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Jan 14, 2005 7:19 am

Some Recommended Reading ...

Jonathan Rose's essay,"The Classics in the Slums" in City Journal is an inspiring read for those of us who believe that the masses, too, ought to have access to great literature. Thanks to Erin O'Connor's Critical Mass and Miriam Burstein, the Little Professor, for the tip.

Rob MacDougall has an amazing post up,"Turk 182," about the bewonderment of 18th century automata and robots. Really, I can't do justice to it. Tim Burke and Sharon Howard could and they ought to talk with each other about these things. MacDougall leaves me wanting to know more and that's as it should be -- a sign of good teaching.

Amardeep Singh complains that there wasn't enough metacommentary on the condition of history coming out of the AHA convention and recommends Rebecca Zorach's"Theory of Every Thing" in the Boston Globe. Amardeep's primary complaint about our reports from the convention is basically correct, though. It's very difficult to stand back from the this and that of things. See, for example, Dr.History's report of her experience. It didn't help any that the one session on the history scandals was delayed until the very last slot at the convention, when most historians had already left Seattle.

My colleague, KC Johnson, has gone slumming again with a piece called"Academic Freedom on the Front Lines" in David Horowitz's FrontPageRag. We may have to have an regular conclave about all this. KC's gettin' to be a regular over there; Greg's appearing on FOX. Think about Cliopatria's good reputation, fellahs!

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Jonathan Rose - 1/17/2005

Many thanks for your kind words about my article. It's excerpted from my book "The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes," if you're interested in reading more on that subject.

Jeff Vanke - 1/14/2005

I skimmed KC's "Academic Freedom" linked above, and I offer this anecdote about more anodyne examples of Global Studies courses.

They are increasingly de rigueur for regional and international studies majors. I taught the course once at Guilford College. The point was to survey the current world in an interdisciplinary fashion. I think that's what I did. If I had biases, they were in favor of democratically responsible governments, and to recognize the benefits of regulated free trade.

There might be Global Studies courses out there designed to undergird reflexive leftist causes, and presumably Christian evangelical worldviews in other cases. But many of the courses are simply supposed to provide a survey, as well as the most cohesive moment, of regional and global studies majors.

(The desirability of those majors is a different question.)

This comment is designed to supplement Johnson's point on such courses, not to address his broader arguments in that piece.

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