Intellectual Affairs

Intellectual Affairs
March 1, 2006

Two images of William Jennings Bryan have settled into the public memory, neither of them flattering. One is the fundamentalist mountebank familiar to viewers of Inherit the Wind, with its fictionalized rendering of the Scopes trial. In it, the character based on Bryan proclaims himself “more interested in the Rock of Ages than the age of rocks.” He is, in short, a crowd-pleasing creationist numbskull, and nothing more.

February 22, 2006

The groves of academe now echo with howls of outrage over The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America --a new book from Regnery Publishing, a conservative press, by David Horowitz. All over the country, scholars have turned its pages with mounting fury, indignant at not being listed. One prof even did a podcast just to (in his words) “spit n’cuss about being left out.”

February 15, 2006
Now that the cards and long-stem roses have been sent, Scott McLemee takes a look at a short, dense book about the meaning of love.
February 8, 2006
Scott McLemee interviews a sociologist about "identity dissonance" in professional schools.
February 1, 2006

About 10 minutes into last week's now legendary episode of Oprah (the show that made it to the front page of newspapers; the one that left "memoirist" James Frey on the verge of confessing that he possibly made up his own name, but couldn’t be sure), one part of my mind was riveted to the tube while another part wandered off to conduct an intensive seminar about the whole thing, complete with Power Point slides containing extensive quotations from Foucault’s late writings on the "technologies of the self."

January 25, 2006
Scott McLemee takes a look at a new journal devoted to plagiarism.
January 18, 2006
Scott McLemee notices that scholars are creating a new sort of academic community. Or is that just the dream of a ridiculous man?
January 11, 2006
Scott McLemee interviews Sandra Gilbert about her new book, "Death's Door."
January 4, 2006
Franco Moretti is a theorist with a reputation for counting literary works, rather than reading them. Scott McLemee asks if it all adds up.
December 21, 2005
Is there any value to debating what gets counted as a major literary work? Scott McLemee didn't think so -- until he saw the news from China.

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