Teaching Ovid, rape and all

May 17th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Liz Gloyn worries how to teach the rapey bits of Classics — especially given that, statistically, it’s likely that some of her students will have been affected by sexual violence:

I have a pedagogical duty to frame those texts in ways which do not diminish them, do not side-line them or pretend they are not there. Ignoring the uncomfortable bits is not only lazy – it’s also potentially dangerous, because it does not challenge narratives which a feminist pedagogy should. It does not challenge students to read this material with a critical eye, to see what is actually going on in them – which is a skill we would expect them to demonstrate when reading any other text. Incidentally, it does also not require us to judge the ancient texts anachronistically. We are not asking the Romans to share our standards. What I am asking is that my students appreciate just how different these texts are from what we would see as socially acceptable, and to read them with that in mind.

The Inefficient Everything Hypothesis

February 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

The Efficient Markets Hypothesis may be looking a bit shabby after the financial crisis. But it’s still looking pretty damn good compared to any other area of public life. Where’s the Efficient Media Hypothesis? The Efficient Academia Hypotheis? The Efficient Politics Hypothesis? The Efficient Courts Hypothesis? Anybody eve proposing them would be laughed out of the room.

January 9th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Charming introduction to Theodore Zeldin’s books of French history:

Zeldin’s approach can be understood as a kind of historical ethnography, while Todd’s approach emphasizes processes and structures of nation formation.

What’s striking is how out-of-place Zeldin’s work must be in contemporary academic history — but equally, how it’s the kind of history people really want to write, and to read. I’m becoming increasingly sympathetic to the idea of some kind of revival of 19th century humanities, with the diligence and the emotional involvement. I’m not sure if you can manage that without the racism and shallowness — though is it really better to have your prejudices concealed behind dull prose and academic walls?

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