Why Is Othello Black?

To us today, the word “black” carries with it a specific cluster of associations informed by history, culture, stereotypes, and literature. Othello may have started in conversation with Shakespeare’s definition of blackness, but today, he speaks with ours. A much more interesting question, really, is: Why is Othello black? Why did Shakespeare write a domestic tragedy about jealousy, and make the husband a Moor? Is Othello’s race a canard, or…

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Where is the tipping point?

What if universities stopped buying academic journals, and put the money towards hiring editors who helped their faculty publish their scholarship in their own free, open-source journals? I don’t know how much labour goes into running a prestigious journal, but let’s say all the universities that really need those specialised mathematics journals sat down and discussed what kind of editors they would need in order to create their own journals.…


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…


Inaccuracy Of Every Single Detail Forces Student Paper To Pull Story At Last Minute

“We at The Recorder strive to ensure that every piece of writing we publish contains timely and thoroughly reported information, and because each sentence of this article contains at least one factual error, we made the call to kill it,” said editor-in-chief Hannah Lowry, noting numerous “red flags” in the article that included an incorrect date and location; misattributed quotes; several wide-of-the-mark figures, including the school’s attendance; and the names…


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…