The Opposite of MOOC
MOOC seems to have swept us up in its wave. Dazed, many of us don’t know which way to turn. To put MOOC in perspective, let me describe a program that sails against this tide.
Is the Internet Literary?
The world is text. Mallarmé and Flaubert described this possibility at the end of the nineteenth century and Derrida proclaimed it again more recently. But now we can say that the world is literature. It is turning literary through the Internet.
Globalization: Déjà vu all over again?
You’d think from current writing on transnationalism that our interconnected society is an exceptional time in human affairs. Reading work on globalization, by either academics or journalist, you get the impression that we are experiencing a unique phenomenon. Writers are so taken by contemporary developments that they forget to set them in a historical context.
Baby, we're so Provincial
There must be something right with a country, when your guide talks to you on your hike outside Bogota about his love for Llosa, Cortázar, Hemingway, Kazantzakis, and Tolstoy. And then at the end of the hike he asks for a list of novels and poets he should read! Am I living in the wrong country or what?
Thoughts on Reading Joseph Levenson
Contrary to the menacing spectacle of national chauvinism associated with China today, Confucian universal values embodied by the idea of tianxia (all under heaven) stem from an ethical scheme of ritualistic empire.  This global view based on cultural improvement is a far cry from the image of modern empires bent on acquiring territories, markets and resources.