This blog made its debut four years ago this month — on July 23, 2010 — and it’s still here. Looking back over the past year’s worth of blog posts, I notice a few trends. The blog has retained its focus on children’s literature and comics but has also devoted more time to academia and activism.
- Academia & Activism
- This Job Can Kill You. Literally. (19 Sept. 2013). I don’t keep stats, but the post inspired by the death of adjunct Mary Margaret Vojtko received the most comments.
- In Search of Lost Time (3 March 2014). This piece on academic overwork, published in Inside Higher Ed, where it is currently the fourth most viewed story of the year. I also published a list of Further Reading on this blog.
- A fair few posts have addressed the Kansas Board of Regents, a group of cowardly political appointees who, with efficient incompetence, rescinded the First Amendment rights of everyone employed by a Regents university in the state of Kansas. As the preceding sentence indicates, I and other university employees chose to fight back. We did not regain our right to freedom of speech, but we did win the public relations battle. And who knows? Perhaps a new governor may appoint competent people to the board in the future? Could happen. For now, the board’s draconian social media policy is so broad that we have two choices: cease saying anything in public, or simply ignore the policy. As you can see, I’ve chosen the latter.
- Also, Advice for Aspiring Academics: A Twitter Essay (11 April 2014)
- Children’s Literature
- “The Boundaries of Imagination”; or the All-White World of Children’s Books, 2014 (17 Mar. 2014). A collection of links that coalesces around Christopher Myers’ & Walter Dean Myers’ New York Times essays… because #WeNeedDiverseBooks!
- It’s a Wild World: Maurice Sendak, Wild Things, and Childhood (15 Oct. 2014). Each of the four Niblings (Betsy Bird, Julie Walker Danielson, Travis Jonker) did a blog post on the occasion of Where the Wild Things Are‘s 50th Anniversary. Mine is the unpublished half of an essay that appeared in PMLA 129.1 (Jan. 2014).
- Was the Cat in the Hat Black? (22 June 2014). An excerpt from my new essay on Dr. Seuss’s racial imagination. If you can’t access the full essay (since it’s behind a paywall), email me and I’ll send it to you.
- Oh, the Quotations You’ll Forge! (2 Mar. 2014). Setting the record straight. You know those Seuss quotations circulating around the internet? He never said most of them.
- Occasional posts from conferences I’ve attended, such as the International Research Society for Children’s Literature (Maastricht, Aug. 2013) and Comic-Con (San Diego, July 2014).
- And… Emily’s Library continues! As I build an “ideal” children’s library for my niece, I introduce you to good books for small humans.
- The Genius of Cul de Sac. A few thoughts on Richard Thompson’s masterpiece.
- Fantagraphics and Kickstarter Capitalism. “Markets reward the popular, not the virtuous (unless it happens also to be popular). A business can carefully manage its finances and aggressively promote a book, yet still find itself with a product that doesn’t sell. Just as commercial success does not confer moral worth, nor does commercial failure denote moral shortcomings.”
- Occasional posts on Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby.
- And… as noted above, my daily chronicle of Comic-Con.
Moving on into year 5, I’ll strive to continue to keep the blog both interesting and useful. Thanks for reading!