Teaching Gone Bad: Reflections On A Semester Gone Wrong

Teaching has gone wrong this semester. I do not need to wait till the end of this semester to write my usual self-assessment; this semester has been a disaster. Two of my three classes are dead in the water, drifting aimlessly; my students and I are locked in a fatal embrace of disinterest and mutualContinue reading “Teaching Gone Bad: Reflections On A Semester Gone Wrong”

Catharine MacKinnon’s Feminist Jurisprudence In The Classroom

Next week, students in my Philosophy of Law class will read and discuss Catharine MacKinnon‘s ‘Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: Toward Feminist Jurisprudence‘  (Signs, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Summer, 1983), pp. 635-658). MacKinnon’s writings have featured once before on my reading lists–for my graduate ‘Nature of Law’ seminar at the City University Graduate CenterContinue reading “Catharine MacKinnon’s Feminist Jurisprudence In The Classroom”

‘Prison Literature: Constraints And Creativity’ Up At Three Quarks Daily

My essay, ‘Prison Literature: Constraint and Creativity,’ is up at Three Quarks Daily.  Here is an introduction/abstract: In his Introduction to Hegel’s Metaphysics (University of Chicago Press, 1969, pp 30-31), Ivan Soll attributes “great sociological and psychological insight” to Hegel in ascribing to him the insight that “the frustration of the freedom of act results in the search ofContinue reading “‘Prison Literature: Constraints And Creativity’ Up At Three Quarks Daily”

The Books We Own And Will Never Read

Let’s get real, be honest, face the facts: There are some books on my shelves I will never read. The reasons for this are manifold: the contents of the shelves are not static, as I keep adding to them; my shelves are disorganized, which means that many books escape detection as I inspect the shelvesContinue reading “The Books We Own And Will Never Read”

Drexel University Bans Professor From Campus, Gives Alt-Right An Early Christmas Gift

I’ve signed and shared a statement of solidarity supporting George Cicciariello-Maher of Drexel University who has been placed on administrative leave by his employer, Drexel University. That statement begins as follows: On October 9, 2017, Drexel University administrators sent a letter to Associate Professor George Ciccariello-Maher informing him that he was being placed on paidContinue reading “Drexel University Bans Professor From Campus, Gives Alt-Right An Early Christmas Gift”

#MeToo Shows Sexual Harassment And Abuse Is A Feature, Not A Bug

The Facebook status is simple: Me too. If all the people who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. Please copy/paste, if you’re comfortable doing so. And effective: it has produced a deluge of “Me too” statuses. The vast majorityContinue reading “#MeToo Shows Sexual Harassment And Abuse Is A Feature, Not A Bug”

Blade Runner 2049: Our Slaves Will Set Us Free

Blade Runner 2049 is a provocative visual and aural treat. It sparked many thoughts, two of which I make note of here; the relationship between the two should be apparent. What is the research project called ‘artificial intelligence’ trying to do? Is it trying to make machines that can do the things which, if doneContinue reading “Blade Runner 2049: Our Slaves Will Set Us Free”

Childhood Crushes – II: Jennifer O’Neill In ‘Summer Of 42’

I wasn’t alone in wishing I was Hermie. Many teenage boys–American or otherwise-had the same thoughts on seeing Summer of 42, the cinematic adaptation of Herman Raucher‘s memoirish coming-of-age novel, a movie that made me laugh very, very hard during its screening and then left me silent and devastated as I walked back to my boardingContinue reading “Childhood Crushes – II: Jennifer O’Neill In ‘Summer Of 42’”

Robert Talisse On ‘Too Much Democracy’ And The Public-Private Distinction

Over at Aeon Magazine Robert Talisse worries that “our social lives” are being “tyrannised by democracy” because “choices about mundane matters…are all deeply tied to [our] political profile…social worlds are shaped by the travails of contemporary politics” and builds to the conclusion that “there is such a thing as too much democracy,” that “we must reserveContinue reading “Robert Talisse On ‘Too Much Democracy’ And The Public-Private Distinction”

The Self As Prison

In his review of Charles Simic‘s The Lunatic: Poems and The Life of Images: Selected Prose Phillip Lopate makes note of Simic’s “cultivation of awe,” his “opening himself to chance, that favorite tactic of Surrealists” and makes note of this pronouncement: Others pray to God; I pray to chance to show me the way out ofContinue reading “The Self As Prison”