Serendipity: “Sead” for Yourself

Long ago and far away in a land called Persia, there were three princes who spent their days traveling the world. As they roamed far and wide, thither and yon, across amethyst mountains, emerald valleys, and sapphire seas, the princes “were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of: for instance, one of them discovered that a mule blind of the right eye had travelled the same road lately, because the grass […]

On MindFULLness

Experts argue that we don’t read online: we skim, scan, or surf. This is mostly true for me. I prefer a book to a webpage, especially if I want to get absorbed in what I’m reading. When I read online, I have a harder time staying focused. My sabbatical project is an attempt to design a digital environment that can sustain close and deep reading. I’ve found a few websites that give me hope that it’s possible. One of the […]

Hard Rock Returns to the Panopticon

I’ve been teaching a unit on prisons in my first-year writing course, “Building Stories.” We read Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow, which offers a persuasive argument about how racial discrimination lies at the heart of the American prison system, even in the absence of explicit racial animus. Alexander doesn’t mention the French philosopher Michel Foucault, but when she describes the way in which our American disciplinary system has “perfected” itself, accomplishing social control in ever more subtle and […]