fiction.” (I’ll also be extending my year-long, co-taught “Math Anxiety and the Mind” Methods of Inquiry course into a second half, yet to be conceived!) Here are the descriptions…

HOPR 1955H: “Game Studies”
This course explores the burgeoning academic field of game studies. Dividing our attention between video games and more traditional board games, we will consider the social impact of games and gaming on a variety of topics from the nuclear-powered “game theory” of the Cold War arms race to utopian dreams of a life of only games to the fraught ethical and political debates that have accompanied the rise of video games as multi-billion-dollar popular entertainment. Are games addictive? Are they bad for children? Are they bad for adults? Are they a waste of time—or, to paraphrase Steven Johnson, do games turn out to actually be good for you? We will also consider pop culture treatment of games and gaming culture in film, literature, and mainstream journalism, as well as recent documentaries like The King of Kong and The Ecstasy of Order.
ENGL 6700: “Classics of Science Fiction”
Course Description: This course engages the subfield of science fiction studies by looking at widely recognized classics in the genre from the postwar period in the United States, running roughly from 1945-1991. Some of these texts exist within the hybrid genre sometimes called “slipstream,” variously read by different audiences as both genre fiction and “serious literature”; others fall much more squarely within the oft-derided category of “pop culture.” We will study these texts alongside scholarship that theorizes both genre classification in general and science fiction in particular, and devote particular attention to how to teach and write about works that may not fit comfortably within the prestige economy of traditional literary studies. Limiting our focus to this historical era will also us to explore how periodization and canonization operate in literary studies, as well as explore how texts intended for consumption by mass-market audiences can help us index the hopes, anxieties, and social transformations of a given cultural moment.

Readings:The reading list is still quite fluid (and open to requests) but major texts will likely include Jack Finney’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time, Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred, William Gibson’sNeuromancer, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen, and Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Lucky Strike, as well as films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and Blade Runner; the television series The Twilight Zone and Star Trek: The Next Generation; and short stories from Judith Merril, Isaac Asimov, Samuel R. Delany, J.G. Ballard, Joanna Russ, and James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon).

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

Written by gerrycanavan

October 22, 2018 at 4:05 pm

Marquette English Is Hiring!

leave a comment »

Marquette English is hiring! We are advertising two tenure-track assistant professor positions this year, in Native American and Indigenous Literature and Studies and in African Continental and Diasporic Literatures. Click the links for the full ads, and please help us spread the word to qualified candidates:

https://employment.marquette.edu/postings/10406

https://employment.marquette.edu/postings/10399

Written by gerrycanavan

September 13, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Also Happening at Marquette: “Transhumanism: Narratives and Implications”

leave a comment »

Another thing I’ve been developing is an informal, zero-credit seminar on transhumanism with Kate Hayles, who was on my dissertation committee once upon a time and who is visiting Marquette this semester. We had our first meeting on Monday and it was a delight; I’m really looking forward to the rest of it. Here’s a tiny writeup and the schedule of readings…

Transhumanism: Narratives and Implications

Every other Monday, Fall 2018, 9-10 AM, beginning September 10

Cudahy 114

Gerry Canavan and Katherine Hayles 

This zero-credit seminar is offered to explore one of the most generative and widely influential ideas of our time: transhumanism. Although it has various expressions, transhumanism in general refers to the idea that human evolution is incomplete and will soon take an unprecedented turn at the Singularity, the point at which humans develop a technologically enhanced intelligence that far surpasses their own cognitive powers. This could be a biological being sufficiently enhanced to count as a different species, an artificial intelligence, or some combination of the two. This imagined future poses several urgent questions for humanities scholars. Is further evolution of humans through technology desirable? Is it inevitable? How might it be resisted or controlled? What is likely to be the nature of transhuman beings, and how will they relate to present-day humans? What will be the human(as distinct from the posthuman or the transhuman) future? What ethical concerns should guide future research into transhumanism? These and other issues will form the focus for our readings, film viewings, and discussion.  Because the course is non-credit, we will meet every other week to keep the workload at a reasonable level. 

This course is sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of the Humanities and the Association of Marquette University Women in Humanistic Studies; it is open to students, staff, faculty, and community members. Please contact Gerry Canavan (gerry.canavan@marquette.edu) for registration and access to the readings.

September 10

Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence, “Paths to Superintelligence,” pp. 26-61;Steve Shaviro, No Speed Limit, “Introduction to Accelerationism,” pp. 1-24; Andrew Pilsch, Transhumanism, “Introduction,” pp. 1-24.

September 24

Altered Carbon, Richard K. Morgan (print novel).

October 8

Ex Machina(film, to be viewed in advance of our meeting)

October 22

Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson, Transmetropolitan: Back on the Street(comic)

November 5

Ted Chiang, “Understand” (short story)

Nalo Hopkinson, “A Habit of Waste” (short story)

November 19

Transcendental Man(documentary, to be viewed in advance of our meeting)

December 3

Final meeting and general discussion

Written by gerrycanavan

September 13, 2018 at 9:01 am