Monthly Archives: February 2007

From the Mixed-Up Bookshelves: Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit, Occidentalism; Alberto Manguel, The History of Reading

When I spoke to a group of publishers two weeks ago, I said that a world in which there were fewer specialized monographs would be a good thing. Fewer, better (and better-selling, one hopes) books from academics. What do I … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, The Mixed-Up Bookshelves | 5 Comments

Publishing Presentation on Academic Blogging

Last week, I had a chance to talk about academic blogging in relationship to academic publishing at the Professional and Scholarly Publishing pre-conference event in Washington. Here’s the basic outline of my talk here, with some additional notes. The main … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Blogging | 7 Comments

Obama and Blackness

The worst job interview I ever had for an academic position included among its memorably difficult moments an interrogator with extremely strong Afrocentric views. She started by asking me what books I had read recently that I found useful or … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Politics | 3 Comments

Pop-Culture Settings

So there’s been a bit of talk recently about teacher movies, and how obnoxious they can be. You might wonder about why doctors, firemen, and police are so central to a great deal of TV drama (and even situation comedy). … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture | 6 Comments


I’m with Geeky Mom: how many times do we have to have this discussion? I’m using Wikipedia this semester where it seems appropriate: to provide quick, condensed background on a historical subject as preparation for a more general discussion. Next … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Information Technology and Information Literacy | 2 Comments

Reed Richards, Psychohistory, and History-as-Science

I have always been fond of the comic-book character Reed Richards, aka “Mr. Fantastic”. If you haven’t encountered the character before, his superpower is actually rather secondary to his appeal as a character. (He can stretch his rubbery body, a … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture | 18 Comments