“The Boundaries of Imagination”; or, the All-White World of Children’s Books, 2014

Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books? — Walter Dean Myers, “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” too often today’s books remain blind to the everyday reality of thousands of children. Children of color remain outside the boundaries…

Nine Kinds of Pie

Happy Pi Day!  In recognition of 3.14 (today) and this blog’s Pi pie avatar (logo?), here are Nine Kinds of Pie (loosely defined). 1. The ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter: 3.1415926535.  When I was a kid, I memorized the number out to its tenth decimal point. On a long strip of paper,…

Enlightenment vs. Ignorance

Freedom of Speech is under attack in “public” higher education, from the Kansas Board of Regents deeming any speech a fireable offense, to the South Carolina Legislature cutting funds from the College of Charleston (in retaliation for recommending Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home as a summer read). Offering a more subtle version of the South Carolina model,…

In Search of Lost Time: Further Reading

With thanks to all who have read and shared my “In Search of Lost Time” (an essay on why academics work so much, published in Inside Higher Ed today), here are a few links for further reading. Most of these were embedded in the original piece, but didn’t make the transition to the Inside Higher Ed website….

Oh, the Quotations You’ll Forge!

Every March 2nd, Americans celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss (a.k.a. Ted Geisel) by reading his work… and by sharing words he neither wrote nor said. I understand why. Seuss could be pithy. He’s far from the only aphoristic writer to be credited with phrases he didn’t coin. Mark Twain, Ghandi, Groucho Marx, and many…