Archive for May, 2012

May 7th 2012
Rites of spring

Posted under childhood & class & fluff & Gender & happy endings & students & the body

A colleague of mine recently gave a talk at my undergraduate college.  While we caught up over a cup of coffee, he asked about my experiences there, as he’s interested in sending his daughter to a college or university like that.  As I told him stories about the safety and liberty I felt there–and have felt nowhere else before Freshman convocation or since graduation–it occured to me that a surprising number of my fondest memories involved semi-public nudity.  Most of the naked memories were streaking up and down Senior Row or skinny-dipping in a fountain after dark when few people were around to witness us, and it was always a group endeavor–sometimes all-women, sometimes a coed group.

Is it just me, or do some of you have similar stories and memories?  What do you think is behind the compulsion of students to experience a college campus in Eve’s Livery? Continue Reading »

16 Comments »

May 5th 2012
Saturday round-up: lazy blogger edition

Posted under American history & European history & jobs & students

Well, friends, it’s the Saturday in-between the end of classes and the beginning of finals week, so I’ll be out in the garden weedin’ and grillin’ up a storm  instead of in front of this computer screen for most of the day. I’m turning this blog over to smarter writers and bloggers than I, for your degustation:

  • Tony Grafton reviewsAndrew Delbanco’s College:  What it Was, Is, and Should Be.  Of all of the recent books on what’s wrong with higher education, this one seemed to me to be among the most worthy.  I’ve had Delbanco’s scholarship on my shelves since undergraduate days, and as he is a Columbia University faculty member he’s doesn’t blame the faculty for all of our current woes.  Grafton finds Delbanco’s contribution stronger on the Was and Is parts than the Should Bes–in other words, a better history of higher ed and diagnosis of its current ills and perhaps weaker on prescriptive solutions, but it seems like getting the Was and Is parts right is a good enough reason to read it. 
  • Echidne reflects on the end of the Cold War, and concludes that without the atheistic communist foe, capitalism “has gone wild:”  “It is ironic that communism was what kept the American type capitalism decent. Without that public enemy the nazguls are free to rob and ravage.”  That’s the thing about the ultra-rich and their lapdog politician-servants:  they’re not just greedy, they’re sore winners.
  • Finally, the Big Dog takes on the Dog-EaredContinue Reading »

16 Comments »

May 3rd 2012
I am Black Robe

Posted under American history & O Canada & students & weirdness

Black Robes

For the past several years in my colonial North America class, we’ve read several different books that deal with Jesuits as a part of the French colonial strategy. I’ve also had my students read selections from The Jesuit Relations and write essays using them as primary sources, and I usually also show the relentlessly depressing Black Robe (Bruce Beresford, 1991) in class, too. (Fratguy once offered the best review of this movie ever: “It’s Apocalypse Now, only with Jesuits and Indians!”) Every time, I find myself in an awkward position of defending the Jesuit perspective against my students’ reflexive secular and/or evangelical protestant anti-Catholic views about Jesuit missionary work.

It’s a very strange position to be in, as a non-Catholic Marxist feminist scholar. Continue Reading »

19 Comments »

May 2nd 2012
Don’t be that guy

Posted under art & European history & fluff & Gender

Busy day–we’re still teaching classes here, with our dogforsaken 16-week semesters. But then, as Dr. Crazy noted yesterday, they end. (Finally!) And then, we begin all over again.

Don’t miss Dr. Crazy’s thoughts about teaching, and the myth that college professing is all about b!tching about teaching and cutting corners: Continue Reading »

14 Comments »

May 1st 2012
Solidarity

Posted under American history

4 Comments »

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