January 25, 2015, 12:00 pm

On Gay Marriage and the Trouble With Queer

25samesex-01-master675

From left, Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, same sex marriage litigants. Paul Sancya/Associated Press

There are plenty of righteous political arguments against LGBT people organizing their lives around marriage and family formation. I say this as someone who was relieved to learn I was a lesbian, even though coming out was tough, because the last thing I wanted was to marry and parent children. I wanted work, and I wanted freedom, and being a person who was legally barred from both parenthood and marriage was a huge relief. I also took it too far, and made myself obnoxious to others. People who knew me when I was young may remember that I could be downright nasty towards the special insights, pleasures and benefits that many of my feminist mentors associated with mothering (whatever afterlife you are in, Sara Ruddick

Read More

January 21, 2015, 12:00 pm

How Tenured Radical Thinks The GOP Will Respond To Obama’s Plan For Free Community College

grumpy_no

January 17, 2015, 1:07 pm

The Mysteries of Facebook: Part II

Anonymous-Mask-01Last night I broke my only New Year’s Resolution: don’t argue, or provoke others to argument, on social media. What I am talking about is what I call “the cycle.” This is a mental feedback loop of incessant open-ended arguing, often with insults and others jumping in and repeating arguments already made.This is accompanied by obsessive checking of Facebook (or Twitter) to see what the latest insult to my personal integrity is. It’s one of several things about Facebook that make me feel bad, just bad. It is also a humungous time waster.

The worst thing is that, when it happens, it is usually entirely my own fault.

Here’s what happens: scrolling through my feed, someone I do not know posts a comment or status update that has elements  that are bound to annoy me. These might include:  a statement that poses as radical, but actually just repeats a well-known political critique; an…

Read More

January 13, 2015, 2:25 pm

The Mysteries of Facebook: Part I

Mark-Zuckerberg_5

You win, Mark Zuckerberg!

During the orientation for a meditation class I signed up to take this winter, the instructor notified us that we would need to make between 40 and 60 minutes a day available for our practice. “You need to figure out where you are going to find that time,” he said, calmly but firmly.

The first thought that popped into my head was: Facebook. Duh.

I spend a lot less time on Facebook now than I have in the past. Sometime last year I removed the Facebook app from my iPhone (by chance, I learned yesterday while listening to NPR that this might have already boosted my creativity by allowing me to be bored while waiting in line at Murray’s Bagels.) I consciously turn Facebook off when I am writing, so that my concentration is not interrupted by unnecessary multitasking. I decided that…

Read More

January 5, 2015, 12:47 pm

The Rules Were Not Suspended: What Happened at the AHA Business Meeting

grumpy_noYesterday afternoon the members of the American Historical Association (AHA) present at the business meeting were asked to take up several resolutions proposed by Historians Against the War (HAW). These resolutions proposed that the AHA condemn the state of Israel for alleged violations of academic freedom against both US and Palestinian scholars; and for attacks on research centers in Gaza last summer. You can read the resolutions here; you can read accounts of the meeting at History News Networkin my Twitter feed (I was sitting right behind Rick Shenkman, so I guess we were the press section) and in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The business meeting had been preceded by a session organized by the Mid-Atlantic Radical Historians Organization (MARHO). It too was organized late and was not on the program, although it was well publicized in the weeks leading up to the annual…

Read More

January 3, 2015, 4:30 pm

Being a Public Intellectual: Historians and the Public

These are my prepared remarks from session 130, #AHA2015.monopoly-man-231x300

Tenured Radical was launched on October 18, 2006, in New Haven Connecticut. In a little more than seven years I have written 1,794 posts on topics as various as the humanities job market, national politics, sexual assault, books, writing, and the BDS movement. Although I began writing under a pseudonym, that only lasted for a few months, since I was quickly outed by my students. That turned out to be a good thing, however: not only has blogging brought me a great many opportunities in the old and new media worlds, it also became a place where I have been able to articulate my ideas and observations about higher education from the perspective of someone who has been in school, in some fashion, for over half a century now.

In the summer of 2010, I received a call from The Chronicle of Higher Education, asking me if I would…

Read More

December 31, 2014, 1:57 pm

Going Gay at the AHA

images

Cary Grant models inappropriate convention wear for your edification.

Following up on yesterday’s suggestions for out-of-towners, we asked Flirtatious Freddie, our tenured ace reporter, where queer historians might want to make new friends or dance with old ones. We got this reply:

“The hottest club that seems to make NYC feel like NYC is Viva but the cover is $30–Saturday night,” Freddie tells us. Tenured Radical researchers looked it up and saw that “shirtlessness is encouraged but not required.” Use your judgement, full professors! “There is no cover but plenty of dancing at Industry in Hells Kitchen, only a few blocks from the Hilton,” Freddie continues, “while Atlas Social Club, also quite near, is good early — between 11pm and 1:30am most weekend nights. In general, there are a dozen bars in Hells…

Read More

December 30, 2014, 11:23 am

Make Your Way Through AHA

MV5BMTU3MTQyOTU3NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDYyMzkxMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR4,0,214,317_AL_The Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association is a home game for Tenured Radical, so expect lots of juicy posts. Our reporting capacity here at the CHE and on Twitter @TenuredRadical will be enhanced by the free Wifi available at the conference.  How things have changed in only a few years! It used to be we had to have cell phone tethering, and good forbid that ones attended a session in a room with a steel support beam.

Other improvements this year include a really good conference app that allows you to build a schedule and (wait for it) tells you where the sessions are with pin drops! For some reason the app is not showing up on an iTunes search, but you can download it from iTunes here.

You will note an enhanced police presence near the Hilton, which means you should not even think of jaywalking, particularly since one part of the campaign against traffic deaths …

Read More

December 26, 2014, 2:46 pm

Ho-Ho-Ho: Giving It Away

flat,550x550,075,f.u1Every year, we at Tenured Radical give away money. Why? So the government can’t have it to build bombs and subsidize the sugar industry, of course! If you are itching to do good, here are some causes that caught our eye this year.

Planned Parenthood. This is an annual donation to which longtime readers of this blog are accustomed. Women’s health is vulnerable to federal budget cutting for the next two years in a way it hasn’t been for a long time, and a gift given before December 31st will be matched, up to $1 million. Did you know that Planned Parenthood dedicates itself to men’s sexual health as well — and is one of the leading health care providers for Latino men nationwide?

OutHistory.org. As a volunteer co-director for OutHistory.org with Jonathan Ned Katz (our founder) and John D’Emilio, I give my time. However, because we are free and take no advertising, we need money to…

Read More

December 22, 2014, 4:23 pm

Ask the Radical; Or, Tweet Me Nice

santalumpcoalWe used to have a feature here at Tenured Radical called “Ask the Radical.” I don’t know what happened to it. It may have disappeared when we had staff cutbacks several years ago, eliminated tenure-track blogging, and began relying on hourly bloggers that we hired in university cafeterias. For those of you who are not long term fans, this feature is sometimes drawn from questions people have actually asked me, but it also includes questions that I think people should have asked me. So without further ado, we return to this feature with a direct question asked by a real live reader.

Dear Tenured Radical: Why did you block me on Twitter? Signed, Hot Fingers Houlihan.

Dear Hot Fingers,

Your entire tweet, and I quote, read: “You are a total moron! Shame on you.” In Tweeting this, and tagging me up, you broke several of the new rules established at Tenured Radical in recent weeks….

Read More