Category Archives: the culture wars

August 6, 2014, 1:59 pm

Breaking News: BDS Intellectual is #HireFired for Social Media Crimes

housewife FBThis just in from Inside Higher Ed: a new chapter in the ongoing saga of BDS in American higher education begins with the #HireFire of a scholar who, like thousands of other people, used Twitter as his platform during the recent, bloody and undeclared war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

A major intellectual in the BDS movement, Steven G. Salaita (who is still listed as an associate professor in the English Department at Virginia Tech) appears to have had a job in the American Indian Studies program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Chanpagne rescinded because of his tweets about Gaza. Although I hope this is not the case, it appears that Salaita may be completely unemployed. Because of tweets.

Scott Jaschik writes that confirmation of a newly hired scholar’s appointment by the board of trustees is usually a formality:

The appointment was made public, and Salaita resigned…

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June 3, 2012, 11:25 am

Pop Go The Weasels: Extreme Journalism and the Sugar Wars

Just eat the sugar cubes and see how that feels. Photo credit: Reuters

“Just how far would a government go to protect us from ourselves?” asks Adam Geller of the HuffPo (June 1 2012).

If you are thinking, say, the death penalty for gays and lesbians (Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — all US allies and key oil producing nations – have such laws on the books) you are wrong. The government could use its limitless power to keep us from drinking 64 ounces of soda in one big gulp, rather than 16 ounces at a time so that we could check in with ourselves, between drinks, to see if we are still hungry.

As Barry Goldwater once said, as he was pounding a Sprite, Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.

Citing the Bloomberg administration’s successful bans on smoking in public parks …

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October 30, 2009, 3:02 pm

How To Do Your Job: Stanley Fish, Save The World On Your Own Time

Save The World On Your Own Time (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008). Hardcover, $19.95.

Stanley Fish is a crank. An erudite crank, an influential crank, but a crank all the same. Which may be why I was inclined to like Save The World On Your Own Time, because although we are a different kind of crank, I occasionally found myself laughing and — even when in strong disagreement — refreshed to read someone who simultaneously cares deeply about the future of the academy and is willing to challenge us to re-think our key assumptions about our work. Even though I am not as well paid, or as accomplished, as Stanley Fish, I like to think that this blog plays a similar role and that I write in a similarly constructive spirit. Finally, I like him for being married to Jane Tompkins, who once wrote an engaging and truly wacky book about teaching, and I imagine that they must have a real…

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