Monthly Archives: May 2005

Book Notes: Jon Wiener, Historians in Trouble

I’m going to return to my aspiration to make regular entries about books I’m reading, partly to help me to work my way through the growing stack of things I’ve put on my “to be read” pile. These aren’t reviews: … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Books | 2 Comments


Yet another graduation yesterday. A very nice one, actually: beautiful weather and some unusually good speeches. Jonathan Franzen was brief but both funny and slyly profound. Our president gave (for him) an unusually pointed speech as well about the dangers … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 1 Comment

Pedantry and Critical Thought

John Bruce has a long series of posts detailing his critique of academic quality control. His main complaint, as I understand it, is that in some disciplines (perhaps most or all: he’s focused on English but there’s no restriction of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 12 Comments

Welcoming New Arrivals to the Sekrit Clubhouse

Some time ago, a friend and colleague of mine used to call me a lot just to talk about our field, my friend’s job situation, and other stuff. My friend finally got in a good job situation and we talked … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 2 Comments

Nerd Hermeneutics, or Do Not Make Out My Ticket for Middle-Earth

Ok, one last Star Wars post (just one tiny wafer, sir…) and then I’ll return to more serious issues. (Sorry to those of you who read this blog looking for something other than a cadet branch of Star Wars geekery…) … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture | 15 Comments

Spies Like Us

I’m enjoying the new group blog Savage Minds. I particularly admire that they’ve been able to keep the blog fairly focused on their own discipline, something that I think we historians at Cliopatria struggle with from time to time. Oneman’s … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Africa | Comments Off on Spies Like Us

Rampant Geekery: Star Wars Thoughts [SPOILERS]

Inspired by Gary Farber’s interesting comparison of what is supposed to be the full script and the actual theatrical version of “Sith”, I thought I’d list some of the things that occurred to me about the film and the overall … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture | 13 Comments

It Doesn’t Suck

“Sith” isn’t the best time I’ve ever had at the movies, but I enjoyed myself quite a lot. If that’s the right word for it: as many early reviews and a minimal knowledge of the timeline of the Star Wars … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture | 15 Comments

Tote that Barge, Lift that Bale

The wave of cultural criticism about how “Star Wars” changed American popular culture is now flowing at full tide, if not quite up to full tsunami intensity yet. There is not much new to say amid that flood. There’s been … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture | 10 Comments

Trope Trove, or Colonial Fairy Tales

I’m teaching my “Image of Africa” course again next semester, and I’ve decided to try and work some more on a pedagogical strategy that has had pretty good results in several of my cultural history classes. Basically, I take a … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Popular Culture | 14 Comments