Open Thread on Tenure

Aside from the talk of abolishing it, tenure remains important for all of the usual reasons (primarily academic freedom), but for others perhaps more important, especially faculty governance. Without the job security of tenure, the professoriate is reduced to the role of a paid workforce serving at the whim of various bottom lines. More importantly, … More Open Thread on Tenure


Real food really can be fast if you shop. And when I can, I like to skip the American lunch and escape campus just after three, so I can come home and have lunch at four, like a Mexican. This makes the dusty office day short, and the working evening lovely and long. And you … More Comida RAPIDA

Une vieille chanson

Our official Easter post is by the Anxious Black Woman. Read it, it is important. Meanwhile I am singing the first laisse of the Song of Roland, which I like. Carles li reis, nostre emper[er]e magnes Set anz tuz pleins ad estet en Espaigne: Tresqu’en la mer cunquist la tere altaigne. N’i ad castel ki … More Une vieille chanson

On Being Up to Date

On a quite different event from the one I am about to discuss, one “Mr. Eugene Debs” writes: You are the master of nothing! There is one master, and he is King Jay-sus! And there is no other!” …..And the audience rose to their feet and applauded. Laughing. Uproariously. As though the thought vastly delighted … More On Being Up to Date

Henry Gray

Now it is the weekend, and we are stomping our feet with Henry Gray and the Cats. If I were another blogger, I would be Stephen Bess, because he goes to the most galleries, readings, bookstores, cool cafés, and interesting urban corners, and he has the best records. When I still lived in town, and … More Henry Gray

Hallgrímur Pétursson

For Maundy Thursday and the Spring Equinox, which coincide today, we are listening to the Easter Saga of 17th century Icelandic poet Hallgrímur Pétursson. Unless I am gravely mistaken there is footage of both Iceland and the Faroes, where I would love to be this spring. Via Rebel Girl we are also reading Kenneth Rexroth, … More Hallgrímur Pétursson

Trinity United Church

I have pulled this e-mail, which I actually wrote to Trinity United Church, out of a comments thread, in case any of the presidential campaigns finds this blog. Dear Trinity United Church, I would not know about you or Pastor Wright were it not for the Obama candidacy, and I am not African-American or Christian … More Trinity United Church


1. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy – particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own. But I have asserted a firm … More Presidential