hell is other people (on screens)

There's a NY Times article by Nellie Bowles doing the rounds with the titular observation that "Human Contact is Now a Luxury Good." It focuses on both old and young: the senior citizen with a virtual pet companion; the kids taught by apps on tablets and laptops. And it notes that the wealthy eschew screens... Continue Reading →

Becoming b-roll #4C19

Here's the text and videos used in my presentation in case you weren't inclined to drag yourself over here at 8am. Rhetoric and composition has been talking about video for decades—as a teaching tool, an object of study, and a medium of scholarly and student composing. More than 15 years ago, Dan Anderson was discussing... Continue Reading →

the “robot-ready” humanities

So I'm in the midst again of another well-intentioned effort to communicate the value of liberal arts (specifically English) majors and was introduced to this report, "Robot Ready: Human+Skills for the Future of Work," by the Strada Institute for the Future of Work and ESMI, which is a firm involved in economic modeling. I want... Continue Reading →

hold me closer tiny rhetorician

After all, who can resist an Elton John reference? Well, I'm in the midst of book revisions (and there was much rejoicing). I'm thinking back--and perhaps modifying--a notion I had a few years ago: minimal rhetoric. I'm thinking "tiny" rather than "minimal." Maybe both. My attraction to "tiny" is from the line in A Thousand Plateaus that has stuck... Continue Reading →

the broken fun of the humanities

The moral of this story is probably that some Chronicle of Higher Ed clickbait articles are too absurd to pass by, in this case, Timothy Aubry's "Should Studying Literature be Fun?" I find this to be such a bizarre question and ultimately I'm unsure what it has to do with the concerns of the article itself.... Continue Reading →

the challenges of reading Latour

A couple of Latour-related articles have been going around lately, particularly this article in the NY Times and more recently this critical piece by Alex Galloway at least partly occasioned by the Times article. Galloway's rejection of Latour (and Deleuzian, new materialism in general, if one reads other works of his) comes down to the infelicity of this... Continue Reading →

why we can’t have nice things

It's that old saying but one that might cut in two directions. Yes, "we" can't have nice things because "you" are always ruining them with your irresponsible behavior, lack of class, etc. But possibly we also can't have nice things because we're always getting crap shoved in front of us. Or both. Facebook is case... Continue Reading →

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