November 2010

Conservative Prosody
By James Matthew Wilson on November 01, 2010

I would like to propose two reasons that conservatives ought to take an interest in verse, one historical and the other ethical.  Following them, I should like to offer as a teaching resource a guide to verisification (prosody) that the reader may find of interest as a means of understanding this seldom taught craft and that the professor of good will is welcome to use as a booklet to distribute to students.


Christ-haunted Modern Morality
By Anonymous on November 04, 2010

Sentimentality, according to Cambridge philosopher Michael Tanner, is a certain “disease of the feelings” that is at once aesthetic and moral. If Tanner is right about our present cultural situation, sentimentality is characteristic of advanced societies in the west, and this subjects reflective people who live within them to a peculiar kind of anxiety.


What can you do with a degree in art history?
By Anonymous on November 05, 2010

As an art history professor at a state university attended by many first-generation students, I get the question “What can I do with a degree in art history” quite frequently from both my students and their parents.  I completely understand the rationale behind the question.


The Problems with Jeffersonian Philosophy, Part III
By Paul DeHart on November 08, 2010

Jefferson’s suggestion about the combination of Epicureanism and Christianity is utterly implausible.  It is based upon a lack of awareness about the defects of egoistic ethics and a thoroughgoing misunderstanding of the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth concerning the essence of love.  The Epicurean pleasure principle is incapable of attaining tranquility.  Rather, it flounders on the shoals of the disintegrated and schizophrenic self.  And before Jefferson can even claim, with a straight face, that the teaching of Jesus should be wed to the ethics of Epicurus, he must reduce the moral horizon of the agape ethic by an almost infinite degree—reducing an ethic of self-sacrifice to one of benevolence.  The combination Jefferson suggests is so implausible, that one wonders how Jefferson could ever have advocated so preposterous an idea.     


Regional Seminars on the American Founding
By Lee Trepanier on November 08, 2010

I participated at the one-day Lehrman American Studies Center Regional Seminar at Yale University about “The Founding and Re-Founding” of America


Statesmanship and the Constitution
By Lee Trepanier on November 10, 2010

At the Lehrman American Studies Center Regional Seminar at Amherst, we talked about the role of statesmanship and the Constitution. Hadley Arkes talked about the importance of first principles in the Constitution, while George Nash discussed the education of the Founders. We concluded with a discussion of how to teach statesmanship and the Constiution in the classroom. One of the questions that was raised by one of the participants and that was unresolved was the relationship between first principles and the text of the Constitution. Does the importance of first principles make the text of the Constitution itself irrelevant? If not, then what role does the text have in the Constitution?


A Year on the Job Market, Part 2
By Anonymous on November 10, 2010

How best to find success on the job market?  In my last post, I talked about what you can still do to improve your chances for this year.  As promised, I now turn to a consideration of what you can do to prepare for next year.  Sadly, a second year on the market is something that a majority of job candidates will have to experience, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about it now.  What, then, can one do now so as to fare better in the future?


"Important" Academic Issues # 4--Office Space
By RJ Snell on November 12, 2010

As part of the ongoing evacuation of academic culture from the academy, the corporate cubicle makes perfect sense: for faculty offices efficient, inexpensive, simple. Too bad that's not what the academy is about.


Citizenship in America: From the Founding to Today
By Lee Trepanier on November 15, 2010

At the Lehrman American Studies Center Regional Seminar at Harvard, we explored and discussed the nature of citizenship in the United States from its origins to today. Heather Cox Richardson presented a lecture on the changing role of citizenship during Reconstruction and Joe Fornieri talked about Liincoln's defense of black citizenship as a prelude to civil rights. There also was a discussion about how to teach citizenship in the classroom today. Some of the problems of teaching citizenship in the classroom were the rise of service learning and assessment as well as the presenting citizenship as civics in the educational system. The seminar itself was a terrific experience: I learned a great deal and I'm looking forward to more in the future!


(Social Security) Apocalypse Sooner than Expected
By Gabriel Martinez on November 17, 2010

Because of the recession, payroll tax revenues have collapsed while benefits have kept increasing.  This doesn't mean insolvency (yet), but it does mean that the massive cash flow problems we've heard about are here, ahead of schedule:

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