Category Archives: Ch-ch-ch-changes

May 31, 2012, 10:20 pm

DOMA Heads To The Supreme Court, Threatening End to Civilization As We Know It (Thank The Goddess)

Today's poster boy for straight marriage, John Edwards (Photo Credit: Reuters)

As longtime readers of the Radical know, gay marriage has never been our top political priority.  Nor do we have fantasies about getting gay married. Although we are all for civil rights wherever we find them, we are more focused on policy objectives like health care, quality education for all, and full employment. However, I don’t sniff at the way structural discrimination has been partially lifted for my people under the Obama administration. For example, we are now no longer drummed out of the military through McCarthyite investigative tactics. In addition, Barack’s “evolution” on gay marriage — obscuring (or retracting) the support he voiced for it back in the 1990s, temporizing about it as a presidential candidate and as…

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May 2, 2012, 11:28 am

Meet the Radical: Book Event for Doing Recent History

You are are are want to buy this book.....

Thursday, May 3, 2012, 6:00 p.m.
The New School, 66 West 12th Street, room 510, NYC

Come one, come all, to meet Tenured Radical, with history friends David Rosner (Columbia), David Greenberg (Rutgers), and Gail Drakes (NYU) at the New School for Public Engagement tomorrow evening.  Got a recent history manuscript you are shilling? Unfortunately, my co-editor Renee Romano will not be there, however Derek Krissoff, our editor from the University of Georgia Press, will be in the house.

And if you haven’t got your copy of the book yet, it will be for sale on site.  Description below the jump: (more…)

March 21, 2012, 3:13 pm

In Which Tenured Radical Ponders The Twists of Fate That Can Mean Everything To An Untogether Student

Photo Credit.

When I was an undergraduate at Oligarch University I, and I suspect many of my peers, had three desires that were utterly in conflict: to be invisible, to be free and to be special.

Against the advice of my mother, who wanted me to go to a liberal arts college where faculty would pay attention to me, I wanted to attend a school that was so big that no adult could exert any authority over me whatsoever.

I got my wish.

Soon I discovered that a major research university where undergraduates were expected to be autonomous had possibilities I had never imagined. Not go to class? Who knew if there were 500 people in the room? Sit in the back of a dark lecture hall as one Great Masterwork after another flashed up on the screen and take a little snooze?  Why the heck not?  Turn in all th…

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February 6, 2012, 2:11 pm

From Little College to Big Grad School: Reflections From a Graduate Student

By Herlin Hathaway

Today’s guest blogger is Herlin Hathaway, a pseudonymous graduate student and future tenured radical.  I asked Herlin, who is in his first year of coursework, to reflect on his trajectory from a small liberal arts college and to a Ph.D. program at a top North American research university.


Heavy on the scholar, light on the activist

Little College students have a reputation for being politically aware and active. While this is not actually the case for the majority of the student body, it is also not difficult to become politicized through coursework and by joining a student organization. This is exactly what happened to me when I began studying the history of the U.S. prison system, volunteering at Little College’s Center for Prison Education and discussing race and class discrimination with older students. By the time I was a 3rd year I was in…

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January 20, 2012, 6:40 pm

When In Transition, You Can Use the Washing Machine as an Extra Closet

Changing jobs has reminded me that there are lots of things I am not good at.  I am obviously a good enough scholar to get another job, which is nice. I am also a good ordinary housekeeper: I cook (well); I do laundry (frequently); I cut the grass just often enough that we don’t have to make haystacks out of it afterwards; I would rather make the bed than not (and view a well-made bed as the key to an orderly frame of mind); I dash out to shovel snow before someone falls and sues the bejesus out of us; I manage to take (my) car in for regular maintenance; I get my teeth cleaned twice a year; and I occasionally whirl through my study and to put it into spic and span order after I complete the writing projects that cause it turn into a Salvation Army bargain bin. (more…)

December 1, 2011, 10:52 pm

Going Postal: A Few Random Thoughts At The End of Term

I was at the Zenith post office today, mailing a large box of books to a former advisee now in his first year of graduate school.  As usual, I had to wait in line.  Students, who have little access to ordinary household supplies, have a tendency to purchase a box at the post office for whatever they are sending and then pack the box right at the counter.  This means that when a personal appearance at the PO is called for, and you don’t feel like driving downtown, it is usually a good idea to bring something to read:  each customer ahead of you can take a while to finish up.  When I got to the front of the line, the Mistress of Post rang up my shipment at the Media Mail rate, and I held out my debit card. (more…)

November 13, 2011, 4:55 pm

On the Nature of Change in Higher Ed (Part II): Education and the New Economy

We return to guest blogger, historian and former Zenith provost Judith C. Brown.  Her full biography and Part I of this series can be viewed here.  Brown ended the first section of her essay by reflecting: “in the early 19th century, it was in the relative ‘backwater’ of the German universities as well as in the newer universities of Europe, where imagination and flexibility with regard to change were able to flourish, that we see the beginnings of the modern research university.”  She then asked: “Are we in that kind of turning point in American higher education?”  The answer is yes.

American higher education is at a major turning point. We are in the midst of enormous social, political, economic, and technological changes that are part of big long-term shifts in the economic and political position of the U.S. in the world, shifts that began several decades ago. While the U.S….

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November 9, 2011, 10:09 am

On the Nature of Change in Higher Ed (Part I): A Guest Post By Judith C. Brown

Lecturing in a Medieval University by Laurentius De Voltolina (14th Century). Courtesy of

Today’s guest blogger is Judith C. Brown, who has been a professor of history at Stanford, Rice, and Wesleyan universities. At Rice she also served as Dean of the School of Humanities and at Wesleyan as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. As a professor emerita at Wesleyan she continues to work on issues of higher education and of history.

Prompted by contemporary debates about the worth of a college education in today’s labor market, she decided to publish her reflections on  the state of higher ed following Paul Krugman’s column “Inequality Trends in One Picture,” (New York Times, November 3 2011).  Her essay will appear in Tenured Radical in three parts.


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October 29, 2011, 9:47 am

What Movement History Do We Mobilize? In Which Michael Zweig Begins The Conversation and Tenured Radical Continues It

Illustration/Design Fran Luck; Special Collections, Duke University Library

SUNY-Stonybrook economist Michael Zweig has a great piece up at the HuffPo (October 28 2011), linking the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement to a longer history of radical youth protest. “In challenging the 1%,” Zweig writes,

“OWS has taken the moral high ground at a time when our country seems to have lost its moral compass. The growing movement holds corporate elites and their political representatives responsible for the moral failings exposed by the great and growing inequalities between the 1% and the 99%, and the widespread suffering of mass unemployment and home foreclosures in the midst of highly concentrated personal wealth and political power. OWS challenges the deep immorality and total unacceptability of the economic a…

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September 17, 2011, 1:46 pm

The Problem That Has No Name: Or, If Computers Are A Labor Saving Device, Why Am I Working A Double Shift?

"Danger, Will Robinson!"

This is the first in a series of posts that addresses labor conditions in the academy, and the potential problems attendant to replacing people with machines.

In case you have wondered where Tenured Radical has been in the past week, we have been getting our classes up and running.  One of the things we have been thinking about, as we worked 14 hour days (probably a modest 6-8 on the weekends) during the first two weeks of school, is that we do not even work close to a 40-hour week during the term.

Do the math: at minimum, I would say that we are currently clocking a 90 hour week, which leaves us no time for blogging, reading, going over the copy edits for the new collection, going to the gym, or cooking those gourmet dinners that some of our friends like to post…

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