From Henry Clay Versus James Polk to Donald Trump Versus Hillary Clinton: Has Much Changed?

When I was a little boy in Richmond, Indiana, my parents decided to go to the drive-in to see the new Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift movie Raintree County. There must have been a… Continue reading

Is Trump Our Ticktockman?

Or is he the harlequin? Or both? Harlan Ellison’s Nebula-winning short story from the sixties, “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman,” is seeming a little too recent. He starts with a quote from Thoreau… Continue reading

Enthusiasm: The Heart of Literature

One of my favorite new courses here at New York City College of Technology is “Gothic Literature and Visual Culture.” I had nothing to do with its development, though I wish I had,… Continue reading

Pieces of the Past as Prologue

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
Reproduction of a Charles Mills painting by the Detroit Publishing Company. Depicts W:Benjamin Franklin at work on a printing press. It is unlikely Franklin would have ever worn…

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