Monthly Archives: August 2007

Angry at Academe

I’m up for promotion here this year. It’s not as fraught or difficult a moment at Swarthmore as it is at many R-1 universities, as we don’t receive a pay raise or really any specific reward at all save the … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 70 Comments

Something Wicked This Way Comes?

I’m not very good with financial matters. I feel I understand some aspects of economic history fairly well, but where economics crosses into the management of my own resources, I start to feel very uncertain. Largely I don’t worry too … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

Quick Comments Policy

Don’t choose a name for commenting here that’s a commentary upon another poster’s name. Pseudonyms for registered users are fine, but choose one that’s going to represent you any time you’re commenting here.

Posted in Blogging | 2 Comments

Bugs and Puppy Faces

We took off for a late summer trip to a New Jersey amusement park today, which was fun. At one point, my daughter wanted to get her face painted. I was kind of struck at the catalogue of choices. They … Continue reading

Posted in Games and Gaming, Politics, Popular Culture | 24 Comments

Habilus and Erectus

Help me out, evolutionary theorists. I’m a bit puzzled at the conclusion that homo habilus cannot be ancestral to homo erectus because the two species apparently lived alongside each other for 500,000 years or so. Isn’t it possible for one … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 13 Comments


Michael Ignatieff’s piece in the NY Times magazine this weekend made for an interesting read. I really agree with a lot of the points made by Henry at Crooked Timber. It’s an interesting piece in its own right, with some … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Politics | 34 Comments

Learning Peer Review

I’ve been doing a decent amount of peer review work this summer. I was struck at how my own practices had changed over time. First, I’m curious. How many people received some instruction about how to do peer review, any … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 15 Comments


King Canute took on the waves to demonstrate the limits of his power to his subjects, who asked him to do the impossible. Robert Mugabe is the kind of authoritarian who thinks that the waves ought to obey him, and … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 5 Comments

There Must Be a Word

Is there a term for misperceiving a historical relationship between two works, images or tropes so that the earlier of the two is falsely thought to have derived from the later one? I was thinking about this in terms of … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture | 12 Comments

Cooper v. Rowling

One of the reasons I’m keen to promote an “Everything Studies” approach to expressive culture is my dissatisfaction with the way that established models in cultural and media studies often (not invariably) marginalize aesthetic judgements as well as evaluations of … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Popular Culture | 16 Comments