This edition of Shoptalk asks: Can you guess which of the following was overheard at ASA 2023 and which was overheard at MLA 2024?
A South Korean novel critiques violent misogyny within a literature department. Remarkably, it does so by addressing the reader directly.
Universities have disinvested from their presses just as much as their humanities departments and libraries. Will working together stop it?
Changing myself and my classroom might help me renew my one-year contract, but it cannot prepare me to demand an alternative.
It is powerful and affirming to consider the unique qualities that queerness brings to leadership.
“Keep your cosmetic change, if you’re making no attempt to deal with the underlying practices that perpetuate harm.”
In this special mega edition of Shoptalk, guess which performative utterance was said at which conference.
If you want to support readers, the best hope will always be helping do away with economic compulsion and the division of labor.
In the 1740s, Bordeaux developed some of the first modern theories of racial difference, even as the city profited from the slave trade.
"My first book was used by actual librarians, planners, architects. I realized, wow I can do work that matters beyond the academy."
“Somehow, we are so present, and yet not even there. That surreal juxtaposition really pissed me off and fascinated me.”
“Campaigns matter in part because of who meets whom, about the social networks that are shaped by that campaign as well as shaping it.”
“You can have really intense intimacy over distance, sometimes only because distance is there.”
The university has been changing, to be sure. But has the proportion of students who want to devote themselves to acts of humanistic creativity?
The way we talk about racial justice matters. In fact, corporation’s embrace of antiracist slogans can actually advance racism.
“Nostalgia is not what Shakespeare represents for me; I don’t want to make Shakespeare great again. He doesn’t need that, and neither do we.”
In May 1381, rebels burned documents at Cambridge, then scattered the ashes to the wind. But why were universities targeted by the rebels?
The humanities have a replication crisis of monumental proportions: so many theories have never been adequately tested or validated.
“We don't have a party. That doesn't mean we need one big organization. We may need a few big organizations. But we need organizations!”
Do we want a university built around managers and cops, or around students and their teachers?