Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Parable of the Trickster

Just Another Saturday Night Linkdump

leave a comment »

CFP: Medical Humanities and the Fantastic. CFP: Edited Collection, Fan Studies: Methods, Ethics, Research. CFP: Reclaiming the Tomboy: Posthumanism, Gender Representation, and Intersectionality. CFP: Special Issue on Indigenous and Sovereign Games. CFP: The Age of the Pulps: The SF magazine, 1926–1960. CFP: Productive Futures: The Political Economy of Science Fiction, Bloomsbury, London, 12-14 September 2019.

* Awesome #altac job watch: Humanities Editor at Minnesota Press.

* The second half of the Women’s Studies issue on Octavia E. Butler, featuring my article of Parable of the Trickster, is now officially out. Check it out!

* Find out when someone started crying during Endgame, and you’ll find out who they’ve lost. (Really, though, it doesn’t make any sense.) “Avengers: Endgame” is not just the culmination of the 22-movie Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also represents the decisive defeat of “cinema” by “content.” In Praise of Poorly Built Worlds. The Avengers are the heroes of ‘Endgame,’ but Disney was the villain all along. But this time, we’re talking about a tragedy beyond what could possibly be commemorated through memorial sites. It would land somewhere closer to mass suicide and total infrastructural collapse–and where Endgame is concerned, there are no tragedies, there is only Marvel. Eco-Villains: Thanos and the Night King. To put it bluntly, and in Deleuze’s terms, superhero films are action films for people who no longer believe in action, for whom the capacity to act has been overtaken by the spectacle. It’s probably the best version of what an Avengers movie can be. And even that turns out to be silly, sloppily written, and to require massive amount of suspension of disbelief. Is it really too much to hope that Marvel stops debasing its characters and stories with events that can never live up to the MCU’s individual pieces? Interview With A Local Man Returning After Thanos’ Snap.

* MCU continuity enters its “fuck you, that’s why” period.

An analysis of both side’s tactics in the Battle of Winterfell, from a military strategist. A counterpoint.

* Hate to agree with Ross Douthat, but it really does seem to be the case that hype aside Martin is just warmed-over Tolkien, but worse in every particular. Bonus Twitter thread goodness on GoT and colonialism.

* America is a horror: on Jordan Peele’s Us.

* Vox celebrates the great James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon).

* Keeping company with my Audible app over lunch, I’ve come to see it as the buddy our tech overlords have granted me in the isolation that they help to impose. I feel this way about podcasts.

* Report Realism: Tentative Notes on Contemporary Kenyan Writing.

Genres that strain realism—the gothic and neo-gothic, fantasy, science fiction, horror, romance, and so on—are conspicuously absent in Kenyan writing, even as they are incredibly well represented in Kenyan book consumption. We are not writing what we are reading; even the very popular Christian-themed fiction about fighting demonic forces, which is really a variation of the horror novel, remains relatively sparse in terms of what we write or, perhaps more accurately, what we choose to make public of our writing. The believable and the realistic are bounded by NGO narratives and perspectives. And too many writers believe that the only writing worth anything is the believable and the realistic: to be a “committed” writer requires adhering to report realism.

Report realism believes in the power of “truth,” whether contemporary or historical, with a faith that borders on fundamentalism. In report realism, the truth will set us free. Report realism confirms objective NGO reports and affirms what Kenyans feel to be the truth of a particular condition. In report realism, for instance, the Kenyan prostitute is always a morally degraded figure looking for a way out to a respectable moral life. This realism is celebrated and supported by the NGO organizations who fund writing competitions and publish winning entries devoted to describing the real Kenya and by mainstream publishers who have the conservative mission of producing appropriately moral literature.

* ‘It drives writers mad’: why are authors still sniffy about sci-fi?

* The saddest story ever told, beating Hemingway out by one word: Esports Part-Time Online Instructor.

Yes, you will get a job with that arts degree. With that history degree, too!

Storm Clouds Over Tulsa: Inside the academic destruction of a proud private university.

6 Majors Were Spared the Ax at Stevens Point. But the Damage Might Be Done.

* Students and (not) doing the reading.

* How to Be a Better Online Teacher.

Getting a Game Studies PhD: A Guide for Aspiring Video Game Scholars. Game Boys: The “gamer” identity undermines the radical potential of play.

Sexual harassment is pervasive in US physics programmes.

The Disciplines Where No Black People Earn Ph.D.s. Being a Black Academic in America.

‘It’s an Aristocracy’: What the Admissions-Bribery Scandal Has Exposed About Class on Campus.

Swarthmore Fraternities Disband.

* Marquette faculty, students and community members rally for unionization. Unionization effort at Marquette leaves organizers, administration in a stalemate.

The University Is a Ticking Time Bomb. A Moral Stain on the Profession.

* “Student loan debt is crushing millions of families. That’s why I’m calling for something truly transformational: Universal free college and the cancellation of debt for more than 95% of Americans with student loan debt.”

Anxiety ‘epidemic’ brewing on college campuses, researchers find.

* Stanford keeps Stanford University Press alive… for one year.

Charles Koch gave $25m to our university. Has it become a rightwing mouthpiece? George Mason University’s Donor Problem and the Fight for Transparency.

Grad Students at Private Colleges Were Cleared to Unionize 3 Years Ago. Here’s What’s Changed.

* How America’s College-Closure Crisis Leaves Families Devastated.

* Meanwhile every teacher in the country is constantly confronted with the possibility that they’ll be asked to die for their students.

All Literature Is Climate Change Literature. The Green New Deal Costs Less Than Doing Nothing. Ecuador Amazon tribe win first victory against oil companies. ‘Death by a thousand cuts’: vast expanse of rainforest lost in 2018. Vietnam just observed its highest temperature ever recorded: 110 degrees, in April. ‘Decades of denial’: major report finds New Zealand’s environment is in serious trouble. Alaska’s in The Middle of a Record-Breaking Spring Melt, And It’s Killing People. The Folly of Returning to Paradise, California. Policy tweaks won’t do it, we need to throw the kitchen sink at this with a total rethink of our relationship to ownership, work and capital. Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse. “You did not act in time.” We Asked the 2020 Democrats About Climate Change (Yes, All of Them). Here Are Their Ideas. The Billionaire’s Guide to Hacking the Planet. What if air conditioners could save the planet? The collapse of the industrial economy is, in all likelihood, the only remaining way to prevent the mass destruction of life on Earth. ‘The Time To Act Is Now,’ Says Yellowing Climate Change Report Sitting In University Archive. A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Names and Locations of the Top 100 People Killing the Planet. Between the Devil and the Green New Deal. Five years. And here comes eco-fascism.

* Down and Out in the Gig Economy: Journalism’s dependence on part-time freelancers has been bad for the industry—not to mention writers like me.

But for most of us, freelance journalism is a monetized hobby, separate from whatever real income one earns. The ideal relationship for a freelance journalist to their work becomes a kind of excited amateurism. They should hope for professional success and acceptance but always keep a backup plan or three in mind. They will likely not be welcomed past the gates of full-time employment. By year five or six, they might be rebranding themselves as “editorial consultants” or “content strategists,” realizing that any genuine fiscal opportunity lies in shepherding corporate content to life.

* ‘Two-Tiered Caste System’: The World of White-Collar Contracting in Silicon Valley. The Future of Unions Is White-Collar. We Just Remembered How to Strike.

These five charts show how bad the student loan debt situation is.

* “I am a woman and I am fast.” The ongoing harassment of Caster Semenya is simply incredible.

* Ten years later, police lies about Oscar Grant come to light. And elsewhere on the police beat: We found 85,000 cops who’ve been investigated for misconduct. Now you can read their records. New York City’s DAs Keep Secret Lists Of Cops With Questionable Credibility. Virginia police sergeant fired after being linked to white supremacy.

Border Patrol Holds Hundreds of Migrants in Growing Tent City Away From Prying Eyes. Emails Show Trump Administration Had No Plan to Track and Reunite Separated Families. Militia in New Mexico Detains Asylum Seekers at Gunpoint.

TSA Agents Say They’re Not Discriminating Against Black Women, But Their Body Scanners Might Be.

* Against prison.

* France Debates How to Rebuild Notre-Dame, Weighing History and Modernity. An art historian explains the tough decisions in rebuilding Notre Dame. How Digital Scans of Notre Dame Can Help Architects Rebuild the Burned Cathedral. The billionaires’ donations will turn Notre Dame into a monument to hypocrisy.

* Researchers Made 3,900-Pound Boulders They Can Move by Hand, Giving More Insights Into Ancient Engineering.

* Mental health minute: Researchers say there’s a simple way to reduce suicides: Increase the minimum wage. The challenge of going off psychiatric drugs. The kids are not all right.

* The Rise of Useless Health Insurance. High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment. American Prescription Drug Prices Are Out of Control. One Man’s Furious Quest to Get to the Bottom of It.

* Rich guys are most likely to have no idea what they’re talking about, study suggests.

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population.

* A new Gallup poll says that America is home to some of the most stressed people in the world, reporting extraordinary levels of anger and anxiety that could be cause for concern, say doctors.

Workers Should Be in Charge.

I Work With Suicidal Farmers. It’s Becoming Too Much to Bear.

* On crunch time in the games industry.

Instagram Memers Are Unionizing.

* How Dungeons & Dragons somehow became more popular than ever.

Fantastic Autistic: Neurodiversity, Estrangement and Playing with the Weird.

* Re-reading the Map of Middle-earth: Fan Cartography’s Engagement with Tolkien’s Legendarium.

Why Won’t Twitter Treat White Supremacy Like ISIS? Because It Would Mean Banning Some Republican Politicians Too.

* Believe them when they say they want to kill us.

* Children of the Children of Columbine.

* My parents didn’t tell me they skipped my vaccines. Then I got sick.

* How a mall dies, Milwaukee edition.

* The hunt for rocket boosters in Russia’s far north.

* Job-hunting will only get worse.

* Of course I believe in hell. I vote for Democrats.

* Biden biden biden biden

* The gamification of fascism.

* Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, fandom, and anti-fandom.

* My feckless Googling had reaped a monstrous reality that I knew was going to haunt me for the rest of my life. I asked myself: Is there something righteous in facing reality, or would it have been better to stay ignorant? A surfeit of ugly knowledge is a feature of our age, a result of the internet carrying to our doorstep, like a tomcat with a dead rat, all manner of brutal information. How many others have flippantly Googled an old friend and discovered something ghastly? This was not knowledge as power; it was knowledge as sorrow.

* “Australia Is Deadly Serious About Killing Millions of Cats.”

* The oldest known tree in Wisconsin.

* A Video Game Developed To Detect Alzheimer’s Disease Seems To Be Working.

* Decolonizing Oregon Trail.

* How “Liberal” Late-Night Talk Shows Became A Comedy Sinkhole.

Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden. Women suffer needless pain because almost everything is designed for men. What Good Dads Get Away With.

When Measles Arrives: Breaking Down the Anatomy of Containment.

* Despite being legally required to conduct audits since the early 90s and holding a staggering  2.2 trillion in assets, the Pentagon held its first-ever audit this week — which it, unsurprisingly, spectacularly failed.

* I have so little faith in the holders of the Star Trek IP I can’t greet any of this news with pleasure. Even the realization that Discovery is (finally) going to do something truly original in its third season just fills me with dread. And I don’t know how to feel about this at all: Star Trek: Picard Series May Not Reunite TNG Cast. Star Trek: Discovery’s Depiction of Captain Pike’s Disability is a Betrayal of Roddenberry’s Utopian Vision. My mini-tweetstorm on the subject.

* Sundown on Deadwood: David Milch, battling Alzheimer’s, finally finishes his TV Western.

* Professional obligation watch, god help me.

Jeopardy Wasn’t Designed for a Contestant Like James Holzhauer.

* Tolkien estate disavows forthcoming film starring Nicholas Hoult.

* John Lennon’s 15 year old report card.

* Colonizing Condiments: A (Very) Short History of Ketchup.

Women my age weren’t called ‘autistic’ growing up. We were awkward or ‘rude.’ And we missed out on services.

* “We are not interested in the reason for why the people are killed,” he wrote. “But if she is your wife or some family member, we can do it in your city as well.”

The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence.

* Obituary corner: Gene Wolfe Was the Proust of Science Fiction. Before the Labyrinthine Lore of ‘Dark Souls,’ There Was Gene Wolfe.

Before Gamergate, before the 2016 election, they launched a campaign against Twitter trolls masquerading as women of color. If only more people had paid attention.

* Medicine is magical and magical is art / The boy in the bubble / And the baby with the baboon heart.

* Scientists Restore Some Function In The Brains Of Dead Pigs.

* The Great Pornwall of Britain Goes Up July 15.

* The United States of Conspiracy: An Interview with Anna Merlan.

* ok ok I’ll bite what’s coal

* what piece of cosmo sex advice most haunts your waking hours

* If you want a vision of the future: Netflix ‘buys 50 literary projects in last year.’

* It was in autumn that the happy face arrived. Death of a Salesman. No mathematics, no science can ever predict the human soul. Where do you want to eat tonight?

2019 National Geographic Travel Photo Contest.

* And only mass surveillance can save us now! Rough news day for Oxford if you ask me.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 4, 2019 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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

So I Had A Lot of Tabs Open Links

leave a comment »

* There’s a kind of “deleted scene” from my book out in the new issue of Women’s Studies: “Eden, Just Not Ours Yet: On Parable of the Trickster and Utopia.” It’s in the second half of a special double-issue devoted to Butler, edited by Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey.

* I’ll be presenting a little bit of my research at the conference this weekend held by Marquette’s Center for the Advancement of the Humanities. Check it out!

* Thanks to everyone who helped me run ideas for my theory class next semester. Here’s what I went with.

* I really liked The Wandering Earth and I think you should see it in a theater — but if you must see it on Netflix I understand. The Chinese Sci-Fi Epic The Wandering Earth Could Be a Glimpse at the Future of the Blockbuster. And while we’re talking: How Chinese novelists are reimagining science fiction.

* CFP: Special Issue: “Surveilling the Body: Ableism and Anglophone Literature.”

* CFP: Science Fiction and Religion.

* CFP: Contemporary American Science Fiction Film: The Bush, Obama and Trump Years.

* CFP: Global Utopian Film and TV in the Age of Dystopia (a special issue of Science Fiction Film and Television).

* Deadline getting close for SFRA 2019 in Hawai’i.

Marcus Center announces 2019 dates for ‘Hamilton’ in Milwaukee.

* eSports at Marquette and beyond: The booming popularity of esports has started a vociferous debate over whether the NCAA or another entity will regulate the industry for colleges and universities.

‘Now Comes the Hard Part’: 20-Day Strike at Wright State Has Ended.

* Lowbrow Culture and Guilty Pleasures? The Performance and Harm of Academic Elitism.

Multiple UNC Honor System members, including the Graduate and Professional Court’s chairperson and attorney general, will testify at a public hearing Tuesday as graduate student activist Maya Little appeals sanctions brought against her last year.

* It is worse, much worse, than you think. It is absolutely time to panic about climate change. More David Wallace-Wells via MetaFilter. A new simulation finds that global warming could cause stratocumulus clouds to disappear in as little as a century, which would add 8°C (14°F) of extra warming. We broke down what climate change will do, region by region. This map shows you what your city will feel like in 2080 and boy, are we in for a treat. Want to know what your city will feel like in 2080? Look 500 miles south. Use these tools to help visualize the horror of rising sea levels. The Story Behind the Green New Deal’s Meteoric Rise. 7 Reasons Democrats Won’t Pass a Green New Deal. Democrats are climate deniers. This is an emergency, damn it. Climate signs. Polar bears. Who is the Subject of Climate Change? Insurers Worry a Financial Crisis May Come From Climate Risks. Why the White Earth Band of Ojibwe Legally Recognized Wild Rice’s Rights. Massive restoration of world’s forests would cancel out a decade of CO2 emissions, analysis suggests. When Islamophobia, inequality, and climate change collide, well, this is How It Can Happen Here. ‘Moment of reckoning’: US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports. And this January was actually one of the warmest on record, polar vortex and all. But don’t worry, they’ve got this.

How sci-fi could help solve climate change.

For nearly two decades at the Grand Canyon, tourists, employees, and children on tours passed by three paint buckets stored in the National Park’s museum collection building, unaware that they were being exposed to radiation.

Chimpanzees ‘talk’ just like humans. It’s time to realise how similar we are. Rethinking animal cognition. Dolphins Seem to Use Toxic Pufferfish to Get High.

* When you don’t try to solve a problem, it doesn’t get solved.

In the mid-1970s, Jon Armond was traumatized by something he saw on Sesame Street. It was a cartoon about a little girl who encounters creatures formed by the cracks on her bedroom wall—including a horrifying, screaming face who called himself “The Crack Master.”

“Eskimos Have Fifty Words for Snow” is an amazing phrase, because every word in it is wrong. But reversing it—announcing proudly that they don’t—only replicates that wrongness; you can’t say no to a bad question and be right.

* A deep dive into stadium bathrooms.

In this exclusive investigative report from Montreal, Maisonneuve exposes the bid-rigging, violence and sabotage at the heart of an unlikely racket: snow removal.

* All the Bad Things About Uber and Lyft In One Simple List.

* What happens when a school district votes to arm teachers? A Rust Belt educator takes us through the grim realities of training to kill one of his own students. Teachers with Guns.

* Have you ever wondered what goes on in those school shooter trainings your child’s teacher is required to undergo? Vital, must read thread on the nightmare factory that schools have become.

* Rethinking suicide.

* A new history reveals that for female slaveholders, the business of human exploitation was just as profitable—and brutal—as it was for men.

The Rise of the Mega-University.

* U.S. Student Debt in ‘Serious Delinquency’ Tops $166 Billion. Here’s Why So Many Americans Feel Cheated By Their Student Loans. What’s changed about grad school in fifteen years.

* Nearly half of Duke University’s female undergraduates say they have been sexually assaulted since enrolling at the university, a sharp increase from the proportion in 2016, according to a report released on Thursday.

This neuroscientist is fighting sexual harassment in science—but her own job is in peril.

* What is it like to go from a tenured professorship to an hourly wage driving buses? This piece tries to make sense of an unusual transition. An update from Steven Salaita.

Sean Guynes reviews Aimee Bahng’s Migrant Futures: Decolonizing Speculation in Financial Times.

The Bizarre Planets That Could Be Humanity’s New Homes. What would human civilization look like on a tidally locked world?

* Remember Mars One, that company we all knew was a scam but still kinda hoped was real because of how much we liked the movie The Martian? Yeah, it went bankrupt.

* Report Shows ICE Almost Never Punishes Contractors Housing Detainees No Matter How Many Violations They Rack Up.

* 11-Year-Old Arrested After Refusing to Stand for Pledge of Allegiance.

* Some Thoughts on EJ Levy.

Two years in, some people are still expecting one of his scandals to bring him down. I know better. Being Raised by Two Narcissists Taught Me How to Deal with Trump.

* Elizabeth Warren wants to ban the US from using nuclear weapons first. You’re half right!

* Financial Windfalls: 15 Stories of the Money That Changed Everything.

Build your own wealth tax: try your hand at taxing the superrich.

Income inequality is likely worse than before the Great Depression.

A living wage is an antidepressant. It is a sleep aid. A diet. A stress reliever. It is a contraceptive, preventing teenage pregnancy. It prevents premature death. It shields children from neglect.

* Nice work if you can get it.

* When the field gets big, the primaries get weird.

* Hard pass, no thanks.

* The Internet is a nightmare from which I am struggling to awake: The Trauma Floor: The secret lives of Facebook moderators in America. A pediatrician exposes suicide tips for children hidden in videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids. YouTube Kids is just a horror show. The dodgy, vulnerable fame of YouTube’s child ASMR stars. Disney, Fortnite pull YouTube ads amidst concern over a “soft-core pedophile ring” operating in its comments. Apple and Google accused of helping ‘enforce gender apartheid’ by hosting Saudi government app that tracks women and stops them leaving the country. Classroom Technology Is Indoctrinating Students Into A Culture Of Surveillance.

* The past isn’t over, it isn’t even past.

* We need a far more profound conception of white supremacy and how the mainstream press has always been complicit in its maintenance.

The United States Is a Progressive Nation With a Democracy Problem.

State Universities Are Being Resegregated.

Do Racial Epithets Have Any Place in the Classroom? A Professor’s Suspension Fuels That Debate.

* A self-proclaimed white nationalist planned a mass terrorist attack, the government says.

* How neoliberalism normalizes hostility.

* How the United States reinvented empire.

The future is a place where it doesn’t snow anymore, but “snow days” is the term we use for roving service outages caused by striking teachers.

* Pack the court. John Roberts is not your friend.

* Forget Strong Female Characters! We Need Complicated Female Characters Who Screw Up (A Lot).

* The love life of May Parker.

‘It’s eating the world’: Inside the Knicks’ and David Fizdale’s battle with ‘Fortnite.’

Progress in Play: Board Games and the Meaning of History.

* The One Choice You Weren’t Given In Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Veale followed the GDPR right of access process to submit his request, and Netflix eventually returned that viewing data through an encrypted email. Veale then posted the results of his request to Twitter for all of us to peruse. The bottom line is that Netflix is recording and storing the choices people make when they watch the episode.

Is Email Making Professors Stupid? I promise it’s not helping.

* Second, someone get this film made.

* Meet me tonight in Atlantic City.

* No, you can’t win.

* Guys, Star Trek is CANCELLED.

* Harvard got so rich it’s even going after Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage. Shameful.

* Psychology. Douchey robot bosses. Psyops. Political capital. A Brief History of Life Online. Rapunzel.

* And be warned, traveler: Tetris 99 is extremely very good.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 25, 2019 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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

Happy Day after My Birthday to Me Links

leave a comment »

* I’ve had a few pieces come out in the last couple weeks, including a short rumination on memory in the Anthropocene (and Richard McGuire’s Here) for the online journal Deletion. I’m also batting cleanup in a beautiful new volume called Science Fiction: A Literary History, with a piece on “New Paradigms, After 2001.”

The Syllabus: A tribute to the late, great Jim Clark. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone singlehandedly hold a thing together the way Jim held together the UNCG MFA Program.

* The C21 conference for 2018 has a theme: Ends of Cinema. There’s also a promising looking conference happening at McMaster University on Embodiment in Science Fiction and Fantasy. CfP: Fandom—Past, Present, Future, DePaul University, Chicago, IL. And a cool postdoc at Madison: Postdoctoral Fellowship on the Plantationocene.

* I loved this episode of The Lit Review podcast on Octavia Butler’s Earthseed books, with Adrienne Maree Brown. Highly recommend!

Angry Optimism in a Drowned World: A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson.

The Anthropocene is that moment in which capitalist expansion can no longer expand, and you get a crush of the biophysical system – that’s climate change – and then you get a crush of the political economy.

31 Essential Science Fiction Terms And Where They Came From.

A Timeline for Humanity’s Colonization of Space.

* If China Makes First Contact.

* Science Fiction and the Arab Spring.

8 Sci-Fi Writers on Where Star Trek Should Go Next.

* The Uncanny Resurrection of Dungeons and Dragons.

* Critical Perspectives on Waluigi.

* Welcome to the future, time traveler!

The House Just Voted to Bankrupt Graduate Students. The GOP Tax Plan Will Destroy Graduate Education. Grad Students Are Freaking Out About the GOP Tax Plan. They Should Be. I would expect a massive wave of college closures in 2018 and 2019 if this goes through.

* I’m very excited to read Malcolm Harris’s book on millennials, which is getting rave reviews. Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times.

Unions aren’t just good for wage workers. Students can use collective bargaining, too. The idea of organizing student labor when even auto factory workers are having trouble holding onto their unions may sound outlandish, but young people have been at the forefront of conflicts over police brutality, immigrant rights and sexual violence. In terms of politics, they are as tightly clustered as just about any demographic in America. They are an important social force in this country, one we need right now.

It’s in students’ shared interest to seek later start times for the school day to combat the epidemic of insufficient sleep among high schoolers. It’s in their shared interest to improve their mental health by reducing competition. They could start by demanding an end to class rank or a cap on the number of Advanced Placement courses each student can take per year. It’s in their shared interest to make life easier and lower the stakes of childhood in general. Only young people, united, can improve their working conditions and end the academic arms race.

The excerpt from Harper’s was really good, too!

By looking at children as investments, it’s possible to see where the product of children’s labor is stored: in their human capital. It’s a kid’s job to stay eligible for the labor market (and not in jail, insane, or dead). Any work beyond that adds to their résumé. If more human capital automatically led to a higher standard of living, this model could be the foundation for an American meritocracy. But millennials’ extra work hasn’t earned them the promised higher standard of living. By every metric, this generation is the most educated in American history, yet its members are worse off economically than their parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. Every authority from moms to presidents told millennials to accumulate as much human capital as they could; they did, but the market hasn’t held up its end of the bargain. What gives?

* The Uncounted.

* Documenting bias against married women in junior faculty searches. What It Looks Like When a University Tries to Revoke a Professor’s Tenure. The University and Debt: Thinking About Neocolonialism in the United States. The Great College Loan Swindle. The Finger-Pointing at the Finance Firm TIAA. Public Higher Ed Skews Wealthy. University History Departments Have a Race Problem. Public engagement is a two-way street.

What Flannery O’Connor’s College Journal Reveals.

It’s Official: ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series Gets Multiple-Season Commitment at Amazon. With Christopher Tolkien stepping down as executor of the estate I really think they should have waited to try to get the rights to The Silmarillion (which would work much better on television than in cinema). Trying to do the Jackson trilogy on a shoestring is just not going to hold up. Elsewhere in Tolkien news: an earnest effort to see him named a saint in the Catholic Church.

* Honestly Amazon just should have done Prydain.

* I’ve been saying it since the 1990s: Bill Clinton should have resigned. And Al Franken, who I thought better of, should now.

* My dream of one day being a federal judge remains alive.

Almost all the US jobs created since 2005 are temporary. Americans Are Retiring Later, Dying Sooner and Sicker In-Between. World’s witnessing a new Gilded Age as billionaires’ wealth swells to $6tn. Weaponizing the tax code. The coming retail apocalypse.

* This is one of the sickest deportation stories yet.

* Two murder convictions for the same shot.

Sexual Harassment Will Change Your Career Forever. Someone is editing all the bullshit out of celebrity sexual assault apologies. The Myth of the Male Bumbler. Let this flood of women’s stories never cease.

* Why Are There No Great Female Werewolves?

* In a time without heroes…

Portrait Of An American Mass Shooting.

* Malice for malice’s sake.

Scientist recalls training Laika for space.

* Mapping Quantum Leap.

Oh No, I Got Sucked Into the X-Wing Tabletop Game.

* The nightmare that is children’s YouTube culture.

* In a historic move I’m limiting myself to just one “we’re all going to die” link: Democrats Are Shockingly Unprepared to Fight Climate Change.

* Remembering that it is in fact possible to solve difficult environmental problems with deliberate intervention and international cooperation.

The truth about Easter Island: a sustainable society has been falsely blamed for its own demise.

* Japan, are you okay? I was worried and wanted to reach out.

* And I’ve been on the record saying this for years! Universe shouldn’t exist, CERN physicists conclude.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 17, 2017 at 1:47 pm

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…

#SFRA2017-turday Links!

leave a comment »

* Keep watching #SFRA2017! It’s been a great conference. And it contains gems like this. Two other little theoretical highlights from my scattered live-tweeting:

* The audio from last week’s Octavia Butler conference at the Huntington is now up at Soundcloud. I’m track 7!

* American U scholar says provost cherry-picked negative student ratings of her teaching to deny her a promotion.

* Sci-Fi Legend Samuel R. Delany Doesn’t Play Favorites.

Will losing health insurance mean more US deaths? Experts say yes. Republicans Left Ron Johnson for Dead Last Year, Now He Could Kill Their Health Care Bill. Crowdfunding is the Sad, Dark Future of Healthcare.

* Trump’s Twitter and the judgment of history. Bill to create panel that could remove Trump from office quietly picks up Democratic support.

The Internet Is Actually Controlled By 14 People Who Hold 7 Secret Keys.

After the president’s tweet, I must withdraw my support for everything but his agenda.

* Getting closer and closer to the point where Republicans say it was good that Trump colluded with Putin. This is 100% guaranteed and will be the official position of Your Dad in six months.

* More on the voter suppression commission.

The Trump Administration Is Using Immigrant Children as Bait to Deport Their Parents. Afghanistan’s All-Girl Robotics Team Can’t Get Visas To The US.

* Why isn’t Kirsten Gillibrand running for president? Or is she?

* The moral code of Chinese sex workers.

* Training self-driving cars to algorithmically respond to road conditions in Southern California and confusing that for artificial intelligence is going to get people everywhere else killed.

* The Wonder Woman century.

* Twilight of the Internet.

* Political correctness is destroying this country’s cultural heritage.

* When someone says something mean to me. The kids just call it “Twitter.” And I want your secret.

#OEBStudies for All Your #OEBStudies Needs

leave a comment »

* I’m at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, presenting as part of the Octavia Butler studies conference here. Here’s a great writeup from the organizers, Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey. Hashtag #OEBStudies!

* Lumenscent Threads: Knowing Octavia Butler through a Community That Loved Her.

* I also got in a big Twitter to-do with Noah Berlatsky about the Oankali, if you want some extra bonus OEB content.

* Then next week I’m back in California for the Science Fiction Research Association conference at Riverside, giving a talk called “No, Speed Limit: Hyperspace in the Anthropocene” (and doing a bunch of SFRA executive committee stuff too I guess).

* “Rakka,” a nightmarish SF film from Neill Blomkamp, narrated by Sigourney Weaver. Seems almost like proof of concept for the Alien sequel they won’t let him do…

* And why not? Here’s an Irish one.

* The Han Solo prequel film, like every other Star Wars followup Disney has attempted, has encountered problems that have crashed production. This time they’ve fired the directors and brought in Ron Howard to attempt to salvage the project.

Jon Ossoff’s Georgia special election loss shows Democrats could use a substantive agenda. Nonsense! They’re doing great. Why Jon Ossoff’s loss is bad news for Democrats’ 2018 hopes. Keep hope alive.

* Memo shows what major donors like Goldman Sachs want from the Democratic Party. Class struggle in America doesn’t look exactly like you think.

* Who Is Getting Rich Off the Secret Health-Care Overhaul?

Senate Health Bill Gives Huge Tax Cuts to Businesses, High-Income Households. G.O.P. Health Plan Is Really a Rollback of Medicaid. A helpful chart of the differences between the Senate and House bills and the status quo. The Senate health bill is a recipe for a death spiral. Wheelchairs and zip ties. The littlest lobbyist: a 6-year-old, whose life depends on ACA, heads to Capitol Hill. There will be deaths.

Going on Fox News cost me my job, professor claims.

Don’t Trust a Republican Just Because He Hates Trump.

* Corey Robin on China Miéville’s October.

* The Pittsburgh Fairy Tale: Pittsburgh’s much-touted revival has remade the region for the wealthy while leaving workers and the poor behind.

* Twilight of the CEOs. Uber doesn’t even currently have a CEO, COO, CFO, or CMO, “in addition to other open positions.”

* What if the Watchmen adaptation that shouldn’t have happened in the first place happened again, but more so?

* Ted Chiang was right! Attractive Students Get Higher Grades.

* “The Castile case reminds me of a weird pattern we always see in the inevitable defenses of police who’ve shot innocent people.”

* Probably the only good thing that has ever happened on Twitter.

Hunting for Antibiotics in the World’s Dirtiest Places.

* To even begin to defend Kipnis’s actions requires some serious leaps of logic, but Kipnis gamely tries.

* The New Free Speech is a right-wing grift, part 29.

“North Carolina is the only state in U.S. where no doesn’t mean no.”

* “Bill Cosby to Teach Young People How to Avoid Sexual Assault Charges.”

* But it’s not ALL deranged misogyny! N.H. Republicans Accidentally Approved a Bill Allowing Pregnant Women to Commit Murder.

* Looks like the marketing team have had a word.

* This seems fine: Elections officials outgunned in Russia’s cyberwar against America.

* #TheResistance.

* Sega!

Octavia E. Butler Archives – Resources

leave a comment »

A sporadically updated list of materials I’ve either written or used or enjoyed on the Octavia E. Butler Archives at the Huntington Library, hopefully useful for other researchers:

* Octavia E. Butler Collection Finding Aid (500+ pages!);

* my general guide:  “The Octavia E. Butler Papers.” (Eaton Journal of Science Fiction);

* The Huntington’s landing page on Butler, including many images of manuscript documents;

Tracing Octavia Butler’s Footsteps: An Interview with Dr. Ayana A. H. Jamieson (a tremendous read!);

Inside The Octavia Butler Archives With L.A. Writer Lynell George; Butler’s notes from writing Kindred; Celebrating Octavia Butler at the Huntington; So Be It! See To It!; #VisitOctaviaButler tag on the Huntington’s Tumblr; “Archives” category at the OEB Legacy Network; Radio Imagination;

* Audio from the June 2017 Octavia E. Butler: Convergences of an Expanding Field conference at the Huntington (as well as a write-up from the organizers, a description of the associated exhibition, and a Storify of tweets from the event);

* Octavia Butler, remembered by her friend Shirlee Smith;

* Pasadena on Her Mind: Octavia E. Butler Reimagines Her Hometown;

* me on Parable of the Trickster“’There’s Nothing New / Under The Sun, / But There Are New Suns’: Recovering Octavia E. Butler’s Lost Parables.” (LARB);

* me (briefly) on the Fledgling sequel(s): Archives Reveal What Octavia Butler’s Next Books Would Have Been Like. (io9);

* me on Reagan in Dawn, Talents, and Paraclete“Making America Great Again with Octavia Butler.” (University of Illinois Press blog);

* and of course the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle: Octavia E. Butler (Modern Masters of Science Fiction, University of Illinois Press);

* and a kind of “deleted scene” from my book in a recent issue of Women’s Studies: “Eden, Just Not Ours Yet: On Parable of the Trickster and Utopia.”

octavia-butler