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2001: A Space Odyssey – Discerning Themes through Score and Imagery

Incredibly detailed close reading of the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. I stopped reading it halfway through because I want to watch the movie again (haven’t seen it in years) so that I can really appreciate what this author is doing. I’m looking forward to coming back to this one! Yet the audience believes HAL because he’s not human. There’s a certain suspension of disbelief in the ability of a computer to coldly…

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The Better Angels of Our Writing

Copy editors are to the world of publishing what the stage manager is to the world of theater. I love copy editors and I love stage managers. When the copy editor for my latest book placed a little check mark over the name of a computer game, Snood, and then wrote in the margin (“snood.en.softonic.com”), I knew that her fact-checking was protecting me, and I felt grateful. When I dashed…

Understanding Sonnet 130 (Preview)
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Close Reading of Sonnet 130: Form, Theme, and Cultural Context (and a Rage Comic)

I’m preparing to teach Shakespeare again this fall. Seton Hill offers the course every other year, so each time it comes around, it feels new.  The course will focus on plays, but I do like starting out with a brief unit on the sonnet in order to help my students get accustomed to the language. It occurred to me that a lecture on the sonnet would be a good place to start…

Oh No You Didn't
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Misleading Publisher Email Promises Paid Stipend, Delivers Lottery

An email from a reputable higher education publisher just landed in my inbox. “Paid Invitation to Review Digital, Print Products.” But the actually messages says “If you complete the survey by July 21st, 2015, your name will be entered into a drawing to receive one of three $50 Visa Gift Cards.” Hm… how would Reputable Academic Publisher like it if I “paid” for their products by taking dozens of titles from their…

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Journalism academics: mocked by the media and stifled by universities

  [T]he traditional consensus is that journalism education should be focused on practical vocational skills including shorthand, news gathering and news writing and yet it is situated within an academic environment, whose core business is research.Although the practitioner academic is fairly common in universities today, due to the huge rise in converted polytechnics teaching vocational courses, a big divide still exists between practitioners and researchers. |  I recently decided that…