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Reading should not carry a health warning

This is probably the first time in history that young readers themselves are demanding protection from the disturbing content of their course texts, yet reading has been seen as a threat to mental health for thousands of years. In accordance with the paternalistic ethos of ancient Greece, Socrates said that most people couldn’t handle written text on their own. He feared that for many – especially the uneducated – reading…

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Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return On Investment

The conventional wisdom is that humanities majors are wasting all that tuition money and dooming themselves to lives of underemployment. The conventional wisdom is wrong. Humanities degrees are actually worth well more than the cost of college. […] The present value of the extra earnings that graduates in humanities majors can expect over their lifetime is $302,400 for drama majors, $444,700 for English majors, $537,800 for history majors, and $658,900…

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Editors and editorial board quit top linguistics journal to protest subscription fees

When I publish as a scholar, my goal is not to make money, but to share my intellectual creation. That’s part of my job description, so my university writes my paycheck with the expectation that I will publish. My publications will have more impact if more people read them. Hiding them behind subscription paywalls will reduce their audience. Scholars at public instutitons, whose salaries are paid by taxes, have a…

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The Little Professor: How to write an essay about teaching that will not be published in the NYT, Chronicle, IHE, or anywhere else

All instructors have to assemble their own pedagogical toolkit from the many resources out there and restock it (and recreate it) as necessary.  There is no one single way of being effective.  There is no magic spell (previous post on this blog to the contrary) that will make all pedagogical techniques effective all the time.  It is very difficult to generalize from one instructor’s experience to the next.  One gets…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu

Defunct Web Pages are Not Dead Ends to Journalists

In my “News Writing” class, I first warned students about doxing — the troll technique of harassing people by posting personal details (which enables pranks like ordering unwanted pizza deliveries or serious crimes like reporting fake hostage situations in order to send SWAT teams to the addresses of people you want to harass). I warned them not to dox anyone. Then I showed students how to use the Internet Archive’s…

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Humanities research is groundbreaking, life-changing… and ignored

Most arguments for “saving” the humanities focus on the fact that employers prize the critical thinking and communication skills that undergraduate students develop. Although that may be true, such arguments highlight the value of classroom study, not the value of research.But humanities research teaches us about the world beyond the classroom, and beyond a job. Humanities scholars explore ethical issues, and discover how the past informs the present and the…