Mark Bauerlein is Senior Editor at First Things and Professor of English at Emory University, where he has taught since earning his PhD in English at UCLA in 1989. For two years (2003-05) he served as Director of the Office of Research and Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. His books include Literary Criticism: An Autopsy (1997), The Pragmatic Mind: Explorations in the Psychology of Belief (1997), and The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (2008). His essays have appeared in PMLA, Partisan Review, Wilson Quarterly, Commentary, and New Criterion, and his commentaries and reviews in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Weekly Standard, The Guardian, Chronicle of Higher Education, and other national periodicals.
I made my first confession last month, and it was easier than I expected. Not that I enjoyed recalling misdeeds from 2010, or that I wasn’t nervous when I stepped away from the parishioners in the middle of Mass that morning in St. Vincent Ferrer and entered the dark quiet of the confessional. But . . . . Continue Reading »
If anyone had said to me in 2005 that a decade later I would be saying prayers every night and working at a religious magazine during the day, I would have laughed. Continue Reading »
When a humanities department selects its materials because they reflect identity groups, it no longer functions as a humanities department.
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While progressives are happy to recognize this or that identity, provided that doing so demonstrates their pluralistic instincts, in truth the divisions among these “aggrieved groups” only conduce to centralization. Continue Reading »
Mexican Ray was one of a bunch of guys around the Del Mar Racetrack in 1980 and ’81. For two months each summer, I did nine hours a day, six days a week in this world all its own. I sold the Herald-Examiner racing edition in the plaza outside the grandstand, my brother in the clubhouse. Horse . . . . Continue Reading »
Back in the 1970s, when the humanities still set the intellectual tone for the college campus, it was common for advanced scholars to divide the personnel in two: There were those who understood High Theory and those who didn’t. New ideas and methods were in the air. Leading-edge journals and . . . . Continue Reading »
It’s called the chapel. Continue Reading »
The seventies and beyond marked a shift in the meaning of youth. People wanted to stay young far beyond the traditional age, and “the young were taking longer to grow up.” Continue Reading »
If you have attended many poetry readings, you know how often they turn out to be flat and pedestrian affairs. A figure at the podium recites lines from compositions published and unpublished, and otherwise doesn’t have much to say. You hear a bit of biographical context for this or that specimen, . . . . Continue Reading »
If you need a reason for why a fair portion of conservative voters were disenchanted enough with the Republican Establishment to head over to Donald Trump's place, take a look at the final paragraph of David Frum's cover essay in the September issue of Commentary, “Is It 1968?” Continue Reading »