Playing Favorites

In the previous post, Jackie Stodnick stated that the most common question she’s asked is how she ended up working on what she works on. I’m rarely asked this question

News Flash! Neuro Lit Crit is IT!

I’m always a little wary when the media declares the next new thing in literary criticism. After all, journalists have delighted in the past in telling us that 1) literature

Bad Books

Recently The American Book Review released an article titled “Top 40 Bad Books,” in which a host of literary critics were invited to identify “bad books.” Some of the contributors

Bidding for Books

This weekend I had a new experience: bidding on Ebay for an antiquarian book. One of my graduate students informed me that a book by the eighteenth-century author, Susanna Rowson,

What’s in a Name?

Your career choice, place of residence, and spouse, apparently. I recently ran across the phenomenon known as “egotism” or sometimes “implicit egotism,” which is the statistical probability that the letters

English Majors vs. Park Benches, or Further Adventures in Myth Busting

In continuing the discussion initiated by Laura Kopchick on “myths” surrounding literary studies and writing, I turn my attention to myths about English majors. English majors are, of course, the

Thanksgiving Poem

This is Thanksgiving Week — and what better than a poem that inspires the deepest gratitude? This is one of my favorite poems and certainly a poem of thanksgiving, but

Libraries: An Argument

Suzanne E. Thorin, dean of libraries at Syracuse University, made the news last week when she declared “Let’s face it: the library, as a place, is dead … Kaput. Finito.

2009 Book Awards Roundup

‘Tis the season for book awards. Below is a list of the major awards, mostly for literatures in English. Where winners have been announced, I’ve included them, but the lists

Your Brain On Literature

Last week the New York Times reported a recent study on brain function published in the journal Psychological Science. This study, conducted by Travis Proulx from the University of California,

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