Category Archives: Swarthmore

Slow Poisons

A prologue first to what I’m going to say about “academic bullying”. Considering that the word is used so broadly to discuss a wide range of procedures, practices, attitudes, and ideological positions, maybe we need a better term than “neoliberalism”. … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Swarthmore | 13 Comments

The Room Where It Happens

It would be in a way a comfort–and also a terror–to think, “Well, that’s those people, it’s the way they think, we cannot stop them and there is no way to engage them.” It’s true, there is no way to … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics, Swarthmore | 1 Comment

The Vision Thing

We’re having a “visioning exercise” here at Swarthmore this fall. I couldn’t attend an early gathering for this purpose, and I’m teaching during the next one. This might be just as well, as I’m having to fight back a certain … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oath for Experts, Swarthmore | 1 Comment

Dramatic Arc

Me at the beginning of a class meeting where I’ve assigned one of my favorite books. Me realizing that maybe a quarter of the class read it with any real attention despite the fact that I already said it’s going … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Swarthmore | 6 Comments

A Chance to Show Quality

Romantic ideals of originality still remain deeply embedded in how we recognize, cultivate and reward merit in most of our selective systems of education, reputation and employment. In particular we read for the signs of that kind of authentic individuality … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Information Technology and Information Literacy, Swarthmore | 3 Comments

Technologies of the Cold War in Africa (History 90I) Syllabus

I saw last year that some smart academics were using Piktochart to design more graphical, visual syllabi, so I took a stab at it. Loading…

Posted in Academia, Africa, Swarthmore | Comments Off on Technologies of the Cold War in Africa (History 90I) Syllabus

All Saints Day

Commenting on the debate over Halloween costumes seems freshly risky this week, but the subject has been on my mind since I read this New York Times article on the subject on October 30. My first thought would be that … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Popular Culture, Production of History, Swarthmore | 17 Comments

Inchworm

Over the last decade, I’ve found my institutional work as a faculty member squeezed into a kind of pressure gradient. On one side, our administration has been requesting or requiring more and more data, reporting and procedures that are either … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Defining "Liberal Arts", Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Swarthmore | 5 Comments

We Are Not Who We Will Become

One of the things about the reaction to Allison Bechdel’s Fun Home by a small subset of incoming Duke undergraduates that is important to grasp is that I think it’s a deliberate–and possibly even coordinated–re-deployment of activism about the content … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Politics, Swarthmore | 10 Comments

The Ground Beneath Our Feet

I was a part of an interesting conversation about assessment this week. I left the discussion thinking that we had in fact become more systematically self-examining in the last decade in a good way. If accrediting agencies want to take … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Defining "Liberal Arts", Swarthmore | 2 Comments