The Edwin Mellen Effect

  It’s Opposites Day at The Chronicle of Higher Education. The headline reads, “Edwin Mellen Press Drops Lawsuit Against University Librarian.” The article reports that Edwin Mellen Press has withdrawn the suit against McMaster University and Dale Askey, BUT Edwin Mellen Press is still suing Dale Askey.  Beyond the fact that the Chronicle should have let its readers know…

Vanity, Thy Name Is Lawsuit

As you may have heard, the Edwin Mellen Press is suing librarian Dale Askey and his employer, McMaster University, for damages in excess of $4 million. Why?  The suit alleges that Askey is guilty of libel for calling Edwin Mellen Press “a vanity press” and suggesting that it lacks “academic credibility.”  There are several problems…

The Pleasures of Displacement

I don’t enjoy flying, but I do like traveling. There is pleasure in being somewhere else, in experiencing a different city or country. All that is taken for granted in daily life cannot be taken for granted — and this is especially true when in another country, when the food, language, and culture differs in…

Brisbane: City of Free, Public Art

Coming from a U.S. state whose governor is working tirelessly to defund the arts, I’ve been delighted to see so much art in Brisbane, Australia — most of it at no cost to the visitor.  GoMA’s Surrealism exhibit requires a ticket, but the rest of the museum has no admission fee.  Back in the States,…

Wintertime for the Arts?

As we celebrate the birthdays of Mozart (255th) and Lewis Carroll (179th) amidst threatened cuts to arts funding, we might re-read Yuko Takao’s A Winter Concert (1995; English translation, 1997).  Rendered in thin dark lines on a white background, mice walk to a concert.  As the pianist begins to play, colored pointillist shapes rise from…