Dog Park Sex and the Bankruptcy of “Refereed versus Non-Refereed” for Measuring Value

  In my last post, I argued that “refereed” does not equal good, nor “non-refereed” bad—but rather “refereed or not” and “quality scholarship or not” (alongside other factors) are independent variables with approximately random correlation, at least in the intellectual networks where I do my work. I did not expect slam dunk support for my … Continue reading Dog Park Sex and the Bankruptcy of “Refereed versus Non-Refereed” for Measuring Value

Against Anti-Intellectual and Counterproductive Ways of Measuring Quality in the Writing of Scholars

I should not be writing this! I absolutely have better things to do, by almost any measure. Yet I have been asked by higher-ups to clarify which of my publications are “refereed” and which not. Unless I decide simply to resign, which among other things would entail leaving my current students in the lurch, I … Continue reading Against Anti-Intellectual and Counterproductive Ways of Measuring Quality in the Writing of Scholars

Another Day, Another Reporter: True and Useful Generalizations About “Agnosticism” in 700 Words or Less

Earlier I discussed a reporter who wanted my sound-bite wisdom about “denominations” in the south—whereupon I endeavored to wrestle her question into a form I could answer in 1000 words or less. Yesterday I got a companion request about “agnosticism in the south” from a reporter who writes for a paper grounded in the LGBTQ … Continue reading Another Day, Another Reporter: True and Useful Generalizations About “Agnosticism” in 700 Words or Less

“Assessment” Continued: Academic Success Vs. Health and Well-Being

This is day 40 or more (depending on how one counts) of a major strike in British universities, which has been nearly ignored by the news. (This and this are exceptions to the rule.) It is also day four or more (depending on how one counts) in the aftermath of an attack on tenure at my … Continue reading “Assessment” Continued: Academic Success Vs. Health and Well-Being

David W. Noble, Beloved Mentor, Rest in Peace

What follows is lightly revised from a talk I gave in 2009 on the occasion of my teacher, David W. Noble, retiring from the University of Minnesota. David died on March 11, 2018. Here is an obituary, and no doubt David’s many friends and colleagues will weigh in with more ambitious scholarly reflections about his legacies. … Continue reading David W. Noble, Beloved Mentor, Rest in Peace