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Jan 5, 2005 5:04 pm

Noted Here and There ...

In 1934 and 1935, Shotaro Shimomura (1883-1944), a Japanese businessman and photographer, toured the world and took beautiful photographs. You can see them on-line here.

You may not think that there's a natural alliance in the United States between evangelicals and intellectuals. Harvard Law Professor William Stuntz does and he writes about it in"Faculty Clubs and Church Pews" and"The Academic Left and the Christian Right."

Several of my colleagues are settling back into normal routines:
In his latest post, Hugo Schwyzer plays pitiful on his return flight from England and brings out the solicitous mother in several women. Having done that number, myself, on occasion, I'm in no position to chastise him, but the thought of an older woman carrying his luggage and wheeling our heroic long distance runner around LA Airport in a wheelchair is a bit much. Welcome home, Hugo.

Sharon Howard at Early Modern Notes has some very helpful recommendations on"Grantsmanship."

Santa Claus brought Tim Burke's family their own home for the first time, but he left the heavy lifting to the Swarthmore professor. Despite the lower back pain, his"On the Occasion of Your Catastrophe" is vintage Burke. We are moved by the catastrophe in the Indian Ocean, he suggests, not because it is unprecedented, but because of a shift of consciousness.

Manan Ahmed, Tim Burke, Jon Dresner, Greg Robinson, and I will be in Seattle for the AHA convention and more or less without access to the net from 6-9 January. I trust that our other colleagues will continue the discussions at Cliopatria in our absence.

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David Lion Salmanson - 1/5/2005

WEll, yes and no. Again, I'll plug Ted Steinberg's Acts of God as a recommended read. Like some of the folks that Burke criticizes, Steinberg sees some disasters as man-made in the sense that particular policies encourage certain outcomes that are more devastating than other policies. But I think where Steinberg differs is that he pays as much attention to the way memory functions. The pre-Modern world is rife with examples of devastating natural disasters that are explained one way or another. These stories suggest that certain behavioral modifications are necessary to avert another disaster. The shift towards "Act of God," "random chance,""return to normalcy" language of economic boosters/politicians is itself a modern phenomenon and one worth examining carefully.

Amardeep Singh - 1/5/2005

William Stuntz ("Church Pews and Faculty clubs") has some decent insights along the way on the substantial similarities between University rituals and Church rituals. Universities are, indeed, still a bit churchy at times. (To Stuntz's points of comparison, I would add: the religious origin of the words "Dean" and "Canon," and the pseudo-priestly get-up worn at graduation.) Stuntz reads these similarities of ethos, ritual performance, and intellectual bent as signs that Evangelicals and University Professors might one day soon be holding hands again. It's all fine -- if a little sketchy, except for one glaring puddle of lump: he just isn't convincing at all on the question of how to get over the abortion divide.

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