Professional Development

Opportunities and Challenges in Using Core Texts, Part 2
By Glenn Moots on August 02, 2010

On the challenges of using core texts, supplementing an earlier post on the opportunies of such texts.


Conference Presentations: Like the Old Woman's Dance
By Gabriel Martinez on July 29, 2010

Most academics spend quite a bit of time (and nervousness) arranging for talks, traveling to them, presenting, listening to presentations, and incorporating comments.


The Greatness of Gordon Wood
By Michael Schwarz on July 28, 2010

Following Professor Gordon Wood's recent lecture at the ISI Summer Institute, one of my new friends and fellow participants, a non-historian, posed an interesting question to me and several other Early American historians then present.  "So," my colleague began, "how does one become Gordon Wood?"  Without altering the substance of my friend's query, and for the benefit of an interdisciplinary audience, I might re-frame and expand the question as follows: Why do some historians of the American Revolution and Early Republic consider Gordon Wood the finest practitioner of their craft, certainly of the last fifty years and perhaps of all time, and how might conservative specialists and non-specialists alike profit from Wood's insights?


The Scholarly Life: Applying for Tenure
By Carson Holloway on July 28, 2010

During the first week of the 2010 Summer Institute, I offered a two part presentation on some of the practical aspects of the scholarly life.  Part one, posted earlier, discussed how a young academic should prepare for the job market.  In part two we considered what a new assistant professor can do to maximize his or her chances of winning tenure.  Here are some of the considerations that were discussed with a view to that goal.


A Theory of the Toast in Full
By Anonymous on July 23, 2010

What is the toast?  At first, I assumed that the toast was a vehicle for witty individuals to give full play to their cleverness for good turns and puns.  But this assumption only exposes the corruption and disorder of my own thoughts (and the secret wish of my heart to be such a speaker). A witty toast maker is a mark of a decadent society. The witty, or even wily, speaker attempts--through his art--to siphon glory to himself and away from the recipient of the toast and so disrupt the proper ceremony that is a toast.


The Scholarly Life: Applying for Your First Job
By Carson Holloway on July 14, 2010

During the first week of the 2010 Lehrman Summer Institute, I led a workshop for the fellows and other participants that identified some ways that young academics can prepare themselves for the job market.  I am posting a written version of that advice in the hope that it might prove useful to current and past fellows and other members of the LASC community. 


A.G. Sertillanges' The Intellectual Life, Part II: The Intellectual Vocation, Solitude, and Attention
By Thaddeus Kozinski on July 12, 2010

In the last installment, we discussed the importance of Sertillanges’ book as an antidote to our anti-intellectual culture, and as a lens by which to discern its myriad pseudo-intellectual surrogates and expose its dangerous distractions. In the next three installments we shall attend to the book itself, examining its major themes and commenting on selected passages. This is especially not a book that can be adequately summarized, for it is essentially a set of aphorisms, though systematically and adeptly combined into a flowing whole, so I shall quote often and generously.

Read the rest.


Princeton 2010: Day Seven
By Anonymous on June 27, 2010

Starting out the day was a lecture by Joseph Fornieri on the topic of “Lincoln’s Reflective Patriotism.”  Fornieri, a professor of political science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, delved into his thesis that Lincoln’s fervor for his country was informed by the great thinkers of the past, such as Cicero, and that Lincoln essentially wanted an allegiance to America over an allegiance to a race.  His lecture led to a dynamic Question & Answer session that discussed the differences between patriotism and nationalism.  Fornieri concluded that reason accompanies nationalism, while passion is correlative with patriotism.

The small group break-out session then expanded upon this notion, discussing its impact upon the ideas of liberal patriotism, the relationship between dissention and patriotism and the current context of how patriotism affects a nation’s welfare state.  The small group I attended was moderated by Dr. Khalil Habib and Dr. Fornieri. 

An afternoon mentoring session convened, with Jed Donahue of ISI Books, Stephen Wrinn of the University Press of Kentucky, and Donald Critchlow of Arizona State University, discussing publishing in academic presses and journals.  Wrinn discussed the value of scholarship, how academic work must have impact through originality and maintain relevance for posterity.  This insightful session allowed Fellows to discuss proposal methods and trade standards with three men on the inside of the publishing industry. 

The day concluded with a dinner lecture by Dr. Gary Gregg, the University of Louisville Mitch McConnell Chair in Leadership.  His address, titled “Cato: The Education of Statesmen” explored how the ancient Roman politician had a deep and profound effect on the personal and professional life of George Washington.

A.G. Sertillanges' The Intellectual Life: Part I
By Thaddeus Kozinski on June 24, 2010

Many of us live much, perhaps most, of our intellectual life on blogs. I don’t condemn this, of course, for the irony and hypocrisy of such a condemnation would be off the charts. Yet, the kind of intellectual habits that we are forming and the quality of intellectual fare of which we are partaking—the overall character of the intellectual life we are living—in and by long-term, virtual inhabitation in blog culture is something we vitally (literally) need to consider, even if such consideration takes place right smack in blog country.


Linked-In: The Advantages of Online Networking for Employment
By John von Heyking on May 24, 2010

A recent article at the GlobeCampus blog argues for the utility of the online networking site Linked-In for undergraduate students seeking employment.  It’s a more useful tool than Facebook, which mostly caters to networking for personal reasons.