Monthly Archives: November 2006

History 87 Development and Modern Africa

This is the latest version of this course that I’ve taught. I still need to make some of the specific selections of reading material on a number of these texts: I’m trying to get small but potent samples of a … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Africa | 10 Comments

The Years of Rice and Salt

A couple of people responding in the “Production of History” thread have suggested Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Years of Rice and Salt for the week on time travel and alternate history. The suggestion is a great one, and I love … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Books | 18 Comments

The Nut Hand

Just a quick note as long as I’m in a pop-culture frame of mind: go see Casino Royale. I think it’s actually the best Bond film ever, and as I’m a certified worshipper at the temple of the Connery Bond, … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture | 9 Comments

Oh, While I’m At It

On Civil War #5 (which really was just plain bad), this rewriting is a must-read.

Posted in Popular Culture | Comments Off on Oh, While I’m At It

The Unbearable Weight of Reference

Playing World of Warcraft a month or so back, I was in what people call a “pick-up group”, some strangers who had agreed to team up to accomplish a specific short-term goal. The group chat channel was all business until … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Popular Culture | 5 Comments

History 61 The Production of History

This is one of my favorite courses to teach, and it’s very hard for me to resist packing it with too much material. I’ll have to whittle this draft down a bit. The fundamental idea behind the course really comes … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 35 Comments

That Sinking Feeling, or the Art and Science of Lecturing

No matter how long I’ve been doing this job, I still have days where I start up a lecture and know almost from the first moment that there’s something fundamentally wrong with it. The public at large sometimes thinks of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 9 Comments


I direct your attention to this report on bias in Pennsylvania universities and colleges.

Posted in Academia | 4 Comments

History 62 The History of Reading

Here’s the full draft of the syllabus for my spring course The History of Reading. I’ll polish it a bit more before I teach it, in all likelihood. I’m still looking for something on the 18th Century dissemination of the … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 19 Comments

The Bérubéan Moment

The general argument and specific claims of Michael Berube’s What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts? are as comfortable for me as a well-worn chair. I’ve been reading them at his blog for some time, adopting and using many of his … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Politics | 46 Comments