Philip Nel, giving commencement speech, Kansas State University, 10 Dec. 2022

Learning, Unlearning, and the Freedom to Read (commencement speech)

I was asked to give the commencement speech at the College of Arts and Sciences ceremony this morning. Here is the video — my speech begins at 15:01. Below, the full text.         Good morning, graduates, families, friends, fellow teachers and fellow learners — for we are all always learning and, I think, all always teaching.

Over 100 Kansas Distinguished Profs to KBOR: Rescind New Termination Policy Immediately.

03 distinguished professors from four Kansas universities (K-State, KU, Wichita State, KUMC) are calling for an immediate end to the Kansas Board of Regents’ new termination policy. It threatens long-term damage to the missions of each institution. It undermines the purpose of tenure, which is to allow faculty to pursue their scholarship without fear of repercussions. Academic freedom is the foundation upon which we build discovery, robust research, scholarship and creative activities.

English 545: Literature for Adolescents (2018)

Literature for Adolescents (Fall 2018): sneak preview

This fall, I am teaching English 545: Literature for Adolescents on-line for the first time. That is, this is the first time I’m teaching the course on-line. It’s the umpteenth time I’ve taught the course, and the second time I’ve taught on-line. One thing I learned from teaching on-line this past spring: Build the entire course

Oppose Concealed Carry Reciprocity: Don’t Be Fooled by HB-2042

On February 13 at 10:30 am in Topeka, the Kansas Senate will hear testimony on House Bill 2042, which appears to offer sensible gun regulation but in fact does nothing of the kind. (Try to contain your surprise.)  I cannot be there myself.  So, I have submitted my testimony in advance.  I am also posting

Children’s Literature vs. Nationalism: IRSCL’s Statement of Principles

The International Research Society for Children’s Literature (IRSCL) – an organization of which I am a member – is today issuing a statement in support of academic freedom, and against the rising tide of nativism/nationalism that threatens to curtail it.  We’re issuing it in 20 different languages (with more to come) and you can see

Resolutions for a New Academic Year: A survival guide for higher education in perilous times (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Over at The Chronicle of Higher Education today, I have a piece on “Resolutions for a New Academic Year: A survival guide for higher education in perilous times.” Here’s one of those resolutions: Teach students to use language well. We can help them to be wary of lazy euphemism — not just because it is bad

A Weaponized Campus Can Be Fun!

Excited about unregulated firearms coming to Kansas State University’s campus?  Well, be sure to thank Representative John Barker and Senator Jacob LaTurner.  They refused to let the university campus-carry exemption bills even come up for a vote in the full House and Senate. So, thanks to them, the citizens who voted for them, and to