Category Archives: blogging

April 29, 2009, 10:38 pm

Rainy Day Academics #12 & 35

Well, they’ll stone ya when you’re trying to be so good,
They’ll stone ya just a-like they said they would.
They’ll stone ya when you’re tryin’ to go home.
Then they’ll stone ya when you’re there all alone.

Today’s meditation follows along the lines of the above career advice, given by Bob Dylan to a young academic who happened, at the time, to be wearing a leopard-skin pillbox hat.

As for me, after generic academic rainy day moments, instead of getting stoned –er, I mean being passive-aggressive (though, `tis the academic way) — I have learned to try to tolerate the discomfort attendant to actually confronting abusive people. Until the Unfortunate Events, I had almost never taken this approach to inappropriate, hostile or aggressive behavior on the part of colleagues. In fact, it was part of my recovery from this (now blessedly long ago) period in my life to learn to screen out other…

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March 2, 2009, 2:02 pm

Happy Women’s History Month! A Celebration, A Challenge and a Call

Of course, every month is women’s history month if you are the Tenured Radical. And, if you are the intersectionally-inclined person that I am, Black History Month isn’t over at the end of February either (although I’m sure organizers everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief that it is, particularly at Zenith, where a group of students organized a great calendar of events this year.)

To celebrate, a few of us in the feminist history blogosphere have been drawn into a great project initiated by Ann Little, over at Historiann. Four feminist history bloggers are responding to Judith Bennett’s book History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.) One of us will write every Monday for the entire month of March and, in round table style, drop in and out of each other’s blogs to comment. The first post, Should politics be …

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December 17, 2008, 3:20 pm

So You Want To Be A Blogger: A Few Thoughts On What A Blog Is Not

Are you a lurker? Are you someone who has an RSS feed, or some such mechanism, that delivers posts from your favorite blogs every day? Are you someone who thinks, “Gee, if that clueless Radical can find an audience for her inchoate ramblings, I could really be a star?

Well baby, if you are thinking of starting your own blog, this post is for you.

At some future date I might hazard a meditation on what a blog is, but one of the interesting and appealing things about blogging right now is that it seems to be a genre that defies categorization and has many uses: journaling, dissemination of news, political organizing, advocacy, or the creation of an audience for a wonderful new book by a well-established author. My guess is that as genres develop definition within blogging, and other utilities like Facebook and Twitter carve out niches in the “I need to be in touch constantly” market,…

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November 16, 2008, 11:02 am

Oh, Canada! The Radical Overcomes

So for the last few days I have been in a Far Northern City at a Legal History Conference. I was invited there to be on a panel organized by Princeton History department newbie Margot Canaday (whose book, by the way, is coming out in the spring — keep your eyes peeled.) It was a great panel, and since I had never been to a meeting of this particular society before, actually a Different Experience (always nice to know you can have one, after almost 25 years of being an academic, isn’t it?) Lots of the people attending were legal scholars, some were historians of the law, and others (like me) were kibitzers who stomp all over the field while we write a book that is sort of about the law. I spent time with two dear friends who I hadn’t expected to see; a third, also a kibitzing historian, ran up to me at registration on Friday, and said: “Thank God I know someone here!” Folks in the…

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October 28, 2008, 4:42 pm

A Manifesto For Trolls: the Radical Announces A Policy Decision In Advance Of the Election

Does anybody ever think that their trolls are all the same person, taking on different personalities? Recently, I asked this guy to stop posting endless quibbles on my blog, and he had a little hissy fit. He claims he will never visit me again. I sort of doubt this — he will visit me in one form or another, because he seems to have made it his life’s mission to harass me. This is why I suspect he is someone else, who I actually know: I think he has a lot of online personae, including a female one, and he thinks he is just too clever to be caught.

Why did I ask him to stop? Because there is nothing — absolutely nothing — I can write about without him (and I assume it is a him, but who knows? People change gender on the internet like snakes change skins) arguing with me. Currently, he is a pipeline for a lot of anti-Obama claptrap; he also has a Horowitzean tendency to go on an…

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September 6, 2008, 4:05 pm

Holy Hidden Historians, Batman!

Are you, or are you not, dying to know who this is?

Your Radical is somewhat late to the party, but honored nonetheless, since I became aware of this blog after having been “friended” (not to be confused with the more familiar “befriended”) by the pseudonymous blogger, Ambrose Hofstadter Bierce III, on Facebook. Of course, I accepted the proffer of friendship. Who wouldn’t?

But here is the question that many of us are asking. Do I know Mr. Bierce? Not sure. American history is a small, small world. Evidence suggests that either we have friends in common, or he is (purely by accident) phishing for Facebook friends among people I know.

Or he was hoping for a plug on Tenured Radical. Well, you got it, baby.

Your game is a dangerous one, Mr. Bierce, even though initial reports suggest that you are adding spice to our otherwise dull little lives. Let me know if Princeton is…

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August 8, 2008, 1:45 pm

Internet Kudo of The Week: Canada Speaks

Knock me out with a wooden spoon, but a quick check to the sitemeter this morning elicited the information that your favorite Radical has been noted on a list of Top Academic Blogs by, a Canadian on-line magazine that describes itself as “Canada’s site celebrating women over 40.” The Radical is joined in the top three by two of her own favorite bloggers, Margaret Soltan of University Diaries; and her second favorite dean, Dean Dad, at Confessions of a Community College Dean(as regular readers know, my favorite dean is my very own dean.) But this is excellent company indeed, particularly for a historian, whose lack of talent for punctuation is a continual shame to her, and makes her reluctant to even send email to members of English departments, much less be put in the same category as Margaret Soltan’s alter-blogging-ego, the Scathing Online Schoolmarm.

This is particularly…

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October 14, 2007, 1:52 pm

Random Notes on Things Past and Present, Written While the Radical Rests

Don’t neglect the post below, which contains everything you need to know about the sexiest convention but the MLA (although at ASA you can actually understand what the panelists are saying most of the time, which is a plus). But since I am on fall break, a puzzling, but welcome innovation in American Higher Education, I do have time to jot down a few little things sooner rather than later.

First of all, I have added some new links: take note. One is Margaret Soltan’s University Diaries, and what has taken me so long to add this one, I don’t know, except that I am lazy about tending the links column. I think of Soltan as the Maureen Dowd of the blogosphere, except that Maureen Dowd is kind of a wrecking ball of a writer, and Soltan isn’t. For the life of me, I can’t figure out her politics, but she’s pretty fabulous, so who gives a damn?

Then there is the just-discovered Scattered and …

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June 14, 2007, 1:59 pm

Letter To An Anonymous Blogger

I just posted this as a comment on Tim Lacy’s History and Education: Past and Present, and realized that, although it is part of an ongoing discussion Tim has been trying to spark about anonymous blogging, the post I attached it to was old enough that it might get a little lost. This is my own reflection on anonymity, and on having come out as a blogger. I have edited it a bit more because I am a compulsive re-writer; I have also not included a link to the blog under discussion so that no one is confused that it is a critique of that blogger. It isn’t: this is a smart blog by a graduate student, with great posts, and you can find it over at Tim’s place.

Dear Tim,

Thanks for sending AnonymousBlogger to my post about relinquishing my anonymity — I do think anonymity raises ethical and practical issues that everyone at all ranks of the profession ought to think about on an ongoing…

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May 23, 2007, 2:04 pm

A Few Little Things, All Important, But None Important Enough for A Post of Their Own

What I had really decided to do today was work on a little talk I am supposed to give on Saturday about teaching Queer Studies for Zenith alums and parents of graduating seniors. In order that this not go into the category labeled No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, I determined a while back to use this presentation as an opportunity to write a short, pleasant article about building queer studies as a concentration in American Studies at a liberal arts institution that is unlikely to dedicate more than a line or so to any interdisciplinary field. Such fields rely on people trained in something else entirely switching over and becoming, shall we say, Transscholarly.

I don’t emphasize Zenith’s limited resources to be churlish: it is simply a Fact, and a Fact to be Dealt With as creatively and cheerfully as possible lest there be research I am unaware of concluding that griping is a major cause…

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