Generation later, the poor are still a rarity in elite colleges

New story in the NYTimes on the lack of (economic) diversity at elite colleges.

Weber, Tolstoj and the Usefulness of Universities

Worth checking out

Work in Progress


by Doris Ruth Eikhof

In the past two years UK universities have frantically prepared their submissions to the sector-wide assessment of their research prowess and output, the Research Excellence Framework, or REF. They have evaluated research outputs, written about their research environment and strategy and poached star researchers from other in institutions to make themselves look good on paper. The REF submissions are being evaluated as I type and the next two years are likely to be spent dealing with the fall-out once results are announced. In the current pause between those two bouts of frantic REF-related activity, I stumbled across a voice from the past that, as so infuriatingly often, succinctly and authoritatively dealt with a key issue this round of REF posed for the first time: that of the relationship between academia and its non-academic context – let’s call it society.

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Hacking Composition: Rethinking Codeswitching in Writing Discourse

What is needed is critical literature that studies codeswitching in written discourse as thoroughly as that which has been developed for the oral forms of the phenomenon. The three books reviewed in this essay advance exactly such a project. The first book, Language Mixing and Code-Switching in Writing, illustrates language mixing in written discourse historically and in our contemporary time. The subsequent works, Language and Mobility and Translingual Practice, generate useful frames to discuss codeswitching as rhetorical practices of contact zones and how it can inform our pedagogy in writing classrooms. In developing these frames, the latter two books also articulate an abandonment of the term codeswitching and construct other labels for approaching this form of written practice.

Thoughts on the future of composition

The act of composing is difficult. Whether one is a noble-laureate or a distracted English 15 student rushing to meet a deadline, the image of the blank Word-document is an intimidating one. But it is on this tabula rasa that writers ply their craft (with various levels of success), and rhetoricians and compositionists have been … Continue reading Thoughts on the future of composition

Stiegler and “Where education went wrong with Biopower?”

I will start off my blog confessing Bernard Stielger’s French-style is tough to read (as care-less as it is to say). But nonetheless he does posit a powerful – and rather Gramscian – point when he says “My thesis is that this history is organological; indeed that intelligence regarding intelligence is organological intelligence” (30). In … Continue reading Stiegler and “Where education went wrong with Biopower?”