Reading James Joyce and Watching the Gators in 2020 (October 19, 2020)

How long is Haines going to stay in this tower? James Joyce, Ulysses There is a scene early in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) that resonates in perhaps unexpected ways with the contemporary nightmare from which we are trying to awake. The scene concerns the early schooling of Joyce’s semi-autobiographical would-beContinue reading “Reading James Joyce and Watching the Gators in 2020 (October 19, 2020)”

Striving for Excellence in 2020; or, Jo Walton’s Utopianism (July 29, 2020)

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all – And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard – And sore must be the storm – That could abash the little Bird That kept so manyContinue reading “Striving for Excellence in 2020; or, Jo Walton’s Utopianism (July 29, 2020)”

How do you end the story? or, the not-happily-ever-after of ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (July 17, 2020)

He was running. Absolutely running, with nowhere to go. And he was not yet four-and-twenty. Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim (1900) One of the real pleasures of the last few months has been having more opportunities (and motivation) to watch and re-watch a variety of movies. This has included viewings of a number of classics of Hollywood andContinue reading “How do you end the story? or, the not-happily-ever-after of ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ (July 17, 2020)”

Invoking Hope Arrives (June 30, 2020)

Today my book, Invoking Hope: Theory and Utopia in Dark Times (University of Minnesota Press) has been offically released. For anyone who is interested, I did a more than one-hour long interview on the book with University of Florida alum Camelia Raghinaru for her extraordinary and timely podcast, ‘Theory to No End.‘ The book’s mainContinue reading “Invoking Hope Arrives (June 30, 2020)”

The Problem with Bad Universals; or, Why Today “Black Lives Matter” includes “All Lives Matter,” but “All Lives Matter” does not include “Black Lives Matter” (June 19,2020)

The protests following the May 25, 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis has brought back into prominence the phrase, “Black Lives Matter.”  This has resulted in such admittedly symbolic but still necessary gestures as the Mayor of Washington renaming a portion of 16th Street leading up to the White House Black Lives Matter Plaza.  The phraseContinue reading “The Problem with Bad Universals; or, Why Today “Black Lives Matter” includes “All Lives Matter,” but “All Lives Matter” does not include “Black Lives Matter” (June 19,2020)”