What We’re Reading: June 21, 2012

Today’s roundup of interesting articles and links from around the web includes the discussion of the new Coalition on the Academic Workforce survey of working conditions for adjunct faculty, a short history of “American Exceptionalism,” the 2012 list of educational Twitter hashtags, and more.

News

Laurels for Morrill
The Library of Congress honors the legacy of the man behind the land-grant colleges, a contribution that has affected the lives of millions. 

Non-Tenure-Track Economics
Kaustuv Basu from Inside Higher Ed reports on the new survey by the Coalition on the Academic Workforce (as reported here yesterday) and its important findings on the salaries and working conditions of adjuncts.

Discussion Points

Original Sin: What Responsibility Do Tenure-Track Faculty Have for the Rise of Adjuncts
Jonathan Rees writes: “We tenure-track people have to start thinking about the financial predicaments of people besides ourselves, especially adjuncts.”

Why Would We Want a Less Educated Nation? Defending the PhD
Claire Potter writes about the future of the humanities PhD and the need to broaden our conception of careers for PhDs on her Tenured Radical blog. She asks, “If we take it off the table that doctoral education is a waste of time unless there is a tenure track job waiting with your name on it, what future can we imagine?”

Around the Web

Why Historians Should Be Vampire Hunters
W. Scott Poole, associate professor of history at the College of Charleston, adds to the ongoing discussion about the upcoming movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. He talks about “how primary historical sources, the raw material of history, can be repurposed in surprising ways,” and responds to Jill Lepore’s thoughts on the subject, which can be found here.

“American Exceptionalism”: A Short History
Foreign Policy magazine recounts the history of “American Exceptionalism,” including Mark Twain’s comment that the only thing that makes America exceptional is “the national devotion to ice-water.”

The Follower Problem
In his New York Times column, David Brooks asked, “Why can’t today’s memorial designers think straight about just authority?” The Atlantic summed up the derision that followed. 


The Tricky Business of Grading Participation

From Amy Rubens at Grad Hacker, ideas for how to make participation grades work for the teacher and the student, along with a request for more ideas and strategies. 

Miscellaneous

Happy National Dairy Goat Week!
From the National Archives at Riverside, California. 

The 2012 A-Z List of Educational Twitter Hashtags
From #EduThingsILike to #yalitchat, a really long list of hashtags to meet every educational need. 

I’ve Been Playing the Same Game of Civilization II for almost 10 years. This Is the Result
A dedicated player of the popular historical simulation video game asks for help after finding himself trapped in “a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation.”

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