Category Archives: What Is A Scholar?

Et on y va

I am going away for a month, ciao-ciao. When I get home, I will work in the office. I tend to avoid this but in fact there are many things at which I am more efficient there. I also tend to think the office and building are alienating places, and I have been right about this at times — but I will remove this gris-gris by inhabiting them.



Filed under News, What Is A Scholar?, Working

“A writer’s work is the product of laziness”

J. L. Borges on writing.


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Filed under Bibliography, What Is A Scholar?, Working

That Vallejo panel

I must compose my to-do list: the Service Learning project, the Vallejo panel, the Curriculum and Instruction article, the Houston paper and its submission somewhere, and the Vallejo paper … not to mention the prison presentation. I also have the prize submission, the archival research, and the bureaucratic document on my own behalf.

For Vallejo, we have two new-to-me critical texts: one involving the October Revolution, El Tungsteno and Badiou, and a piece by Stephen Hart that talks about Vallejo the homo sacer (Angamben).

Homo sacer or “sovereign power and bare life” = sacred pariah, criminal, exile, wounded, flawed; I must discover what these things really mean. Hart’s piece is about self-respresentation and identity in Vallejo —  because Vallejo did produce himself and also get produced in certain ways.

My ideas on the matter at hand have to do with Borges, “La nadería de la personalidad,” and similar writings from the period.


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Filed under Poetry, What Is A Scholar?, Working

On Comparative Literature

. . . in having to build its own comparative apparatus, the discipline is forced to balance breadth against depth. It can escape neither geographical reach nor philosophical literacy. It thus requires the achievement, and not the mere avowal of a multicultural perspective.

What do you think of this piece?


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Filed under Questions, Theories, What Is A Scholar?, Working

Slow adopters

I am adamantly opposed to the idea that shrinking the production of Ph.D.s is good for history as a professional endeavor.

So am I. Claire Potter appears to be writing an interesting book.


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Filed under Teaching, What Is A Scholar?

Writing group report

Last week I finished a draft of a report for the department on an ongoing service and teaching initiative. It has been judged good. I will keep working on it, two hours per week, and spend another hour or so a week implementing aspects of it, for the foreseeable future.

I also got two conference panels together, one on the prison project and one on the Vallejo project. I am waiting to hear about my conference proposal on the race project.

This week I will work out every day. I will finish grading, and I will do the errands I need to do for the sake of life in general. I will get up early and read fiction at night.

In terms of writing, I will continue with the article on curriculum. In terms of research, I will work on Vallejo.

I need a shiatsu massage and I will look out for one. I also need to file papers, and I will keep this in mind — I should ideally do a small portion of this most days, or perhaps designated two hours a week for this, starting now and extending into the future.


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Filed under What Is A Scholar?, Working

Carlos Alonso on curriculum

Here are some of his 2013 thoughts. Watch the video and tell me what you think. What is the value of the humanities education, the Ph.D., and the life of the mind generally?



Filed under Bibliography, Questions, Subconference, Teaching, Theories, What Is A Scholar?, Working