Category Archives: Working

Literary Primitivism

They will send me a desk copy!


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Filed under Bibliography, Race book, Teaching, Working

Ne pas oublier

…at the library, Literary Bondage and those back pages of Poets & Writers, where they list bilingual presses. There is another book that turned out to be there and that I wanted to get, and I have lost my piece of paper. C’était quoi? Something tempting and new that I was going to order from a catalogue and that they turned out to already have.


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Filed under Pedro, Poetry, Race book, Working

Network of concerned academics

An antidote to the professor watch list.


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Filed under Movement, Working

On academic freedom

This study explores the history of academic freedom in America through the focus of three interpretive models–the Gentleman Scientist Model, the Liberty Model, and the Professional Model–to show how the concept evolved over the past century. It examines violations of academic freedom, AAUP statements, and debates about the meaning of academic freedom to show how it remains a contested concept. It concludes that by studying the origins and changes in the idea of academic freedom in America, current controversies can be better understood.

That is a dissertation abstract, and the dissertation is fascinating.

During the Great War, the AAUP decided the concept of academic freedom did not apply, and condemned rather than support the many faculty dismissed for their antiwar beliefs. The Nation was appalled.

The Nation magazine criticized the AAUP report as “a serious disappointment” arguing that “By rejecting this principle, the committee, for the period of the war, hands over the keys of the castle to the enemy…” and “jeopards the very conception of a university” (“The Professors in Battle Array,” 1918). The Nation argued, “surely the university, as the home of freedom, should not go out of its way to impose on its members, in addition to these, other restrictions that are not laid on other members of the community” (“The Professors in Battle Array,” 1918).


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Filed under ALFS presentation, What Is A Scholar?, Working

Academic Partnerships, the company

Most people I know either ignore online teaching because of the problems and the hype, and being tired of staring into screens already. Others are so gung-ho about it that they ignore the problems. One problem, I have discovered, in a neighboring R-1 is that this firm, Academic Partnerships, that runs their platform, also gets 50% of the tuition dollars generated by the classes. And most faculty do not know about, or pay attention to this technicality and its implications.

In its work to actively shape quality online education at Eastern Michigan University, EMU-AAUP has fought against pressure from Academic Partnerships to cut costs by using more part-time instructors. Educators know well that such instructional cost cuts lead to the exploitation of faculty, to part-time, under-resourced positions, and to the erosion of academic freedom. As a result, they diminish the quality of the experience in the classroom. To defend against these cuts, EMU-AAUP proposed a letter of agreement with the administration that includes a clause prohibiting the use of “coaches or teaching assistants employed by Academic Partnerships or its strategic partners for instructional duties regularly performed by tenured or tenure-track faculty.”

This is the kind of boring, technical issue people do not want to bother with because they have more juicy things going on, but that have implications they discover later. Here’s a primer on privatization worth referring to.


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Things I am considering buying

A Kindle Paperwhite.

Jonathan Mayhew’s new Lorca book.

I am also considering getting this book via Interlibrary Loan, an entity I keep forgetting.

I will order it through ILL and hope they do not make me read it as an e-book.

I could also just buy it. Book = $105. Kindle plus e-version, on the theory that then I will have a Kindle = $200. And probably I will not read it if it has to be read on a Kindle.


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Taking the high road

Department of e-mails not sent:

Dear committee member,

The question would be what gives you the right to speak in this tone to anyone.

If the dean, an AAUP member, confuses tenure track/tenured with FTE NTT, which I highly doubt he does, it would be our job to point out the error.

To keep these things clear is precisely the charge of this committee.


Professor and chair (as far as you are concerned)


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Filed under Banes, Working