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Major benefits for students who attend live theater, study finds

I wonder what additional measurable benefits come from *performing* in live theater? Field trips to live theater enhance literary knowledge, tolerance and empathy among students, according to a study published this week by researchers in the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform…. “What we determined from this research is that seeing live theater produced positive effects that reading a play or watching a movie of the play does not…

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Important University of Virginia Messages Regarding Sexual Assault

University of Virginia president takes an important first step in addressing serious allegations of sexual violence. I gained no personal benefits from the fraternity/sorority culture at UVa, and while I understand not all fraternities are party-first houses, I would not shed a tear if the whole fraternity system shut down permanently. Beginning immediately, I am suspending all fraternal organizations and associated social activities until January 9th, ahead of the beginning…

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Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return On Investment

Completing a humanities degree is a good marker for economic success. I regularly tell my students that their liberal arts degree will make them competitive for internships, and that it’s the internships (plural) that will get them their entry-level jobs. 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,…

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The joy of text – the fall and rise of interactive fiction

Although the IF community first formed around Inform, a tool for creating parser-based games of the popular sort released by Infocom (Zork, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game, and A Mind Forever Voyaging), tools today are numerous, and many of them bypass the compelling but fricative parser language entirely. For example, in recent years, a free text tool called Twine has exploded onto the creative scene, offering entry-level designers…

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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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How To Talk To Babies About Semiotics (and Marxist Theory)

BABY: read dog book again ME: okay fine show me where the yellow doggie is on this page BABY: [points] ME: good now show me where the brown doggie is on this page BABY: [points] ME: now show me where the author is BABY: [stares blankly] ME: that’s right the author is dead via Mallory Ortberg, How To Talk To Babies About Semiotics. BABY: [sleeps] ME: HAVE YOU QUESTIONED ANYTHING…

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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…