Monthly Archives: April 2008


I’m not actually a big fan of the Grand Theft Auto games, though like a lot of gamers I find the relatively open structure of the gameplay in the series compelling. It’s a personal thing, not something that I’m inclined … Continue reading

Posted in Games and Gaming | Comments Off on GTA IV

“Made an Interesting Class a Nightmare”

I’m trying to think of sensible, fair-minded things to say about this story (via Margaret Soltan) about a Dartmouth instructor who plans to sue her students for making discriminatory remarks about her pedagogy, but I’m coming up empty. (Here’s the … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 5 Comments

Historical Argument From Soup to Nuts

[cross -posted at Cliopatria] I tell my students that all good research projects and analytical writing have to provide an answer to the question, “So what?”, a justification for the project or the essay. One student asked me if history … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 9 Comments

Who’s That?

Met with my undergraduate class that is studying digital games in World of Warcraft this week. One of them took an interesting name for his character…

Posted in Games and Gaming, Swarthmore | Comments Off on Who’s That?

What’s Wrong With “Social Justice”?

I had an interesting conversation with a student about this week where we were supposed to be talking about his work and I ended up hogging the conversation. He was asking me some interesting questions, though, about how I think … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 6 Comments

Back to Not Out of Africa

Maybe because it’s April, I’m in one of my periodic bouts of skepticism about blogging. I spoke earlier this semester to a class about my practice as an online writer, and the occasion made me realize that I’m really starting … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Africa, Blogging, Books, Politics | 5 Comments

For the Next Debate…

I am dying to know how the candidates feel about Sacco and Vanzetti, the Teapot Dome scandal, and Boss Tweed. If the Weather Underground is important enough to come up at a debate, surely those are too. Alternatively, I’d settle … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

Cruelest Month

For everyone else, April is the month where nature springs back to life, love is in the air, pleasant days and good feelings. I feel like in the academic calendar, April is the equivalent of winter. The year is dying, … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 6 Comments

Playing Reindeer Games

In her op-ed on Robert Mugabe, Heidi Holland portrays him partially as a wayward child of Western civilization who has his nose pressed against the glass, hoping to be invited back in from the cold from whence his “heathen granny” … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Politics | 8 Comments

The Ministers for Omnipotent Ruritania Offer You a Deal

I had two separate reactions to Heidi Holland’s op-ed about Robert Mugabe, so I’ll blog about it twice. Holland argues that Western nations should make peace with Robert Mugabe, partly on the grounds that a punitive approach has accomplished nothing … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Politics | 6 Comments