Monthly Archives: April 2009

The Road to Utopia

Mark Taylor’s op-ed has not exactly lit a fire under America’s academics. A lot of the criticism I’ve seen has been pretty legitimate. I’m still enamored of the idea of trying to make departments more supple and flexible as administrative … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 8 Comments

Save the Giblets

Historic preservation societies and their campaigns to save particular buildings or landmarks make me a little uncomfortable at times. There are four basic rationales for historic preservation. Some advocacy groups work with all four, others have a very exclusive preference … Continue reading

Posted in Production of History | 6 Comments

A Penny Saved Is a Penny You’ll Have During the Rapture

The scene: the supermarket checkout line this afternoon. The woman ahead of me and the clerk are having an animated conversation. Clerk: “I’ve read the Left Behind books, you know. It makes you think, it really does.” Woman: “Yes, it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellany | 3 Comments

Taylor on the University

I can tell my views about the current state of academia are no mystery by the number of people who’ve told me to take a look at Mark C. Taylor’s piece calling for the reorganization of universities in today’s New … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 18 Comments

She Did It Her Way

By now, you’ve probably seen Susan Boyle’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent. At least a few scholars and critics, bless their skeptical hearts, have argued against accepting the seeming spontaneity of the clip at face value. I’ve argued in the … Continue reading

Posted in Popular Culture | 1 Comment


I’ve not had a lot to say on the blog about stories that I have a lot to say about, partly because of an upswing in my periodic feelings of discomfort with the echo-chamber aspect of blogging as well as … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

Show Me the Money

I’ve been following conversations here and at many other higher education institutions about financial issues. As I said somewhat sheepishly to colleagues yesterday, a lot of what I believed in when times were flush is still what I believe in … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Swarthmore | 5 Comments