Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘pedagogy

Wednesday Morning Links!

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I see this kind of entrapment everywhere in the neoliberal order. In my own field of academia, I think of how we tell students that college is the only path to a liveable life, leading them to ‘freely choose’ to take on impossible debt loads that they can never escape. We recognize that an injustice has happened here, but a lot of people find it hard to resist saying, essentially, ‘Well, you should have thought of that before you took out the loans….’ They chose it, therefore they should bear the consequences.

And that is one of the least sinister cases – for instance, think about how blacks are entrapped into criminality and then punished disproportionately. Again, we recognize an injustice, but in the mainstream discourse the instinctive reaction is: ‘Well, they had a choice.’ Under neoliberalism, our free choice doesn’t exist to give us room for creativity and exploration – we can seemingly only ever choose wrongly. Free will is a means to generate blameworthiness, to tell us that we deserve what we get.

* The Future of Work, at Wired.

Common Good, Not Common Despair.

We don’t often talk of the formative nature of debt in the same way we do in regard to other educational experiences. But just as education is about more than funneling information into students’ brains, indebtedness is about more than the transfer of money. Universities rarely address the aspect of higher education that may most powerfully shape students’ futures: the debt they take on to finance it. A Debt to Education: Universities can shape their students for life – in more ways than one.

But we can do better. As educators, we need to lead the way and design our pedagogical approaches for the students we have, not the students we wish we had. This requires approaches that are responsive, inclusive, adaptive, challenging, and compassionate. And it requires that institutions find more creative ways to support teachers and prepare them for the work of teaching. This is not a theoretical exercise — it is a practical one.

* Universities watchdog threatens fines over grade inflation.

Professor hired mercenaries to rescue student from ISIS in Iraq after he said he wouldn’t finish his thesis.

Citizenship v. The Surveillance State.

I now conceptualize the society I came from and the war to which I went as part of the same grotesque amusement park ride. If I have discovered anything since my homecoming, it is not that I never came home. It is not that my soul resides in Afghanistan. It is that my home has lost its peaceful veneer, stripped bare, like Twentynine Palms. An American who leaves for war never leaves America. The war that is America, rather, comes to the American. The war is the society and the society is the war, and one who sees that war sees America.

Star Wars is Really a Cautionary Tale About Devoting All Technological Advancements to Death.

* What I Learned from Reading 1,182 Emergency Room Bills.

A Father’s Version Of A Guatemalan Girl’s Trip To The US Raises Questions About The Border Patrol’s Account. Guatemalan girl likely died of ‘sepsis shock’ after crossing border, hospital officials said. Medical Help Was Hours Away for Migrant Girl Who Died in U.S. Custody. “I just left the tent city at Tornillo. It is a child prison camp. They refused our request to speak with the children who are held there.”

* “You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.”

Mounting legal threats surround Trump as nearly every organization he has led is under investigation. Trump agrees to shut down his charity amid allegations that he used it for personal and political benefit. How Donald Trump Got Caught in a Legal Vise. Quick thread on the only recorded criminal arrest of a sitting U.S. president—made by a D.C. Police offering for speeding, a century and a half ago.

* The Future of Ultrahigh-End Space Travel.

* The UNC shitshow continues.

How Scandal and Severance Enrich Private-College Presidents.

The New York Times Just Published an Unqualified Recommendation for an Insanely Anti-Semitic Book. A Brief, Depressing Compendium of Alice Walker’s Apparent Conspiratorial Beliefs.

* On Tolkien and race.

* The Brexit Breaking Point. Government gives Britain’s 6 million businesses 101 days to prepare for a No Deal Brexit.

* After Kavanaugh.

* Here’s the list of workout clothes you should buy if you don’t want to be complicit in global slavery.

* Everything old is new again! Forever and ever amen.

A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused to Sign a Pro-Israel Oath, Now Mandatory in Many States — so She Lost Her Job.

* I’ve polled Twitter and it’s officially okay to take pleasure in the suffering of these Trump voters whose property is going to wind up on the wrong side of the wall.

* Some superstitious divination rituals may have spread because they functioned as adaptive randomization devices in contexts where people otherwise would have used decision procedures worse than chance.

The rapper who allegedly received Dorsey’s facial hair, I’m very excited to share, was Azealia Banks. She tweeted about this exchange in 2016, writing that Dorsey “sent me his hair in an envelope because i was supposed to make him an amulet for protection.”

* The PewDiePie century.

* Facebook has abused your data and your trust in literally every way it is possible for them to do so.

The Cities Where The Cops See No Hate.

* Basically every actress you liked in the early 2000s who disappeared by 2010 was blackballed for speaking out against powerful abusive men.

* A method for creating extremely convincing fake faces.

Trans Teenager Claims Teacher Demanded He ‘Prove’ He Was a Boy In Bathroom.

As an intellectual historian, I’ve found it puzzling that no one has scanned Ross Douthat’s writings from the Harvard Salient, 1998-2002. So I checked out as much of it as I could and there’s some pretty good stuff.

“We have six people on board,” one pilot said a few minutes later, according to an audio recording available via LiveATC.net. “Airplane is completely uncontrollable.”

Metroid’s Samus Aran is a Transgender Woman. Deal With It.

* Are we living with the Chickenocene?

* When you fit the description.

* Ambient cruelty.

* Well you tell me how you’d make baby powder without asbestos.

* Well you tell me how they’re supposed to attract top-flight talent to a company that no longer exists.

* Wild story from the animal beat: An Officer Placed a Retired Police Dog in a Shelter. Now He’s Been Demoted.

An Atlas of American Gun Violence.

* Today in the best $____ I ever spent: top surgery.

* What’s the greenest way to travel? We built a sim of world’s climate battle – here’s what happened when delegates played it at COP24. Inside the most destructive fire in American history—and why the West’s cities and towns will keep on burning. Weather 2050.

* Starting to think Woody Allen might be a bad guy.

* Springsteen on Broadway on Netflix: The Interview.

* Being Chris Hayes.

Why We Still Don’t Know How Many NFL Players Have CTE.

The Artful Propaganda of Soviet Children’s Literature.

How To Make Beer With Only What You Can Grow On A Generation Ship.

* Malls of the 21st Century.

* The ‘Weird Events’ That Make Machines Hallucinate.

* Tech and the supernatural.

* Journey of an American Bomb.

* DC must have heard about my Graz talk: they’re making a Swamp Thing show. Meanwhile, another followup from Graz: Aquaman, From Super Friend To Surfer Dude: The Bro-Ification Of A Hero.

* And I know it’s my fault for seeing the double entendre in everything, but sometimes I really think they’re doing it on purpose.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 19, 2018 at 9:09 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Train Travel Day, Which Means A Whole Trainload of Links

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* Two talks down, two to go! My Worlding SF keynote is archived at Facebook Live, but my “Superheroes vs. the Climate” talk got pulled down due to the Funny or Die video I played during my presentation and will need to be edited and reposted. You can also get some coverage from Austrian Public Radio and the Superscience Me podcast (which was there all weekend reporting on the conference). If you’re dying for more Worlding SF content, there’s always the #WorldingSF hashtag on Twitter!

* I was also briefly interviewed for GlacierHub’s latest blogpost tracing the impact of ice sheets in science fiction.

* CFP: Science Fiction and Communism Conference 2019. CFP: Call for Papers: ANGUISH graduate conference at Georgetown University. CFP: The Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference, on “Artifice.” CFP: Glasgow International Fantasy Conversations, Mapping the Mythosphere, 23rd-24th May 2019. CFP: The 2019 Academic Conference on Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy, June 7-8, 2019.

* Paradoxa 30 is out, on Latin American Science Fiction.

* Terrific short film inspired by Richard McGuire’s Here.

* Margaret Atwood is officially writing a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. All is proceeding precisely as I have foreseen.

* 2018 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar. Of course there’s many, many, many more links below the image…

* Isn’t the most important response to the question “how do we get students to value the humanities” this: how do we get the humanities to value students?

Lies About the Humanities — and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them.

What We Hire in Now: English by the Grim Numbers.

“While humanists are often skeptical of measuring a major through debt, salaries, or employment after graduation, other fields that have not already seen extensive declines probably have more to fear from an honest accounting of salaries than we do.”

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has paid $424,000 to insure itself against a significant drop in tuition revenue from Chinese students.

* UNC announces exciting plan to return Silent Sam to campus for a mere $5 million up front and $800,000 every year. (Over the past ten years, taxpayers have directed at least $40 million to Confederate monuments.) They’ve got some other great ideas, too!

* UNC TAs go on strike in protest. More here.

* I mean it’s only half (up front) what they’re paying their basketball coach not to coach basketball anymore.

Louisiana School Made Headlines for Sending Black Kids to Elite Colleges. Here’s the Reality.

Graduate School Can Have Terrible Effects on People’s Mental Health.

* The Insect Apocalypse Is Here. How A Shorter Sea Ice Season Is Changing Life In The Arctic. U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy. The Nobel Prize for Climate Catastrophe. How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet. Here’s How Climate Change Is Already Impacting The US. How Climate Change Is Challenging American Health Care. Climate May Force Millions to Move and U.S. Isn’t Ready, Report Says. America’s Last-Ditch Climate Strategy of Retreat Isn’t Going So Well. Reindeer in Sweden usually migrate in November. But there’s still no snow. Huge if true. Democrats get on board with Manchin for energy committee post. When the survival of the planet is at stake, calls for moderation and compromise aren’t a mark of adult politics — they’re a threat to civilization. But Mr. Burns and the plot of Snowpiercer have a plan.

* Parable of the Sower was a documentary.

* Imagine a better world: Forests are the most powerful and efficient carbon-capture system on the planet.

* Not even Pantone is safe. More geoengineering, coral reef edition.

* 150 Minutes of Hell: Inside the Carr Fire Tornado.

* Meanwhile, Brexit, am I right?

* Welcome to Our Modern Hospital, Where If You Want to Know a Price You Can Go Fuck Yourself.

The steady erection of a system of minority rule that Republicans are implementing is not as dramatic as a populist putsch. But it’s actually happening before our eyes. And it’s led not by the rabble-rousing president or the unwashed masses who thrill to his rallies, but by the elite network of donors, operatives, and politicians who run the Republican Party and the conservative movement.

* How do they do it, every single time?

* Russians! Surprise! Trump was blackmailing everybody.

* When I was closing tabs I found this story about the Moscow Trump Tower project, which was like three unindicted crimes ago already.

* The notion that a) the constitution absolutely forbids charging the sitting president for crimes, and b) the statute of limitations for those crimes *still runs while he’s in office* so he might never face charges, shows how fatuous the constitutional analysis was to begin with.”

* Trump officially ruining books, too.

Trump Ramped Up Drone Strikes in America’s Shadow Wars. No Bush, No Trump.

* When George H.W. Trump ruined a kid’s life for a five-second TV bit. Why Do Political Journalists Think It’s Their Job to Portray George H.W. Bush as America’s Benign, Saintly Grandpa?

Samuel Oliver-Bruno, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, didn’t need to leave the Durham church where he’s been taking sanctuary for eleven months Friday morning. He knew stepping foot outside the church risked arrest and deportation, but he chose to, in good faith, get a biometric screening to comply with part of his pending asylum petition. At about 8:45 a.m., Oliver-Bruno entered the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Morrisville, where he was thrown on the ground by ICE officers and arrested, according to Viridiana Martinez of Alerta Migratoria. He was taken outside and placed in a beige van with dark tinted windows.

* Migrants Tear Gassed at US Border. Families are still being separated at the border, months after “zero tolerance” was reversed. This is what the world looks like to kids in the caravan. US nixed FBI checks for teen migrant camp staff. ICE To Release Asylum-Seeker After 2 Years In Detention. Trans woman beaten to death in ICE custody. Making President Trump’s Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers.

Holocaust Survivors Recall Exact Day Holocaust Started Right Out Of The Blue.

* Meanwhile, the Democrats.

* Same joke but meanwhile, NJ Democrats.

What the Cult of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Got Wrong.

The Pentagon’s Massive Accounting Fraud Exposed.

The New Republican Myth of California Voter Fraud. Meanwhile, in NC-09.

* How Democracy Works.

* Coups in WI, MI, NC, and WV. The suffocation of democracy.

* The lame duck session is a deranged, obviously terrible institution.

Overall, the experiences of Central European countries suggest that when left-leaning parties turn their backs on working people, other parties will willingly step up to channel their frustration.

40 million people with diabetes will be left without insulin by 2030, study predicts. Insulin is a cheap and easy to manufacture drug invented 100 years ago, deliberately entered into the public domain by its creators to prevent precisely this situation.

* U.S. Life Expectancy Declines Again. Suicides are at the highest rate in decades, CDC report shows.

* “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?”

Billionaires Made So Much Money Last Year They Could End Extreme Poverty Seven Times.

Unemployment Is So Low Some People Have 2 or 3 Jobs.

* Sign here to lose everything.

He won Powerball’s $314 million jackpot. It ruined his life.

* Generational analysis isn’t great, and yet.

* The violent theft of land and capital is at the core of the U.S. experiment: the U.S. military got its start in the wars against Native Americans.

GM gave out $25b in dividends etc last 5 yrs; its auto biz is now worth just $14b, yet financiers want more. Financialization grinds real industry into the dirt.

* Police chief gets three years for a wide-ranging conspiracy to frame black people for crimes. When Brooklyn juries gentrify, defendants lose. How Incarcerated Parents Are Losing Their Children Forever. Now we see the violence inherent in the system.

An interview with the managing editor at one of the country’s most widely read prison newspapers.

* I’ve been collecting an archive of attempts to bolster the police state by leveraging people’s sympathies for dogs. It’s such a bizarre phenomenon but it happens over and over.

* Meet the Stuntwomen.

* Meet the 90s nonwhite character actors.

You Probably Owe Jennifer’s Body An Apology. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie marketed so catastrophically badly.

About 137 women killed by someone they knew every day in 2017. More here.

* Rape by deception apparently isn’t illegal in Indiana.

* Neil deGrasse Tyson under investigation after accusations of sexual misconduct.

* The Miami Herald has been diving deep into the Jeffrey Epstein case.

* The Socialist Memelords Radicalizing Instagram.

@ChuckWendig yo, can you help me out

* Minneapolis becomes the first American urban area to ban single family housing.

School turns students’ lunch debt over to collection agency.

* Welcome to the Good Place: China’s plan to judge each of its 1.3 billion people based on their social behavior is moving a step closer to reality, with Beijing set to adopt a lifelong points program by 2021 that assigns personalized ratings for each resident.

* What could go wrong? Chinese scientists say they’re creating CRISPR-edited babies.

Millennials in China Are Using Nudes to Secure Loans.

* In less sensationalistic, Orientalist news, approximately one million Uighurs have been put in concentration camps in China.

* Surveillance in everything.

* The Palm Oil Catastrophe.

* Some deep dives into the Sentinelese, among the most isolated people in the world. A Twitter thread.

* Tumblr’s porn bad reveals who controls what we see online.

* How an army of temps produces NPR.

* A people’s history of He-Man.

* Remembering Square One.

* CNN, Palestine, and actually existing media bias.

* Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the politics of digital intimacy.

* N.K. Jemisin:  “I’m writing about dragons as a black woman, and it’s fucking political.”

* Kim Stanley Robinson and Anthropology.

‘Oumuamua goes into stealth mode in preparation for attack.

Gods of Fiction: African writers and the fantasy of power. Ainehi Edoro’s Essay on the God Complex of African Writers Sets Off Social Media Reaction.

* Good poets borrow, great poets steal, but not like that.

* Dialectics of Fortnite: Fortnite Addiction Is Forcing Kids Into Video-Game Rehab. Fortnite as third space.

How one man’s quest to spread Christmas cheer led to a miserable four-year war with his neighborhood.

* Uber is a “bezzle,” doomed to disappoint the suckers who buy into its IPO.

If you flip every word in “manic pixie dream girl” you get “depressive demon nightmare boy” and you think “well thank goodness THAT’S not a thing at least-“ but then you…

* Millennials are brokest generation. Doing my part!

* Jigsaw puzzle mashups.

* Huge — IF true.

In East Germany, a gamer scene emerged just before the fall of communism. Teenagers met at a computer club to swap and play C64 games. The state watched with interest.

* I’ve been rereading the series with my kids at bedtime and this is definitely canon.

* Six french fries? In this economy?

Written by gerrycanavan

December 11, 2018 at 7:15 am

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

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Black Friday Links! Will Not Save You Money!

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

* CFP: 21st Century Climate Fiction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* On doctors and guns: staying in your lane.

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

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

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

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

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

The Gospel According to Mark Fisher.

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

* The Reckoning. Children of the apocalypse.

* More on when AIs cheat.

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

* Twilight of Harry Potter.

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

* I only report the facts.

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

* brb working on like six different screenplays

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

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

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

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

* And nothing ever ends, Adrian.

Traditional Followup Linkpost Scenario Where I Do One The Next Day after Promising Myself I Won’t Let It Go a Whole Month Again This Time

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(Yesterday’s post here, including a bunch of “personal news” updates about recent projects. Get your library to buy The Cambridge History of Science Fiction!)

* Your Stan Lee obituaries. Excelsior. And a tiny little bit of inspiration for a guy whose 39th birthday is this week:

* One of the most important stories on the planet right now: As Brazil’s Far Right Leader Threatens the Amazon, One Tribe Pushes Back.

* When elections are no longer legitimate. The escalation in GOP conspiracy-mongering and the decision to have party leaders trumpet these theories directly, as opposed to relying on surrogates and propaganda outlets, is indeed very worrying. How fascism works.

  1. When electoral procedures lose popular legitimacy, it is nearly impossible to get that legitimacy back. Elections are one great way of building popular legitimacy, and if by assumption they no longer do, what will?
  2. Non-electoral sources of power are particularly dangerous when elections no longer legitimately empower politicians. It now falls to the very politicians who are involved in the recount to vouch for its legitimacy. The safest way to defend that legitimacy would be for the losing candidates to rebuke the President, directly and publicly. A public endorsement would be most meaningful if it were to come from, for example, DeSantis. Let us just ponder how likely that is.
  3. The downstream consequences from the loss of electoral legitimacy are nearly impossible to predict. I suspect that one consequence will be an ever-greater tolerance for executive malfeasance, on the logic that Congressional representatives and state governments lack democratic legitimacy.

* Luckily, Chuck Schumer is up to the challenge.

* Andrew Gillum appears in a documentary about Bush v. Gore, c. 2000.

* Grad school as conversion therapy.

U.S. Colleges See Drop in Foreign Students for Second Year Running.

“It’s annoying to just sit there staring at one screen for so long,” said freshman Mitchel Storman, 14, who spends close to five hours a day on Summit classes in algebra, biology, English, world history, and physics. “You have to teach yourself.”

Enough With All the Innovation.

* It has by the fall of 2018 become commonplace to describe the 499 known victims of Larry Nassar as “breaking their silence,” though in fact they were never, as a group, particularly silent. Over the course of at least 20 years of consistent abuse, women and girls reported to every proximate authority. They told their parents. They told gymnastics coaches, running coaches, softball coaches. They told Michigan State University police and Meridian Township police. They told physicians and psychologists. They told university administrators. They told, repeatedly, USA Gymnastics. They told one another. Athletes were interviewed, reports were written up, charges recommended. The story of Larry Nassar is not a story of silence. The story of Larry Nassar is that of an edifice of trust so resilient, so impermeable to common sense, that it endured for decades against the allegations of so many women. Amazing deep read on the Larry Nassar case and how he got away with his crimes for so long.

* The NRA told doctors to “stay in your lane” on guns. I’m a doctor. This is my lane.

What Happened When a Nation Erased Birthright Citizenship.

“It is almost like a punch in the gut. Like, wow, you’ve really gone this far to affect children? And it’s just like, have we sunk this low? That’s my feeling,” said the official, who could not speak on the record about the policy. Knife Salesman Very Sad About Stabbing.

Amazon’s HQ2 Spectacle Isn’t Just Shameful—It Should Be Illegal. Congrats to these hardscrabble communities who just caught a huge break.

* The poetry and brief life of a Foxconn worker: Xu Lizhi (1990-2014). And elsewhere on the Foxconn beat: How does Tony Evers affect Foxconn?

* Two hours from here: Baraboo school district condemns a photo showing a large group of students giving Nazi salute. Maybe the UW should rethink that whole history is over thing.

* California as the surface of the moon.

* Unsafe at any concentration.

* The law, in its majestic equality.

* Twilight of Harley Davidson.

* The Indus civilisation seems to have flourished for 700 years without armour, weapons, inequality or royalty. Here’s how to build a paradise on Earth.

* How AIs cheat.

* Thanks for waiting until after the election to tell anyone! Veterans haven’t received GI Bill benefits for months due to ongoing IT issues at VA. And please, make sure you update me on that horrible caravan of rapists and murderers that is heading towards our country, when you get a moment…

* And tonight, on the most dramatic Rose Ceremony of all time, we’ll finally find out who is the Attorney General.

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

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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

Surprise! Tuesday Night Links!

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* CPF: JOSF Special Issue on Disability Studies. CFP: Walking in Other Worlds: Fantastical Journeys of Children’s Agency. Enter for the Nine Dots Prize and Win $100,000 and a Book Deal. io9 Wants Your Short Fiction on the Future of Death.

* Job alert! Assistant Professor, Science Fiction and/or Fantasy Lit.

* SFFTV 11.3 is here, with a special section on Orphan Black!

* What Makes The Good Place So Good? The Good Place and Prison Abolition.

A Premature Attempt at the 21st Century Canon.

* Decanonizing R. Crumb.

* The Sokal hoax squared. Trumpeted to the skies by exactly the sort of people you’d expect, we’re stuck with this silliness for the next twenty years despite the fact that it proves absolutely nothing about anything.

Banksy painting shreds itself moments after being sold for $1.4 million at London auction.

The UN report envisions 116 scenarios in which global temperatures are prevented from rising more than 2°C. In 101 of them, that goal is accomplished by sucking massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere—a concept called “negative emissions”—chiefly via BECCS. And in these scenarios to prevent planetary disaster, this would need to happen by midcentury, or even as soon as 2020. Like a pharmaceutical warning label, one footnote warned that such “methods may carry side effects and long-term consequences on a global scale.”… Today that vast future sector of the economy amounts to one working project in the world: a repurposed corn ethanol plant in Decatur, Illinois. Which raises a question: Has the world come to rely on an imaginary technology to save it?

* Trump administration sees a 7-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100. Unbelievably, we have leapfrogged from “climate change doesn’t exist” to “it’s so bad there’s nothing we can do about it” without spending even an instant in the middle.

The Unequal Burden of Climate Change. Marx and the Two Crises in New York 2140. Why Growth Can’t Be Green. How San Francisco rebuilds its beaches every year to make you think San Francisco still has beaches. Geoengineering is inevitable.

Seven endangered species that could (almost) fit in a single train carriage.

* The suffocation of democracy.

* The president sure did some crimes.

* How Will Police Solve Murders on Mars?

* And how will they solve securities fraud?

* KSR: The Daring Journey Across Antarctica That Became a Nightmare.

The Bosses’ Constitution: How and why the First Amendment became a weapon for the right.

NC’s Rev. William Barber wins a MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ and its $625K prize. Kelly Link, too!

The Banality of Brett Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh and the Cruelty of Male Bonding. The Things Males Do for Other Men. Brett Kavanaugh Is A Poster Child For The American Aristocracy. Kavanaugh and Trump are part of a larger crisis of elite accountability in America. The SeaWorld Case. The Stolen Memos. A Sham. The High Court Brought Low. The Judge From Central Casting. The Unbearable Dishonesty of Brett Kavanaugh. The Supreme Court Is Headed Back to the 19th Century. In Defense of Court-Packing.

A new authoritarian axis demands an international progressive front.

Canceling Student Debt Would Stimulate the Economy—and Voter Turnout.

Underwater Yet Again, the Carolinas Face a New Reality. Climate Change Wrought Hurricane Florence, This Freak of Nature. Millions of Chickens Have Drowned in Florence’s Floodwaters. Poop. Most of Florence’s victims have died in vehicles, on the road during the storm. For small-town Carolinians, the question isn’t when they’ll rebuild — but whether they will at all. Nearly One Month After Hurricane Florence, This Campus Is Still Picking Up the Pieces. Hurricanes as unveiling. The unequal distribution of catastrophe.

Puerto Rico Has Not Recovered From Hurricane Maria.

* Mike Davis, The Last Man to Know Everything.

* Deaf, disabled Detroit immigrant in US for 34 years faces deportation. Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever. U.S. Loses Track of Another 1,500 Migrant Children, Investigators Find. Migrant Children Moved Under Cover of Darkness to a Texas Tent City. The US Claims It Has A Database To Track Immigrant Kids And Parents. But No One Will Talk About It. ICE arrested undocumented immigrants who came forward to take in undocumented children. Judge’s ruling may force Kansas Army officer’s adopted Korean daughter to leave US.  ICE Agents Arrested Miami Dad After They Found His Lost Wallet, Family Says. A 2-Year-Old’s Day in Immigration Court.

Mr. Weiner, who is married with four children, rebuts the claim. But he acknowledges that he was not a perfect boss. “I’m sad that I might have caused people anguish in the job, or made people unhappy,” he said. “Might have? I did.”

* Somewhere near the bottom of the Star Trek hope-dread hype cycle, but here you go.

* On the plus side, I’m near the top of the Twilight Zone hype cycle.

* Put her in charge. Rules are rules.

How Oregon Trail Took Over the World.

* The short, unhappy careers of NFL place-kickers.

I stopped writing when we saw the new, bad MRI. Rob Delaney on the loss of his two-year-old son, Henry, to cancer.

Geological time versus capitalist time.

The Radical Dissent of Helen Keller.

The Woman Who Made Aquaman a Star.

‘I Work 3 Jobs And Donate Blood Plasma to Pay the Bills.’ This Is What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in America.

* The Case for Unionizing Comedy.

Weeks after opening near San Diego, a model town for treating dementia is set to be replicated around the U.S.

In 2000, a Haitan American man named Patrick Dorismond was standing outside a bar in midtown Manhattan.

“The comic book industry is made up of freelancers. I think a lot of readers don’t understand the extent of that reality,” Cain says. “Certainly any comic book by Marvel or DC, those are the work of freelancers: Colorists, inkers, pencilers, letterers, cover artists, and writers. The editors work for the company. The freelancers don’t. Maybe some of them have exclusive contracts, which means that they get a little bit more money per page, and absolutely no benefits or protections, plus they don’t get to work for anyone else — but basically, every comic you pick up has been made by someone without health insurance. But these freelancers are still expected to behave like employees. They are told what to say and when to say it… I’ve said it before, but this whole industry is a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen. It’s astonishing.”

On Outgrowing David Foster Wallace.

* On raising a non-neurotypical child.

The film’s real heroes are the people, the modern Levellers and Diggers—the gravediggers of capitalism. Robin D. G. Kelley on the greatness of Sorry to Bother You.

* Rick and Morty and the Damaged American Male.

* I’m here only to present the facts.

The Love Song Of Dril And The Boys.

* Breaking: you just can’t win. Everything you know about obesity is wrong.

* Today in our total surveillance dystopia.

* You’re Probably Not Getting That Loan Forgiveness You’re Counting On: Out of almost 30,000 people who applied for a forgiveness program, just 96—less than 1 percent—had their debt erased. And it gets worse.

How I Quit Drinking in a World That Wants Me Drunk.

* From the Archives: the Dungeons and Dragons Epic Level Handbook.

* Of course you had me at Scuba Diving Magazine’s 2018 Underwater Photo Contest Winners. These are really, really good.

* And honestly I think we just can’t accept any visitors right now. We’ve got a lot going on.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 9, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fall Syllabus #1: Afrofuturism!

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By luck, I’m able to teach the Africana literatures class this semester — a class I’ve always wanted to do but would be four or five back in the priority list in a normal semester. The theme (of course) is “Afrofuturism,” and spends about a third of its time in America, about a third of its time in America thinking about Africa, and about a third of its time in Africa. I’m excited! Here’s the description and schedule; full syllabus with policies and assignments here…

Greg Tate has said that “Black people live the estrangement that science fiction writers imagine.” This course takes up the nexus of intersections between black history and the radical black imagination that is commonly called Afrofuturism, focusing in particular of figurations of Africa as a space of science fictional possibility from both sides of the Atlantic. If Afrofuturism has been, as Kodwo Eshun has said, “a program for recovering the histories of counter-futures created in a century hostile to Afrodiasporic projection,” how does the rise of Africa as a global economic powerhouse in the twenty-first-century transform our understanding of black futurity? 2018’s smash hit Black Panther is only the most vivid registration of the ongoing global importance of the Afrofuturist imagination; from comics to film and television to literature to music videos to social media we will trace Afrofuturism across the twenty-first century cultural landscape.

T Aug 28 FIRST DAY OF CLASS
What Is Afrofuturism?
film (in class): Sun Ra, Space Is the Place (1974) (excerpts)
Th Aug 30 Mark Bould, “The Ships Landed Long Ago” [D2L]
film (in class): John Akomfrah, The Last Angel of History(1996)
T Sep 4 Sable Elyse Smith, “Ordinary Violence” [museum]
MEET AT THE HAGGERTY        
Th Sep 6 film (in-class): Get Out(2017)
T Sep 11 film: Jordan Peele, Get Out (2017) (discussion)
Th Sep 13 Get Out (2017)(discussion continues)
Steven Thrasher, Get Out thinkpiece #1 [Web]
Aisha Harris, Get Out thinkpiece #2 [Web]
T Sep 18 Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer (2018) (viewing and initial thoughts)
Th Sep 20 Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer (2018) (extended discussion)
Aja Romano, “Janelle Monáe’s body of work is a masterpiece of modern science fiction” [Web]
Brittany Spanos, “Janelle Monáe Frees Herself” [Web]
Christopher Lebron, “Janelle Monáe for President” [Web]
T Sep 25 film: Ryan Coogler, Black Panther (2018) (discussion)
Th Sep 27 Black Panther (2018) (discussion continues)
Gerry Canavan, “The Limits of Black Panther’sAfrofuturism” [Web]
FIRST PAPER MINI-WORKSHOP
T Oct 2 Ta-Nehisi Coates, Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, vol. 1
Evan Narcisse, “Ta-Nehisi Coates Explains How He’s Turning Black Panther into a Superhero Again” [web]
Th Oct 4 Ta-Nehisi Coates, Black Panther, A Nation Under Our Feet, vol. 2
FIRST PAPER DUE
T Oct 9 Ta-Nehisi Coates, Black Panther, A Nation Under Our Feet, vol. 3
Kodwo Eshun, “Further Considerations on Afrofuturism” [D2L]
Th Oct 11 Octavia E. Butler, Wild Seed, Book I (“Covenant, 1690”)
T Oct 16 Octavia E. Butler, Wild Seed, Book II (“Lot’s Children, 1741”)
Th Oct 18 FALL BREAK—NO CLASS
T Oct 23 Octavia E. Butler, Wild Seed, Book III (“Canaan, 1840”)
Th Oct 25 film: Wanuri Kahiu, “Pumzi” (2009) (in-class viewing and discussion)
SECOND PAPER MINI-WORKSHOP
T Oct 30 film (in class): District 9 (2009)
Th Nov 1 film: Neill Blomkamp, District 9 (2009) (in-class viewing continues and discussion)
SECOND PAPER DUE
T Nov 6 District 9 (2009) discussion continues
District 10 (forthcoming eventually?) discussion
Octavia E. Butler, “The Monophobic Response” [D2L]
Th Nov 8 Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Act I, first half)
T Nov 13 Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Act I, second half)
Th Nov 15 Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Act II)
T Nov 20 Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (Act III)
Th Nov 22 THANKSGIVING BREAK—NO CLASS
T Nov 27 Abdourahman Waberi, In the United States of Africa (part one)
Th Nov 29 Abdourahman Waberi, In the United States of Africa (whole book)
FINAL PROJECTS/PAPERS MINI-WORKSHOP
T Dec 4 Film: Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You(2018)
Chip Gibbons, “In the World of Film, We’ve Edited Out All Rebellion: An Interview with Boots Riley” [Web]
LAST DAY OF CLASS
Th Dec 6 CLASS CANCELLED DUE TO INSTRUCTOR TRAVEL
F Dec 14 FINAL PAPERS/PROJECTS DUE BY 5:30 PM VIA D2L DROPBOX