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Showing posts from March, 2012

Returning to a Schedule

You probably noticed I took something of a leave from blogging much of this month. My wife and I took turns being ill with the flu, which upended our schedules, including our writing projects. Because work had priority, we had to delay website and blog updates while we attempted to recover the lost two weeks. Recovery has been a little slow, at least for me, since I was already dealing with some minor physical issues.

In the coming weeks, I hope to return to my normal schedule of posting to each of my blogs at least once weekly. Ideally, I will manage to post on some of the ideas I've jotted down and you'll see two or three posts a week the blogs.

Unfortunately, as I'm recovering we're getting ready to move into a new house. I'll be ending the school year, moving, and preparing to teach summer school. At least I know where my hours go each day: they are consumed by a dozen things other than my writing. I do keep telling myself that sleep should be optional, yet my…

More on Capitalism and Education

Not to belabor the point much more, but I believe there are some basic misconceptions within university humanities departments. I fear theoretical capitalism is being conflated with the modern "conservative" movement and "consumerism" which is, sadly, the dominant perversion of capitalism in practice.  

First, our "Culture of Work" was not capitalist in origin so much as it was religious in origin. The notion that "idle hands and minds are the Devil's playthings" emerged long before modern capitalist theory. The religious zealotry of our earliest immigrants gave us that legacy, I would propose.

Second, the "job skills" movement in universities is not a capitalist push to alter education. The managerial education can be traced to the early progressive ideals at places like the University of Wisconsin. For example, Woodrow Wilson praised Wisconsin for preparing the next generation of &quo…

Defending the Entrepreneurial Spirit from within Academia

This is an extremely long post — this topic is one I feel almost daily since entering academia. I've heard many colleagues discuss the evils of business and capitalism, and then they ask what I did before joining an English Department faculty. I generally omit most of my experiences and focus on my creative writing.

Many of us "capitalists" believe there is a gulf between some academic disciplines and the larger community. Outside business schools and some of the sciences, I know my experiences and beliefs will be insulted or dismissed, usually with "respect" and other polite framing that barely masks derision.

People wonder why there is such deep division in our culture? We've become entrenched in dichotomies, when life is not binary (except for the ideological extremists, I suppose).

Writing instruction and rhetoric in particular seems entangled in political views. We enter this field with the idea of changing something. You don't teach communicatio…