Author Archives: Claire Potter

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 …

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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…

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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….

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December 12, 2014, 9:42 am

Noel Jackson’s Loony Bin Trip

Massachusetts Institute of Technology lit prof Noel Jackson is claiming that his employers hospitalized him involuntarily after he posted a series of enraged tweets about police violence against black men. He has also called out #DH colleagues at the University of Maryland for failing to bring digital humanists to the barricades. Jackson’s tweets include a charming picture of himself (apparently posing as a hip-hop artist), in which he gives MIT the finger. Check out this story by Nina Strochlic in The Daily BeastCheck out Jackson’s Twitter feed here.

So what’s my problem with the story? Strochlic’s only real source is Jackson’s Twitter feed.

In a tweet sent yesterday, Jackson states:

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 8.24.24 AM In case you are wondering who “bitch tricks” is, Jackson is referring to his employer: he uses this phrase regularly to refer to MIT. When challenged by a female graduate student on Twitter a…

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December 11, 2014, 10:07 am

And The Dead (Fields of History) Shall Rise Up

jefferson-davis-in-a-dress-1865-caricatureFollowing on the public hissies being thrown about the demise of The New Republic, there is apparently another cause for concern about the death of intellectual life as we know it: the history of the Civil War is being miserably neglected.

This will surprise many people. Am I the only one who remembers that some years back the Journal of American History announced that it was no longer accepting everything written about the Civil War for review? This was not because of an unreasoning prejudice against these books, but because they were completely awash in them and there were many other fields that needed the space.

Fact: military histories of the Civil War are staples for some university presses. They are not being published because they are exactly interesting, but because there is a solid and dependable market for Civil War and local history. There are enthusiasts out there who…

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December 10, 2014, 9:37 am

Gifts From the Childless

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Lots of pieces are critical to the successful present.

It’s that time of year — lots of gifts to buy and no time to buy them. Our buddies over at ProfHacker have some terrific ideas. Alternatively, if you are planning on shopping Amazon, you can go over to the Althouse blog and support a small-business killing megacorporation and a libertarian law professor at the same time.

But in this post I want to address my particular expertise during the holiday season: I am the childless person who buys presents for other people’s kids. If you are childless, and you like the children in your family, you must buy them presents. The parents, not so much! A fruit basket will do for them.  But the key way to be remembered by children who you do not see as much of as you would like (which is, like, all of them in case any …

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December 7, 2014, 11:13 am

Is The New Republic Dead? Who Cares?

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What do you mean A DIGITAL MEDIA COMPANY????

I won’t even begin to try to recapture the traffic on Facebook about the recent implosion of The New Republic (mostly because I don’t have time to ask my friends if I can quote them) but several things surprised me about this event.

First, many people who have resigned from TNR in the past week are friends of mine. Second, they were all men, and all white. Yes, this honkin’ radical lesbian has a lot of #whitemalefriends, and some of them wrote for TNR. Surprise!  None of my friends who resigned from this 100-year-old publication were gay, people of color or women: they never wrote for, or worked at, TNR in the first place.

I was unaware of all these things since I haven’t had a subscription to TNR since college (and yes, contra one of my friends, I do…

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November 29, 2014, 12:30 pm

Study says Humanities Ph.D. Candidates Should Drink More Coffee

Drink-Coffee

Ok, I lied. But you clicked on it, didn’t you?

Today we focus on yet another study, this one by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The AAAS injects new life into a tired conversation (one that has been going on intermittently for about five decades) about whether humanities Ph.D.s spend too much time in graduate school. What are they doing there? Should they do less of it? More? Should they do the same things — only faster? No one seems to know much, except that the median time to degree is 6.9 years.

As Colleen Flaherty of Inside Higher Ed noted last week, in a follow up to the MLA’s 2014 report that recommended a five-year Ph.D. clock “with wiggle room” (perhaps two years of wiggling?), AAAS is suggesting that humanities graduate students might benefit more generally from a shorter time to degree.

Among the key findings is that the median time is longer in the…

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November 28, 2014, 12:35 pm

Edu-blogging After the Ferguson Grand Jury Verdict

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Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, who never allowed her son to be forgotten.

If you are a writer for an education weekly, what exactly is supposed to happen in the aftermath of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, MO? The decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson, reached just before Thanksgiving, has swept through the academic Facebook and the blogosphere, making everything else seem irrelevant. Here are a few random questions and thoughts.

What should we teach next week? In an ideal world, we would all agree to take a day off for a teach-in on race in Amerika — like maybe once a week. Barring that outcome, many faculty may be puzzling about how to go back into the classroom after break. Will students expect, hope for, or dread, a special class devoted to Ferguson? I suspect it depends where you are…

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November 20, 2014, 8:12 am

Harvard Housekeepers Strike, Rally

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If you remember this one, you are as old as me.

Citing “pain and sometimes life-altering injuries” acquired while working at the Harvard-owned Doubletree in Allston, housekeepers went out on strike this morning at 5:30 a.m.

What do they want? They want to join a union, something they originally approached Harvard about in 2013.

The workers, who claim they are the first housekeepers in Boston history to go out on strike, are assembling at 9:30 and 5:00 at Harvard’s Science Center Plaza, supported by students and clerical workers.

As an aside, one wonders what Harvard is doing owning a hotel in the first place. Small colleges often build, or partner with hotel chains, to maintain a hotel (Williams and Wesleyan come to mind) because otherwise there might literally be nowhere for visitors to stay, much less a…

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