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.
A conference at University of Southern California next month looks to be an important event for Catholic novelists, poets, critics, and editors, one that may give us a sharp assessment of Catholic literary expression at the present time.
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We have a strange transformation taking place on campus today. Back in the ‘60s, at Berkeley and elsewhere, students formed Free Speech Movements and struck down one propriety and norm after another. Continue Reading »
I disallow laptops in my classroom. No screens, only books, paper, and pencil. The obvious reason is the distraction factor. Stand in the back of a classroom of fifty-plus students, survey the dozens of screens propped open, and count how many show social media, pictures, text messages . . . Continue Reading »
The season ends in a few days, the first year of a playoff, and TV ratings will be astronomical. For real lovers of the game, though, the ones with an historical sense of things, it’s getting difficult to watch. How can you appreciate the contest when so much bad behavior by players happens? Continue Reading »
This one they brought on themselves. . . . Continue Reading »
When standardized tests were first developed long ago (the SAT started in 1926), they had a virtuous purpose. Educators wished to give all high school students a chance to show their talents and earn admission to elite colleges. From then on, the disciplined, high-IQ son of a shopkeeper in Salina, . . . . Continue Reading »
For twenty-five years, the term heteronormativity has been a strategic usage. The basic definition isn’t complicated. Heteronormativity is the act of interpreting heterosexual desire as the normal, natural way of human being and society. The term doesn’t signify the normal-ness of heterosexuality. It signifies the disposition to normalize it.For twenty-five years, the term heteronormativity has been a strategic usage. The basic definition isn’t complicated. Heteronormativity is the act of interpreting heterosexual desire as the normal, natural way of human being and society. The term doesn’t signify the normal-ness of heterosexuality. It signifies the disposition to normalize it. Continue Reading »
Last May, the University of Wisconsin-Madison issued a document drafted by the Ad Hoc Diversity Planning Committee, “A Framework for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence”. Like all committee productions in the higher-ed diversity arena, it bears the customary affirmations, including:
The famous phrase “wall of separation of church and state” today enjoys the status of legal precedent, but here’s a curious fact. The phrase comes from the letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Connecticut Baptists who feared that state politicians would suppress them. When the Baptists received the letter, however, they didn’t celebrate and publicize the statement. They didn’t even record it in the minutes of their proceedings. “They pretend it never existed.” Continue Reading »
We must seek God beyond the medium of “share” and . . . . Continue Reading »