Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘The Lives of Animals

Spring Syllabi! Animals! Television! Animals!

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Quittin’ Time Links

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tumblr_o62a9nqZo81romv9co1_500* Canamania 2016: Just another reminder that Metamorphoses of Science Fiction (out now!) and Octavia E. Butler (out this November!) appear this year.

* And speaking of Octavia: a previously lost interview from 1995 has resurfaced.

* Call for Papers: Disability and Superheroes.

* A landmark special issue of Extrapolation (if I do say so myself) on Indigenous Futurisms, ed. by Grace Dillon, Michael Levy, and John Rieder.

The Managerial University: A Failed Experiment. 

How Janelle Monáe turned Harriet Tubman’s legacy into an Afrofuturist sci-fi epic.

“Culturally and geographically, EMU football will simply never succeed from an attendance and financial standpoint,” faculty member Howard Bunsis, who helped prepare the report, said in a presentation to the Board of Regents on Friday. “It is a losing proposition – always has been, and always will be. We hardly raise any money for football, and our attendance is the lowest in the country. Some of you believe that we are close to succeeding, if we just throw more money at the situation. This proposition is insane.

* Eleven Theses for the Bernie Sanders Generation.

* Being Melissa Click.

* Wrongthink watch: The Tools of Campus Activists Are Being Turned Against Them. When Slogans Replace Arguments.

* “Literature about medicine may be all that can save us.”

* …but marketplace feminism has simply embraced a mediagenic vision of leadership, most notoriously in the new women’s conference industry, where, Zeisler writes, attendees can “access and sell a certain kind of female power at a comfortable distance from the less individualistic and far less glamorous reality of the majority of women.” These conferences come with a hefty price tag to hear inspiring celebrities and CEOs’ tales about bootstrapping their way to the top and kicking sexism in the rear in stiletto heels. It’s a vision that, she notes, “erases the presence of anyone who isn’t empowered in the most crucial sense of the word—financially…” Feminism, Inc. is big business.

Global warming has made the weather better for most in U.S. — but don’t get used to it, study says. But it’s not all bad news: Chicago is better poised to survive climate change than New York or LA .

Living Near A Highway Is Terrible For Your Health. 1 In 10 Americans Do It.

* Too good to check: Tabloid says it has proof: Ted Cruz’s father is mystery man in Lee Harvey Oswald photo.

Suicide Rates Are Up, But the Most Obvious Explanations Are Probably All Wrong.

The Arctic Suicides: It’s Not The Dark That Kills You. Milwaukee suicide rates lower than rest of US.

Study of exceptionally healthy old people fails to trace their well-being to specific genes.

The Rise of Pirate Libraries.

A Scientific Guide to the Fantastical Predators in Game of Thrones.

* Abolish Neil deGrasse Tyson. But he’s got the right idea here.

* Is there God after Prince? The rejected Simpsons script Conan O’Brien wrote for Prince. Musician’s secret vault reportedly contains ‘thousands’ of unreleased songs. Prince and Springsteen duet, one night only. Springsteen covers “Purple Rain.”

Companies are becoming adept at identifying wealthy customers and marketing to them, creating a money-based caste system. No! It can’t be! That’s impossible!

EVE Online Could Become a Television Show. I’d watch at least a few!

How does a porn parody get made? And elsewhere on the porn beat: Child Porn Is Being Hidden in Legal Porn Sites and It Could Land You in Trouble.

* The new Doctor Who companion has been announced and I’m already annoyed because [felled by assassin’s bullet]

You Should All Be Reading These Criminally Underrated Comics Right Now.

Superman v. capitalism.

The Case Against Reality.

* Twilight of the New York Times.

* The end of literature.

* HBOnarok.

* Clean, safe, and too cheap to meter.

* Chernobyl as an Event: Thirty Years After.

* I never should have agreed to appear on the cover of American Legion Magazine.

* Will America’s Worst Wildfire Disaster Happen in New Jersey?

Kurt Vonnegut, Our Reluctant, Agnostic, Hippy Guru. I taught Galápagos for the first time in years this month and fell in love with it all over again — and I’m presenting on it at a meeting of the Vonnegut Society at ALA in May.

* I’ve been saying it for years: Oxford Scientist Confirms Starting Work, School before 10 AM is Torture.

Kids Play in Backyard While Mom Does Dishes. An Investigation Ensues.

Marijuana is kosher for Passover, leading rabbi rules.

* A recent experiment suggests dolphins may speak to one another in a type of holographic language that may be understood by humans.

* Snitchr.

* Definitely evidence of galactic civilization watch: A Dozen Black Holes Are Mysteriously Spewing Energy In the Same Direction.

Remembering Google Reader.

* But maybe everything dies someday comes back: Ecto Cooler returns.

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Written by gerrycanavan

April 25, 2016 at 5:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Elite Saturday Links Enter CANAVAN at Checkout for 20% Off

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toasts

* A version of this xkcd has been running continually in my brain for two years.

* February 26-27 at Duke University: Pleasure and Suspicion: An Interdisciplinary Conference.

* Open access SFFTV! A special issue on The X-Files from 2013.

Louisiana universities are facing the largest midyear cut in state history, Governor John Bel Edwards said in a televised speech last Thursday. Even if the Legislature can find additional revenue, higher education will need to cut $42 million this year. Louisiana’s total higher education budget is $769 million, and if the Legislature cannot raise more revenue, higher education could face a $200 million cut.

* RIP, Umberto Eco. What Is Harper Lee’s Legacy After Go Set a Watchman?

* The New Inquiry reviews The Witness.

The Slow Violence of Climate Change.

* At LARoB: How should we periodize comics?

* I’d been talking just yesterday to a student from my Lives of Animals class about the urban legends involving pigs and pig corpses and the war on terror. I said something like “No politician who wanted a national reputation would talk this way, though. Well, maybe Trump.” And lo, it came to pass.

* Steve Martin Performed Stand-Up Last Night for the First Time in 35 Years.

Chinese travel blogger likes Chicago but loves Milwaukee. Endorsed!

‘Black Sludge’ Pours Out Of Texas Town’s Faucets Days After FBI Arrests Nearly Every City Official.

The Shocking Truth of the Notorious Milgram Obedience Experiments.

The trouble was that this zombie-like, slavish obedience that Milgram described wasn’t what he’d observed.

Hero K is the Highly Anticipated New Novel by Don DeLillo. I’m in.

Half The World Will Be Short-Sighted By 2050? Half of America will be freelancers by 2020?

In an email to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shortly after the U.N. Security Council in March 2011 authorized military intervention in Libya, a former senior State Department official praised her achievement in “turning POTUS around on this.” Meanwhile, America Is Now Fighting a Proxy War with Itself in Syria. So that means we can’t lose, right?

* And elsewhere in smart battles wisely chosen: St. Louis Archbishop Urges Priests To Cut Ties With The Girl Scouts.

In her new book, Elaine Frantz Parsons re-traces the origins of the 19th-century KKK, which began as a social club before swiftly moving to murder.

* Proposals for new chess pieces.

Reds in Space: Socialist Science Fiction.

Beloved: The Best Horror Novel the Horror Genre Has Never Claimed. That’s something I talk about a lot when I teach the novel.

* Seems like a lowball: Husbands create 7 hours of extra housework a week.

The weirdest, best photos I found in an old Bernie Sanders archive. Arrest photo of young activist Bernie Sanders emerges from Tribune archives. Footage Shows 21-Year-Old Bad Boy Bernie Sanders Being Arrested at a Protest.

Clay Shirky: social media turned Dems, GOP into host organisms for third party candidates.

* Bloomberg yes! Bloomberg no!

* Also at Boing Boing: Forced arbitration clauses are a form of wealth transfer to the rich.

The Guardian reports on an accusation by a former Muskegon County, Michigan health official claiming that a Catholic healthcare provider forced five women between August 2009 and December 2010 to undergo dangerous miscarriages by giving them no other option.

* The Singularity’s all right: A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets.

* We already knew Doc Brown was a monster, but how deep does the rabbit hole go?

* Financialization and the end of journalism.

* “on a scale of luke skywalker to jaime lannister…”

* Just this once.

The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.

* Elsewhere on the deep time beat: What sparked the Cambrian explosion?

The Warriors’ Odds Of Going 73-9. Written before last night’s loss.

* This one misses me, but it may help some of you feel better: Coffee May Reduce The Damage Alcohol Does To Your Liver.

* This one’s a real emotional roller coaster: Chimp Abandoned On Island Welcomes Rescuers With Open Arms.

* From the SMBC archives: Lucy, the football, and existential dread.

* And they said my work was useless.

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Weekendin’!

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* Posted earlier this morning: The Lives of Animals, Part Two and My Upcoming Courses at Marquette. And apropos of that second link, and today’s start of Infinite Winter: Everything About Everything: David Foster Wallace’s ‘Infinite Jest’ at 20.

* CFP for the the second issue of the Museum of Science Fiction’s new journal. Special Issue on Online Misogyny: Call for Papers.

Your Dissertation Begins in Your First Seminar.

Chicago State U Declares Financial Exigency.

Study shows Wisconsin suffered second highest decrease in higher education in nation.

UC Berkeley faculty members are buzzing over news that University of California President Janet Napolitano ordered the installation of computer hardware capable of monitoring all e-mails going in and out of the UC system. More from Remaking the University.

J.K. Rowling announces four new wizarding schools you’ll never get to attend. On Uagadou, the African Wizarding School.

* The President says he’s talking about opportunities, but he’s also talking about outcomes. It’s one thing to want all kids to have access to advanced classes, music instruction, sports teams and volunteer work. It’s another to expect them to take advantage of all of them at the same time. President Obama described Antonio as “doing his part” with his full load of curricular and extracurricular activities, but every student can’t be prepared for college: There just aren’t enough seats. Because admission is limited and competitive, only the top two-thirds or so can be, by definition, prepared for higher education. No matter how hard they work, how brilliant they are, the lowest-scoring cohort will be labeled unprepared and accused of not “doing their part.” 

* The university in ruins: The number of job postings the AHA received in 2014-15 was down 8 percent from the prior year. This is the third straight year for which the association is reporting a decline. Job listings are down 45 percent from the 1,064 that the association reported in 2011-12.

* Less than $1 of every $100 in revenue generated by major college athletic departments at public colleges is directed to academic programs, according to a Chronicle analysis of NCAA financial statements.

How impossible is it for Democrats to win back the House? This impossible.

* Disabled people need not apply.

Good News! China Miéville Has Written a Bad Book. Either way I’m still really looking forward to The Last Days of New Paris.

How Long Could the U.S. Go Without Electricity?

We’ll never know for sure exactly what The Owl In Daylight would have looked like had Philip lived to put the story to paper, but it sounds like it would have been a rare happy ending in the Dick canon. “He considered this a sort of capstone to his career,” Tessa says. “The first novel that ends on a note of hope and love.”

* The 27th Amendment Was Ratified Primarily for Revenge.

Wife crashes her own funeral, horrifying her husband, who had paid to have her killed.

* Matt Yglesias is Making Sense: This is a party that has no viable plan for winning the House of Representatives, that’s been pushed to a historic low point in terms of state legislative seats, and that somehow lost the governor’s mansions in New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

It’s a party, in other words, that was clearly in need of some dialogue, debate, and contestation over what went wrong and how to fix it. But instead of encouraging such a dialogue, the party tried to cut it off.

* The Luxembourg government on Feb. 3 announced it would seek to jump-start an industrial sector to mine asteroid resources in space by creating regulatory and financial incentives.

* Fan theory of the week: “Leia was sent to Tatooine not only to recruit Obi-Wan but also to be trained as a Jedi.”

* Game of the week: From the makers of the fantastic rymdkapsel, Twofold, Inc.

* The MLArcade: Ten Multimedia Projects on the Rhetoric of Pinball.

Foucault That Noise: The Terror of Highbrow Mispronunciation.

English is Surprisingly Devoid of Emotionally Positive Words.

‘Hundreds’ of masked men beat refugee children in Stockholm.

Uriel, the Universe’s Best-Dressed Spiritual Leader.

An Open Letter to Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Liberals Who Love Him.

‘Eyewash’: How the CIA deceives its own workforce about operations.

We Shall Overcome: An Oral History of the Bernie Sanders Folk Album.

* Magic still happens.

MIT Dean Takes Leave to Start New University Without Lectures or Classrooms. Or professors…

Earth is actually two planets, scientists conclude. BUT FOR HOW LONG.

Equation shows that large-scale conspiracies would quickly reveal themselves.

* “Homicides soar in Milwaukee, along with many theories on cause.”

* The next Flint, Michigan, could be a suburb.

* How the original Star Wars trilogy fooled everyone with matte paintings.

* New horizons in cycling cheating.

Unemployed, Myanmar’s Elephants Grow Antsy, and Heavier.

* $8 Billion Ponzi Scheme in China.

* And I truly find every aspect of this just totally mind-boggling: At Simon Fraser U, professors were stunned by video university posted on its website that suggested female faculty members could be viewed as sex objects — in the name of saving energy.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 5, 2016 at 11:48 am

The Lives of Animals, Part Two

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My capstone students and I have come up with the post-Spring-Break schedule for my The Lives of Animals course. Trying to incorporate all the major areas of interest in the room, we sort of orbited around a couple major overlapping segments: animals in captivity (March 29-April 7) shading into animal fantasy (April 5 and April 7) and animal cognition (April 7 and April 12) shading into Kurt Vonnegut’s apocalyptic anticipation of the Anthropocene, Galápagos (April 14 to the end of the course):

Mar. 29 Kathy Rudy, “Where the Wild Things Ought to Be: Sanctuaries, Zoos, and Exotic Pets” [D2L]

possible trip to the Milwaukee Zoo or Jo-Dons Farm

Th Mar. 31 John Berger, “Why Look at Animals?” [AR]

Randy Malamud “Zoo Spectatorship” [AR]

T Apr. 5 Blackfish

Finding Nemo and Finding Dory

 

after class: Résumé Doctor and Interview Bootcamp! Details TBA

Th Apr. 7 Blackfish and Finding Nemo discussion continues

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy, “Grief, Sadness, and the Bones of Elephants” [AR]

T Apr. 12 Tim Flannery, “The Amazing Inner Lives of Animals” [Web]

Daniel Dennett, Kinds of Minds (excerpt) [D2L]

Marc Bekoff, “Wild Justice and Fair Play: Cooperation, Forgiveness, and Morality in Animals” [AR]

Th Apr. 14 Kurt Vonnegut, Galápagos, chapters 1-18
T Apr. 19 Kurt Vonnegut, Galápagos, chapters 19-34
Th Apr. 21 Kurt Vonnegut, Galápagos, whole book
T Apr. 26 RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS
Th Apr. 28 RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS
T May 3 RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS
Th May 5 RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS
Th May 13 FINAL PAPER DUE VIA D2L DIGITAL DROPBOX BY 10 AM

 

I’m pretty excited for this.

New Course for Spring 2016: “The Lives of Animals”

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Here’s the syllabus for my English research capstone course this semester, titled “The Lives of Animals.” As you can see from the last pages of the syllabus, this course is going to be developed collaboratively with the students, so the post-spring-break units are currently undefined. But here’s the schedule for the first half:

T Jan. 19 FIRST DAY OF CLASS
Th Jan. 21 The Book of Genesis, chapters 1-9 [online]

Post-Spring-Break Discussion

T Jan. 26 Aristotle, “The History of Animals” [AR]

Boria Sax, “Animals as Tradition” [AR]

Post-Spring-Break Discussion Continues

Th Jan. 28 Charles Darwin, The Descent or Origin of Man, Chapter 1 [online]

Jared Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee, excerpts [D2L]

Post-Spring-Break Discussion, Final Decisions

T Feb. 2 Franz Kafka, “A Report to an Academy”
Th Feb. 4 Michael Shermer, The Mind of the Market, Chapter 6 [online]

Will Wiles, “The Behavioral Sink” [online]

Personal Statement Due

T Feb. 9 Franz Kafka, “The Metamorphosis”
Th Feb. 11 Franz Kafka, “Jackals and Arabs”

Clinton R. Sanders and Arnold Arluke, “Speaking for Dogs” [AR]

T Feb. 16 Jeremy Bentham, “Principles of Morals and Legislation” [AR]

Peter Singer, “Animal Liberation or Animal Rights?” [AR]

Martha Nussbaum, “The Moral Status of Animals” [AR]

Th Feb. 18 J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (part one)
T Feb. 23 J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (part two)
Th Feb. 25 J.M Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (Garber, Singer, Doniger, Smuts)
T Mar. 1 Coral Lansbury, “The Brown Dog Riots of 1907” [AR]

Lynda Birke, “Into the Laboratory” [AR]

Th Mar. 3 Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Parts One and Two)
T Mar. 8 Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Part Three)
Th Mar. 10 Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Part Four)
T Mar. 15 Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (whole book)

FINAL PAPER—ELEVATOR PITCH DUE ON D2L

     

POST-SPRING-BREAK SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE

WEEKS 10-11 (MARCH 29-APRIL 7): STUDENT-DEVELOPED UNIT #1!

WEEKS 12-13 (APRIL 12-APRIL 21): STUDENT-DEVELOPED UNIT #2!

WEEKS 14-15 (APRIL 26-MAY 5): GROUP PRESENTATIONS!

THURSDAY, MAY 12: FINAL PAPER DUE VIA D2L DROPBOX BY 10 AM!

My other course is my always-very-fun “Magic as Literature” course, which has barely changed from last year except for a little bit of extra time allocated to speculating about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child…

Weekend Links!

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* Coming soon in DC: Anthony Thwaite and Jaimee Hills.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.” The MetaFilter thread is almost always the best resource for these things. And here she is on Chernobyl.

Please, though, don’t champion work. That is, not a sense of academic life as just work. Work is everywhere in the age of neoliberalism. Advocate for something bigger. Push for community.

* Don’t believe what you read at the Wiki or at the Chroniclethere are basically zero fake searches.

* CFP: Paradoxa 29: “Small Screen Fictions.”

Who Speaks at Meetings? Find Out with GenderTimer.

Third Annual MLA Subconference: Between the Public and Its Privates.

* Coming this month to the Milwaukee Ballet: Dracula.

* …the incarcerated population, if viewed as a single community, would be the fourth-largest city in the United States.

You Are Still Being Lied To: Howard Zinn’s “Columbus and Western Civilization.”

* How gentrifiers gentrify.

Wisconsin legislature takes its eye off the dumpster fire that is the regional economy to focus on the real problems.

This isn’t a fairy tale. Economic historians call the post-war years, 1950 to 1973, the Golden Age because those were the years the US and world economy grew faster than ever before or since. Neoliberalism’s dirty secret is that its policies don’t work that well. It isn’t just since the financial crisis that growth has been stagnant. Even the boom was mediocre. The best year since the election of Ronald Reagan was 1999, when the economy grew an impressive 4.8 percent. Sounds good until you realize that economic growth was higher in 1950, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1976, and 1978. Even the 1970s, a byword for stagflation and economic turmoil, saw better growth than any decade since.

Miserablism and Resistance at the American Studies Association.

* Great story for my Lives of Animals class: Uplift, Inc.

Here’s Why Sea World in San Diego Can’t Breed Killer Whales Any Longer.

The Secret History Of Myers-Briggs.

* Matt Yglesias: Hillary Clinton Is Our Cheney, and That’s Okay. More on this subject here. In some sense I don’t even disagree with him; American democracy really is doomed, and the project of the liberal-left at this moment (as I’ve said before!) should be actively and deliberately seeking to build its replacement through the construction of a new constitution.

* The problem with the Old Republic was the lack of a strong minority party. No, the problem with the Old Republic was the Jedi.

What Does My Brain Tumor Mean for My Life as a Mother?

Months after winning a national title, Harvard’s debate team has fallen to a group of New York inmates.

* Rick Moranis Isn’t Retired (He Just Doesn’t Know How to Change His Wikipedia Page).

Beautiful study of UFO sightings from ancient history.

* Jacobin: Want to improve animal welfare? Focus on bettering the conditions of the people who work with them.

She was checking on her sons — then ages 11, 9 and 5 — by looking out the window every 10 minutes, she said. But when a passer-by saw the Felix kids, along with a 9-year-old cousin, she assumed they were unsupervised and called the state’s Department of Children and Family Services hotline.

Class action lawsuit filed against DraftKings and FanDuel. How Daily Fantasy Is Changing the Game. You Aren’t Good Enough to Win Money Playing Daily Fantasy Football. Why I’m Quitting Fantasy Baseball.

Playing in the Dark: On Gaming’s Blind Protagonists.

* Unsung songs of the Golden Age of Television: Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

Study Links Fracking To Premature Births, High-Risk Pregnancies.

How Video Games Are Becoming University-Approved Sports.

* I want to believe: Fargo season two.

New Civilization: Beyond Earth Expansion Finally Feels Like Sciene Fiction.

* What financializing pensions hath wrought: California Teachers Have Been Financing Evictions.

* And forever and ever amen.