Tit For Tat

batFor a long time I’ve been debating whether to write a post in which I complain about colleagues who complain that their students write outrageous things in their class assignments.

But writing such a post comes with risks.

Continue reading “Tit For Tat”

Meet Me in St. Louis: The Simpler Side of Identity Politics

St. Louis Arch

When I was a young child, I lived in the third largest city in Missouri – Springfield – and I hadn’t really traveled much outside of the region. At the time I loved to look at atlases and read maps, and I distinctly remember the day that I came across a factoid indicating that the largest city in Missouri was Kansas City (a city I’d never seen), with St. Louis a close second.

I was livid, convinced there was a mistake, for as we all know, being bigger is better, and St. Louis was clearly superior because I’d a) been there, and b) had fun there. In other words, my positive affiliations with St. Louis, while founded on nothing more than visiting some tourist draws and swimming in a motel pool, were enough for me to align my own identity with the city and therefore create strong positive, and in the context, illogical opinions about it. (Ironically, I now live in Kansas City). Continue reading “Meet Me in St. Louis: The Simpler Side of Identity Politics”

Informed Dissent


In the ongoing debate about whether or not vaccinations should be mandatory (a debate between so-called “anti-vaxxers” and…well, the people who use that label, the latter of which enjoys majority status to a degree that allows them to forego caricature), the ol’ individual-liberty-versus-public-good rhetoric reared its head really quickly. And perhaps that should come as no surprise. After all, people engaged in the debate are talking about where personal/parental rights stop and the good of the larger public start and vice versa…aren’t they? That’s certainly the nominal subject of the controversy. But “individual liberty” and “public good” certainly live on an ever-sliding scale and are employed by different groups with different politics depending on the context. Continue reading “Informed Dissent”

The Rules Just “Happen” to be Different?

crash_test_dummyWant to see a good example of the pro-corporate bias in the media?

Then consider this story from — of all places — National Public Radio, on different manufacturing and safety standards for automobiles, in different nations. Continue reading “The Rules Just “Happen” to be Different?”

What’s a Language?

Picture 7The Edge’s Twitter account was the lucky recipient of this picture earlier this morning (though it wasn’t morning where it originated, was it; thanks @the_cotter-man) — making implicit reference to the recent workshop on “code switching” that four members of the Edge participated in at Lehigh University. Continue reading “What’s a Language?”

The Wild Profusion of Things

indiagenderA recent news story from India, and the way many here seem to be celebrating it as a victory over stifling binaries, prompted me to comment on Facebook:

fbcomment Continue reading “The Wild Profusion of Things”

Reorganizing Sympathies

feminist flow chart

This old image recently made the rounds again in my Facebook feed, and I shared it myself. It got me into a little bit of an argument on one of my friends’ wall. The objection was along these lines: if we water down “feminism” to gender equity, which pretty much everyone can agree to these days, then it becomes meaningless—it’s not substantial enough of a vision to drive a real agenda. Continue reading “Reorganizing Sympathies”