From Workplace, a review of The University Against Itself: The NYU Strike and the Future of the Academic Workplace by Monika Krause, Mary Nolan, Michael Palm, and Andrew Ross. Clive Bloom sheds few tears for Middlesex's strangely underpopulated philosophy department — or any other corners of an academy short on recruits and long overdue for the axe. Breaking out of the academy may seem daunting, but scholars' skills transfer to many other jobs. Teachers without technology strike back: Many professors don't find that the latest technology helps their students learn. In the conversation about ebooks and academe, the distance from cup to lip is great and involves many challenges. Geoffrey Nunberg on why Google's Book Search is a disaster for scholars. Open peer review in humanities journals: Is an experiment by Shakespeare Quarterly the shape of things to come? The Internet is calling into question one of academia’s sacred rites — the peer-reviewed journal article (and more). If it doesn’t exist on the internet, it doesn’t exist; as time has gone on, it’s proved to be a truism, perhaps the paradigmatic truism of our times. Finishing School: Christopher Beam on the case for getting rid of tenure. Never mix, never worry: Here is a brief (and incomplete) history of the academic couple. Hot at their own risk: Professors seen as very good-looking can be cast by colleagues and their students as lightweights, known less for their productivity than for their pulchritude.
From The Indian Review of World Literature in English, Megha Trivedi on Thea Astley: Writing in an overpoweringly male dominated literary world. Sleeping in safe places: An experimental investigation of human sleeping place preferences from an evolutionary perspective. An interview with Colin Blakemore: "It’s touch and go whether we humans will outlive the century". A short recent history of American capitalism: There is one sure opportunity for you in the wake of the Great Recession — and it's not gold. As part of VPRO International’s Backlight series, Slavoj Zizek discusses many of the themes from his new book Living in the End Times. A unique set of landscapes from around the globe — from Siberia to the South Pacific islands have been added to the list of Natural World Heritage sites by UNESCO. Go forth, make friends: Having a social network is very good for you — really. A review of The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely (and more). Is the pen name mightier than the sword, or just a modern writer's flimsy foil? 3-D filmmaking's radical, revolutionary potential: Forget Avatar and Step Up 3D — when filmmakers finally master 3-D, it will mark the start of a new art form. From UUWorld, a review of books on death. More about intellect than ideology: Yuval Levin says his journal National Affairs is "neoconservative in the original sense".
From Neue magazine, an article on the irony of Christian celebrity: What if our quest for influence is actually another way of chasing fame? From Practical Matters, a special issue on the religious lives of young people. Brett McCracken on the perils of Hipster Christianity and why young evangelicals reject churches that try to be cool (and more on Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide). The new face of faith: From celebs like Joe Jonas to Silver Lake hipsters, the young, beautiful, and God-fearing are flocking to Reality LA, a small-batch alternative to big-box megachurches. From Homiletics, a review of We Get to Carry Each Other: The Gospel According to U2 by Greg Garrett; a review of God Comes Out: A Queer Homiletic by Olive Elaine Hinnant; and a review of Watch This! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism by Jonathan L. Walton. From Sojourners, is the Emerging Church for whites only? This Magazine takes a look at six progressive religious movements throughout history. From Tikkun, a special issue on God and the Twenty-first Century. Do our gadgets get in the way of God? From Patheos, a special section on the future of religion. Perry Noble on 3 arguments that sound spiritual but are actually stupid. From Christianity Today, cussing isn't our only problem — though that's bad enough. The personality paradox of Jesus: Meek and mild, or tough and bold — will the real Jesus please stand up?
A new issue of Theoria is out. From Signs, Karen Haworth (UWF): Paleosemiosis; and a review of Cybersemiotics: Why Information is Not Enough! by Soren Brier. A documentary reveals the philosophy of parking lot attendants. Miss Not-So-Perfect USA: Although rocked by lasting scandal and controversy, pageants have continued to stay the course. As we hunch over computers in airless office cubicles, many of us wish we could take a break from our daily routine — but vacationing can be an anxious endeavor in its own right; the following books begin with pleasant holidays, but end up delivering something darker and more complex. From The Paris Review, Eric Banks keeps a culture diary this week. How do we choose a mate? What scientists are learning from online dating. From Cracked, a look at 6 great novels that were hated in their time; and 6 words that need to be banned from the English language. There's big money in applied narratology! Scott McLemee finds out too late to benefit from the bubble SWF, loves Sebald, seeks same in man: Is it important to date someone with a similar bookshelf to yours? The sluggish international response to the Pakistan floods emergency is actually not all that sluggish — here are the five most under-funded and ignored humanitarian crises. An interview with Chris Lehmann, author of Rich People Things. Barry Levine, editor of the National Enquirer, has little use for the fake celebrity world of Us Weekly and OK! — instead, he wants to open a DC bureau.
From Rain Taxi, a review of Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play by Jennifer DeVere Brody; and a review of The Extended Words: An Imaginary Dictionary by Sid Gershgoren. A review of The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English by Roy Peter Clark. Verbed: Not every noun wants to stay that way. A review of The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at a Time by Jeff Deck and Benjamin D. Herson (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). On word division: Can anyone explain how you "draise" "fun" — as in "fun-draising", and do we need an aristocratic urologist to explain a "pee-rage"? Click here: A field guide to English usage online. A not-so-secret guide to our lost language: Lexicographers hoard words — and wait to see if we take them up. When is a word not a word? When it doesn't make it into the dictionary. Rig talk: Jan Freeman on what the oil spill did to language. "I wrote 2U B4!": British Library shows up textspeak as soooo 19th century. The Oddest English Spellings: Anatoly Liberman on tier, tear (noun), tear (verb), tare, wear, weary, and other weird words. Largely gone from the funny pages but alive and well on the rear bumper of the car, the rebus is a visual puzzle that, in its various forms, encapsulates the history of alphabetic writing from ideograms (pictures designating concepts or things) to pictographs (pictures representing specific words or phrases) to phonograms (pictures representing specific sounds or series of sounds).
Attention college students: Bookforum will pay you $10 for every $16 subscription you sell. Sell 10 subscriptions and we'll double your money for a total of $200!