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Measuring Humanities Degrees Misses Much of Their Value

“I don’t see why we are fixated on the single category of income as a measure of success,” James R. Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association, wrote in an email to The Chronicle. “If humanities majors tend to become teachers, social workers, clergy, does that mean they are less successful than money managers or engineers? “Instead of assuming these humanities majors are less successful, we ought to be thanking them…

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What Is Gamergate, and Why? An Explainer for Non-Geeks

I’ve been following the frustrating slow burn that is #Gamergate for some time. I’m planning to introduce it in my online Video Game Culture and Theory class this January. This ground-level introduction will help add context to the mayhem. Until recently, you might have lived a life blissfully unaware of the online #Gamergate movement. But last week, computing giant Intel pulled its ads from an independent game-development site thanks to…

Chilling Dawn's treatment of the Poe story.
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The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allan Poe

So, who else is taking advantage of current events and assigning “The Masque of the Red Death”? Are we thoughtful educators? Shameless opportunists? Both? (The disease Poe describes is more sudden than that caused by the ebola virus.) No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then…

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Harvard University says it can’t afford journal publishers’ prices

Robert Darnton, director of Harvard Library told the Guardian: “I hope that other universities will take similar action. We all face the same paradox. We faculty do the research, write the papers, referee papers by other researchers, serve on editorial boards, all of it for free … and then we buy back the results of our labour at outrageous prices. “The system is absurd, and it is inflicting terrible damage…

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Man Infected with Ebola Misinformation Through Casual Contact With Cable News

On the other end of the link, the New Yorker has illustrated the blog post with a screen shot from Fox News, but the text of the post actually blames CNN (which recently hyped ebola as the ISIS of bio-agents). An Ohio man has become infected with misinformation about the Ebola virus through casual contact with cable news, the Centers for Disease Control has confirmed. Tracy Klugian, thirty-one, briefly came…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu
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When a Textbook Plagiarizes Your Student’s Work

In a few days I’ll be gearing up to teach my freshman writing students about plagiarism. Not the “terrify them and make them fear punishment from the authorities” speech, but the “why people who work in a community of minds take plagiarism so seriousy” speech. How interesting, then, that I found a textbook published in 2009 that includes whole passages from a handout that a student originally submitted as a…

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Sources tell Seton Hill University’s Dennis Jerz that TV news websites emphasize self-promotion over reporting the news

Sources tell Seton Hill University’s Dennis Jerz that online write-ups of TV news stories seldom miss the chance to self-promote. Sources tell Jerz that two of the first three paragraphs in the text version of this Miami CBS TV news story put the name of the TV reporter before any actual news allegedly spoken by some nameless source. Jerz, whose smiling headshot and mini-biography does not appear between the headline of the story…