Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Roundup - Higher Education Week

I had three essays published in the Chronicle of Higher Education this week, 2 planned (they normally won't post on the same day) and one a reaction piece.

I'm exceptionally proud of my university's work on undocumented students, and in general of the way that many Catholic universities have responded to this issue. Making decisions about policy based on a moral or theological perception is a potentially dangerous thing, and as I wrote in my blog, it tends to lead to stories about taking away rights or closing off (Eden Foods, Hobby Lobby, Wheaten College). It doesn't have to work that way.

I also wrote a piece about public engagement. It's #ScholarSunday on Twitter today, and if you dip into that hashtag and other academic parts of the twittersphere you'll find hundreds of scholars practicing various forms of public engagement. I also believe that every time a teacher goes into a classroom, they are working on public engagement. But we need to build pathways to take advantage of that expertise. More on this next week.

Finally, I responded to Senator John Walsh's plagiarism with a blog about being wrong and an essay on Vitae about the military and why transparent sourcing of information matters so much. Warmongers want to take bad, untrue, or fragmentary information and use it to start a war. Demanding citation becomes pretty high stakes in that environment. Also, I'm still so angry about the Iraq War and all the lies.

In mid-week, I updated efforts on Eden Foods. I'm really interested in the phrase, "voting with dollars," because what I want to know is who is counting the votes. I think it's a way of shrugging off hard choices by stores. Don't let them do it!

Finally, in the disability world, I wrote three posts: One was on the ABLE act. It's a great act. I was going to write about it, but frankly I think it's going to pass. I try to cover stories that aren't getting enough attention.

The other two were about humor, one focused on Wyatt Cenac making fun of Down syndrome and speech on This American Life (I have an essay out on it I'm trying to land), and the second more generally on disclaimers (and antisemitism). Humor can punch up or punch down. It can shatter stereotypes or reinforce them. That's how I judge it.

Next week should be a good writing week for me, as I'm done with copyedits. I hope to get a lot of pending essays out and off to publishers.

As always, thanks for reading!

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