October 2011

Occupy Stone Town, Zanzibar?

by Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein October 30, 2011

I should be working right now. But I am preoccupied by the occupations. All around the world, from New York City to Rome, Boston to Barcelona, Miami to Moscow, every day citizens have organized to occupy the centres of financial power that have for decades caused and perpetuated gaps between rich and poor. There’s been [...]

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To wire or not to wire

by David Alm October 24, 2011

Last week the New York Times ran an article about an Indiana school district that has dispensed with textbooks, pencils, and the o ther antiquated tools of primary education. Instead, each desk features a laptop computer. The logic is that, being the 21st Century and all, kids need to learn how to use technology. A [...]

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Justice, Illinois

by Peter Anderson October 21, 2011

This morning my commuter train was momentarily delayed in Justice, a small town just beyond the southwest side of Chicago. The train was stopped next to a subdivision, at the end of a cul de sac. From where I sat, the near view was wide and I could clearly see the first few houses on [...]

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An education, not a credential

by David Alm October 17, 2011

Imagine taking a class on n on-Euclidian geometry. Now imagine that your professor doesn’t know anything about geometry at all, let alone an obscure, archaic branch of it. Inste ad, she h as a PhD in art history. But imagine, too, that this is an extremely rigorous class, at one of the oldest colleges in [...]

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Political poetry

by Rebecca Lehmann October 16, 2011

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about poems. My first book of poems is about to come out (obligatory self endorsement), I’ve been teaching poetry in all three of my classes (one a creative writing class, one a composition class, one a glorious class on contemporary poets in which I get to teach all my [...]

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UT acquires Coetzee’s archives, giving this reader pause

by David Alm October 14, 2011

The University of Texas at Austin announced this week that its Ransom Center will acquire the archives of South African novelist J.M. Coetzee. Coetzee received his PhD in English, linguistics, and Germanic languages at Austin, where he wrote his dissertation on the early fiction of Samuel Beckett, in 1969. The 71-year-old author has lived in [...]

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A lament on Steve Jobs — the man, not the god

by David Alm October 7, 2011

I learned of Steve Jobs’s death the way millions of people probably did: by turning on my MacBook. There, on the Apple homepage, was a photo of Jobs and the years 1955-2011. I was shocked, but not terribly so. His cancer and departure from Apple in August were never secret, and everyone following the situation [...]

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Knox is free, thanks (or no thanks?) to the media

by David Alm October 4, 2011

In early 2008, I read a disturbing story of young lust and murderous rage, fueled by alcohol one late night, that left a 21-year-old woman dead in Perugia, Italy. I read about the murderers: an attractive couple in their early 20s, who looked like any clean-cut college students you’d see on any campus in the [...]

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The paradox of global education

by David Alm October 3, 2011

When I started college, in 1993, there was a notion going around that education was subversive. It allowed those of us lucky enough to be studying the liberal arts to engage with serio us texts, ask serious questions, and develop critical perspectives on the world. It allowed us to exist, mentally at least, outside the [...]

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