Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘my teaching empire

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

Thursday Afternoon Links!

leave a comment »

* Mark Z. Danielewski has written a pilot for a potential House of Leaves TV series. It’s good! The question of adapting the novel wound up being a minor subtheme in our discussion of the book in my summer grad class last month, so I was gratified to actually get to see the script — and directly incorporating the novel into the storyworld of the TV series seems like an intriguing solution to the book’s basic unfilmability. I think I hope someone makes it!

* I haven’t had a chance to see Ant-Man and the Wasp yet, so I’m gratified someone went ahead and wrote my triennial rant about franchise fictions and narrative closure on my behalf.

* Texas Studies in Literature and Language has a special issue on Wes Anderson.

* CFP for the SFRA guaranteed panel at ASLE 19. ASLE 19 (in Davis, CA) is a week after the planned dates for SFRA 19 in Hawaii, so if you’re going to the West Coast anyway it could be almost like a two-for-one…

* The second issue of Fantastika Journal is now available.

* That the things that gave my life meaning growing up have all become vectors for recruitment to misogynistic and white nationalist hate groups is the bitterest surprise of my middle age. That and Trump. Two bitterest surprises.

Nominations Are Open for the 2018 Brittle Paper Awards.

Ken Liu Presents Broken Stars, A New Anthology of Chinese Short Speculative Fiction.

* The Fall of Wisconsin. How to win Wisconsin back.

* Shakespeare in the state parks.

* Specialized program for Marquette undergraduates with autism disorders gifted $450,000, set to launch fall 2019.

“In some ways, I now think that one of the primary functions of the university, for the ruling class, is precisely to train a generation in indebtedness, in a state of being in debt.”

The Self-Helpification of Academe: How feel-good nostrums cover up the university’s cruelty.

* Another piece on searching for work outside academia.

* Professor Faces Fraud Charges for False Job Offer. Reading the confession letter just makes me cringe.

His University Asked Him to Build an Emoji-Themed Parade Float. Then It Fired Him.

* Why Donald Trump Nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Brett Kavanaugh Will Mean Challenging Times For Environmental Laws. The Vice Report. The Coming Era of Forced Abortions. The end of net neutrality. The imperial presidency 2.0. Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Spell a Fresh Hell for Workers’ Rights. Brett Kavanaugh Ruled Against Workers When No One Else Did. The issue with Kavanaugh is that he seems completely reactionary, bouncing from one indefensible position to another, without applying any judgment whatsoever. Liberal media in full effect. The Liberal Case for Kavanaugh Is Complete Crap. He’s a very normal Republican pick — that’s the problem. Establishment Extremist. What’s coming. It’s bad y’all. Someone investigate precisely how this deal was made and what the terms were. And from the archives: The Three Alitos.

* The Supreme Court: still bad.

* Capitalism is ruining science. The Business Veto: The demise of social democracy shows the precariousness of any project of reform under capitalism.

* Here come the DIY guns.

Inside China’s Dystopian Dreams: A.I., Shame and Lots of Cameras.

Technoleviathan: China, Silicon Valley, and the rise of the global surveillance state. How Artificial Intelligence Will Reshape the Global Order.

Silicon Valley Is Bending Over Backward to Cater to the Far Right.

* How Silicon Valley Fuels an Informal Caste System. Rule-Making as Structural Violence: From a Taxi to Uber Economy in San Francisco.

* It’s amazing that US governmentality has finally crossed the threshold where its obvious illegitimacy can be spoken about in public.

Former Obama Officials Are Riding Out The Trump Years By Cashing In.

* The end of NATO. ‘They Will Die in Tallinn’: Estonia Girds for War With Russia.

* Trump is set to separate more than 200,000 U.S.-born children from their parents. Trump’s Office of Refugee Resettlement Is Budgeting for a Surge in Child Separations. ‘Don’t You Know That We Hate You People?’ ICE is lawless, racial profiling edition. Where Cities and Counties Are Detaining Immigrants. Pregnant Women Say They Miscarried In Immigration Detention And Didn’t Get The Care They Needed. Government Told Immigrant Parents to Pay for DNA Tests to Get Kids Back, Advocate Says. As Migrant Families Are Reunited, Some Children Don’t Recognize Their Mothers. Deported after Trump order, Central Americans grieve for lost children. ‘What if I lose her forever?’ Undocumented Grover Beach mother deported despite community rallying in her support. Facing a Tuesday deadline to reunite about 100 migrant toddlers with their parents, feds say they’ve reunited 2. Inside The Courts Where Some Immigrants Plead Guilty Without Knowing What’s Happening. Now they’re coming for grandmas.

* Woman arrested in assault of 91-year-old Mexican man who was told to ‘go back to your country.’

* Weird coincidence.

There’s been a spate of violent far-right extremism since the 2016 election.

* If you’re anti- antifa, that must mean…

* Andrew Cuomo and ICE.

It’s Not Civil Disobedience if You Ask for Permission.

Liberalism, legitimacy, and loving the Parkland kids.

Eleven Theses on Civility.

Why Marx’s Capital Still Matters.

* Nixon’s $7B carbon tax forms centerpiece of energy agenda.

* The Industrial Age May Have Actually Been Kind of a Bad Idea.

* An interview with Julia Salazar. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, In Her Own Words. Cynthia Nixon: I’m a democratic socialist. Meanwhile our old pal Joe Crowley looks like he’s trying to get away with something.

We Should Embrace the Ambiguity of the 14th Amendment.

* Sure, why not?

* Alan Dershowitz is ALL IN on Trump. But he’s not the only person with some truly around-the-bend ideas of what lawsuits can do.

* Weird science: Girls sometimes inherit almost two full sets of their dad’s genes, which seems to cause rare cancers.

The Art and Activism of the Anthropocene, Part III: A Conversation with Helen Phillips, Amitav Ghosh, and Nathan Kensinger.

An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.

* Did… did Milwaukee write this?

Jeff Bezos Is Now $50 Billion Richer Than Anyone Else on Earth.

All 12 Thai Boys Successfully Rescued from Cave after Third Dangerous Mission. The only person unhappy is Elon.

WHO’s Language on Breastfeeding Really Is Flawed. This was our experience with breastfeeding  for sure; I’m sure it’s great for a lot of people but we needed formula as a supplement from the first night on. That said, the corporate forces that promote formula over breastfeeding are utterly gross.

* When the relationship status truly is complicated.

* Nabokov’s dreams.

* Scotland’s official plan if the Loch Ness Monster is found.

* Brexit: It’s bad!

* Being Bobcat Goldthwait.

* Billy Dee is back.

* Japan and the stay-at-home dad.

* Reality Winner and the espionage act.

* My Best Friend Lost His Life to the Gig Economy.

* When your child reveals sexual abuse from your parent.

The Socialist Case for School Integration.

* Factchecking David Brooks.

* Your town tomorrow: Kure residents cut off from outside world due to flooding.

* Nope, no thanks.

* I knew wearing a tie was making me stupid.

* Bad subtitling is a daily problem for deaf viewers.

* Melt Monument Ave.

How swimming pools became a flashpoint of racial tension in America.

* California brings emissions down below 1990 levels. But it’s not all good news.

Feminist Apparel CEO Fires Entire Staff After They Learn He’s An Admitted Sexual Abuser. RIP, Papa John.

There is too much uncertainty in sports; even if you bribe the officials, something unaccounted for could still cause the “wrong” result. It can be a bad idea to gather large crowds opposed to your team (and, by extension, your dictatorship). During Franco’s rule, Barcelona FC’s stadium was the only place the Catalans could wave their flag and sing their songs. Dictators are better off with tyranny and oppression. Football is for people who can accept a loss.

David Graeber’s new book argues that many of us are toiling in dummy jobs with no ostensible purpose. Any poll will show you he has a point. But his thesis is built on scant evidence and dubious claims of a ruling class conspiring to keep us busy. Bullshit jobs exist not due to orchestrated oppression but because of something altogether simpler: bad managers. 

* An even tougher review of a book that seems like a big step down from Debt.

* The SAT, constantly innovating new ways to make teenagers unhappy.

* “I sort of feel like I’m taking the bait on this, but: Can you imagine the copy they *rejected* for this Handmaid’s Tale pinot noir?”

Through such characters, Muluneh’s work explores the layered psychic realms of blackness and womanhood that the African-American science fiction writer Octavia Butler, whom she cites as a major influence, explored through her otherworldly prose. In the process, Muluneh’s work has helped reorient the way black women are perceived. “As women, especially as African women,” Muluneh said, “we forget—and the world forgets—our positioning in history and religion and culture.”

And amusing ourselves to death: 12 theme parks where the danger is real.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 12, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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

Spring Syllabi! Animals! Television! Animals!

leave a comment »

Tuesday Links!

leave a comment »

* I put up my Fall syllabi yesterday, if you missed it! Courses on Tolkien, Hamilton, and “Utopia in America” this time out.

* Jaimee has two new poems out in Mezzo Cammin: “Good Women” and “Perseveration.”

* SFRA Review 321 is out, with a interview with Cory Doctorow.

* Octavia Butler, remembered by her friend Shirlee Smith.

* A bar joke. Simulationism. Dadproof. Honestly, how did you miss this?

* A nice interview with Adam Kotsko about his book on the devil.

Somewhat surprisingly, in the early centuries of Christianity, there was a durable minority position to the effect that the devil would be saved. Ultimately that view was condemned as heretical, and what interests me is how vehemently theologians rejected it—the emotional gut reaction always seemed out of proportion to me. And the argument, such as it is, always boils down to the same thing: if the devil can be saved, that misses the whole point of having the devil in the first place. It is as though Christian theology gradually came to need a hard core of eternal, unredeemable blameworthiness, a permanent scapegoat who can never escape.

* CFP: Utopia and Apocalypse (SUS 2017, Memphis). And there’s still time jump on our “After Suvin” roundtable at SUS, if you get something in to us ASAP…

* CFP: ExRe(y) 2018. Exhaustion and Regeneration in Post-Millennial North-American Literature and Visual Culture.

Gender Issues in Video Games.

* Tenure track job in carceral studies.

Professional romance novelists can write 3,000 words a day. Here’s how they do it.

Yes, Your Manuscript Was Due 30 Years Ago. No, the University Press Still Wants It.

* The backfire effect failed to replicate, so it’s safe to be a know-it-all again.

* The grad school horror story of the moment: Why I Left Academia.

http://academiaiskillingmyfriends.tumblr.com.

Undergraduates Are Workers, Too.

“Grade Inflation” as a Path to Ungrading.

The idea of white victimhood is increasingly central to the debate over affirmative action.

* UCI has reversed itself on rescinding admissions. Good!

* “The Loyal Engineers Steering NASA’s Voyager Probes Across the Universe”: As the Voyager mission is winding down, so, too, are the careers of the aging explorers who expanded our sense of home in the galaxy.

A Trip To The Men’s Room Turned Jeff Kessler Into The NCAA’s Worst Nightmare.

* Race and reaction gifs. Race and speeding tickets. Race and dystopia. Race and police dogs.

* Privilege and video games.

Google Employee’s Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes ‘Internally Viral.’ Google Fires Author of Divisive Memo on Gender Differences.

You Are the Product.

The guiding principle in Mr. Trump’s government is to turn the politics of white resentment into the policies of white rage — that calculated mechanism of executive orders, laws and agency directives that undermines and punishes minority achievement and aspiration. No wonder that, even while his White House sinks deeper into chaos, scandal and legislative mismanagement, Mr. Trump’s approval rating among whites (and only whites) has remained unnaturally high. Washington may obsess over Obamacare repeal, Russian sanctions and the debt ceiling, but Mr. Trump’s base sees something different — and, to them, inspiring.

We have a political problem no one wants to talk about: very old politicians.

No One Should Have Sole Authority to Launch a Nuclear Attack. No one should have that authority, period.

* Rules don’t matter anymore, stupids. What the Trump-Russia grand jury means. The very thing that liberals think is imperiled by Trump will be the most potent source of his long-term power and effects. If you want a vision of the future.

* 2018 won’t save you. Really. And obviously the Democrats won’t. Obviously.

* But sure I guess everything is fine now.

* Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE. Shut these guys down too.

* Fired/Rehired: Police departments are often forced to put officers fired for misconduct back on the streets.

* Also it’s weird how we don’t have a State department anymore and no one cares.

* After #TheResistance.

* When Trump trumps love.

* Can the subaltern vote?

Big Data Is Coming to Take Your Health Insurance.

How Trump’s FCC aided Sinclair’s expansion: Use of a regulatory loophole will allow Sinclair to reach 72 percent of U.S. households after buying Tribune’s stations.

* Y’all ready for debt ceiling? Democrats should do exactly what is described here.

Hey Marvel, please don’t take away female Thor’s hammer. Don’t give Confederacy the benefit of the doubt.

* For the dinosaurs, ten minutes separated survival and extinction.

* On names.

* Neurolinguistic programming: how to win an argument edition.

* More on Amazon and anti-trust.

* A short film about Chris Ware.

* “Karate Kid but the bully is the hero” has been a go-to joke for years, but only Netflix could make it real.

* Disconnect your Internet-connected fish tank now.

“Adversarial perturbations” and AI.

* How close are we to a Constitutional Convention?

The Only Place in the World Where Sea Level Is Falling, Not Rising. American Trees Are Moving West, and No One Knows Why. Wildfires in Greenland. Coming Attractions. The Atlas for the End of the World.

Yes, we’re angry. Why shouldn’t we be? Why aren’t you? Why Does Being a Woman Put You at Greater Risk of Having Anxiety? Suicides in teen girls hit 40 year high.

* Your labor in the process of being replaced. Your opinion is increasingly irrelevant. Your presence on Earth will soon no longer be required. Thank you for your service; the robots are here.

* Jeff Goldblum is The Doctor in Doctor Who (dir. John Carpenter, 1983).

* The question of Klingon head ridges has officially become pathological.

* Agricultural civilization may be 30,000 years older than we thought.

* A People’s History of the Gray Force.

* A People’s History of Time Lord Regenerations.

* A People’s History of Westeros.

* The Dark Tower: What The Hell Happened?

* Pitching Battlestar Galactica.

* Littlefinger for New Jersey is tough to argue.

When Will Humanity Finally Die Out? There’s always death to look forward to.

* Smartphones and The Kids Today.

* Zero at Rotten Tomatoes.

* Twitter is bad, YA edition.

* Time for some game theory.

* More scenes from the collapse of the New York City subway system.

Africa has entered the space race, with Ghana’s first satellite now orbiting earth.

* Are you ready to LAUGH?

Reminder that Kurt Russell probably wrote the IMDB trivia section for Escape from L.A.

* I knew it.

* Same.

* And please consider this my resignation.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 8, 2017 at 10:10 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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

Fall 2017 Syllabi! Tolkien! Utopia! Hamilton!

with 6 comments

I’ve put the syllabi for my fall classes up at my professional site:

HOPR 1953: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton

ENGLISH 4610: J.R.R. Tolkien

ENGLISH 6700: Utopia in America

The Hamilton class is new, a one-credit pass/fail seminar for the honors program. The Tolkien class and the Utopia class are both revised a lit from the last times around; for the grad class, I’ve swapped in two Kurt Vonnegut and two Octavia Butler books for Utopia, Sula, and Man in the High Castle, in part due to known student interest and in part because I have some ideas about sequelization and utopia that I want to start exploring. For the Tolkien class the changes were much more minor; by moving a few things around and not going on as many trips this semester I was able to squeeze out about an extra week, which I devoted to more time to discussing the ending(s) of Return of the King and more time on The Silmarillion (the second change strongly desired by some of the students last time!). I also changed some of the language I used around the final assignment, including adding a creative option, and added a bit more architecture to the syllabus regarding suspense and spoilers. I thought the class worked great last time around but this will give me a chance to structure the initial discussions in the class a little more inclusively than I did last time (I hope).

Really looking forward to the next couple months…

Summer Classes Syllabi! “Science Fiction” (Sophomore Survey) and “The Law of Genre” (Grad Level)

with 3 comments

This weekend marks the tragic end of my research leave — I’m teaching two summer classes beginning Monday, a newly revamped version of my sophomore survey on science fiction (swapping in Never Let Me Go for Slaughterhouse-Five, Black Mirror for Avatar, and Ted Chiang for basically everything else) and a new graduate-level course on genre studies. I’m excited about both, but especially the grad course, which is laser-focused on books I find interesting.

I pulled back a bit on the writing assignments compared to last year because I think there’s a bit more reading, but some of that reading is deliberately structured as “secondary” so hopefully it won’t feel excessive. Main texts after some reshuffling are Never Let Me Go, The City and the City, Beloved, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Lolita, with guest appearances by Get Out, the Kubrick Lolita, The Twilight Zone, and Donald Barthelme…

Here’s the week-by-week:

M May 22 Introduction to the Course

viral video: “Too Many Cooks” [YouTube]

T May 23 Daniel Chandler, “An Introduction to Genre Theory” [D2L]

Donald Barthelme, “The Joker’s Greatest Triumph!” [D2L]

W May 24 Darko Suvin, “On the Poetics of the Science Fiction Genre” [D2L]

China Miéville, “Cognition as Ideology” [D2L]

(in class) The Twilight Zone: “The Eye of the Beholder” [Netflix]

 

secondary:

Gerry Canavan, “The Suvin Event” [D2L]

Th May 25 John Rieder, “On Defining SF, or Not: Genre Theory, SF, and History” [D2L]

Ted Underwood, “The Life Cycle of Genres” [D2L]

M May 29 MEMORIAL DAY—NO CLASS
T May 30 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part One)
W June 1 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part Two)
Th June 2 Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (Part Three)

 

secondary:

film trailer: The Island [YouTube]

Martin Puchner, review of Never Let Me Go [D2L]

 

LESSON PLAN #1 DUE

M June 5 Carl Freedman, “Marxism, Cinema, and Some Dialectics of Science Fiction and Film Noir” [D2L]

China Miéville, The City and the City (first half of Part One)

T June 6 China Miéville, The City and the City (second half of Part One)
W June 7 China Miéville, The City and the City (Part Two)
Th June 8 China Miéville, The City and the City (whole book)

China Miéville, “Notes on Walls” [Web]

 

secondary:

Carl Freedman, “From Genre to Political Economy: Miéville’s The City & The City and Uneven Development” [D2L]

China Miéville, “Unsolving the City” [Web]

S June 10 THINKPIECE #1 DUE BY 5 PM
M June 12 Toni Morrison, Beloved, pgs. 1-63
T June 13 Toni Morrison, Beloved, pgs. 63-165
W June 14 Toni Morrison, Beloved, whole book

 

secondary:

Carl D. Malmgren, “Mixed Genres and the Logic of Slavery in Toni Morrison’s Beloved” [D2L]

Grady Hendrix, “Beloved: The Best Horror Novel the Horror Genre Has Never Claimed” [D2L]

Elizabeth B. House, “Toni Morrison’s Ghost: The Beloved Who Is Not Beloved” [D2L]

Th June 15 film: Get Out

 

secondary:

Steven Thrasher, representative Get Out thinkpiece [Web]

 

LESSON PLAN #2 DUE

M June 19 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (first half)
T June 20 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (second half)

Charlotte Sturgess, “The Handmaid as a Romance Heroine” [D2L]

W June 21 Margaret Atwood, “Historical Notes on The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood, “The Road to Ustopia” [Web]

 

secondary:

John McAdams, “Marquette Gender and Sexuality Resource Center: Demonizing Men” [PDF ON D2L]

Margaret Atwood, “What The Handmaid’s Tale Means in the Age of Trump” [Web]

Lili Loofburouw, “How Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale succumbed to the feminist curse” [Web]

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu series)

Th June 22 READING/WRITING DAY—NO CLASS
M June 26 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita: “Foreword” and Part One, Chapters 1-22
T June 27 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita: Part One, Chap. 23, through Part Two, Chap. 22
W June 28 Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (whole book, including “On a Book Entitled Lolita”)

Stanley Kubrick, Lolita [Netflix]

Th June 29 VIRTUAL SYLLABUS WORKSHOP DAY! POST YOUR SAMPLE SYLLABUS AND COURSE NARRATIVES ON D2L AND SHARE QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIONS, AND OTHER HELPFUL COMMENTS!
S July 1 THINKPIECE #2 DUE BY 5 PM

Tuesday Morning Links!

leave a comment »

* The course descriptions for Marquette’s Fall 2017 English classes are up at the department website. Check them out! I’m teaching Tolkien and a grad seminar on utopia. 

* Also in Marquette news! Marquette to host ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ conference in April.

Becoming a parent forces you to think about the nature of the problem — which is, in a lot of ways, the problem of nature […] the realities of aging and sickness and mortality become suddenly inescapable. […] [My wife] said something during that time I will never forget. “If I had known how much I was going to love him,” she said, “I’m not sure I would have had him.” Mark O’Connell on transhumanism and immortality.

* From the great Ali Sperling: Reading Lovecraft in the Anthropocene. And this review of Alan Moore’s Jerusalem from the great David Higgins!

* Adam Roberts reviews New York 2140. Another review, from a climate scientist. And an interview with Stan. My review comes out in LARB this weekend…

The Most Cringeworthy Monuments to Colleges’ Innovation Jargon.

Perverse outcomes: UC Berkeley deletes 20,000 audio and visual lectures in the name of compliance with the ADA.

Speculative Fiction and Survival in Iraq.

* Is it really so hard to understand that when your students go broke just trying to graduate they aren’t exactly moved to donate later?

harcourt_fenton_mudd_2267* The liberal arts at Harvey Mudd College, whose graduates out-earn Harvard and Stanford.

* You-might-be-from-Wisconsin-if at Ask MetaFilter.

President Roosevelt signed the order on February 19, 1942, almost exactly 75 years ago. By spring, American citizens would be arriving at the Fresno and Pinedale camps: our neighbors.

* Wisconsin is apparently harassing trans state employees.

* Chaos, again. This is fine. Even James Comey. Twilight of Reince Preibus. Ten Questions for President Trump. Ten More Questions for President Trump. Remember when it was scandalous that Obama, years before he became a politician, once sold his house?

It is through the Justice Department that the administration is likely to advance its nationalist plans — to strengthen the grip of law enforcement, raise barriers to voting and significantly reduce all forms of immigration, promoting what seems to be a longstanding desire to reassert the country’s European and Christian heritage. It’s not an accident that Sessions, who presumably could have chosen from a number of plum assignments, opted for the role of attorney general. The Department of Justice is the most valuable perch from which to transform the country in the way he and Bannon have wanted. With an exaggerated threat of disorder looming, the nation’s top law-enforcement agency could become a machine for trying to fundamentally change who gets to be an American and what rights they can enjoy.

The emerging effort — dozens more rules could be eliminated in the coming weeks — is one of the most significant shifts in regulatory policy in recent decades. It is the leading edge of what Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, described late last month as “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

* “Forever war, but too much.”

An Afghan family of five that had received approval to move to the United States based on the father’s work for the American government has been detained for more than two days after flying into Los Angeles International Airport, a legal advocacy group said in court documents filed on Saturday. Profiles of immigrant arrested in Austin. Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws. (Note this lawsuit was filed in 2014.This Stunningly Racist French Novel Is How Steve Bannon Explains The World. And if it were a book, it’d seem laughably contrived: A letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Resisting ICE. Here we go again.

* 4chan and the Great Meme War.

* Russia and the Cyber Cold War.

* And while we’re on the subject: The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation. I think this is a very good reminder of the need to stay calm and detached from the chaos of the news cycle.

Instead, a new model is proposed: the president keeps everyone in a constant state of excitement and alarm. He moves fast and breaks things. He leads by causing commotion. As energy in the political system rises he makes no effort to project calm or establish an orderly White House. And if he keeps us safe it’s not by being himself a safe, steady, self-controlled figure, but by threatening opponents and remaining brash and unpredictable— maybe a touch crazy. This too is psychological work, but of a different kind.

* Democrats keep trusting demographics to save them. It hasn’t worked yet — but maybe this time…

NASA unveils plan to give Mars an ‘Earth-like’ atmosphere.

House Republicans Unveil Bill To Repeal Obamacare. The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve.

Austerity measures don’t actually save money. But they do disempower workers. Which is why governments pursue them in the first place.

* No! It can’t be! Researchers have found strong evidence that racism helps the GOP win.

* Losing West Virginia.

Contrary to What You Learned in Sex Ed, You Can Get Pregnant While Pregnant.

* Mid-decade gerrymander in Georgia.

* Autism and Addiction.

* What We’ve Learned from Giving Dolphins LSD.

In a world first, a teenager with sickle cell disease achieved complete remission after an experimental gene therapy at Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, researchers say.

* Possible lynching outside Seattle, in 2017.

* The end of suburbia.

* In the richest country in human history, children have “lunch debt.”

The only way in which a game is guaranteed to end is when the player abandons their device. Everything else is game design.

“These devices don’t have emotional intelligence,” said Allison Druin, a University of Maryland professor who studies how children use technology. “They have factual intelligence.” How millions of kids are being shaped by know-it-all voice assistants.

* Finding a jury of your peers in a racially segregated society.

* A colony in a nation.

Divination hasn’t disappeared; it’s taken over the world.

But these second-order obstacles aren’t enough to explain the current collapse of poll-driven political certainty. They’re just excuses, even if they’re not untrue. Something about the whole general scheme of polling—the idea that you can predict what millions of undecided voters will do by selecting a small group and then just simply asking them—is out of whack. We need to think seriously about what the strange game of election-watching actually is, in terms of our relation to the future, our power to choose our own outcomes, the large-scale structure of the universe, and the mysteries of fate. And these questions are urgent. Because predictions of the future don’t simply exist in the future, but change the way we act in the present. Because in our future something monstrous is rampaging: it paces hungrily toward us, and we need to know if we’ll be able to spot it in time.

When I said that opinion polls are sibyls and soothsayers, it wasn’t just a figure of speech. Opinion polling has all the trappings of a science—it has its numbers and graphs, its computational models, its armies of pallid drones poring over the figures. It makes hypotheses and puts them to the test. But polls are not taken for what they are: a report on what a small number of people, fond of changing their minds, briefly pretended to think. Instead, we watch the tracking graphs as if the future were playing itself out live in front of us. The real structure of the electoral-wonk complex is more mystical than materialist: it’s augury and divination, a method handed down by Prometheus to a starving and shivering humanity at the faint dawn of time. Behind all the desktop screens and plate-glass of his office, the buzz of data and the hum of metrics, Nate Silver retreats to a quiet, dark, and holy room. He takes the knife and slits in one stroke the throat of a pure-white bull; its blood arcs and drizzles in all directions. He examines its patterns. And he knows.

There’s a never-ending fount of stories you can write about when someone is breaking away from canon or not, and create many controversies all the way through preproduction and production and even until a movie opens, about whether or not they’re breaking canon. Is it a blasphemous movie or not? At some point, you gotta stop and say, Is there this expectation that it’s like we’re doing Godfather Part I and II, only it’s going to nine movies? And we’re just gonna cut them into this kind of Berlin Alexanderplatz that never ends? We’re gonna suddenly take a moment to really savor the fact that these movies exist in an identical tone? The reality to me is that you can’t have interesting movies if you tell a filmmaker, “Get in this bed and dream, but don’t touch the pillows or move the blankets.” You will not get cinema. You will just get a platform for selling the next movie on that bed, unchanged and unmade. James Mangold on Logan.

* The making of The Silmarillion.

* And we have but one choice: the Ring must be destroyed.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 7, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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