Is there a place for "zombie courses" in the Humanities curriculum?
MOOC is, let's face it, an ugly acronym. As almost everyone in the world of higher education learned this past academic year, it stands for Massive Open Online Course.
“In order to transform publishing into a less crisis-bound, short-term-oriented system, we must end capitalism,” according to Andrew Goldstone’s—and my—friend, Colin Gillis, a member of the staff collective at the radical co-op, Rainbow Bookstore, located in Madison, WI.
“Must literary studies confine itself to the margins of the publishing field?” asks Andrew Goldstone in the first of what promises to be an important series of blog posts on John B. Thompson’s Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century.
Mark Bauerlein—author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30) and Literary Theory: An Autopsy—recently released a widely discussed study called "Literary Research: Cost and Impacts" for the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.
In a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education called "Why We Can't Teach Students to Love Reading," Alan Jacobs argues that "'deep attention' reading has always been and will always be a minority pursuit."
In a fascinating parable, "A Story In Two Parts, With An Ending Yet To Be Written," posted on the National Humanities Center's On the Human Web site, Paula Moya tells the tale of a researcher named Kitayama who travels from the land of Interdependence to the land of Independence, conducts research into the way that culture shapes perception, and finds his results grossly misinterpreted by journalists (as reinforcing racist narratives of essential ethnic differences).
In The Sublime Object of Ideology, Slavoj Žižek famously lays out his analysis of claims that we* find ourselves in a postideological age.
January was apparently Andrew Ross month over at Dissent. Two articles, Jeffrey J. Williams's "How to be an Intellectual: The Cases of Richard Rorty and Andrew Ross" (in the Winter 2011 issue of the magazine) and Kevin Mattson's "Cult Stud Mugged" (an online original), track Ross's evolution from a so-called cult-stud into someone more akin to an academic labor reporter.
Lee Konstantinou studies twentieth and twenty-first century American literature, and has current research interests in contemporary fiction, the legacy of postmodernism, comics, science fiction, popular culture, as well as cultural sociology. He wrote the novel Pop Apocalypse (Ecoo/HarperCollins, 2009) and the literary history Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction (Harvard University Press, 2016). With Samuel Cohen, he co-edited The Legacy of David Foster Wallace (University of Iowa Press, 2012). He is working on various projects, including "The Cartoon Art: Comics in the Age of Mass High Culture," which argues that the elevation of comics since the 1980s is an important case study that can help us revisit -- and reconfigure -- the mass culture debate after the end of postmodernism. He is Senior Humanities editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.