Trainwreck on the Right: Traitors to the Founding Fathers

In 1992 and 1993, I taught American history in a Brooklyn high school, students half African-American, half white. In discussing race, I mentioned that the American population was less than 15% black. My… Continue reading


(With apologies to Sylvia Plath for abusing her great poem “Daddy”) You do not do, you do not do Any more, black shoe In which we have lived like a foot For eighteen… Continue reading

The Remove to Representation

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
BY AARON BARLOW Sometime around 1970, when I told an aunt and uncle that the FBI was spying on American leftists, they turned to me in outrage and…

‘I Sing the Body Electric’: Bob Dylan, the Nobel Prize and Academic Silos

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
What is a writer? What is a Digital Humanist? These sound like disparate questions, but they both are based on the academy of division that has grown up…

Trump: “A Shattered Visage Lies”

“Round the decay/Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare/The lone and level sands stretch far away.” So ends Shelley’s “Ozymandias.” It shouldn’t be surprising to hear those lines quoted this weekend as Donald… Continue reading

The News Media, Trumped

As anyone should know by now, the American news media shoulder a great deal of the blame for the success of Donald Trump. Though some outlets, like The New York Times, are now… Continue reading

Meaning the Software: A Review of David Golumbia’s The Politics of Bitcoin

Stripping politics from academic discourse, something David Horowitz and his right-wing fellow travelers long ago cowed us faculty into doing, creates manifold dangers. We’re seeing them in the Trump candidacy, something even academics… Continue reading

The Age of the Crap Artist

Some years ago, we arrived at the age of the “news clown.” It’s the age of realization of characters such as Philip K. Dick’s once fictional newscaster Jim-Jam Brisken, someone who runs for… Continue reading

Understanding and the Other

There are over a quarter of a million students at the City University of New York. That’s twice as many as there are in the entire Ivy League. And they come from almost… Continue reading

Legacy of a Lynching

A lynching runs through my family, though not as I long imagined. Yes, my great-grandfather, Sheriff John Sullivan, failed to stop the lynching of Seymour Newlin. But the story is not so simple,… Continue reading