Here’s the top five articles, books, websites, etc., that we’ve been reading or thinking about the past week. Let us know your thoughts on any/all of them. In addition, 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. Have you experienced, participated in, or witnessed
Tweckle (twek’ul) vt. to abuse a speaker only to Twitter followers in the audience while he/she is speaking”?
Any thoughts on how Tweckle (or the possibility of it) affect conference (and classroom) dynamics? Any practices which you’ve found (or think could address) to decrease its influence? — Conference Humiliation: They’re Tweeting Behind Your Back (Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 17, 2009). Note: on the other side, I’ve seen plenty of positive commenting on conferencing/events.
2. A number of Chronicle of Higher Education articles on news/journalism including:
- Academe and the Decline of News Media (Forum, November 15, 2009)
- I’ve Read the News Today, Oh Boy (Ben Yagoda, November 15, 2009)
- Journalism Schools Can Push Coverage Beyond Breaking News (Nicholas Lemann, November 15, 2009)
- University-Based Reporting Could Keep Journalism Alive (Michael Schudson and Leonard Downie Jr., November 15, 2009)
- We Need ‘Philosophy of Journalism’ (Carlin Romano, November 15, 2009).
3. Belle de Jour reveals herself…as a research scientist. The anonymous blog and television show Secret Diary of a Call Girl – written from the perspective of a high-end prostitute – were much bigger in the UK than on this side of the pond. The mystery of “who is Belle de Jour?” ended this week, when Dr. Brooke Magnanti confessed that she had turned to prostitution as a way to pay for her PhD. Magnanti now works for The Bristol Initiative for Research of Child Health. Magnanti says it was good work:
Dr Magnanti told the Sunday Times she worked as a prostitute from 2003 to late 2004, and found it “so much more enjoyable” than her shifts in another job as a computer programmer.
How ironic that Magnanti studies child health. Tanya Gold of the Guardian says don’t be misled: most prostitutes in the UK live pretty awful lives.
The report found that 70%–95% of the interviewees were physically assaulted while working as prostitutes. 60%–75% were raped while working as prostitutes; of these, more than half were repeatedly raped. 65%–95% meanwhile were sexually abused as children; the line of continuity between being used as a child and being used as an adult is clear.
Around the world, prostitution is often a form of slavery, as CNN reported this week. Urbana‘s Advocacy and Poverty track is going to focus on the issue of modern day slavery and sex trafficking, and the work of Christian organizations against this evil.
4. Big Man on Campus – Time profiled Gordon Gee, president of The Ohio State University, anointing him as the best college president in the nation. (Here is the rest of their top 10 list.) Earlier this year, Gee told universities they face “reinvention or extinction” at the American Council on Education’s annual meeting.
To avoid “slouching into irrelevance,” he said, universities must structure themselves horizontally, rather than vertically, change the way they reward faculty and staff members, and learn to better collaborate with each other. While partnerships with business, elementary and secondary schools, and governments are crucial, he said, perhaps the most important links are between universities.
A Call for “Intentional Upheaval.” An article, adapted from the American Council on Education’s Atwell Lecture, delivered on February 8th by Dr. Gee, president of The Ohio State University, is available here. 11/17/2012. 8:26 AM. Update.
5. Tom’s been recommending Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture (Adam McHugh, InterVarsity Press, November 2009) to a number of people, including members of the academic community. Below’s a quote from Chapter 1, available on-line through InterVarsity Press. An excellent author interview can be found at Adam McHugh on ‘Introverts in the Church’.
The pragmatism that we have inherited fosters an action oriented culture. Evangelicalism values the doer over the thinker. The evangelical God has a big agenda. It’s as if the moment we surrender our lives to Christ we are issued a flashing neon sign that says “GO!” There is a restless energy to evangelicalism that leads to a full schedule and a fast pace. Some have said that, in Christian culture, busyness is next to godliness. We are always in motion, constantly growing, ever expanding. …“American religion is conspicuous for its messianically pretentious energy, its embarrassingly banal prose, and its impatiently hustling ambition.” [Eugene Peterson]