University Diaries

University Diaries

A professor of English describes American university life.

March 12, 2012 - 3:59am
Udemy has asked UD to be part of the second cohort of professors chosen for its Faculty Project .  Udemy is a venture offering MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses.  Here's a recent New York Times article about Udemy and MOOCs.  The article describes the Faculty Project:
March 7, 2012 - 4:17pm
Any book written by a humanities professor defending a traditional liberal arts education had better be well-written and incisively argued.  It had better have some verve to it, something original to bring to the table.
November 16, 2011 - 4:36pm
Plagiarism is a penny ante thing, a measly squalor.  It's like insider trading - a pervasive, petty, ploy that excites indignation and punishment, but, precisely because of its simmering ubiquity, fails to boil up to a real problem.
November 8, 2011 - 2:27pm
Horror in Happy Valley, Not-So-Happy Valley, Happy Valley Upside Down - journalists everywhere are tilling the furrow between Penn State University's amber waves of grain and its shower stalls.
July 25, 2011 - 3:07pm
Let's take a look at the controversial cover to Steve Reich's 9/11 composition, WTC 9/11. Why is it controversial? Should it be? The cover is an iconic photograph from that morning, showing the second plane about to hit. The cd designers have darkened and muddied the image considerably from the pure blue clarity of that September morning.
July 14, 2011 - 5:23pm
The author of the influential book about the sixties, The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and its Youthful Oppposition, has died.
June 24, 2011 - 7:01pm
There are psychiatrists in our universities who think half the population is mentally ill. There are leading research psychiatrists who believe that anti-psychotic drugs are fine for two-year-olds. Others find the fact that many varieties of expensive, side-effects-ridden anti-depressants seem to be placebos rather than medicine a matter of indifference.
May 26, 2011 - 4:38pm
"I cannot think of another French novel over the past two decades that has generated this much interest, debate, and animosity," wrote Mark Lilla about Michel Houellebecq's novel Elementary Particles ten years ago in the New York Review of Books. The title of Lilla's essay, Night Thoughts, alludes to its conclusion, in which he notes that Houellebecq has written "a ver
May 19, 2011 - 9:15pm
So many men, so many horny greedy self-saboteurs. This week has featured Strauss-Kahn and the Sperminator, but spectacular flame-out among America's and Europe's richest, most attractive, most powerful men has many fathers - so many that some commentators have gone back to atavistic explanations, as if civilization never happened, and our governors, senators, and presidents need to be reperceived as primordial slime.
March 1, 2011 - 1:33pm
A week that features Bernard Madoff denouncing people for being greedy, and Moammar Gaddafi delivering a sermon on love, can only be encompassed by a return to that ur-text of our time, Ubu the King.

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