Forget the Man: Look at Trump’s Supporters

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
The focus of discussion on Donald Trump is, understandably, the man himself—but the phenomenon of his success arises elsewhere. What Gertrude Stein said about Oakland, that “there is…

“To breathe the air around Tom Paine’s”

Yesterday, in my Journalism course (which is half history and half practicum), I introduced my students to Tom Paine. We were discussing advocacy journalism and I read from them passages from Common Sense… Continue reading

Some Pics

The Makings of a Scholar/Teacher?

Yesterday, something I was reading for another purpose struck me forcefully concerning how we evaluate ourselves in academia and about what makes an academic–not to mention what an academic makes. It was this:… Continue reading

Digital Humanities or Digital Hemming?

Today, I read a talk on “Digital Humanities and the Erosion of Inquiry” given by Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris yesterday. It’s pretty good. No, it’s better than that. It makes me… Continue reading

Two Stories, Many Names

By Gripper – Own work, GFDL, Back in the seventies, when I worked for a small import firm just outside of Chicago, my boss was an immigrant of ambiguous accent. I’ll call… Continue reading

Why Are We What We Are?

My wife asked me why, when I eat yogurt, I eat it slowly, taking small spoonful after small spoonful and pausing between each. I thought about it; I eat nothing else that way.… Continue reading


One perk of moving to a small upstate New York town in 1968 was the Clinton Courier, the local weekly newspaper. I got a job there, after school and on weekends. The high… Continue reading

On the Firing of a Tenured Professor

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
On January 20, the University of California Board of Regents took the incredibly rare step of dismissing a tenured professor for cause, a sanction that has occurred only…

‘Distant Reading’ English Syllabi

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
There has been a great deal of interest in the Open Syllabus Project, including an article in The New York Times. I thought I’d take a look at it…