Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Octavia Butler

Carefully Curated Spring Break Links! Definitely Not Too Many!

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Why, I say, oh why, is it so hard to simply serve the concept and write the adventures of a smart, creative and kind-hearted teenage girl with superpowers? What purpose earthly or unearthly is served by making this character an embittered space tyrant?

… I questioned the desire to attribute the worst aspects of human behaviour to characters whose only useful function, as I see it, aside from simply entertaining young people and anyone else who fancies an uplifting holiday in a storybook world far from the grinding monotony of pessimism and disillusion, is to provide a primary-coloured cartoon taste of how we all might be if we had the wit and the will and the self-sacrifice it takes to privilege our best selves and loftiest aspirations over our base instincts. While that great day is unlikely to happen any time soon in any halfway familiar real world, why not let comic book universes be playgrounds for the kind of utopian impulses that have in the past brought out the best in us?

Written by gerrycanavan

March 12, 2022 at 6:38 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Just Another Monday Morning, Just Another Set of Monday Morning Links

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Monday Morning Links!

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Friday Links!

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A Whole Summer’s Worth of Links Crammed into a Two-Weeks-Sized Bag

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 10, 2021 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet, Look at what I put on the Internet

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Thursday Links!

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* Call for Papers: Trans-Indigenous Science Fictions. CFP: Activism and Resistance at the London Science Fiction Research Community. And don’t forget about the mini-ICFA in October!

* In a lousy year, Phil Wegner’s Invoking Hope was something that made me feel really good about the work I do, and gave me hope for the possibilities of the university (despite its managers). Read my review at Ancillary Review of Books!

* On the other side of things: The Hopeless University: Intellectual Work at the end of The End of History.

* The New Republic has another review of the Butler LOA volume.

* Science Fiction & … Economic Crisis! with Sherryl Vint, Hugh O’Connell, and Malka Older.

* While I’m recommending stuff: my 21C students loved Zadie Smith’s 2020 mini-memoir Intimations — it was their favorite book of the semester — and I’ve had great fun playing Clank: Legacy and Scooby Doo: Escape from the Haunted Mansion with my third-grader lately.

* I also wanted to buy every game listed in this fun YouTube study of Tomb of Horrors, because I’m just that game-crazed right now.

* Gloomhaven sequel Frosthaven will change to address cultural bias.

* Teen Vogue: Colleges are right-wing institutions.

Conservatives continually cite statistics suggesting that college professors lean to the left. But those who believe a university’s ideological character can be discerned by surveying the political leanings of its faculty betray a fundamental misunderstanding of how universities work. Partisan political preferences have little to do with the production of academic knowledge or the day-to-day workings of the university — including what happens in classrooms. There is no “Democrat” way to teach calculus, nor is there a “Republican” approach to teaching medieval English literature; anyone who has spent time teaching or studying in a university knows that the majority of instruction and scholarship within cannot fit into narrow partisan categories. Moreover, gauging political preferences of employees is an impoverished way of understanding the ideology of an institution. To actually do so, you must look at who runs it — and in the case of the American university, that is no longer the professoriate.

* To whit. Exhibit B.

* new demographic cliff just dropped

* First the U. of Vermont Announced Cuts. Then Enrollment Spiked. Now What?

* North Carolina schools are re-segregating. A Wisconsin county completely loses its shit at the very idea of equality.

* The shocking MOVE bombing was part of a broader pattern of anti-Black racism.

* Can Climate Fiction Writers Reach People in Ways That Scientists Can’t?

* Cory Doctorow has been having some 🔥🔥🔥 threads on Twitter lately: 1, 2, 3…

* The Secret Life of Deesha Philyaw (or, why we need university presses).

* How Much Money Do Authors Actually Earn?

* Krakoa as libertarian haven. A Clockwork Orange and #MeToo. Fear of a Black Superhero. Putting an animated series on the blockchain seems like a Rick and Morty bit, doesn’t it? Apparently the Brontës all died so early because they spent their lives drinking graveyard water.

* For some Navy pilots, UFO sightings were an ordinary event: ‘Every day for at least a couple years.’

* Ominous: Alien life looks more and more likely. Catholics are ready.

* Africans in Space: The Incredible Story of Zambia’s Afronauts.

* The Strange Story of Dagobert, the “DuckTales” Bandit.

* Colson Whitehead and Margaret Atwood Discuss The Underground RailroadThe Handmaid’s Tale and the Challenges of Adaptation.

* Randall Kennedy and Eugene Volokh have the case for allowing the use of the n-word and other slurs in the classroom.

* they say your first Amazon order defines your future

* Now you’re just being rude.

* Dick Van Dyke at 95.

* When you’re cancelled, you’re cancelled.

* At only $20,000/month, you’d be a fool NOT to rent it.

* Just 12 People Are Behind Most Vaccine Hoaxes On Social Media, Research Shows.

* How the world missed more than half of all Covid-19 deaths. Is this the end?

* Meet the Nun Who Wants You to Remember You Will Die. No, I don’t think I want to!

* The Darkness.

* Decolonization is not a metaphor. Imperialism: A Syllabus.

* But on the miracles and wonders beat: 1st Group Enrolled in Trial of uniQure’s AMT-130 Gene Therapy for Huntington’s Disease.

Ceremonial End of the Semester Tab Purge and Semi-Annual Apology for Being So Busy

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Between my research, service obligations, Zoom teaching, the kids’ virtual schooling, and getting a new puppy, I’ve been just incredibly busy. Another man might say: hey, this is the perfect opportunity to let the blog you’ve been updating continuously since 2004 die! But I am no ordinary man...

First, just a few things I’ve been doing:

And a carefully curated, deliberately and self-consciously incomplete list of some things I’ve been reading this spring:

Written by gerrycanavan

May 11, 2021 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet, Look at what I put on the Internet

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Friday Links!

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March Links!

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Written by gerrycanavan

March 6, 2021 at 9:04 am

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Emergency Tab Closure Post – 2.9.21

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As Tolkien observed in an essay of the late 1950s, even Sauron’s motive was initially to attain a form of political utopianism: “He loved order and coordination, and disliked all confusion and wasteful friction.”46 As many characters are hopeful utopians in their political orientation, any opposition to this standard soon becomes a radical alternative: “It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.”47 In this scheme, the utopian-political becomes the conventional, while the utopian-ontological becomes the radical; indeed, the latter’s radicality derives not from making different political choices but different personal ones. This is no clearer than in the case of Faramir who, unlike his brother Boromir and father Denethor, will not allow himself to be tempted by the Ring:

I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs.

In these positive characterisations, with their exemplary portrayal of heroic subjective values, we can identify aspects of Levitas’s argument for a utopianism of the wholeness of being and human flourishing. As Levitas suggests, many utopias do their work by advocating better ways of being rather than by illustrating better forms of social organisation.

It’s Been a Minute: Links!

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Thursday Morning Links!

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* Hey, this is finally out! Imagining Apocalypse Now with Mark Soderstrom & Gerry Canavan.

* And the BBC has re-released its Afterwords: Octavia E. Butler series, but it’s still not available to listen to in the US.

* Presenting The Ancillary Review of Books.

* CFP: Journal of Science Fiction Special Issue on Middle Eastern Science Fiction.

Come Unstuck in Time with Ryan North & “Slaughterhouse Five.” Everything about the new Slaughterhouse-Five graphic novel is beautiful, and nothing hurt.

* Wildfires Bring New Devastation Across the West. 500,000 people in Oregon forced to flee wildfires. 7 People Die in West Coast Wildfires. California blaze caused by firework at gender-reveal party. Your phone wasn’t built for the apocalypse. Nothing to see here, folks. I Need You to Care That Our Country Is on Fire. Think 2020′s disasters are wild? Experts see worse in future. Nature sends us a wake-up call. When the Sky Is Orange. It’s Ecosocialism or Barbarism. The coming climate migration.

* Torrential rain triggers widespread flooding in D.C. area, inundating roads, stranding motorists. Floods Washed Away More Than 25% of Nigeria’s Rice Harvest. Animal populations worldwide have declined nearly 70% in just 50 years, new report says. Animal Populations Fell by 68% in 50 Years and It’s Getting Worse. How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled. 10 Years Ago, World Leaders Set Biodiversity Goals. They Haven’t Met a Single One.

* The end of the university. House of cards: can the American university be saved? The Necroliberal University. Strike at Michigan. “We are striking as an act of community care.” What a strike is for. Graduate employees reach deal with University of Michigan to end strike. As Colleges Open During a Pandemic, Student Life Remains Closed. How Colleges Became the New Covid Hot Spots. Tracking Covid at U.S. Colleges and Universities. Marquette University orders all students at Schroeder Hall to quarantine for 2 weeks. Some students heading home, after Marquette University enforces Schroeder Hall quarantine. Some Marquette students are leaving campus after being ordered to quarantine, while those stuck in their rooms wonder: ‘Is this hell?’ Marquette students scramble to quarantine, grad workers union blames university. Marquette University leaders draft checklist to prepare for possible online transition. No Wifi, No AC: Inside the Chaos of 1,400 COVID Cases at One College. Twenty-three Greek houses at Michigan State University were ordered by the county to quarantine for two weeks. Notre Dame and Michigan State Shifting Online as Campus Outbreaks Grow. UA official says ‘nothing wrong’ with school’s COVID-19 measures. UW students describe chaos as COVID-19 raged through residence halls, leading to lockdown. College Football Player Dies at 20. Shaming and blaming students can make it worse, experts say. Nice work if you can get it. What if Everyone on Campus Understood the Money? Class Of COVID-19: The Horrifying Sadness Of Sending My Kids To College During A Pandemic. Low-income students are dropping out of college this fall in alarming numbers.

Blackademic Lives Matter: An Interview with Lavelle Porter.

* The Rules of the Game: How the U.S. News rankings helped reshape one state’s public colleges.

* What could go wrong in formalizing relationships between a multi-billion dollar industry where fortunes change hands in seconds, and a multi-billion dollar enterprise where the actual workers are paid nothing and could lose their entire futures in a single play

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral. The Pandemic Is an Intuition Nightmare. The Pandemic Is a ‘Mental Health Crisis’ for Parents. The Crushing Reality of Zoom School. US daily death toll from COVID-19 shoots back up over 1,000. New Cases Have Reached Record Levels in the Midwest. What Young, Healthy People Have to Fear from COVID-19. How the Coronavirus Attacks the Brain. Obesity and the coronavirus. Maine wedding ‘superspreader’ event is now linked to seven deaths. None of those people attended. Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Is Now Linked to More Than 250,000 Coronavirus Cases. Signs of depression have tripled in the U.S. since the COVID-19 pandemic got underway. A Dentist Sees More Cracked Teeth. What’s Going On? Stop Expecting Life to Go Back to Normal Next Year.

* The stock market is now so decoupled from the real economy that no one can see the economy is in absolute freefall. A pandemic, a motel without power and a potentially terrifying glimpse of Orlando’s future. Two kids, no support system and $167 in unemployment benefits: One single mom’s plight in the age of Covid-19. 1 in 5 American workers has filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. Half of out-of-work Americans were unable to cover basic expenses in August. The Unemployed States of America. Why the real unemployment rate is likely over 11%. 52% of young adults in the US are living with their parents. That’s the highest share since the Great Depression. Billionaires won corona. ‘We were shocked’: RAND study uncovers massive income shift to the top 1%.

* Baltimore schools estimate only 65% of students are logging on every day. Children with disabilities are falling behind in school. School in the Time of Coronavirus.

* Darko Suvin: Thoughts within the Coronising siege: a work in progress.

* Some real Ministry of Truth shit at DOJ and HHS.

‘Like an Experimental Concentration Camp’: Whistleblower Complaint Alleges Mass Hysterectomies at ICE Detention Center. Exclusive: Georgia doctor who forcibly sterilized detained women has been identified.

* Cancel culture strikes again: National U Holds Off on Name Change to Honor Donor Investigated for Child Porn.

* The pandemic and UBI.

Benford’s Law and COVID-19 reporting.

* Sometimes you just know.

* As a delusion, “transgender Black Marxists are seeking the overthrow of the United States” is almost charmingly retro. How Conspiracy Theories Are Shaping the 2020 Election—and Shaking the Foundation of American Democracy. QAnon is a Nazi Cult, Rebranded. QAnon Incited Her to Kidnap Her Son and Then Hid Her From the Law. No, The Government Did Not Break Up A Child Sex Trafficking Ring In Georgia. Trump lands likely endorsement. What If Trump Loses and Won’t Leave? Barr Tells Prosecutors to Consider Charging Violent Protesters With Sedition. Bill Barr Pushes ‘Wild’ and ‘Fanciful’ Felonious Postman Hypothetical. Don’t miss what Kayleigh McEnany just said about election night. I don’t think they should have told Trump about the heat ray.

* The Whitelash Next Time.

* What happened in Georgia was a crime. Rick Perry’s Ukrainian Dream. Louis DeJoy’s rise as GOP fundraiser was powered by contributions from company workers who were later reimbursed, former employees say. Another story that would have been a major scandal a few years ago and is now just seen as perfectly ordinary politics.

https://twitter.com/PatBlanchfield/status/1305894015062216705

* What’s the big deal? He’s not like he’s gonna lose Michigan.

* “I Have Blood on My Hands”: A Whistleblower Says Facebook Ignored Global Political Manipulation. Facebook is allowing a campaign to ditch face masks en masse to spread.

* Man obsessed with drinking the blood of the young to stay healthy turns out to have some questionable political beliefs.

* The Senate is bad, yes, but we could always make it worse.

* At least 37 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project. That figure exceeds those displaced by conflict since 1900, the authors say, with the exception of World War II.

* New York’s homeless students.

Why Screen Time Can Actually Be Good for Your Kids.

12-year-old suspended in Colorado over toy gun seen in virtual class.

* Dozens of Black former franchisees sue McDonald’s over alleged discrimination.

* Unions threaten work stoppages amid calls for racial justice. White House directs federal agencies to cancel race-related training sessions it calls ‘un-American propaganda.’

* Parents vs the childless! Whoever wins, the bosses win a whole lot more!

* Serial killer at Ft. Hood? It’s up over 23 deaths. What on Earth is happening there?

The OAS Accusation of Electoral Fraud Against Evo Morales Is Bullshit — And Now We Have the Data to Prove It.

* When does a model own her own image?

* Dune as anti-white-savior narrative.

* Civil War generals as Muppets: a definitive thread.

* “Safety driver” as “moral crumple zone.”

* Imagine the absolute blessing of waking up one morning to find that someone who treated you this way was trending on Twitter.

* J.K. Rowling’s new book imagines a fantasy world where she is right about trans people.

David Graeber, 1961–2020. A Jewish Goodbye to David Graeber. Remembering My Friend, David Graeber. That Was David Graeber.

* capitalism.jpg

* Semenya loses at Swiss supreme court over testosterone rules.

John Cage musical work changes chord for first time in seven years.

* Movies were great. I’m sad about movies.

* For a topic about which American society seems to have a conversation quite frequently (particularly when celebrities are involved), “depression” is bewildering territory. Where does it come from, and why would evolution preserve something so disabling and agonizing as a feature of the species? Can it be driven off? What kind of documentation of it can be made? Is it possible to narrate and interpret, or does it defeat exegesis? What do you say to someone in its grip? In his new book, How To Be Depressed, the renowned journalist and critic George Scialabba observes that “[t]he pain of a severe clinical depression is the worst thing in the world.” This, it turns out, is both pretty much all you can ever say about the topic and a door opening onto the vast field of what we might call depression humanism.

* We stan.

Time Travel as White Privilege.

* Life on Venus? Astronomers See a Signal in Its Clouds.

The Entire Universe Might Be a Neural Network.

* Are aliens hiding in plain sight?

* Eugenics, sperm donation, and the law.

* Rules & Roberts.

* Of course you had me at a Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Switch game.

* And I volunteer.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 17, 2020 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Surprise Friday Night Links for a Day You’re Probably Surprised Is Actually Friday

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* Don’t sleep on Grad School Vonnegut’s Jailbird episode! Next week: Deadeye Dick, (genuinely) my sleeper hit of the summer…

* One of my better citations: “Fitness Fanatics: Exercise as Answer to Pending Zombie Apocalypse in Contemporary America.”

* I’ve got book chapters in two new books: Monsters: A Companion (talking about District 9) and Literary Afrofuturism in the Twenty-First Century (talking about Black Panther).

* Also out now: SFRA Review 50.2-3!

* Octavia Butler just made the NY Times Bestseller List for the first time ever — 14 years after her death.

Afrofuturism, Africanfuturism, and the Language of Black Speculative Literature.

“The daily blitzkrieg of the news,” bemoans Tom Barnard in leftist science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson’s 1990 novel, Pacific Edge. “Every day everything a little worse.”

* A Message from Future Generations.

* Announcing the Ancillary Review of Books.

* “Can we talk abt the fact that Liu Cixin supports internment camps for minorities?”

* Post45 kicks off the academic year with a stunner: The 7 Neoliberal Arts.

After emotional gathering, Marquette agrees to Black students’ demand for cultural center, scholarships, other support. This comes after some occupations and street closures last week. Update from president and provost following meeting with Black student leaders.

* Which doesn’t count the die-in.

* One of the things I’ve had go most viral on Twitter was a simple call to be kind to students.

* Elsewhere in my social media empire: On Voting Twice. On the Wisconsin gerrymander. On firing university administrators. On self-dealing boards of trustees. On that same thing. On Duke. On running the government like a glitch-exploiting speed-run. It’s happening here. Private insurance. UI. If you want a vision of the future. And when Kurt Vonnegut tells the future, he simply does not fuck around.

* We are calling for a Scholar strike #Scholarstrike on September 8-9 2020 to protest ongoing police violence and murders in America.

Unsurprisingly, this is shaping up as the worst year ever on the academic history job market; less than half as many TT jobs listed through August 31 than even in 2009, and a quarter what there were last year.

* Tenured GWU professor reveals she has been pretending to be Black her entire career. (It’s GW’s second case of this this year.) Why Did Jessica Krug Create The Jess La Bombera Persona? The view from her students.

Yale Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld Has Been Suspended for Sexual Harassment.

* CFP: The Journal of Fantasy and Fan Cultures is an annual journal of scholarly work and creative non-fiction by undergraduate and graduate students. Our first issue, on Harry Potter, will be published in Spring 2021. Submissions for this issue are now open until December 2020, but they are limited to UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS. CFP: “Race and Science Fiction: The 5th Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium.”

* Stop them before they kill again! Game of Thrones’ Benioff and Weiss to adapt sci-fi epic The Three-Body Problem at Netflix.

* Sports come to a halt: NBA, WNBA, MLB, MLS postpone games as players protest Jacob Blake shooting. The Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers Strike for Racial Justice.

The Social Fabric of the U.S. Is Fraying Severely, if Not Unravelling. We Don’t Know How to Warn You Any Harder. America is Dying. The RNC Makes a Compelling Case for America’s Imminent Collapse. For Election Administrators, Death Threats Have Become Part of the Job.

* Today in the Wisconsin gerrymander. Half of Wisconsin’s Black Neighborhoods Are Jails. Wisconsin’s record of brutality against people of color. Wisconsin is a window into how Republicans who once rejected Trump now cheer him on. Nine people arrested by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for allegedly being outside agitators were in town city to distribute food to protesters, a director of the nonprofit kitchen says.

* A 17-Year-Old Aspiring Cop Has Been Charged With Murder In Kenosha. Kyle Rittenhouse is America’s future. Could A Backlash Against Black Lives Matter Hurt Biden? The Two Don’t Appear Linked So Far. Alleged Kenosha Killer Loved Cops, Guns, Trump, and ‘Triggering the Libs,’ Former Classmates Say.

* Meanwhile: A fascist manifesto is gaining fans on the right, including state Sen. Roger Chamberlain. “When Violence Is Necessary To Defend Civil Society.” Right-wing extremists have killed 329 victims in the last 25 years, while antifa members haven’t killed any, according to a new study. Missouri lawmakers pass bill making it legal to give guns to kids without parents’ permission.

* Teen who held BLM event gets $2500 bill for police overtime. Encounter with Phoenix police leaves teenage girl with permanent burn scars. The Police Are Pretty Sure They’re Going to Get Away With It. Cops admit vandalizing cars of man who filed complaint against them, prosecutor says. What Can Stop Cops In Cities Like Kenosha From Brutalizing Black People Like Jacob Blake? Precrime in Florida. The Terrible History of the NYPD’s Challenge Coins. The Abolition moment.

* QAnon explained. QAnon is a collective delusion, and that’s what BuzzFeed News will be calling it from now on. How QAnon, a fringe online movement, is drawing followers in Wisconsin and across the U.S. with a stew of conspiracies.

* Cases Spike at Universities Nationally. UNC-Chapel Hill Reports 31.3 Percent of Students Tested Have COVID—And There Are Probably More. NC State students ordered to leave university housing after ‘rapid spread’ of COVID-19. In North Carolina and Around the US, Neoliberal Universities Are Sending Students Into Hell. University of Miami Reports Nearly 100 Positive COVID Tests in One-Week Period. Wisconsin Universities Begin Reporting Cases Of COVID-19. Higher Ed’s Hottest Hot Spot? Some Colleges Planned Early for an Online Fall. Here’s What They Learned. JMU shifting to online classes, asking students to leave campus after 500 coronavirus cases. UW-Madison orders 9 sororities, fraternities with positive COVID-19 cases to quarantine. Colleges Lost the Moral Authority to Blame Students. The influencer twins I’m weirdly obsessed with just tested positive for COVID while on campus at Baylor. My college reopened. Now I’ve got COVID-19, along with nearly 500 other students. The University of Alabama reports 566 coronavirus cases after just a week of classes. University of Alabama to Profs: Don’t Tell Students About COVID-Infected Classmates. OU Interim provost instructs professors not to hold in-person classes online, notify classes of students’ positive COVID-19 cases. Frustrated with fall reopening, faculty members consider vote of no confidence in administration. Trump White House Warns Colleges: Don’t Send Your COVID-Infected Students Home! University COVID Model.

Teaching this fall is not glorified Skype. The University We’re Losing. Between f**ked and a hard place. The Pandemic Is No Excuse to Surveil Students.

University of Oregon Will Charge Students for a Full Year of Dorm Housing Even if They Can’t Enter the Classroom.

* Why New Jersey’s Plan for In-Person Schooling Is Falling Apart. State report shows hundreds test positive for COVID-19 at Florida schools in August. Here’s what happened when students went to school during the 1918 pandemic.

Our Faculty Union Exposed the University’s Debt—And Who’s Paying for It.

* Deeply unappreciated fact: the most “impactful” person in science right now is this Kazakhstani hacker queen. She is the one-woman bridge to the largest repository of scientific knowledge ever collected.

* Biden campaign desperate for digital access to students as college campuses remain closed and students don’t know where they’ll be on Election Day.

* Legionnaire’s Disease pathogen found in water at some schools reopening after Covid-19 lockdowns.

* Damn you, Oberlin undergrads! The Pentagon has ordered Stars and Stripes to shut down for no good reason.

Eugene Debs Believed in Socialism Because He Believed in Democracy. The Young Eugene V. Debs.

* Bernie Sanders’s Five-Year War: How he lost and where we go from here.

* The Radicalism of Woody Guthrie.

* Republicans already boobytrapping 2021. Why a Historic Eviction Wave Is Bearing Down on the U.S. Shhhh, we’re not talking about a government shutdown, are we? ‘We shouldn’t have to beg’: Americans struggle without unemployment aid as Congress stalls on extending benefits. As permanent economic damage piles up, the Covid Crisis is looking more like the Great Recession.

* Jessamyn Ward: Grief in the Time of Coronavirus. How COVID-19 Led To Soaring Divorce Rates In The US, Visualized. Surge in calls from male domestic violence victims during Covid-19. I thought I was a master doomscroller but “pregnant schoolteacher dies of coronavirus three days after surprise baby shower” actually made me wince in pain.

55% of coronavirus patients still have neurological problems three months later. New Trump pandemic adviser pushes controversial ‘herd immunity’ strategy, worrying public health officials. Drug cocktail touted by Trump to treat coronavirus increases chance of death by 27%, study shows. COVID-19 Might Mean Humanity Has Entered An Age Of Pandemics, Tony Fauci Warned.

* Active shooter drills correlate with a 42% increase in anxiety and stress and a 39% increase in depression among those in the school community, new report finds. Teens’ anxiety levels dropped during pandemic, study finds.

* Black men in D.C. are expected to die 17 years earlier than White men. Here’s why. Black Homeowners Face Discrimination in Appraisals. Woman, 105, leads lawsuit seeking reparations for 1921 Tulsa massacre. Black Former N.F.L. Players Say Racial Bias Skews Concussion Payouts.

* Trials by Whiteness: Definitions of Whiteness and Eurocentrism, and Their Relevance Post-Racefail.

* The Literature of White Liberalism.

* Kentucky Man Accused Of Breaking Canada’s COVID-19 Rules Faces $569,000 Fine.

* Bruce Wayne Gives Up Being Batman After Three Therapy Sessions.

The Aftermath of Hurricane Laura. Sights, sounds, reactions from historic landfall, recovery across Louisiana.

Why climate change is a civil rights battle. I do think Pelosi, Trump, Biden, Schumer, and McConnell are the last generation of politicians who are correct in wagering that they can spend the rest of their careers downplaying climate change and not suffer personally from it. A second Trump term would mean severe and irreversible changes in the climate.

Watchmen director Stephen Williams on uncovering the series’ real American hero story. Watchmen screenwriter Cord Jefferson on Hooded Justice and the privilege of nostalgia.

Why Uber’s business model is doomed.

Serious Supply Issues Disrupt the Book Industry’s Fall Season.

Union-Busting and Quakerism Collide at Brooklyn Friends School.

* Chadwick Boseman. David Graeber. Charles R. Saunders (back in May).

* Never too early: Disney Grapples With How to Proceed on ‘Black Panther’ Without Chadwick Boseman.

* All roads lead back to All My Children.

* John Boyega vs. Disney, and it’s about time.

* Stan Lee’s American pantheon.

On Age and Desire and Willy Wonka.

* More from MetaFilter on Go after AI.

An Instagram Account Is Waging War on Sexual Assault at Case Western Reserve University.

* Today in dystopia: According to Amazon, how you speak is a useful indicator of your wellbeing, both emotionally and physically. Consequently, the Halo Band will monitor your tone to determine if you’re feeling positive enough to get through your day.

* Amazon Is Hiring an Intelligence Analyst to Track ‘Labor Organizing Threats.’

* Understanding Batman.

* Understanding Tasha’s Hideous Laughter.

* Attention nerds: Gloomhaven May Be One Of The Best-Selling Comic Books (Or Not).

Development ceases on Amazon Prime’s CULTURE TV series, at the request of the Iain Banks Estate.

* Ah dinnae ken this: I’ve discovered that almost every single article on the Scots version of Wikipedia is written by the same person – an American teenager who can’t speak Scots.

* One Community, Burnout, and That One Scene from Deep Space Nine. Star Trek: Discovery’s third season to introduce franchise’s first transgender, non-binary characters.

* Not today, Satan: Expert says invasive ‘jumping’ earthworms with destructive potential appearing in Western New York.

* I said the world would end before New Mutants was a #1 movie — and I was right!

* Fuck The Next Call Of Duty Game.

* And we may live in hell, but Nintendo just announced a whole boatload of Mario games and rereleases.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 4, 2020 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fall Syllabus #2: ENGLISH 3000: Utopia in America!

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And here’s the other course for this fall, “ENGLISH 3000: Utopia in America.” Like the Watchmen class, it will be using a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction to muddle through this weird semester…

101 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Gerry Canavan

Course Title:  Utopia in America

Course Description: 2020 marks the 505th anniversary of Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, which inaugurated a genre of political and social speculation that continues to structure our imagination of what is possible. This course serves as an entry point for advanced study in the English discipline, using depictions of political utopias from antiquity to the present as a way to explore how both literature and literary criticism do their work. We will study utopia in canonical historical literature, in contemporary pop culture, and in the presidential election, as well as utopian critical theory from major thinkers like Fredric Jameson, China Miéville, Derrick Bell, Toni Morrison, Ursula K. Le Guin, and N.K. Jemisin — 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 major authors of the 20th century, among them Gabriel García Márquez, Vladimir Nabokov, and Octavia E. Butler.

Assignments: Class participation, including individual and group presentations; discussion posts. Students will also construct their own utopian manifesto.

W Aug 26 S FIRST DAY OF CLASS

Introduction to the Course

What Is Utopia?

F Aug 28 A New Criticism

How to Interpret Literature: “New Criticism”

Robert Frost, “Mending Wall” [D2L]

M Aug 31 S Sir Thomas More, Utopia, “Concerning” and Book One
W Sep 2 S Sir Thomas More, Utopia, Book Two
F Sep 4 A China Miéville, Introduction to Utopia (2017): “Close to the

Shore” and “The Limits of Utopia”

M Sep 7   LABOR DAY—NO CLASS
W Sep 9 S Structuralism

How to Interpret Literature: “Structuralism”

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

F Sep 11 A Intertextuality

N.K. Jemisin, reply to Le Guin [Web]

M Sep 14 S Marxism

How to Interpret Literature: “Marxism”

Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels, “The Communist Manifesto” [Web]

Mark Bould, “The Futures Market: American Utopias” [D2L]

W Sep 16 S Utopia

Fredric Jameson, “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture” (first half; second half optional) [D2L]

Black Mirror: “San Junipero” [Netflix]

F Sep 18 A Sandbox: Fredric Jameson, “Utopia as Replication” [D2L]
M Sep 21 S Postcoloniality and Race Studies

How to Interpret Literature: “Postcolonial and Race Studies”

Derrick Bell, “The Space Traders” [D2L]

W Sep 23 S Toni Morrison, “Recitatif” [D2L]

Toni Morrison, excerpt from Playing in the Dark [D2L]

F Sep 25 A Sandbox: #BlackLivesMatter Syllabus [Web]
M Sep 28 S Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapter 1
W Sep 30 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 2-3
F Oct 2 A Sandbox: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 4-6
M Oct 5 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 7-9
W Oct 7 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 10-12
F Oct 9 A Sandbox: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 13-15
M Oct 12 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chapters 16-18
W Oct 14 S One Hundred Years of Solitude, whole book

Gabriel García Márquez, “The Solitude of Latin America” [Web]

Gregory Lawrence, “Marx in Macondo” [D2L]

F Oct 16   FALL BREAK—NO CLASS
M Oct 19 S Feminism

How to Interpret Literature: “Feminism”

Karen Joy Fowler, “Game Night at the Fox and Goose” [D2L]

W Oct 21 S Sexuality

How to Interpret Literature: “Queer Studies”

Alice Sheldon as James Tiptree, Jr., “Houston, Houston, Do You Read?” [D2L]

F Oct 23 A Sandbox: Octavia E. Butler, “Bloodchild
M Oct 26 S Environmental Studies

How to Interpret Literature: “Environmental Criticism”

Ramin Bahrani, “Plastic Bag” [YouTube]

W Oct 28 S Disability Studies

How to Interpret Literature: “Disability Studies”

Octavia E. Butler, “The Evening and the Morning and the Night”

Octavia E. Butler, “Speech Sounds”

F Oct 30 A Sandbox: Octavia E. Butler, “The Book of Martha”
M Nov 2 S Historicism and Cultural Studies

How to Interpret Literature: “Historicism and Cultural Studies”

Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire, “Foreword” and “Pale Fire”

W Nov 4 S Pale Fire, “Foreword and “Pale Fire” continued
F Nov 6 A Sandbox
M Nov 9 S Pale Fire, Commentary, Canto I
W Nov 11 S Pale Fire, Commentary, Canto II
F Nov 13 A Sandbox
M Nov 16 S Pale Fire, Commentary, Canto III
W Nov 18 S Pale Fire, Commentary, Canto IV (including index)
F Nov 20 A Reader Response

How to Interpret Literature: “Reader Response”

Pale Fire, whole book and interpretations

M Nov 23 S FINAL PROJECT WORKSHOP
F Dec 4

5:30 PM

  FINAL PROJECT DUE IN D2L DROPBOX

 

Accidentally Closed a Bunch of Tabs and Can’t Get Them Back But Regardless Here Are Links

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* Coming soon! Paradoxa 31: Climate Fictions. There’s a ton in this gigantic issue; my contribution is called “The Legend of Zelda in the Anthropocene,” based off the presentation on Breath of the Wild I gave at ICFA last year…

For 60 years, Americans poisoned themselves by pumping leaded gasoline into their cars. Then Clair Patterson, a scientist who helped build the atomic bomb and discovered the true age of the Earth, took on a billion-dollar industry. The Most Important Scientist You’ve Never Heard Of.

* Scenes from the class struggle at Marquette. Colleges Hoped for an In-Person Fall. Now the Dream is Crumbling. Universities that lived by the market model during the boom years face an extinction event as the bubble bursts and their business model pushes them to make perverse decisions about campus opening. ‘Ethically troubling.’ University reopening plans put professors, students on edge. Frat parties, bars could ruin fall 2020 college reopening plans.  The Humanities after COVID-19. Iowa. UNC. Akron. UMass. For First-Generation Students, a Disappearing ‘College Experience’ Could Have Grave Consequences. Colleges Are Getting Ready to Blame Their Students. Last Change for Universities? And the piece that made literally everyone mad last week: Struggle / Perish / Survive / Thrive.

* On a Knife’s Edge.

* Rethinking MLA 2021.

* The time for reform is now. If we want truly public education at a reasonable cost, the state and federal governments need to step up to help with funding and to insist on proper reforms to refocus our institutions on the academic mission. After this pandemic, our institutions need to have backed away from these destructive corporate-style approaches and to have restored focus on the academic mission. Instead of describing and accepting every academic loss as “the new normal,” our colleges and universities need to emphasize that higher education is a public good, not a private commodity. This means a return to investment in students, full-time faculty, research, and all aspects of the academic mission that have been overlooked for far too long.  

Exploit U: The Secret Underworld of College Athletics. Lost football season would crush Big Ten schools, including Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State. Rutgers professors sue over $100 million shifted to athletics.

* How Afrofuturism Can Help the World Mend. Insurgent histories and the abolitionist imaginary. The Argument of Afropessimism.

* The Man Whose Science Fiction Keeps Turning Into Our Shitty Cyberpunk Reality. How Fantasy Literature Helped Create the 21st Century. How Cyberpunk Saved Sci-Fi. Why We Need Dystopian Fiction Now More Than Ever.

* From Cixin Liu to Octavia E. Butler: An Interview with EN to CN Science Fiction Translator Geng Hui.

8 Anti-Capitalist Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels.

* Three Ways of Diversifying a Philosophy Syllabus.

Top Scientists Just Ruled Out Best-Case Global Warming Scenarios.

* The Last Giraffes on Earth.

* Men who call their colleagues “fucking bitches” in public hallways are making a threat and it should not be tolerated. PS: Don’t read the New York Times.

Vaccine Reality Check. Hygiene Theater. 16 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week. White House document shows 18 states in coronavirus “red zone.” Virus activity remains ‘high’ in 80% of Wisconsin counties. State reports 900 more COVID-19 cases and six Wisconsin children who got rare inflammatory condition that the coronavirus can trigger. New coronavirus cases in Wisconsin top 1,000 for the second time in three days. America’s coronavirus reopening falls apart. We’re Talking About More Than Half a Million People Missing from the U.S. Population. And some good news: Overall COVID-19 intensive care mortality has fallen by a third. Oxford scientists believe they have made a breakthrough in their quest for a Covid-19 vaccine. Can You Get Covid-19 Again? It’s Very Unlikely, Experts Say.

How Much Should You Worry About Air Conditioning and COVID-19?

There Are Literally No Good Options for Educating Our Kids This Fall. I Am Definitely Panicking. Teachers unions in largest districts call on Tony Evers to require schools start virtually. Fed up with remote education, parents who can pay have a new plan for fall: import teachers to their homes. Citing Educational Risks, Scientific Panel Urges That Schools Reopen. To Be a Parent Right Now Is To Be a Liar. They Come to Mommy First.

* Once again: against homework.

The Dark Obsessions of QAnon Are Merging With Mainstream Conservatism. Twitter bans 7,000 QAnon accounts, limits 150,000 others as part of broad crackdown. American Death Cult. What Could Happen If Trump Rejects Electoral Defeat? Previewing 2024.

* August is shaping up to be ‘ugly.’ Renters brace for evictions as moratorium ends. Mass Evictions Set To Begin – Communities Of Color To Be Hardest Hit. Here’s how the eviction crisis will impact each state. Millions of Americans Are About to Lose Their Homes. Congress Must Help Them. More Than Half of U.S. Business Closures Permanent, Yelp Says. Almost half of the U.S. population does not have a job. Child care industry ‘approaching a catastrophic situation’ due to COVID. Layoffs are growing again. More state spending cuts coming in Wisconsin. Many families in Wisconsin are ‘close to becoming homeless’ as effects of pandemic continue and help dries up. Home Prices May Be Dropping Soon. Here’s Why. How Remote Work Divides America. U.S. Capitalism Is in Total Meltdown. Gimme that stimmie.

* America ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids — in fact, it’s cold as hell

* Your Predominantly White Academic Organization (Yes, Even Yours) Is Exactly One Live-Tweeted Racist Event Away from Public Disgrace.

U.S. newspapers have shed half of their newsroom employees since 2008.

* My friend the brilliant Jillian Weise on Metafilter! You love to see it.

How the Child Care Crisis Will Distort the Economy for a Generation.

* There is just so much corruption in the justice system. I wish it were still shocking. Elsewhere on the justice beat: The 15-year-old Black girl who was incarcerated for not doing her homework has been denied release by a Michigan judge.

A British Skin Care Brand Pressured Asian Influencers To Promote Its Skin Whiteners. They Fought Back.

* The Racist History of Tipping.

* The Rick and Morty shorts are a whole thing, man.

* The best new Twitter account out there: @accidental_left.

* You’re not allowed to stop. You can never stop. The Existential Horror of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Why Children of Men haunts the present moment.

* Anti-Blackness in The Last of Us, Part Two.

J.K. Rowling and the Limits of Imagination.

The Inescapable Whiteness of AVATAR: THE LEGEND OF KORRA, and its Uncomfortable Implications.

Capitalism is the Parasite; Capitalism is the Virus.

What We Know About the Austin BLM Protest Shooting. Official Garrett Foster Memorial Fund.

* The fight against racism starts at home.

* John Lewis: Photos from a Life Spent Getting into Good Trouble. One of his last interviews.

* Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Nib Interview.

* Infinite Hyperobjects on Infinite Earths.

* Don’t tease us Doc.

* one of the kids at my job made this and i haven’t known peace since

* tinker tailor soldier spy if it was adapted today

* cat in the furnace, check

* wow ok I’m feeling personally attacked

* Two Americas.

* always has been — always has been

* just an update for all you non-biologists out there that biology twitter is currently in meltdown because a journal editor said some worms are overrated

* Even Highlights magazine is a grim read these days.

* I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you fucking deserve

* Obviously they should have changed their name to the I Don’t Care If You Have Purple Skins, but doing a Prince-style malicious rebrand to an unusable euphemism that keeps the old name at the foreground of everyone’s minds forever is clever too.

* Why is science fiction more prone to attracting ‘literary’ writers than, say, fantasy?

* What’s considered trashy if you’re poor, but classy if you’re rich?

* Yeah, I mean, I’m unnerved and I’m not even a commuter.

* “As shooting slowly resumes, your porn is about to look a lot different.”

* Yet another Watchmen sequel.

* And even if I don’t believe it, I believe it: Explosive UFO Report In NYT Mentions ‘Off-World Vehicles Not Made On This Earth.’

Written by gerrycanavan

July 27, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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