Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘two cultures

Spring 2019 Syllabi! “Classics of Science Fiction” and Game Studies

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I’m teaching three courses this semester: a graduate level course titled “Classics of Science Fiction,” a first-year seminar on game studies, and the second half of our yearlong “methods of inquiry” sequence (also for first-years). You can see the full syllabi in all their glory at my website:

ENGL 6700: Classics of Science Fiction

Main texts: Jack Finney, Invasion of the Body Snatchers; Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed; Octavia E. Butler, Kindred; William Gibson, Neuromancer; Octavia E. Butler, Bloodchild and Other Stories; Kim Stanley Robinson, The Lucky Strike; Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen; Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), 2001, Blade Runner, and Star Trek: The Next Generation; “That Only a Mother,” “The Evitable Conflict,” “All You Zombies,” “The Heat-Death of the Universe”; “Houston, Houston, Do You Read” and “The Screwfly Solution,” “The Gernsback Continuum,” “Game Night at the Fox and Goose”; “The Space Traders”; criticism from Suvin, Sontag, Jameson, Freedman, Delany, Csiscery-Ronay, Rieder, and even Gerry Canavan himself

HONORS 1955H: Game Studies

Main texts: Ian Bogost, How to Do Things with Video Games; Alexander Galloway, Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture; Frans Märyä, An Introduction to Game Studies; The Stanley Parable, Doom, Journey, Bandersnatch, Tetris, Candy Crush, Civilization, SimCity, The King of Kong, Braid, FIFA 19

CORE 1929H: Methods of Inquiry: The Mind

WEEK ONE—HISTORY: George Rousseau, “Depression’s Forgotten Geneaology: Notes Towards a History of Depression”

WEEK TWO—STRUCTURE: Luigi Esposito and Fernando M. Perez, “Neoliberalism and the Commodification of Mental Health”

WEEK THREE—PERSONAL NARRATIVE: Leslie Kendall Dye, “It Isn’t That Shocking”

That last one is a 1.5 credit course that’s mostly devoted to independent research in the second half, but it did allow me the chance to formalize something like a definition of the difference between the physical sciences and the academic humanities as I see them operating, at least at the level of the very extreme generalization, for better or worse:

Last semester we were working at the intersection of the sciences and the humanities, exploring the ways each of these two “cultures” engage questions of knowledge production and dissemination. In contrasting the humanities to the sciences, I suggested that contemporary humanities approaches—speaking of course extremely generally—tend to extend from a few assumptions that are not always shared by the sciences (especially the physical sciences, but also some historically conservative social science disciplines like economics or political science):

1) social causation: the proposition that the best explanations for social phenomena originate in social structures, rather than in individual psychologies, pathologies, or choices;

2) social construction: the proposition that knowledge is embedded within social structures like language, ideology, history, and economics, rather than existing radically apart from social structures in supposedly objective facts or eternal truths;

3) social justice: the proposition that knowledge has a politics, and that we should choose methods of knowledge production and dissemination that help heal the world rather than do harm or simply remain neutral.

Wednesday Links! Seriously a Lot!

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Like C.P. Snow’s two cultures of the humanities and the sciences, a new bimodal view of higher education is becoming increasingly important at the start of the twenty-first century: one that sees the goal of universities as developing “the whole person” and another that sees it as largely or even exclusively in terms of job training. The Two Cultures of Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century and Their Impact on Academic Freedom.

* Academic search season watch: How To Tailor a Job Letter (Without Flattering, Pandering, or Begging).

* Episode 21 of Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men (with Kurt Busiek) is a great look at how Marvel’s sausage is made. Give it a listen if you’re a fan of the comics…

* Communism for Children.

* Time for the Libya mea culpas.

* TNI Syllabus: Gaming and Feminism.

* Tainted by its misogyny and embrace of consumption as a way of life, gamer culture isn’t worth saving.

What Happened To Jennifer Lawrence Was Sexual Assault.

* The Police Tool That Pervs Use to Steal Nude Pics From Apple’s iCloud.

* Steve Shaviro: Twenty-Two Theses on Nature.

* Even the Department of Education thinks their rating system will be a mess.

* How the University Drinks.

* Yale’s tax exempt New Haven property worth $2.5 billion.

Thirty-two teens escaped from a Nashville youth detention center by crawling under a weak spot in a fence late Monday, and nine of them were still on the run Tuesday, a spokesman said.

* Change Of Habit: How Seattle Cops Fought An Addiction To Locking Up Drug Users.

* Three Myths About Police Body Cams.

* Jeff Mizanskey Is Serving Life in Prison for Marijuana.

Scientists Find ‘Alarming’ Amount Of Arsenic In Groundwater Near Texas Fracking Sites.

* Can journalistic ethics include nonhuman perspectives?

* Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female.

All The Game Of Thrones Fan Theories You Absolutely Need To Know.

* NIH finally makes good with Henrietta Lacks’ family.

Twenty Days of Harassment and Racism as an American Apparel Employee.

Durham Public Schools dumps Teach for America.

* The Four-Year-Old’s Workday.

Texas School Won’t Let Native American Attend His First Day Of Kindergarten Because Of His Long Hair.

* Rape culture and Title IX at the University of Kansas.

“Duke University seeks a talented, engaged student body that embodies the wide range of human experience; we believe that the diversity of our students makes our community stronger. If you’d like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you’ve had to help us understand you better — perhaps related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background — we encourage you to do so. Real people are reading your application, and we want to do our best to understand and appreciate the real people applying to Duke.”

Students at the Barricades.

* Twitter has an algorithm that assigns gender to its users.

* Why top tech CEOs want employees with liberal arts degrees.

* In Virginia, thousands of day-care providers receive no oversight. After a child’s death, parents grapple with second guesses.

Unlike most other states, Wisconsin does not recognize prisoners’ good behavior with credits toward accelerated release.  Wisconsin had such a “good time” program for well over a century, but eliminated it as part of the policy changes in the 1980s and 1990s that collectively left the state unusually — perhaps even uniquely — inflexible in its terms of imprisonment. Why No “Good Time” in Wisconsin?

* Now we see the violence inherent in the system: Meet The Guy Who Spent Seven Months Killing Everyone In Fallout 3.

* When Disney forbade Stan Lee’s original cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy. When they cut Hawkeye’s bit from Captain America 2.

* Rule of law watch: The Dumb Line In New York’s Constitution That Could Elect A Governor Most Of The State Doesn’t Want.

* For the geeks: How Randall “xkcd” Munroe wrote What If?

* Time Travel Simulation Resolves “Grandfather Paradox.” Bah! We need to go back in time and prevent this simulation from ever being devised!

* The arc of history is long, but: HBO has commissioned some sort of new Flight Of The Conchords show.

The Most Compelling Athlete In America Right Now Is Here To Play Chess.

* And just because it’s gerrycanavan.wordpress.com: Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we’re nearing collapse.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 3, 2014 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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