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The History of the Syllabus?


Submitted by Jim Aune on December 29, 2011 - 10:42pm


I'm starting to work on the syllabus for my graduate course this spring. (Yeah, I'm on a one-one load, so shoot me.) I also have been reflecting on my own undergraduate and graduate experience. WE NEVER GOT SYLLABI. Well, Zarefsky had one, but, you know. We got a list of books on the first day, or found them at the bookstore beforehand. There was maybe a one-page handout listing assignments, but not always. We were never "assigned" readings. If a book was assigned, you read it, at some point before the end of the semester. None of this "is it on the test?" bullshit.

 

Unhappiness with Professional Associations


Submitted by Jim Aune on December 29, 2011 - 3:27pm


Seems that a lot of philosophers are unhappy with the competence of the APA. It occurs to me that the leadership of RSA as long as I've belonged has been highly competent in the years I've belonged to it. I've never belonged to MLA (NCA is best not discussed), but I know many Blogora readers do. Are these problems just inherent in large associations or not? What's been your experience?

 

Advice on Tenure


Submitted by syntaxfactory on December 29, 2011 - 1:27am


From http://cs.utsa.edu/~wagner/creative_writing/tenure.pdf
Getting Tenure at a University
Neal R. Wagner

 

7 Years Ago on the Blogora


Submitted by Jim Aune on December 28, 2011 - 6:18pm


Via the internet wayback machine, one of my favorite threads of all time on the Blogora. Scroll down to the "first time" post.

 

Extremism in Defense of Liberty


Submitted by Jim Aune on December 24, 2011 - 7:51pm


With homage to David Horowitz's insistence that we "follow the networks":

1. Manhattan Institute (a neocon thinktank) has a webpage devoted to trashing universities.

2. An article on the above webpage by one Robert Weissberg, emeritus political science professor at Illinois. Weissberg is a regular contributor to the website, as well as to

 

Reading Plans for the Holidays?


Submitted by Jim Aune on December 23, 2011 - 3:44pm


Like most academics, I find winter break a good time for catching up on important reading. I plan on reading Robert Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution and David Graeber's Debt, The First 5000 Years. Any other interesting books folks would like to recommend?

 

Presidential Metaphors


Submitted by Jim Aune on December 10, 2011 - 6:02pm


We're on a roll here chez Blogora on metaphor this week. I thought I'd share the most unfortunate administrative metaphor of all time: yesterday afternoon the President of Texas A&M University told a meeting of all the department heads in the university: "You are the lubricant between the administration and the faculty." Those of you who are more psychoanalytically and/or feminist inclined may parse the logical entailments of this metaphor as you wish.

 

Metaphors for WAC


Submitted by syntaxfactory on December 9, 2011 - 9:57am


Philbrook asks:

 

thoughts on teaching


Submitted by Jim Aune on December 5, 2011 - 1:08pm


A handout I made for a teachers on teaching panel at NCA. Anything else you'd add?

Jim Aune, Professor and Head of Communication, Texas A&M
"Teachers on Teaching" panel, NCA, New Orleans, 11/18/11

 

Metaphors for Scholarship


Submitted by Jim Aune on December 3, 2011 - 12:19pm


I'm looking forward to doing some writing soon (after a semester spent learning the ins and outs of administrivia). Whenever I start a project I think of it as a sculptor: you're given a block of stone (or other material) with its own texture, coloring, and hidden fault lines, and if the project is successful a figure begins to emerge out of the block. (Does anyone else think of the process this way? I'm curious.)