- Diminishing Returns in Humanities Research, by Mark Bauerlein (h/t aldaily.com) – too long, takes forever to get to his thesis and recommendations (hint: this is bad writing), but the argument is generally correct. Here, I’ll sum it up, quoting him: Thesis – “In light of 50 years of vast research production, backed by substantial resources and subsidies, is not a redistribution in order, particularly toward teaching?” Recommendations – “One, departments should limit the materials they examine at promotion time. If aspirants may submit only 100 pages to reviewers, they will publish less and ensure that those 100 pages are superb. Two, subsidizers should shift their support away from saturated areas and toward unsaturated areas, in particular toward research into teaching and even more toward classroom and curricular initiatives.”
- Who Lincoln Was, by Sean Wilentz (h/t aldaily.com) – the author is exactly correct that much of Lincoln fetishism ignores the circumstances in which he made speeches: people are trying to make Lincoln a symbol beyond the political for all his speeches. The author is slightly incorrect in implying that the alternative to ignoring politics is a more literary reading; the issue is more complicated than that, given that poetry (Greek poesis – not just poetry, but to “do” or “make”) is politics. What’s really happening here is that one very immature conception of politics is using a literary guise, and attacking a much more developed and thoughtful way.
- Old news, but it still makes me laugh and cry at the same time: Would you want to smell like Amy Winehouse? Apparently this is worth money to some people.
- An excellent, excellent read: Michael Yon embedded with British troops in Afghanistan, in the middle of what is a battlefield.
I am a graduate student in political science at the University of Dallas who thinks the media is dumb for the most part, yet am immersed myself. I am looking to break my addiction, and this blog is part of the solution: Why not try to see what the past can tell us about the present, as opposed to seeing what the present has to say about the present only?
OK, I’m sold. What should I read here?
- Analysis of The Gettysburg Address: Is Democracy Feasible?
- Analysis of Lincoln's "Second Inaugural:" Where do American virtues lie?
- Commentary on the Book of Jonah
- On "Batman Begins"
- From Love to God: On Hopkins' "As Kingfishers Catch Fire"
- On Emily Dickinson's "These are the days when birds come back..."
- The Coming Age: Macbeth and the Birth of the Modern World
- On Polemarchus: Commentary on the Republic of Plato, 331d-336a
- A Reading of Plato's "Crito"
- Towards a Nietzschean Understanding of Politics: Notes on "The Case of Wagner"