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Unlocking the Academy’s Language

From Web Exclusives

Reading Tim Clydesdale’s The First Year Out: Understanding American Teens After High School put this professor on edge. I suddenly could see that I had been an inveterate practitioner of, in his memorable phrase, “liberal arts hazing,” the touchingly misguided attempt to get Meaning into the Lives of Our Youth. This notion of “hazing” would cover, I presume, the team-taught course to which half of my load is devoted, Invitation to the Humanities, which includes units on death, love, and the 1960s. By Clydesdale’s lights, we’re nuts… . Continue Reading »

Alone in the Academy

From the February 2004 Print Edition

I was starting the second year of a Ph.D. program in U.S. history at the University of Delaware when the professor who would direct my dissertation, Guy Alchon, dropped a remarkable book into my mailbox: Christopher Shannon’s Conspicuous Criticism: Tradition, the Individual, and Culture in . . . . Continue Reading »