CultureHigher EducationMoney

On the Market VII: Job Candidates Are People Too

Another year, another job season. Sigh. I’ve been on the market for several years now, and regular readers may remember that in that time I have applied to many, many, many jobs. The positions I’ve applied for since finishing my PhD have represented a generous sampling of nearly all that our …

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Culture

The Intentionality Fallacy

If you lookup “intentionality fallacy” you’d probably find a lot of references to literature and other arts, since that is its usual context. We need to start talking about it in other things too. For example, everything. In brief, the intentionality fallacy happens when you are trying to understand, interpret, or …

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CulturePolitics

The Arts Will Save Us–If We Let Them

Those of you in academic and artistic circles have no doubt heard by this point that Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year involves the closure of both the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, along with several other cultural institutions. There are lots of reasons why …

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CultureEducationHigher Education

Who is this music for, anyway?

Not long ago I was talking to a colleague of mine who was teaching an undergraduate course on early music, which is the term academics generally use to refer to Western European art music from before 1750. Some time previous to our conversation one of the music majors in his class, …

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Protest
Critical ThinkingCultureHigher Education

Towards a Campus Activism Reading List

Last month, I was reading an article written by (or at least attributed to) the Canadian columnist Margaret Wente entitled “The radicals have taken over: Academic extremism comes to Canada.” It’s a fairly standard take down of campus anti-racist, feminist and pro-LGBTQ politics, but I was interested in how it …

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Critical ThinkingCultureEducation

Meaning What We Say, Saying What We Mean

Recently on social media, I posted this Slate article by Sam Kriss criticising Eric Garland’s popular “Game Theory” tweetstorm, which has been shared widely by those on the left who continue to feel shaken and demoralised by the results of the recent US presidential election. I generally try to avoid making too …

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Critical ThinkingCulturePolitics

You Don’t Need Me to Refute This White Nationalist Poster for You, but Here You Go Anyway

This past fall, the above poster appeared on some U.S. campuses. The first appearance that I can find was on September 26th at the University of Michigan, and then on November 14th, a group called Fordham Students United reported that it was posted on their campus. It bears the same …

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Critical ThinkingCultureSecondary Education

White Teacher, Black and Brown Students: Race and Representation in the Modern American Classroom

This Olympics, Simone Manuel became the first black woman to win Olympic swimming gold. Her tears during the medal ceremony were moving, and her words at the press conference following it even more so. When she said, “The gold medal wasn’t just for me. It was for people who came …

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Critical ThinkingCultureInformal EducationPoliticsReligionScience

What Pramaoedya Ananta Toer Tried to Teach His Kids About Medicine and Critical Thinking

Pramaoedya Ananta Toer (1925-2006) was an award-winning Indonesian writer who was famous for the novels that he wrote during two long stints as a political prisoner. He was first jailed by the Dutch in 1947 for his anti-colonial activities, and then again by President Suharto for being a leftist from …

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Dictionaries and guides to modern and Old English
Critical ThinkingCultureEducation

English Has Never Been Better

I got trolled by the The Economist the other day on Facebook: It wasn’t the fake spelling joke that got me. Based on the Facebook preview of the article, it sounded like the linked article (which is actually from February 2015) was yet another tired condemnation of The Youth of …

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