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Novel data: promise and perils

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | June 20, 2013

“Big Data” and “Digital Humanities” are two of the hot terms – “with a bullet,” as they used to say on the pop music charts – in the academy these days. The terms label a variety of projects: preserving large archives by digitizing them and crunching vast amounts of raw data to address topics in … Continue reading »

Writerly baseball – opening day 2013

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | March 26, 2013

Writers – academic, commercial, and intellectual – have for generations indulged themselves writing about baseball. (This post, of course, becomes a further meta-indulgence.) There is nothing close in either American fiction or literary nonfiction about football or basketball, however much those other sports dominate the TV screen these days.[1] Much of the baseball genre now … Continue reading »

Students can’t write (or read)

Stephen Tollefson, former lecturer, College Writing Programs | December 5, 2011

That’s what Berkeley faculty have been saying since 1884, when a Professor Bradley reported that fifteen students failed the entrance exam in writing, and that he spent the next day in “ceaseless interviews with the unfortunate, the lazy, and the feeble-minded.” I gleaned this quotation from an excellent  book, The Rhetoric of Remediation: Negotiating Entitlement … Continue reading »