Category Archives: Academia

Style and Substance

One of the complicated underterrains of struggle within the contemporary academy involves the use of language and representation. Many scholars in all disciplines have a sophisticated and subtle understanding of how we speak in our disciplines and across our disciplines, … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Politics | 5 Comments

Remain in Light

I don’t know what there is to say when you “read the comments” as it were. It feels hopeless. My colleague Sa’ed Atshan is profoundly committed to trying to get out of the standard confinements of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. At … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Politics | 7 Comments

Fighting for the Ancien Regime

Among the many things that educated progressives failed to understand about the world around them over the last twenty years–and this is not just an American story, but a global one–is that we were not marginal, not since the 1970s. … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Information Technology and Information Literacy, Politics | 6 Comments

Trumpism and Expertise

The conventional wisdom was that the Cold War ended when the Soviet Union fell and its satellite states became independent once again. I think actually that the Cold War just ended right now in 2016. What is it that has … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oath for Experts, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | Comments Off on Trumpism and Expertise

The Room Where It Happens

It would be in a way a comfort–and also a terror–to think, “Well, that’s those people, it’s the way they think, we cannot stop them and there is no way to engage them.” It’s true, there is no way to … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics, Swarthmore | 1 Comment

Physician Heal Thyself

In the summer of 2014, an American scholar named Steven Salaita who was a tenured member of the faculty at Virginia Tech was beginning the process of his move to a new position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Politics | 6 Comments

The Vision Thing

We’re having a “visioning exercise” here at Swarthmore this fall. I couldn’t attend an early gathering for this purpose, and I’m teaching during the next one. This might be just as well, as I’m having to fight back a certain … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oath for Experts, Swarthmore | 1 Comment

The Soft Spot

Part of the problem in South Africa right now is that public universities all over a neoliberal world are paradoxically the most vulnerable part of an invulnerable system. This was even true in the 1960s, but it’s especially true now. … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Africa, Politics | 2 Comments

Enrollment Management: The Stoic’s Version

I have had a few interesting conversations with colleagues online about recent news of falling enrollments in college history courses nationwide, conversations which broadly echo similar discussions among faculty in other disciplines about the same phenomenon in their classes. Speaking … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Defining "Liberal Arts", Production of History | 6 Comments

On the Arrival of Rough Beasts

One of the things I find most interesting about the history of advertising is the long-running conflict between the “creatives” and their more quantitative, data-driven opponents within ad agencies. It’s a long-running, widespread opposition between a more humanistic, intuitive, interpretative … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oath for Experts, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 1 Comment