“Of the making of many books there is no end, and much study is a wearying of the flesh.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12) So says the unknown author of Sefer Kohelet/the Book of Ecclesiastes, though both the Jewish and Christian religious traditions attribute it to Melekh Shlomo/King Solomon in his old age. (They also attribute, without evidence, Shir Ha-Shirim/Song of Songs to his youthful exuberance, and Sefer Mishlei/the Book of Proverbs, again without evidence, to his middle years. Further complicating this picture, various […]
Read More from Sabbatical Publications from Prof. Jacobs’ Desk
Prof. Steve Jacobs, above, in April of 2017 at the annual Arts & Science reception at the University Club, for newly promoted faculty — celebrating his promotion that year to Full Professor. Since starting full-time at UA in 2001 (my “start date” is easy to remember: 1/1/01), past A&S Dean Robert Olin and current Dean Joseph Messina have accorded me three one-semester sabbatical research leaves to pursue avenues of research in my areas of academic specialization: the Holocaust of World […]
Read More from Third Time’s the Charm
I do no speak or read French. Many years ago, however, in undergraduate school, I had a professor of English literature who was inordinately fond of the French phrase épater les bourgeoise—as he would translate it on a regular basis, “to shock the ordinary human being out of his [or her] lethargy.” That is, there are those works, persons, events to which ordinary human beings, most of us, can only react in shock, sometimes in dismay; other times in paralysis. […]
Read More from Épater les Bourgeoise…?
The recent flap over the January 27, 2017, official White House Press Release of President Trump’s Statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day and its egregious omission of the primary victims of the Nazi genocide—the Jews—instead identifying and honoring “the [unnamed and unreferenced] victims, survivors, and heroes” beggars logic. Coming as it did on the heels of the “Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorists Entry into the United States”—and attempting to temporarily ban legitimate refugees from seven predominantly Muslim-majority […]
Read More from History, Identity, and Memory: The ‘Melting Pot’ is Bubbling Over!
For those other than academic colleagues—primarily our students and our non-academic supporters—a sabbatical is a special benefit every seven years, upon application and approval, awarded to those of us who teach, for “time off” to purse sustained research and sustained writing without the additional responsibilities of teaching, grading, committee meetings and the like. In my case, spring, 2015, is my second opportunity to take full advantage of this award to pursue two special projects, the first on my mind for […]
Read More from Second Sabbatical: First Thoughts
Dictionarily, the difference between a screed and a rant is the difference between written and oral discourse. What joins them together is a certain angry compulsion to “get the word out”, “wake up the lethargic” and/or, not without a certain brazenness, “right the wrong”. All-too-often, the words chosen are themselves hostile, and, rather than engaging the reader or listener, they serve to close the very doors they were originally intended, perhaps, to open. Not so with Professor Aaron Hughes’s latest […]
Read More from Rant, Screed, or Valid Critique?