October 2009

Aristotle and the Art of Fly Fishing
By Gregory S. Butler on October 02, 2009

I have heard it said that fly fishing is the only sport with its own literature. I am not sure what to make of this claim exactly, for I have acquaintances who insist that both baseball and golf have inspired some really fine writing. Fly fishing certainly has one thing going for it that the other two do not: it is a sport that always takes place in the most beautiful natural settings on earth. And I cannot think of any other sporting activity that is so satisfying to people of a contemplative disposition. Perhaps this more than anything else accounts for its allegedly unmatched literary aesthetic.

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Adjunct Work to Boost the CV
By Phil Hamilton on October 05, 2009

I realize that many readers of this blog are advanced graduate students and those who have just finished the Ph.D., but who do not yet have full-time academic positions. As chair of my department, I typically head up our tenure-track searches as well as hire adjuncts on a semester-by-semester basis. Therefore, I thought might be beneficial for those who anticipate hitting the TT search relatively soon (in the next year or so) to consider adjunct work to bolster both your CV and your chances of landing a position in a difficult job market.

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Character Education and the General Education Curriculum
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on October 07, 2009

"Universities have no business teaching students how to be good people or good citizens."

I can still remember one of my colleagues adamantly stating this opinion almost a decade ago. Now I find myself in the interesting position of having to revisit this question in my current work of reviewing and revising my university's general education curriculum. Is there really a role for character and citizen education in a general education curriculum?

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The Good Philosopher and the Good Liberal Arts College, Part IV: Postmodernism and Christian Philosophy
By Thaddeus Kozinski on October 09, 2009

With the previous three posts as background, I am now prepared to claim that postmodernist non-foundationalism needs to be adopted, at least to some extent, by the Christian philosopher, though in a thoroughly realist and theologically robust mode. . . .

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Introducing The Subfields of Political Science: Big Questions for Contemporary Politics, Part II
By John von Heyking on October 12, 2009

For the latest iteration of my Introduction to Political Studies, I assigned a few articles dealing with the contemporary state of liberal education as a way to get my students thinking about the political problems set forth in their assigned introductory reading for this class (Huxley’s Brave New World) and in their assigned political philosophy readings (Plato’s Apology of Socrates and Crito). While these readings focus on liberal education, the primary readings of Huxley and Plato also suggest contemporary readings on individual freedom or resistance. I chose liberal education as a focus because those other topics tend to flatter too much the sense undergraduates have of their own assertiveness. They might already be identifying too much, and for the wrong reasons, with Bernard Marx and Socrates.

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What Should Students Take Away from the US history survey?
By Phil Hamilton on October 14, 2009

Every year I teach the first half of the US history survey course (which ends with the Civil War's conclusion), and each time I ask myself what I really want my students to take away from the class, especially since, for most of them, this will probably be the last formal history course they will take in their lives. I always have several general goals in mind.


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Turning Students Into Farmers
By RJ Snell on October 16, 2009

Propriety involves knowing good limits, just like a farmer knows the limits of the land. But much education presses these limits and even exists to transgress them. When do we say "stop"?

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The Good Philosopher and the Good Liberal Arts College, Part V: The Good Philosopher Institutionalized
By Thaddeus Kozinski on October 19, 2009

Most of the foregoing discussion in this series has focused on the nature of the good philosopher. Now it is time to examine more closely how the same principles can be applied to a Christian liberal arts institution.

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Introducing The Subfields of Political Science: Big Questions for Contemporary Politics, Part III
By John von Heyking on October 21, 2009

Reflections on Political History and National Identity.

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The Land of Mordor, Mount Doom, and General Education
By Gerson Moreno-Riano on October 22, 2009

Evaluating and revising a general education curriculum is much like a journey through the Land of Mordor on the way to Mount Doom. Few are one’s allies, many are one’s enemies, perils abound and there is darkness everywhere. I may perhaps write about allies and enemies alike at some other time. For now, I want to write about some of the perils and darkness that pervade the terrain.

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