Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

One of the curious items from today’s announcement from the Vatican that Pope Benedict XVI will be stepping down at the end of February was that he made his announcement, at a meeting of Cardinals, in Latin. So few reporters there understood Latin that it gave quite a competitive advantage to Giovanna Chirri, who works for ANSA (Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata), Italy’s main news wire service. As noted on the UK’s The Guardian real-time news blog: Continue reading

So Madison Avenue Made a Farmer…

It’s not news to anyone to hear about the decline of the family-owned farm in the U.S. For example, consider this chart, from a 2007 article (click the graphic to go to the article), which tracks the dramatic increase in farm size, over the past 50 years, coupled with the equally dramatic decline in the total number of farms:

Farm Continue reading

Critical Thinking Begins at Home

excellenceA letter came out recently from the President-elect of the main U.S. professional society for scholars who study religion concerning the conference theme for the 2014 meeting in San Diego: “Climate Change and the Coming Global Crisis: Religions and Responses” (read the full letter here [PDF]). Taking the letter as one’s object of study–since we, as scholars, are just as human, and thus our artifacts are just as interesting, as those we usually study, no?–provides an interesting moment in just how far critical thinking can take us when it comes to our own practices as scholars. Continue reading

For the Sake of Public Discourse

Politicians continue to attack the Humanities and Social Sciences, most recently the governor of North Carolina reportedly asserted, “I don’t want to subsidize that [gender studies] if that’s not going to get someone a job.” While other posts on this blog (for example “You Just Watch Me” and “I Wonder What Caitlin Makes”) have challenged the assumption that Humanities and Social Science graduates have problems with employment, particular aspects of current public discourse clearly suggest that the skills that majors in the Humanities and Social Sciences hone need more attention.

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