Armed and Unsafe: Why Kansas Universities Must Reject and Not Adapt to Weaponized Campuses

As of July 1, 2017, the Kansas legislature is forcing all state universities to admit guns onto their campuses – classrooms, offices, laboratories, libraries, student unions, dormitories, counseling services. Everywhere. The Weapons Advisory Work Group has drafted a “University Weapons Policy,” and we have been invited to comment. If you’re employed by or attending Kansas State

Just a Shot Away (in Inside Higher Ed)

When the state legislature decides to weaponize our classrooms, how do we respond? What should we do when the phrase “killing higher education” ceases being a metaphor and becomes state policy? I tackle these questions in “Just a Shot Away,” published today in Inside Higher Ed.  Here’s the opening:         Shortly after the Virginia Tech massacre, a mentally disturbed

Why Campus Carry Threatens Higher Education

Today, I’m joining other members of K-SAFE (K-Staters Against Fatal Encounters) and the KCGFC (Kansas Coalition for a Gun-Free Campus) at the statehouse, in Topeka.  There, we’ll hand out flyers that – we hope – will show our legislators the grave danger the “Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act.” Yes, this is really the name of the

MLA 2017 Call for Papers! Border Conflicts: Migration, Refugees, and Diaspora in Children’s Literature

In September 2015, photos of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi – his corpse washed ashore on a Turkish beach – came to symbolize the urgency of the Syrian refugee crisis. World leaders promised to do more, people debated whether printing the pictures was appropriate, and charities experienced a surge in donations. In children’s literature, the figure of

Guns vs. Schools

The National Rifle Association is working to force guns into lecture halls, libraries, offices, dormitories, and stadiums. Their efforts to weaponize college campuses are succeeding. At the time of the Virginia Tech massacre (32 people killed, 2007), only one state university system (Utah) required colleges and universities to allow guns on campus.  Following the mass slaughter at Virginia

Children’s Literature and Comics/Graphic Novels at MLA 2016

Attending MLA in Austin, Texas this January? These are all MLA sessions devoted* to children’s literature, children’s culture, or comics/graphic novels. There are other panels with individual papers on these subjects, but (to the best of my knowledge) these are the sole panels with a central focus on these areas of inquiry. If I’ve missed any

When will I be shot dead?

As we read the news of yet another shooting at a school (the 17th on a college campus this year, the 45th school shooting shooting this year*), I cannot help but wonder: when will I be among those murdered?  Earlier this year, a roving gunman had the campus of Kansas State University (where I teach) on lockdown. Fortunately,

Advice for Aspiring Academics (in Inside Higher Ed)

Attention, graduate students, adjuncts with tenure-track aspirations, and recent tenure-track hires*! Always be publishing Believe in and doubt merit Do not define success according to academe’s terms … and 9 other pieces of advice in “Advice for Aspiring Academics,” published in today’s Inside Higher Ed. Regular readers of this blog may notice that this is the

Children’s Literature and Comics/Graphic Novels at MLA 2015

Heading to the MLA in Vancouver next month? Well, thanks to Lee Talley (for the children’s lit panels), here’s a list of all the children’s literature and comics/graphic novels panels. If we’ve missed any, then please let me know and I’ll add them! 35. The Graphic South Thursday, 8 January, 12:00 noon—1:15 p.m., 114, VCC West

The Committee for Harmony, Loyalty, and Discipline

The Kansas Board of Regents’ new social media policy will require vigilant enforcement.  How will we determine when speech is “contrary to the best interests of the employer”?  How will we recognize speech that “impairs discipline by superiors or harmony among co-workers”?  How can we prevent speech that has a “detrimental impact on close working relationships”?  Given