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Current Affairs Higher Education

collapse porn: MLA edition

So two articles, one from MLA’s Profession helpfully titled “The Sky is Falling” and another in The Atlantic that suggests “Here’s How Higher Education Dies,” perhaps from some kind of sky impact. Put together one might wonder if the MLA and its disciplines might manage to hold on long enough to die with the rest of higher education. This […]

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Higher Education Teaching

Blackboard and the arse end of the internet

There’s no doubt there is no dearth of cesspools on the web, and I wouldn’t want to get into a debate about which is the worst. But Blackboard is it’s own special circle of internet hell. As I’ve mentioned a few times here, after ending my stint as WPA, I’m back to teaching a regular […]

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Higher Education realist rhetoric Uncategorized

the late age of late ages

 It’s undeniably a quizzical situation. For the middle-aged rhetorician it’s the comically late age of the humanities/English Studies and the tragically late age of humans (cf. climate change) in the midst of a still spry rhetorical universe that will go on without us. I can only imagine a generation of mid-century factory workers punching clocks […]

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Higher Education

academic nostalgia for meatspace meetspace

Here we are once again, another national conference. I’m waiting out a three hour delay on my first flight with the second rescheduled, so fingers crossed. And let’s not even get started about the return trip. I don’t want to curse my luck that badly! Tell me again why we do this? I mean I […]

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Current Affairs Higher Education

“How Hard Do Professors Work?” Why do you want to know?

Variations of this question have become a genre unto themselves, as this recent article in The Atlantic exemplifies. The article takes the occasion of some “Twitter battle” to revisit this topic. But really, why do you want to know? Are you just curious? Is my job so very mysterious? maybe the high cost of college has led […]

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Higher Education new materialism realist rhetoric

Part Three: the university of a tiny rhetoric

The last part of a three part essay. Here are parts one and two. This brings me momentarily to the Stover article, but Latour’s interview ends with some remarks about the university (and rhetoric). Latour notes that rhetoric, from the start, is fundamentally a way to teach people: It means that you can take someone […]

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Higher Education new materialism realist rhetoric

Part Two: Making a Move on Ontology

Here are links to parts one and three of this essay. Instead the purportedly “big” new materialist rhetoric is instead tiny, minimal even. Rhetoric is not so huge as to cover civilization. It does not take over after psychology explains coming to salience. I don’t believe there is a “realm of rhetoric,” neither in consciousness […]

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Higher Education new materialism realist rhetoric

A tiny rhetoric in a big univers(ity): three parts

This morning I’m writing about the place of rhetoric in a new materialist, plural ontology (starting with some comments from Latour) and moving into rhetoric’s place in the humanities (starting with a recent article in American Affairs, “There is no case for the humanities” by Justin Stover). I’ve divided this into three posts, so here […]

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digital rhetoric Higher Education

the usual waffle on the plight of English Studies (holiday edition)

Many of the challenges we face in English at UB are not unique. In particular we share them with other public research university English departments who need to think about phd programs. The academic job market is awful, which raises all manner of questions about doctoral education. The STEM and business orientation of our undergrads […]

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digital humanities digital rhetoric Higher Education

Invention, curriculum, and digital humanities

In the humanities’ ongoing struggle to find its way back to wherever the students are (or lead the students back from wherever they are), one of the more written about tactics involves the digital humanities. Basically the premise is that many students are STEM focused, so connecting with more technical matters is a way to […]