Friday, September 16, 2011

Sketches of academic loons

Once more into the breach, a ready made Reading Room post for the harried blogger. Forget Calgon take me away: Omnivore to the rescue. It's not like I don't have posts simmering in drafts (notably), issues to address (some even relevant) and drums to beat. but this is like coming home late after a tiring commute and not having to cook dinner.


What, you might ask, is the point of loons? For starters, that is the stereotype held by much of the public, not Indiana Jones but the Nutty Professor. Loons are not the best marketing image unless marketing to other loons. Why read about them? Go ask Bobbie Burns, you louse, or if the unexamined (professional) life is worth professing


The Left-leaning tower: why conservatives steer clear of grad school. Left-leaning lecture halls: Universities like to think of their lecture series as&In academianbsp;extensions of the education that students get in their classrooms — unfortunately, they usually are. Paul Gottfried on character sketches of academic loons. Less academics, more narcissism: The University of California is cutting back on many things, but not useless diversity programs. English professors have long been straying far afield from literary studies, expanding into women’s studies, disability studies, ethnic studies, even fat studies — recently they have migrated into animal studies. 


In academia, new manifestations of gnosticism, a very old heresy, are found in English departments everywhere. Where trendy is 17th century: "Classical Christian" colleges turn to the Great Books curriculum in order to advance a small but growing sector of higher education. From The Catholic Thing, the historical situation in which we find ourselves — one of opposition to or avoidance of the Catholic nature of Catholic institutions of higher learning — has a long history; and moving the universities to get into the nitty-gritty of being called Catholic is fundamental to the Church’s presence in the larger pagan and agnostic culture. 
From Catapult, if the resurrection story has the power to shape everything we do, how does it shape the education of ourselves and our children? God is in the basement of the Empire State Building: Dinesh D’Souza, the new president of the city’s only Evangelical college, wants to build a “Christian A-team” — but can the man who says Obama supports radical Muslims persuade students to follow him? Reinventing religious life on campus: Religious identity has largely been replaced by ethnic and racial identities as markers of group membership and solidarity. A review of Thriving at College: Make Great Friends, Keep Your Faith and Get Ready for the Real World! by Alex Chediak.

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