Posts Tagged: academia

Visible: Women Writers of Color #5: Tara Betts

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Tara Betts discusses her newest collection, Break the Habit, the burden placed on black women artists to be both artist and activist, and why writing is rooted in identity. ...more

My Voice for Their Drugs

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Anxiety disorients me from inside. My heart moves so erratically I’m afraid it will give out, my breath so staggered I have to remind myself to take in air. ...more

On Suffering and Sympathy

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What is the distance between sympathy and action? How do we travel from one to the other? ...more

Putting the D in PhD

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An anonymous writer at the Guardian has a second career in erotica to fund their academic lifestyle, despite mixed reactions from colleagues:

Colleagues in the arts react with a strange mixture of nervous supportiveness and embarrassed indifference. If I bring up the subject (in private conversations off-campus, naturally), the conversation is swiftly curtailed.

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The Rumpus Interview with Russell Banks

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Russell Banks discusses his new book, Voyager: Travel Writings, why we are never free from our history, and how writing saved his life. ...more

Reading Emotions

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There’s nothing that the book world likes to debate more than the differences between literary fiction and commercial or genre fiction.  

According to a new study published in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, readers of literary fiction are better able to understand emotions as compared with readers of popular genre fiction, Electric Literature reports.

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Ghost in the Machine

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At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Professor Ted Underwood talks about why Digital Humanities, the new discipline he’s often associated with, doesn’t exist:

It’s true that [Digital Humanities] can be aligned with managerial thinking—administrators like it. It can also be hypnotized by shiny pictures and prone to moralistic groupthink on social media.

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The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Cristina García and Truong Tran

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How do you work with a material that you don’t have trust in? I had to step away from it and find another way of articulating and I had to do it without words. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Brian Blanchfield

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Poet and writer Brian Blanchfield talks about his essay collection Proxies, touring in support of a prose collection versus a poetry collection, and frottage. ...more

Gimme Gimme JSTOR

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The question of access continues to plague the academic community—if academia is truly about knowledge and discovery, why are there still so many barriers to the unfettered sharing of information? The architects of digital “pirate libraries” around the world are trying to resolve that contradiction, violating copyright laws to bring expensive scholarly materials to the researchers (and data-hungry laypeople) who need them.

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In Favor of Reading the Literary Canon

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The canon is what it is, and anyone who wishes to understand how it continues to flow forward needs to learn to swim around in it.

Responding to Yale students’ protesting the English department’s course requirements, Slate’s Katy Waldman argues that English majors should still have to read the “sexist, racist, colonialist, and totally gross” canon of English literature, in addition to a broader range of perspectives.

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The Rumpus Interview with Asali Solomon

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Asali Solomon discusses her debut novel, Disgruntled, narrative structure, the mythology of memory and place, and returning to Philadelphia after years away. ...more

The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Idra Novey

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Swati Khurana talks with novelist and translator Idra Novey about the challenges and joys of translation, the idiosyncrasies of language, the inextricable reception of women's writing and women's bodies, and much more. ...more

Goodbye Important, Inappropriate Literary Man

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Jezebel’s Jia Tolentino discusses “the end of the era of the important, inappropriate literary man” in context of the sexual abuse allegations against Iowa Workshop visiting professor Thomas Sayer Ellis. She posits that social media is allowing victims more visibility and power as they speak out against their abusers who have previously been protected by universities and other institutions.

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The Lulu Fund: Burning Down the House

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The Lulu Fund is a new organization founded by Anna March, Ashley Ford, Jen Fitzgerald, and Ashley Perez dedicated to breaking down barriers within the writing community. The Lulu Fund mission statement says:

We support individual writers and organizations who demonstrate their commitment to these ideas by telling critical stories and lifting marginalized voices.

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The Sunday Rumpus Essay: How To Make Sure Your Writing Is Forgotten

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Do you really want to have to listen from the grave as students discuss your themes and scholars analyze your syntax and trace your influence? ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Karen Salyer McElmurray

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Karen Salyer McElmurray talks about academia, the relationship between flaws and perfection, writing memoir, and the "tapestry" of writers who inspire her. ...more

Intellectual Sadism

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Lisa Ruddick, at The Point, gives a state of the union address on critical theory, arguing that current trends are leading us down a dangerous, anti-empathetic, anti-individualistic road towards “cool criticism”:

Academic cool is a cast of mind that disdains interpersonal kindness, I-thou connection, and the line separating the self from the outer world and the engulfing collective.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Valuation Methods

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In some of my fantasies, I make a pitch for art or for truth, defend them like commodities. ...more

The Role of the Critical Writer

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For The Awl, Maria Bustillos sits down for lunch with writer Teju Cole in Bali, where Cole recently spoke at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. The two discuss art, colonialism, and the role of the critical writer. Regarding the latter, Cole says:

What it’s our job to do [as critics] is to help create and sustain value for overlooked work… The question is not always about what people are paying $50 million for, but the stuff that is only fifty thousand, only ten thousand, and getting that stuff into the museum space and have it be what it needs to be, to write books about it, to get it in the syllabus.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Taking Comfort in Futurama

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I’m a comfort watcher... I retreat into the worlds I know well, with characters that are friends, with outcomes I already understand. ...more

Alain Bourget: A Rumpus Roundup

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Associate professor Alain Bourget refused to assign his students the $180 textbook recommended by the department at the University of California at Fullerton because he found an alternative that cost half as much. Unfortunately, unlike the more expensive book, the alternative was not co-written by the mathematic department’s chair and vice chair.

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