Archive for April, 2009

April 3rd 2009
Friday follies: April Fools?

Posted under class & Gender & students & the body

The University of Maryland has shut down plans to screen a pornographic movie in the student union Saturday night.  Duh.  How did it ever get on the schedule?

In the past few months, the XXX-rated film has been screened with administrative approval at the University of California at Los Angeles, Northwestern University and Carnegie Mellon University. Most of these screenings, however, have incorporated outside groups to provide what some call an “educational setting” for the adult film. At the UCLA screening, for instance, stars of the film answered critical and comical questions about the role of the adult entertainment industry.

Christopher Ruth, spokesman for Digital Playground, said the production company adopted a college-specific marketing technique after the original film generated so much buzz on campuses. He said a number of students groups at institutions around the country, including Carnegie Mellon, preemptively asked the company for copies of the film before they began offering it up for free to others.

An “educational setting!”  What a joke.  Are there any adults in charge at universities any more?  (Roxie, I’m dying to hear your views on this one.) Continue Reading »


April 2nd 2009
A Damned Mob of Scribbling Women!

Posted under American history & European history & fluff & Gender & publication & women's history


nathanielhawthorneNathaniel Hawthorne, writing from Britain to his publisher in 1855:

America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash–and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed.  What is the mystery of these innumerable editions of the ‘Lamplighter,’ and other books neither better nor worse?–worse they could not be, and better they need not be, when they sell by the 100,000.

David Starkey, speaking in Britain in 2009 about the launch of a TV show based on his biography of Henry VIII (h/t to reader S.C.):

In an interview with the Radio Times, out today, Dr Starkey said: “One of the great problems has been that Henry, in a sense, has been absorbed by his wives. Which is bizarre.

“But it’s what you expect from feminised history, the fact that so many of the writers who write about this are women and so much of their audience is a female audience. Unhappy marriages are big box office.” Continue Reading »


April 1st 2009
“The Company He Keeps,” a study of fraternal masculinity by Nicholas Syrett

Posted under American history & book reviews & class & Gender & GLBTQ & Intersectionality & race & students & women's history

companyhekeepsNicholas L. Syrett has just published The Company He Keeps:  A History of White College Fraternities with the University of North Carolina Press.  Lately, I can’t turn around without bumping into Syrett’s book–remarkable for a first book by a junior scholar:  Inside Higher Ed featured an interview with him last month, he was interviewed by North Carolina Public Radio last week, and the book was recently blurbed in the Washington Post because of its discussion of a famous 1949 Dartmouth College murder, the “Letter Sweater Case,” when an Italian-American leftist and World War II vet was dragged from his bed and beaten to death by some Dekes and Tri-Kaps (members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon and Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternities.  What is it with the Dekes–they always seem to be the biggest hammerheads on campus, wherever you go, don’t they?)  What’s next, Syrett:  C-SPAN 2:  Booknotes?  The View?  Rub it in, why don’t’cha.  Say “hi” to Whoopi for us!

The attention this book is getting is merited.  Continue Reading »


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