“What Have They Done to My Song, Ma”: Bob Dylan, the Nobel Prize and the Meaning of Literature

Bob Dylan’s not the only one to use “Ma” in a song title. Of course not; not much of what he has done is singular, though that’s another matter. His “It’s All Right,… Continue reading

A Widening Gyre

There’s little truth behind the myth I recount about why I went to graduate school. I tell people I enrolled so that I could better understand William Faulkner’s The Hamlet. Of course, nothing… Continue reading

“The Art of the Slur,” Revisited

Sophia McClennen, writing for Salon, maps the amateurishness and ignorant Professor Watchlist that appeared recently. She also references a Jorge Tiede post on the Academe Blog,  “The ‘Professor Watchlist’ of the 1930s,” providing what should be the… Continue reading

Undoing the Fakery: Real Journalism and Writing in the 21st Century

How wrong mere logic can be when it becomes detached from reality. –Edward Upward, 1988. With fakes everywhere—including fake news sites, fake news stories, faked incidents and even fake journalists—teaching journalism or any… Continue reading

Confederate Battle Flags, Nazi Salutes, and Causes

Are we stuck with the hatred unleashed by Donald Trump’s success? Are we seeing something that has always been there, but repressed, bubbling to the surface? I don’t think it’s quite so simple.… Continue reading

Breitbarting: Post-Objective, Post-Responsibility and Post-Education

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
In 2012, I proposed the term ‘breitbarting’ with a narrower definition than, I think, the word deserves today. At that time, I limited it to what Andrew Breitbart…

WWI Doughboys and Elsie Janis

Doughboys on the Western Front: Memories of American Soldiers in the Great War appeared last week and I am quite pleased with it. One of the people I discovered in compiling the book… Continue reading

What’s a Teacher/Scholar to Do?

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
There’s an essay on Chronicle,com by NYU professor Eric Klinenberg called “What Trump’s Win Compels Scholars To Do.” After discussing the overreach of Big Data, Klinenberg writes: There’s…

Veterans Day

Ninety-Eight years ago, this day, began the American century. The center of the world shifted. President Woodrow Wilson was now the most important person on earth. At the other end of the spectrum… Continue reading

Don’t Mourn, Organize

We of progressive and humanitarian belief have been out-organized and out-maneuvered for half a century, now. The result? A slowly unfolding disaster, a regression from the hope and idealism that were the bedrocks… Continue reading