“So as to give them courage we must teach people to be shocked by themselves.”

Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Precariat (HUM415)

Here’s a term recently coined by Guy Standing that can help us to understand the current neoliberal configuration of global capitalism: the precariat.

See this short clip from the UK Guardian via Sociological Images:

Chickenpox Alert from SHS

Don’t freak out, but please be advised:
Friday, August 31, 2012 10:34 AM
Dear Faculty and Staff:

I am writing to advise you that there has been a case of chickenpox (varicella) diagnosed at the University.  While chickenpox is a highly infectious disease if you have ever had chickenpox or have received the standard two doses of chickenpox vaccine, you have immunity and should not contract chickenpox.

Notes on the Significance of America (the Continent, not the US) in Relation to the Development of Global Capitalism (HUM455)

Adam Smith: “The discovery of America, and that of a passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, are the two greatest and most important events recorded in the history of mankind” (The Wealth of Nations).

Read more of this post

Toohey on Periodization (HUM303/415)

Looking over the course readers for HUM 303 and HUM 415 it became apparent that the reproduction of Toohey’s “The Cultural Logic of Historical Periodization” is pretty substandard. I’ve uploaded a cleaner copy of that short essay on the relevant course information pages under the date it is assigned.

America(s) (idea of)

Ken note that one of the assignments for tomorrow’s class was not in the reader. The entry titled “America(s) (idea of) taken from the Dictionary of Human Geography can be found both below and on the course information sheet.


Questionnaire (HUM303/415/455/470)


1. legal name

2. preferred name

3. place/date of birth

4. are you a first generation college student?

5. are you a military veteran? if so, what was your job/ period of enlistment?

6. are you fluent in more than one language/ did you grow up speaking more than one language? which ones?

7. have you taken, or are you currently taking, ENG 114 or a CMS course?

8. what is your primary area of study?

9. what was the best non-required book you read in the last year?

10. what was the last film you saw in a theater?

11. name three musicians, groups, or genres you enjoy.

12. pick one. what about his/her/their music do you like?


Robert Hughes 1938-2012

Robert Hughes, who popularized art criticism with his remarkable series The Shock of the New and other television documentaries, has died. Author of many books– including a polemic on American politics, The Culture of Complaint, and a celebrated history of Australia, The Fatal Shore— he was an enthusiastic and exacting critic. His essays on Andy Warhol, for example, make the case that the fame of Warhol’s paintings– “feeble, repetitious kitsch”– was less a result of the artist’s technical skills than a function of capitalist culture’s attention-deficit disorder. In an age when the virtual society of the internet asks us to uncritically “like,” Hughes will be missed.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 181 other followers