The Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery
is an annual weekend conference discussing food, its history, and culture. Since 1981 the papers presented at the Symposium have been collected into a conference volume called the Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery
, most of which have been made available for free in their entirety via Google Books. Each volume consists of about 25-40 papers surrounding the theme of that year's Symposium (e.g. Eggs
, or The Meal
). [more inside]
In the journal Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation
, the proposition paper 'Publisher, be damned! from price gouging to the open road
) criticises the large profits made by commercial publishers on the back of academics’ labours, and the failure of the Finch report on open access
to address them. After a lengthy delay, the paper was eventually published, but only with a large disclaimer from the publishers (Taylor and Francis
) and after a stand-off with the editorial board
. [more inside]
Anthropologists weigh in on Jared Diamond's latest: lack of citations, ethnographic carelessness, and the smoothing of complex narratives into quotable fables. The World Until Yesterday
has prompted a flurry of commentary from anthropologists unenthusiastic about the physiologist turned evolutionary biologist turned geographer. In a recent London Review of Books
, leading political anthropologist James C. Scott
doesn't buy Diamond's description of the modern nation-state arising to curtail primitive tribal violence "[i]n a passage that recapitulates the fable of the social contract" given how "slaving was at the very centre of state-making."
Anthropologist Alex Golub
, who shares Papua New Guinea as a major research site, wrote "Still, it is telling that we live in an age when a member of America’s National Academy of Sciences and one of the world’s foremost public intellectuals has less concern for citations and footnotes than do the contributors to Wikipedia."
David Correia pulls no punches in his opinion piece "F*ck Jared Diamond"
calling Diamond's resurrection of environmental determinism as racist apologia and his latest book as essentializing primitivism in order to define Western industrialized exceptionalism. [more inside]
Hey, scholars, academics, and assorted geeks: Palgrave MacMillan is offering their first 100 Palgrave Pivots
(midlength academic writings from around 25,000 to 50,000 words) for free until 11/1 at 1:00 p.m. GMT. Go!
Fraudulent & hoax manuscripts submitted to academic journals typically present false findings by real authors. This time, however, the paper
contains real (and previously unpublished) results
... by fake authors.
) [more inside]
A large portion of scientific research is publicly funded. So why do only the richest consumers have access to it?
The Department of Defense recently announced the creation of the Minerva Research Initiative (PDF), also known as Project Minerva, providing as much as $75 million over five years to support social science research on areas of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy. The initiative indicates a renewal of interest in social science findings after a prolonged period of neglect, but it also prompts concerns about the appropriate relationship between university-based research programs and the state, especially when research might become a tool of not only governance but also military violence. The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has invited prominent scholars to speak to the questions raised by Project Minerva and to address the controversy it has sparked in academic quarters.
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]
. A Collection Of The World's Finest Academic Writing. (Updated Every Monday). *or not
Just because you don't like a study doesn't mean it's wrong.
Gawker takes the rest of the blog world to task for misinterpreting this new paper
on women who watch televised sports. [more inside]
Who are the alt-acs? They are people with graduate education (mostly in the humanities and library science) who have decided to pursue alternative academic careers
. They choose to skip the "dues-paying crap"
often associated with pursuing a traditional tenure-track job, and avoid languishing in unrewarding
adjunct assignments. They also tweet like mad
. The results
of a new (and, as of this writing, ongoing
) #alt-ac census
show alt-acs thriving in diverse positions; there's a strong contingent involved in the digital humanities
, but also a historian at the U.S. Department of State, an exhibit developer at the National Constitution Center, and a self-employed "Editor, musicologist." [more inside]
was an American tradition for more than 50 years: two teams of four players each, who are read a toss-up question which anyone could answer alternating with a bonus question which only the team which got the toss-up question could answer. It was officially cancelled in 2008, due to a variety of factors. A strange new format dominates its successors: pyramidal quiz bowl. [more inside]
: A Daily Roundup of Academic Studies Serious, Sublime, Surreal and Otherwise, compiled by Kevin Lewis
Too anxious to take exams?
University of Manitoba will give you a PhD anyway. A professor is suspended for disagreeing with that decision.
is an online experimental sound journal
. Some poetry, some music, all mp3s. Ten issues (so far).
: "Also, Dr. Ivor van Heerden
is the fucking man. And he wrote a hell of a book
, which will probably eventually get him fired." It did
. van Heerden is suing LSU for wrongful termination, and the AAUP is investigating
. [more inside]
With all this talk
of Sandy Smith
(epilepsy warning on that last link), his greatest project
still wants for submissions. Smith: In May 2007 I commissioned an essay from a supplier of tailor-made academic essays. I requested a 1500 word essay that was to "prove that Junior... is the best film ever made." This essay was to make reference to various writers including Freud, Barthes, Baudrillard and Jameson in proving it's case.
Yes, that Junior. [more inside]
Study: Internet Not Dumbing Down Kids, Who Were Stupid Anyway. Full report!
The information literacy of young people, has not
improved with the widening access to technology:
in fact, their apparent facility with computers
disguises some worrying problems. Young people have unsophisticated mental maps of what the internet is, often failing to appreciate that it is a collection of networked resources from different providers. (Like tubes!)
Nick Yee's Daedalus Project (touched on previously)
is dedicated to the study of human behaviour in MMOs. His recent dissertation names "The Proteus Effect
": a correlation between MMO characters' appearances, and their players' behaviors. "In the final study (pdf)
, I showed that the Proteus Effect persists outside of the virtual environment. Placing someone in a taller avatar changes how they consequently negotiate in a face-to-face setting." His archives
cover a lot of ground, and current MMO players can help by taking the survey
. For a little lighter reading, refer to his critique
of Internet Addiction Disorder
, a "condition" that started as a joke
, but almost made it
into the DSM-V
Best opening (or closing) paragraphs of academic works,
a discussion at Crooked Timber.
(This is of course different from first lines of novels, as discussed here
, and elsewhere
Long .pdf paper on the state of mainstream "analytic" philosophy.
In a recent thread
, we discussed the current state of philosophy departments in English-speaking countries. Philosophers are often asked why we don't take Ayn Rand seriously as a philosopher, or why we aren't up on literary Theory or deconstruction, etc. The short answer is that most academic philosophers in universities in the English-speaking world are engaged in a broad consensus (about how to do philosophy, what counts as a good question, etc) that's called "analytic philosophy" for short. Here is a long, informative encyclopedia entry by Scott Soames describing the history and current state of play in analytic philosophy. If you want to understand the background of the currently dominant school of philosophy in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, this will explain it. Link goes directly to a 44-page .pdf file.
Here are a few bonus bits: Jerry Fodor on Why no one reads analytic philosophy
. One of the Philosophy talk podcasts from the Stanford philosophy department, on The Future of Philosophy
. Some answers at askphilosophers.org -- a site where you can ask questions directly of professional philosophers -- that say the distinction between analytic and continental philosophy
should be retired. (In a way, I agree, but the terms are used so widely that it's useful to get a sense of what they're meant to describe.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on what different philosophers have meant by "analysis"
In 1900, his contemporaries Degas and Monet reportedly named him
as most likely to be remembered as the greatest 19th century French painter
by the year 2000. After about 1920 though, Bouguereau
and the academic tradition fell into disrepute. His
name was not mentioned in encyclopedias for decades. (You probably haven't heard of him
unless you read this
Or systematic suppression by the 20th century art establishment?
(warning - some art NSFW - the 'him' and 'his' links)
Researchers from the University of Chicago and MIT (PDF file)
have analyzed data obtained from an unnamed major online dating service to try to uncover how the online dating market works. Shockingly, they have discovered both sexes care strongly about physical appearance and a woman's choice depends on the income and education of the men. Recent NY Times
article about same. Paper authors other papers here
The Sakai Project,
an open-source course-management software program for educational institutions is being publicly released today
. Backed by the University of Michigan, Indiana University at Bloomington, MIT, and Stanford, Sakai hopes to free Universities from commercial products, which have reportedly become increasingly expensive. Here's a nice little write-up
from the Chronicle of Higher Ed.
Bad Writing = Good Writing?
The academic journal Philosophy and Literature used to hold a "Bad Writing Contest" to ridicule dense, unreadable academic prose... but a new book argues headache inducing sentences are necessary to express subtle theoretical points.
SmallPox 2002 - Silent Weapon...
It is April 2002, and a smallpox outbreak occures in New York. 4 and a half months later and 60 million people across the planet are dead.
Tonight, The BBC broadcast a fictional documentary
as if it were filmed in 2005, looking back at the smallpox pandemic that swept the world in 2002 and killed 60 million people.
Heavily rooted in fact, it was disturbing viewing, to put it mildly. Did anyone else in Europe see this?