Fenster writes:

  • More on the seductions of narrative in public life, complete with a nice, perhaps too nicey-nice, suggestion for how to deal with the problem.
  • James Carroll on a perfect example of the above: given the failure of deliberation in the public square and the intransigence of much church dogma, how are we going to deal with the big issues of reproduction coming our way?
  • New hope for the non-conventionally religious. No, you will not be saved.  It’s even better than that!
  • Diversity statements.  A new addition to the package requested of applicants for faculty positions.  Interesting that the author says everyone is confused about what they mean and how to write them.  You’d think that would have been thought through in advance, no?

About Fenster

Gainfully employed for thirty years, including as one of those high paid college administrators faculty complain about. Earned Ph.D. late in life and converted to the faculty side. Those damn administrators are ruining everything.
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9 Responses to Linkage

  1. Handle says:

    First link broken.


  2. Toddy Cat says:

    Personally, I would be happy if I never had to hear the word “narrative” in a political or meta-social context again. Fat chance, I know.


  3. Miss Conduct says:

    I reflexively clicked away when the author said “[i}n recent years we have seen immigration as an issue disappear.” O RLY.

    I see this Lecturer in Critical Thinking is based in Australia. Maybe his assertion is true there. For his sake I hope so.


  4. Fenster says:

    I wondered about that too. The rest of the examples were US based. I was brought up short by that assertion. We have some Aussies here at UR–perhaps they will comment.


    • Maybe his assertion is true there.

      It isn’t.


      • Fenster says:


        I take it you mean that not only is immigration still an issue but also that it has not been reframed as something else, and is still discussed in immigration terms and not in terms of things like security?

        I do wonder how it is done down under from the get-go. Our national “narrative” (that word again!) is so bound up with the Emma Lazarus stuff that at least in the US it is hard to escape the gravitational pull of give me your tired your poor. Is that a bedrock starting point for discussion in Australia, too, or does the debate start from a different point?


      • Fenster,

        One thing to keep in mind is that Australia has no borders. All of our illegal immigrants/refugees/asylum seekers come by boat. It’s a very contentious topic in the news because the people-smugglers (mostly, although not exclusively, Indonesians) have been known to pile thoroughly unseaworthy boats with far more people than they’re capable of holding. When the boats get turned back by the AU Navy, that’s the cue for the gnashing of teeth and cries of RAAAACIST! by the lefty press. And if they sometimes veer into Indonesian territorial waters to do so (because the Indonesians themselves can’t be bothered, apparently), it then becomes A Big Thing.

        There’s also an ongoing debate about “onshore” versus “offshore” processing. There have been processing centres in Nauru, PNG, and I believe Christmas Island as well. This is patent proof of an anti-immigrant bias. (eye-roll)

        Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt are good writers to consult for further information on the topic. See also the Wikipedia pages for Tampa Affair and especially SIEV-X, two refugee-boat disasters that still inform immigration policies to this day.


  5. Will S. says:

    ‘Diversity statement’? Oh no! Never heard of that before; I hope it’s just a Yankee thing, and not going to spread. Aargh.


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