Presumably, it has never been a good time for the Humanities. Perhaps because it is simply in the nature of the discipline to find itself perpetually in crisis, lagging behind the times, dragging its leaden feet made out of indelible words, asking for more and more time in a civilization perpetually in a rush. It is constantly on the edge of a precipice, but we cannot deny that, while it is awkwardly balancing itself on the edge, it does enjoy magnificent views. After all, our field does not thrive on security, on solid facts, on controlled experiments with measurable outcomes.
Is methodological rigor all that is necessary to establish a humanities curriculum, or do humanists have a duty to center moral principles in our pedagogy? How might we bridge the two extremes of delineating humanities departments in American universities—rigidly bordered individual fields versus large umbrella programs like the Global Humanities? What could exist between the scales of the local and the global?
The Revenge of the Middle Class
In a recent NPR piece TV critic Eric Deggans cites shows like "Hell on Wheels," Sons of Anarchy," "Dexter," and "Breaking Bad" as evidence of a proliferations of television programs featuring "characters the audience likes and wants to see succeed, even though they act an awful lot like villains.
The Revolution will be Advertised: brief thought on political art
I won't pretend like I trust or respect political art. I think it's inherently suspect. Which is not to say that art cannot have a powerful galvanizing effect on politics, or that it cannot be great art.
Deep thoughts about the election (before & after)
I have an idealistic view of what it is to have a career. I like to imagine that people are careful about choosing a life's work. I like to think that pointless activities -- while key to recreation -- are banished from the world of work. Unfortunately there is a sharp rebuke to this idea. In a word: Politics.
Some quick thoughts on the death of the record as object
I can attest to the fact that it's rough out there for recorded music. As some of you may know, I founded and run a record label. As of about six months ago I was running another one as well. And about two months before that I was still lending a hand on a third label.
Public utterings from two of my favorite "recluses": Crass & Mary Margaret O’Hara
In the overmediated age we find ourselves in, I have a kind of kneejerk negative reaction to the entire notion of the recluse.
The Purposeless Life of Flowers
« Pourquoi donc y a-t-il des fleurs ? » Pourquoi ? Pour rien. Parce que. La beauté des fleurs est là, c’est tout. Pour rien. Et sûrement pas pour nous. Mais voilà : nous y sommes sensibles, et cela, ce n’est pas rien.
The Hand of God: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Law in the Beautiful Game
If you help your team win a match by deliberately breaking the rules, as Luis Suárez did last week, are you a hero or a cheat? I think a cheat, but let me say why.
Obits: Alan Rich, classical music critic
A few weeks ago the august and (by some accounts) curmudgeonly classical music critic Alan Rich