Posts Tagged: academia
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.
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....more
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.
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....more
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....more
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....more
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.
Academic publishers have been raking in huge profits, and their reluctance to giving open access to academic journals without collecting fees limits researchers. One Russian scientist has found a solution, a new website dubbed “the pirate bay for scientists.” Sci-Hub bypasses publishers by simply making papers available to download for free....more
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.
In my father’s world, which still bore the markings of the class system he had fled seventeen years before, thinking that you were better than the life you had, which had actually allowed him to escape, was also a betrayal of one’s class.
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.
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....more