Category Archives: guest blogging

February 26, 2013, 10:14 am

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Crowdfunding

kickstartingToday’s guest blogger, Dan Royles is a doctoral candidate in history at Temple University. He is currently a dissertation fellow at the Center for Historical Research at the Ohio State University. Update: Due to your generosity, Dan raised almost a thousand dollars more than his goal by the deadline.

For almost a month, I’ve been using Kickstarter to raise money for my oral history project on African American AIDS activism. I’m a doctoral student in history writing a dissertation on the same topic, and as with many projects on the recent past, archival sources are relatively thin. But fortunately, although the HIV epidemic in black communities has claimed many of the very people who fought to stop it over the past thirty years, others are still around and eager to share their stories, so doing oral histories makes a lot of sense. I wanted to undertake a full-fledged oral…

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February 10, 2013, 1:36 pm

“My Friend, I Disagree.”

Shortly after yesterday’s post went up I heard from an old friend and colleague, Dr. David Shorter, who disagreed with my views about Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, and wanted an opportunity to respond to them in this forum. I immediately agreed.  Shorter is a professor of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at the University of California Los Angeles. His first book, We Will Dance Our Truth: Yaqui History in Yoeme Performances (University of Nebraska Press, 2010), unpacks the biases associated with writing in educational and legal considerations of Indigenous rights. Shorter’s digital projects, his work with indigenous language revitalization, and his other research areas are described on his website.

Recently, my friend and previous colleague, the Tenured Radical herself, penned a blog posting about the matter of BDS and Brooklyn College’s defense of academic freedom. As usual, her …

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February 7, 2013, 9:15 am

How The Lie Was Told

The first illustration of Pinocchio, by Enrico Mazzanti. Photo credit.

Today’s guest blogger is Michael Pettit, associate professor of Psychology and Science and Technology Studies at York University in Toronto. He recently published The Science of Deception: Psychology and Commerce in America. He is currently completing the research on another project tentatively entitled The Sex Lives of Animals in the Age of Kinsey.

Lies loom large over the historian’s craft. Historians devote considerable time to parsing the tensions among words, intentions, and behaviours. Reconstructing the inner lives of those who lived in the past is a notoriously difficult task. It is doubly so when you know your informants are deliberately leading you astray. And yet deception hasn’t really figured as a category of historical…

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May 23, 2012, 4:38 pm

BDSM and Feminism: Notes on an Impasse

Today’s guest blogger is Margot D. Weiss, Assistant Professor of American Studies and Anthropology, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT. She is the author of 2012 Lambda Award finalist Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality (Duke, 2011.)

Last month, Newsweek published a cover story by Katie Roiphe with the headline “The Fantasy Life of Working Women: Why Surrender is a Feminist Dream.” The story purports to account for the run-away success of domination/submission narratives, taking E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey as a case in point. James’s book – the first in a trilogy of erotic novels – is Twilight fan fiction turned New York Times bestseller with movie rights. Banned in several public libraries, it’s a tale of the “dark desires” sparked by the romance between college student Anastasia Steele and businessman Christian Grey. The book is a…

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April 13, 2012, 4:26 pm

What Kind of Times are These?

Anonymous, Adrienne Rich (c. 1975), courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-103575

Today’s guest blogger, Jennifer Finney Boylan, is professor of English at Colby College. She is the author of 13 books, including Stuck in the Middle With You: Parenthood in Three Genders, which will be published by Random House/Crown in 2013, along with the revised 10th-year anniversary edition of her memoir, She’s Not There. Boylan’s blog, There from Here is at, and she may be reached at


Last week, as prelude to an evening of poetry, my colleague Peter Harris– a writer and a professor here at Colby College–gave a short reading from Adrienne Rich’s “What Kind of Times Are These.” “She burned through the fog that I lived in like an acetylene torch,” he…

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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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September 26, 2009, 2:48 pm

Our Person In Tegucigalpa: Zelaya Returns to Tegucigalpa, Honduran Police Violence Escalates

As the Obama administration clicks its worry beads over Iraq, Afghanistan, and the potential for a nuclear Iran, threats to democracy in our own hemisphere fight for attention as they often do. I call your attention to the fact that political violence in Honduras has escalated this week. Crowds gathering peacefully to demand that the President they elected be restored to office are being assaulted; some protesters have been killed, and many others have been arrested. The photo at left, taken in Tegucigalpa this week, is of a police surveillance helicopter. With new elections coming up in late November of this year, the stakes for democracy in Honduras are very high.

Many of you may recall that Manuel Zelaya was arrested by the military last summer, flown out of Honduras in his pajamas, and dumped like a bag of laundry. Roberto Michiletti, the choice of the country’s oligarchy,…

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February 22, 2009, 5:28 pm

In (Policy) Defense of the Humanities

by Jarrod Hayes

A month ago, Stanley Fish wrote in his New York Times blog about the rise of the corporate university and the dark future for the Humanities. Last week, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that the legislators in the State of Georgia object to funding faculty research ‘deemed unnecessary.’ This trend is disturbing and damaging, not only to the finest university system in the world, but also to the ability of universities to contribute to society in a meaningful way.

The Humanities and the varieties of research areas that arise out of these traditions are valuable in their own right, utilitarian concerns aside. Would we be better off today without the work of philosophers Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant or Bertrand Russell? This point is not my central concern here however. What Fish laments, and the comments of the Georgia legislators imply, is that there …

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