The chaplain then explained how he had spoken with the dead man’s wife, who related a vivid dream she’d had that night of her husband standing next to her bed, apologizing and explaining that he had been in a car accident, and that his car was in a ditch where it could not be seen from the road...They recovered the body 20 minutes later. Most scholars have no idea what to do with such poignant, powerful stories, other than to dismiss them with lazy words like "anecdote" or "coincidence."...We should put these extreme narratives, these impossible stories, in the middle of our academic table. I would also like to make a wager, here and now, that once we put these currently rejected forms of knowledge on our academic table, things that were once impossible to imagine will soon become possible not only to imagine but also to think, theorize, and even test. Professor Jeffrey Kripal
explains why the humanities needs to expand its field of acceptable topics for investigation.
posted by shivohum
on Apr 2, 2014 -
...one of the jobs of a publisher, I really believe, is to keep all forms in play, precisely because it is in keeping all forms in play (which forms are themselves always being reshaped in some fashion as they come into contact with each other) -- that creativity has the widest possible purchase on how things might turn out. Eileen Joy
, co-director of open-access quasi-scholarly print-on-demand press Punctum Books
, gives a talk on the state and future of open-access publishing
in the academy and the arts.
posted by shivohum
on Nov 20, 2013 -
So you see, I am not making a brief against reading the classics of Western literature. Far from it. I am against taking these startling epiphanies of the irrational, unspoken, unthought-of side of human life into the college classroom and turning them into the bland exercises in competition, hierarchy and information-accumulation that are these works' mortal enemies. An essay by Lee Siegel
posted by chavenet
on Jul 14, 2013 -
is a librarian
. He blogs
. In August 2010, Dale was a tenured associate professor at Kansas State University, where librarians are granted faculty status. There, Dale blogged
about the quality, and prices, of publications from Edwin Mellen Press. Edwin Mellen Press has served McMaster University
(Dale's current employer) and himself with a three million dollar lawsuit, alleging libel and claiming aggravated and exemplary damages. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Feb 9, 2013 -
After an inquisitive prison inmate challenged his notions of poverty and its solutions, Earl Shorris embarked on a project to share the humanities with poor students in New York City. In this article
for Harper's Magazine, he remembers his struggles and triumphs with funding, material, and the students. As income inequality in the US continues to rise, other well known figures have different ideas
. Shorris died recently this year, and obituaries appeared in The New York Times
, The Daily News
and The Nation
. A full archive of his articles for Harper's can be found here
posted by sophist
on Jun 21, 2012 -
Last night, author and farmer Wendell Berry delivered a powerful lecture
[video; full text here
includes portions not delivered verbally] to a full house on the occasion of his accepting the National Endowment of the Humanities' Jefferson Award. The famous PC holdout
has appeared previously
in the blue, but this lecture is not to be missed. Here is soul nourishment for the long-time Berry follower, and for the newcomer a superb introduction to one of our time's greatest intellects. [more inside]
posted by maniabug
on Apr 25, 2012 -
Cioran's literary elitism is unparalleled in modern literature, and for that reason he often appears as a nuisance for modern and sentimental ears poised for the lullaby words of eternal earthly or spiritual bliss. Cioran's hatred of the present and the future, his disrespect for life, will certainly continue to antagonize the apostles of modernity who never tire of chanting vague promises about the "better here-and-now." ... If one could reduce the portrayal of Cioran to one short paragraph, then one must depict him as an author who sees in the modern veneration of the intellect a blueprint for spiritual gulags and the uglification of the world. Indeed, for Cioran, man's task is to wash himself in the school of existential futility, for futility is not hopelessness; futility is a reward for those wishing to rid themselves of the epidemic of life and the virus of hope. Probably, this picture best befits the man who describes himself as a fanatic without any convictions--a stranded accident in the cosmos who casts nostalgic looks towards his quick disappearance.
- Tomislav Sunic [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Oct 4, 2011 -
Humanities and the Liberal Arts
is the personal website of former Middlebury classics professor William Harris
who passed away in 2009. In his retirement
he crafted a wonderful site full of essays, music
and his thoughts on anything from education
. But the heart of the website for me is, unsurprisingly, his essays on ancient Latin and Greek literature
some of whom are book-length works. Here are a few examples: Purple color in Homer
, complete fragments of Heraclitus
, how to read Homer and Vergil
, a discussion of a recently unearthed poem by Sappho
, Plato and mathematics
, Propertius' war poems
, and finally, especially close to my heart, his commentaries on the poetry of Catullus, for example on Ipsithilla
, Odi et amo
, Attis poem as dramatic dance performance
and a couple of very dirty poems
(even by Catullus' standard). That's just a taste of the riches found on Harris' site, which has been around nearly as long as the world wide web has existed.
posted by Kattullus
on Sep 30, 2011 -
We are making journal content on JSTOR published prior to 1923 in the United States and prior to 1870 elsewhere,
freely available to the public for reading and downloading. This includes nearly 500,000 articles from more than 200 journals, representing approximately 6% of the total content on JSTOR.
posted by Trurl
on Sep 7, 2011 -
How to define digital humanities? "the humanities done digitallys
"? Should we expand the definition of the field to include, as I've heard it said several times, "every medievalist with a Web site"? Undoubtedly not
. Yeah, not. Rather, The particular contribution of the digital humanities, however, lies in its exploration of the difference that the digital can make to the kinds of work that we do, as well as to the ways that we communicate with one another. [more inside]
posted by Mngo
on May 12, 2011 -
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines)
creativity. (c. 2007 SLYT TED talk)
posted by snsranch
on Apr 15, 2010 -
Camille Paglia: WHAT went wrong at Harvard?
"Over the past 40 years, there has been a radical expansion of administrative bureaucracies on American college campuses that has distorted the budget and turned education toward consumerism, a checkbook alliance with parents who are being bled dry by grotesquely exorbitant tuitions."
posted by semmi
on Mar 6, 2006 -
' "Oh, you're going to the MLA?
What a riot. They're a bunch of sitting ducks." I hadn't been planning to shoot at them, I said'.
Lewis Kraus attends the 119th Annual MLA Conference, and asks what it means to be an English professor after the 'crisis of the humanities'.
posted by Sonny Jim
on Aug 23, 2004 -
The Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild
began in 1992 when two students of philosophy found their inner creativity in the midst of a dwindling academic job market. As it turned out, fulfilling gift giving needs proved to be almost as satisfying as probing eternal questions. They offer such items as "Freudian Slippers", "Nietzsche's Will to Power Bars", "Brainy Beanies", and "Dorothy Parker Martini Glasses".
posted by ewagoner
on Aug 11, 2003 -