Studying the Shifting Tides

Picture 2There’s an interesting study to be written on the shifting tides, over the past fifteen years, in the representation of Islam in North America.

Case in point: take the above article, posted just days ago. It deviates in significant ways from the rhetoric that was mobilized immediately after the 9-11 attacks, in which the legitimacy of the attackers’ religion was quickly called into question, thereby creating a zone of peaceful and tolerant Muslims who were seen as safe and who were thus differentiated from those who were quickly turned into enemies and thus targets. Continue reading

It Sticks With You

mgM.G. Proaps graduated from REL in 2013 and then landed in
Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is currently in the application
process for graduate school.

It’s pretty safe to say President Obama gets most things he does scrutinized and what he buys at Christmas time would be no exception. Indeed, among many an article analyzing whether it was Obama’s worst year ever or just worst year as president, what he bought at a bookstore seems like a rather modest topic to do some commentary. As happens when many people do their daily rounds of the news, one article caught my eye: “In Obama’s Book List, Glimpses of his Journey.” It happens that I instantly thought of Roland Barthes. I had the thought of how I should write a blogpost concerning the relationship of how this article is an example of what Barthes had written on what we should not do when discussing the “author.” What I wrote went from one page, to two, and then it hit me, “Lord have mercy,” I said to myself, “You are writing an academic paper! Not a blog post!” Continue reading