Category Archive: Teaching

On writing essays, in college: An open letter to Rebecca Schuman

You say you mean well You don’t know what you mean You fucking oughta stay the hell Away from things you know nothing about -Elliott Smith I had no idea I’d be writing… Continue reading

Close Reading

In transitioning from teaching university courses to teaching high school, I have of course thought a lot about “close reading,” as it’s called, and why it’s such an important thing. After all, it’s… Continue reading

Signs of the Times: An Open Letter to Orlando Soria

Dear readers (gay or not), How much do symbolic protests — such as protests native to Facebook — matter? *** I think it’s fair to say that I have a robust immune system.… Continue reading

R.I.P. “proto-modernism”

If you’ve ever taken a college-level English course on literature written before 1900, the odds are pretty good that you’ve encountered a strange beast known as “the proto-modernist text.” Very often, this is… Continue reading

tomemos talks plagiarism

It’s Saturday, which, as you know, is the day we here at The Kugelmass Episodes answer your letters. In case you missed it, here’s tomemo’s insightful comment on my Jonah Lehrer post: Joe,… Continue reading

The Terrible Ten: Modern Self-Help And A Lehrer Follow-Up

It’s extremely helpful when readers offer corrections; I can and do get the facts wrong sometimes, and I’m always happy to follow-up when there’s a reason to do so. My friend FM had… Continue reading

The Jonah Lehrer News Hour: Intellectual Property in the New Economy

a no uncertain quantity of obscene matter not protected by copriright in the United Stars of Ourania or bedeed and bedood and bedang and bedung to him, with this double dye, brought to… Continue reading

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner: Side Jobs and the Internet Economy

Such a muddy line between The things you want And the things you have to do –Sheryl Crow, “Leaving Las Vegas” Over eighty thousand pounds! I knew, didn’t I know I knew? Malabar… Continue reading

Look Back In Anger: The Death of Literary Studies

(x-posted to The Valve) Amardeep Singh at The Valve drew my attention to this article by William Deresiewicz, writing for The Nation, and also to the outstanding response written by CR and posted… Continue reading

LarvalSubjects on Pedagogy

Dear readers, I highly recommend that you check out Sinthome’s response to my tag about teaching. He teaches philosophy, and this remarkable post synthesizes the Socratic value of provocation, alienating others from their… Continue reading