What are you reading, watching, thinking about this week? As usual, here’s a few which have been on our mind. Let us know your thoughts on any/all of them. If you have items you’d like us to consider for the top five, add them in the comments or send them to Tom or Mike.
1. Peace is Patriotic: Anabaptists and the National Anthem (By Duane Shank, Sojourners, 3/3/2010): Did you attend a college sporting event where the national anthem of the host country was not played? Goshen College, a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition, has just started to play an instrumental version and it’s caused quite a stir. For Goshen’s perspective visit National anthem dialogue and implementation to continue at Goshen College (Press Release by President Jim Brenneman, 2/17/2010). Are they becoming conservative Christian or enculturated/liberal as they seek to be hospitable to guest teams? HT: Fred.
2. Translating Pain: Immigrant Suffering in Literature & Culture by ESN member Madelaine Hron (assistant professor in the Department of English and Film at Wilfrid Lauriern University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) has just been has been shortlisted for the prestigious The Raymond Klibansky Prize, for Best Book in the Humanities published in Canada. For more on the nomination click here. For ESN’s 1/22/2009 pre-release author interview visit here.
3. What do younger faculty want? According to Harvard’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), they don’t want long hours, constant mobility, or career success at the expense of a good family and personal life (Chronicle, March 4). This is based on interviews with 16 “Generation X” faculty members at a variety of schools. The full report can be downloaded from COACHE’s website as a PDF.
4. The State of the Humanities: Inside Higher Ed reports the latest results of the Humanities Departmental Survey. The full report warrants closer reading, but IHE’s summary echoes earlier articles from ESN about the state of the humanities:
At a time when many humanities professors are worried about the future of the tenure track, the data in the report will only add to those concerns — especially because it predates the freezes on tenure-track hiring that have been instituted at so many colleges. Generally, the fields that have the highest percentages of tenured faculty members are among the smallest disciplines. And while the percentages vary, use of non-tenure-track faculty members is significant throughout. Further, the data back up a point made increasingly by activists for adjuncts: that significant numbers of academics are working full time, off the tenure track.
5. Alan Jacobs Makes Mike Jealous: Maybe it’s a bad idea to get a PhD in the humanities, but Alan Jacobs (English, Wheaton) recently reminded me [Mike] why I have always loved the scholarly study of literature. On his New Atlantis blog Text Patterns, Jacobs recently reported the completion of his latest book project, a new critical edition of W. H. Auden’s important long poem The Age of Anxiety. Jacobs writes:
I have worked as hard on this project as I have ever worked on anything, and at the moment I am pleased and proud. There’s something especially rewarding about doing all this work — visiting libraries and archives, working through vast tracts of mostly useless materials, trying to decipher Auden’s terrible handwriting, comparing multiple editions of the poem, reading much of what Auden read as he wrote the poem, carefully marking up the typescript in order to preserve the poem’s intricate formatting — not for the sake of my own critical reputation, but in order to make the work of a poet I love more useful and accessible and comprehensible. I can truly call this a labor of love. But boy, am I tired.
If my GRE were up-to-date, I would have sent off three applications by the end of that paragraph. The book will be published later this year by Princeton UP, I assume as part of their Auden critical editions series.