I’m eager to begin a new semester at the University of Pittsburgh. This fall I am teaching a number of classes: Narrative and Technology (ENGLIT 0399), Introduction to Critical Reading (ENGLIT 0500), and Postmodern Literature (ENGLIT 1350). I have taught all three courses before and enjoy each one. The syllabus for Introduction to Critical Reading can be found on my Academia.edu page and I’d be happy to send along the others to interested parties, which tweak previous versions. I have decided not to do any blogs for any of my classes this semester, partially as an experiment, but also because I am trying to limit how much time I spend in front of a screen. For the blogs of previous classes, see the category “Teaching” below and to the right.
I am happy to announce that I was a finalist for the 2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize and will be publishing a number of poems–including a twenty page long poem, “The Shape of Things II”–in Verse later this year. Congratulations to Felicia Zamora, whose portfolio, Of Unknowing, was selected as the winner of the prize. The contest was judged by Brian Henry.
Nuclear and Environmental
Thomas Powers, “Was It Right?”
Jonah Walters, “A Guide to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Attacks.”
Colin Wilson, “The Slaughter of Hiroshima.”
The New York Times, “Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Revives Debate Over the Atomic Bomb.”
Alex Wellesrstein, “Nagasaki: The Last Bomb.”
Ward Wilson, “The Bomb Didn’t Beat Japan. . . Stalin Did.”
“Nuclear ‘Command And Control’: A History Of False Alarms And Near Catastrophes,” an interview with Eric Schlosser.
Per Espen Stoknes, “The Great Grief: How To Cope with Losing Our World.”
Adrienne LaFrance, “Is Anywhere on Earth Safe from Climate Change?”
Politics and International
Robin Wright, “Obama on War and Peace.”
And Andy Borowitz, “Nation Worried That the Rest of the World Might See Debate.”
Patrick Jagoda, “Network Ambivalence.”
David Golumbia, “The Amazonization of Everything.”
Mark Freuenfelder, “British Library Releases Over a Million Public Domain Images.”
Jeff Garzick, “StorJ and Bitcoin Autonomous Agents.”
Literature and Culture
Ian Bogost, “Don’t Hate the Phone Call, Hate the Phone.”
Clarice Lispector, “Love (‘Amor’)” (trans. Katrina Dodson).
Adam Fitzgerald, “An Interview with Fred Moten, Part 1.”
Anna Kornbluh, “Road to Nowhere,” review Cartographies of the Absolute, by Alberto Toscano and Jeff Kinkle.
Richard Lea, “Science Fiction: The Realism of the 21st Century.”
Peter Bebergal, “Samuel Delany and the Past and Future of Science Fiction.”
Lucas Thompson, “David Foster Wallace and ‘Blurbspeak.'”
Elliot Murphy, “Always a Lighthouse: Video Games and Radical Politics.”
McKenzie Wark, “The Nothingness that Speaks French.”
Francis Thackeray, “Was William Shakespeare High When He Penned His Plays?”
Jonathan Alexander, “The Literacy Games: Summer Lessons About Media from YA Fiction.”
Helaine Olen, “Jon Stewart’s Book Club.”
My students are interning with the National Book Foundation and doing interesting interviews:
Butterbirds, “Ragged Bag.”
Humanities and Higher Education
Daniel Ellington, “Management, “Leadership,” and Academic Work.”
Caitlin Flanagan, “That’s Not Funny!”
Keith M. Parsons, “Message to My Freshman Students.”
In addition to the release of The Rocking Chair by Blue Sketch Press on 1 August 2015, and “Poetics of Control,” my recent review of Alexander R. Galloway’s The Interface Effect (2012), I’ve completed a number of exciting projects over the last three months, so be on the lookout for a couple essays, another review, an interview, and more poems in 2015 and 2016. For now, however, some links have been piling up over this historic month.
David M. Perry, “A New Right Grounded in the Long History of Marriage.”
Claudia Rankine, “‘The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning.'”
Emma Green, “Black Churches Are Burning Again in America.”
The Editorial Board of The New York Times, “Take Down the Confederate Flag, Symbol of Hatred.”
Aisha Harris, “Obama Gets Real.”
Adam Hilton, “Bernie Sanders and the Search for a New Politics.”
International and Economic
Thomas Piketty , Jeffrey Sachs , Heiner Flassbeck , Dani Rodrik, and Simon Wren-Lewis, “Austerity Has Failed: An Open Letter from Thomas Piketty to Angela Merkel.”
Bruce Robbins, “A Laboratory Sitting on a Graveyard: Greece and the Neoliberal Debt Crisis,” review of What Does Europe Want? The Union and Its Discontents, by Srećko Horvat and Slavoj Žižek.
The Left Platform of Syriza, “The Alternative to Austerity.”
Cédric Durand, “The End of Europe.”
John Patrick Leary, Keywords for the Age of Austerity.
Jim Yardley and Binyamin Appelbaum, “In Fiery Speeches, Francis Excoriates Global Capitalism.”
Sergio Peçanha and Tim Wallace, “The Flight of Refugees Around the Globe.”
Matt Schiavenza, “China’s Unsettling Stock Market Collapse.”
Nuclear and Environment
Robin Wright, “The Nuclear Deal’s Adversaries Back Home.”
Rosie Scammell, “Pope Francis Recruits Naomi Klein in Climate Change Battle.”
Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin, eds., Art in the Anthropocene.
NASA, “Fire in the Sky.”
Cory Doctorow, “Disneyworld after Humanity’s Demise.”
Cory Doctorow, “The Next Librarian of Congress: A Librarian of Progress?”
J. Nathan Matias, “Were All Those Rainbow Profile Photos Another Facebook Study?”
Robert W. Gehl, “Socializing the Dark Web.”
Morgan Marquis-Boire, Glenn Greenwald, Micah Lee, “XKEYSCORE: NSA’s Google for the World’s Private Communications.”
Jake Biddle, “Paper Chasing.”
Literature and Culture
Fredric Jameson, “A Global Neuromancer.”
Tatyana Tolstoya, “The Square.”
China Miéville, “The Dusty Hat.”
Diane Lederman, “Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet James Tate (1943-2015) Has Died.”
Tom Streithorst, “The Economics of Mad Max and Star Trek.”
Sherryl Vint, “Excavating a Future,” review of The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi.
Gerry Canavan, “The Warm Equations,” review of Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson and Aurora, by Kim Stanley Robinson.
A. J. Nocek, “On Aesthetics and Mentality in Speculative Philosophy Today,” review of The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism, by Steven Shaviro.
Eric Howell, “To Set Something on Fire,” review of War of the Foxes, by Richard Siken.
Mallory Ortberg, “How to Talk to Babies about Postmodernism.”
Douglas Lain, “Foucault’s Madman and His Reply to Derrida.”
Santiago Zabala, “What to Make of Heidegger in 2015?”
Miranda Campbell, “Culture Isn’t Free.”
Andrea Aguilar and Johanne Fronth-Nygren, “Lydia Davis, Art of Fiction no. 227.”
Conrad Knickerbocker, “William S. Burroughs, Art of Fiction no. 36.”
Robert Wallace, “Golden Ages Past,” review of Muse, by Jonathan Galassi.
Allard den Dulk, Existentialist Engagement in Wallace, Eggers and Foer: A Philosophical Analysis of Contemporary American Literature (New York: Bloomsbury, 2015).
Kevin Griffith, “Against Technology Monoculture: Infinite Jest in LEGOs.”
Anna Merlen, John Oliver and online harassment.
Emma Hope Allwood, “Gucci’s New Era.”
Sarah Bagley, “Proust among the Politicians.”
Jason Stevens, “Hubris and Heteronomy,” review of Lessons in Secular Criticism, by Stathis Gourgouris.
Karen Gregory, “Good Wives: Algorithmic Architectures as Metabolization.”
Kirsten Strayer, “Disposable Men in Gentleman Prefer Blondes.”
Salvatore Pane, “Limitations of Little Sisters: The Tyranny of Fun.”
Bill O’Driscoll, “Robert Yune Discusses His Debut Novel.”
Ryan Kauffman, “Excerpts.”
Joshua Zelesnick, “Five Poems.”
David James Keaton, “Ha’penny Dreadfuller.”
The Society for Novel Studies will have their annual 2016 conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The theme: The Novel in or against World Literature. The call for papers.
And my good old friend has a new band with the catchiest jam of the summer: Invincible Summer’s “Island Rhythms.” (From a Lydia Davis short story: “All those years I thought I had a PhD but I do not have a PhD.”)
Humanities and Higher Education
Scott Jaschik, “Threat to Faculty Unions.”
Sara Ahmed, “Against Students.”
David Gooblar, “On the Market One Last Time.”
Colleen Flaherty, “Adjunct Retirement Insecurity.”
Hunter Rawlings, “College Is Not a Commodity. Stop Treating It Like One.”
Elias Muhanna, “Hacking the Humanities.”
Morenike Adebayo, “University of Cambridge is Recruiting for a Professor of LEGO.”
Josh Marshall, “Thanks, Twitter.”
On the one hand, Nate Berg, “How Community-led Renovation Is Helping a Rundown Pittsburgh Neighbourhood Fight Crime.”
On the other hand, Diana Nelson Jones, “Owner Mum on Plans as It Empties East Liberty Apartment Complex.”
Brendan Spiegel, “36 Hours in Pittsburgh.”
I just wrote a review of Alexander R. Galloway’s The Interface Effect (Malden, MA: Polity, 2012) for The b2 Review. Check it out.