All entries by this author

A Bastard Discourse *

Dec 25th, 2003 | Filed by

Psychoanalysis subverts the essence of western rationality.… Read the rest

Questions and Quarrels Over Climate Change *

Dec 25th, 2003 | Filed by

Was the Medieval Warming Period regional or global?… Read the rest

Was There a Medieval Warm Period or Not? *

Dec 25th, 2003 | Filed by

Criticize the hockey stick and some think you have a political agenda.… Read the rest

Which Coercion?

Dec 24th, 2003 7:26 pm | By

The issue of the possible French ban on the hijab or headscarf in public schools raises a lot of interesting questions – also a lot of strong emotions, not to say plain rudeness. There was a discussion of the subject at Crooked Timber a few days ago that was quite interesting at the beginning, but I abandoned it in disgust after being accused of patronizing ‘subdued and voiceless brown women’ one too many times.

But it’s not that simple, obviously – well it’s obvious to me, but clearly not to everyone. That is to say, whatever one thinks about the proposed ban, it’s too simple to say that the ban is exclusively about seeing Muslim women as subdued, voiceless and … Read the rest

Strong Feelings on Both Sides *

Dec 24th, 2003 | Filed by

Some Muslim girls campaign against the hijab, some campaign for it.… Read the rest

Al-Jazeerah: Schroeder Supports Ban for Teachers *

Dec 24th, 2003 | Filed by

German Chancellor opposes headscarf for teachers but not for students.… Read the rest

French Press Reacts to Headscarf Ban *

Dec 24th, 2003 | Filed by

Some papers welcome the move, others think it’s irrelevant.… Read the rest

Top Celebrity Speaks on GM, Nanotechnology *

Dec 23rd, 2003 | Filed by

Prince of Wales ‘operates on prejudice, not evidence, but because of his position he is listened to.’… Read the rest

Dictator Kitsch *

Dec 23rd, 2003 | Filed by

How does one reconcile a personality cult with ‘scientific’ Mao Zedong Thought?… Read the rest

Paul Krugman on Inequality *

Dec 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Even that leftist rag Business Week has noticed.… Read the rest

Grade Inflation at the Theatre *

Dec 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

If every play gets a standing ovation, how do we know which ones stink?… Read the rest

Sludge, Clag and Gruel *

Dec 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Managerese has infiltrated the English of politics, bureaucracy, education, the arts. … Read the rest

Fashion *

Dec 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Being a Unique Individual like everyone else.… Read the rest

The World at Large

Dec 21st, 2003 8:42 pm | By

Here, on the other hand, is a comment on the MLA and hipness [in the comments on the post] that is quite another matter – and says (from inside the academy as opposed to outside it) what I’ve been thinking for a couple of days, as well as for many years:

At the moment (ask me again on Dec. 30 how I feel), the bottom line seems to me that many serious scholars of literature and culture, who would very much like to engage in a serious, generous, forthright way with the world-at-large, often find themselves prevented from doing so by both the internal demands of the scholarly universe (publishing in the “right places” demanding certain kinds of technical language

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The End of the Trilogy

Dec 21st, 2003 7:20 pm | By

Chapter 3. (And I still had some items I wanted to examine from the fuss over ‘Hear the Silence’ – some of the odd assumptions behind the rhetoric – but that’s such a long time ago now. I’m just not speedy enough, clearly.) Because there is still a little more. And it really is quite interesting, how very defensive and righteously indignant the defenders of the ‘professional discourse of the humanities’ get. As if people who tease them were committing lèse-majesté, invading the Temple, polluting the inner sanctum. Why? Why do they take themselves so very seriously? Why is a joke (and a damn funny one at that) seen as an outrage? Why are professional discoursers so deaf to humour … Read the rest

Imaginings of Escape *

Dec 21st, 2003 | Filed by

So many literary characters say: let me out of here.… Read the rest

Professional Convention

Dec 20th, 2003 9:01 pm | By

I have some more comments I want to make and others I want to quote. Comment boards on blogs are not always the best place to do research on attitudes, naturally, because the people commenting can be anybody and everybody – people who’ve misplaced their meds, people who haven’t been prescribed any meds yet, people who are just that little bit too interested in aluminum foil. So keep that in mind. But the comments at Invisible Adjunct do seem to represent some real attitudes in that sector of the academy that’s under discussion. So let’s dissect one or two of them on that assumption – the attitudes are worth a look even if these particular exponents of them are bogus.… Read the rest

Jefferson v. Napoleon *

Dec 20th, 2003 | Filed by

Scalia, other judges agree: Jefferson guilty of prolonging slavery, deporting American Indians.… Read the rest

Thurmond Relatives are Displeased *

Dec 20th, 2003 | Filed by

At Strom? No, at his secret illegitimate daughter, for going public after 78 years. The nerve.… Read the rest

Yes But What Does ‘Spirituality’ Mean? *

Dec 20th, 2003 | Filed by

Vicar of Putney prefers passionate atheists, Madonna likes the Kabbalah.… Read the rest