Academic Blogging As a Career Move

It's a bit difficult for me, who has only been a full-time academic for eight years, to give advice without blushing. But I have sat on my department's Appointments Committee for three years, now, and I have learned a thing or two... or hope I have.When I finally took a full-time teaching job in 2004, … Continue reading Academic Blogging As a Career Move

Reed Elsevier: Making Corporations Responsible

On Thursday, Reed Elsevier dropped its involvement with the American Legislative Council (ALEC), probably in response to the outcry against corporate support for ALEC as ALEC-designed laws have been showing up more and more often across the country. Joan McCarter on Daily Kos writes about the movement of corporate sponsors away from ALEC in light … Continue reading Reed Elsevier: Making Corporations Responsible

The Return of the Public Intellectual?

One of the biggest frustrations for me, as a scholar, is continual denigration (by certain academics) of my work as addressing only a "general audience." I can't be a "real" intellectual, you see, unless I write so that only a few specialists can parse my sentences and unearth my meaning. [It's also frustrating that I … Continue reading The Return of the Public Intellectual?

“Objectivity” As a Barrier to Education: Teaching Intellectual Responsibility and the Role of the Citizen

Often, when people wonder if American higher education might follow the fate of journalism, falling victim to inability to adapt to new technological milieux, they are thinking in terms of money and its impact. The financial structures of protected and centralized institutions can collapse when product becomes cheaply and widely available, both for creation and … Continue reading “Objectivity” As a Barrier to Education: Teaching Intellectual Responsibility and the Role of the Citizen

Breitbart: Confusion Over Cause and Reasoning

Andrew Breitbart, who really is David Horowitz 2.0, connects his conversion from left to right with personalities and hypocrisy, not with reason or conviction--just like Horowitz 1.0.  Both of them found people on the left to be inconsistent and dishonest, and both offer that as a reason for moving to the right.Not that they make any … Continue reading Breitbart: Confusion Over Cause and Reasoning

But Why Do We Bash Teachers?

Dave Eggers and Ninive Clements Calegari, in an otherwise excellent op-ed in today's New York Times, ignore one important question: Why do we, as Americans, so loathe our teachers?Eggers and Calegari are right: we can turn around our schools, and can do so by renewing our faith in teachers, in providing them better and better … Continue reading But Why Do We Bash Teachers?

The Professors and Public Policy

One of the best known "historians" in the United States is a fellow named David Barton.  His wallbuilders.com describes him:His exhaustive research has rendered him an expert in historical and constitutional issues and he serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators, has participated in several cases at the Supreme Court, was involved in the … Continue reading The Professors and Public Policy

Can We Educate Ourselves to Educate?

David Horowitz rails against the 'indoctrination' of American students by radical leftist professors. He isn't the only one—it's quite common to hear how universities are subverting the beliefs of youth. Problem is, it ain't happening; even if some try it (debatable), they have proven incompetent. The radical professors have been in place since the sixties. … Continue reading Can We Educate Ourselves to Educate?

Don’t Include Me in Your We, Stanley Fish

Stanley Fish has noticed that both David Horowitz and Ward Churchill (and Norman Finkelstein and Cornell West, among others) are conservatives when it comes to education.Well, yes. This has been one of the sources of my anger at the faculty of American institutions of higher education for years—and one of my sources of respect for … Continue reading Don’t Include Me in Your We, Stanley Fish