Category: Uncategorized

  • Three Thoughts on Westerosi Political Economy

    Two prefatory notes: First – no, I know nothing about the books. Everything I’m going to say here draws exclusively on the HBO version of Westeros. Second, the more theoretically committed of you will note that only one of these thoughts is really about political economy proper. Fine. But I came up with a pretentious […]

  • Fractal Problems in Comparative Domestic Policy

    After every mass shooting event in the US, charts like the one above (from flood social media and the blogosphere. Proponents of stronger gun control policy use such visualizations to highlight the links between gun ownership and gun violence and to advocate for America joining the rest of the rich world in restricting gun […]

  • On Polarization

    Following up on my notes yesterday regarding the use of out outmoded “liberal” and “conservative” labels within Catholic circles: Providence College’s Holly Taylor Coolman took to America magazine earlier this week to make an argument rather similar to mine. She argues that viewing disputes within the Church in terms of political polarities renders static and […]

  • On “Rusty” Labels

    To the extent I’m able, I try to be a conscientious objector in the culture wars. I’m an academic (read: liberal) by training but a scholar of nationalism and religion (fundamentally conservative institutions), so I find no home in any cultural “camp.” I say this not to put myself above the fray but to point […]

  • Self, Image, Labor

    I’ve written before about late capitalism and the labor-intensive maintenance of the self. But this One of the best, most uncanny museum selfies we’ve ever seen #poseMW — ALVA (@alva_uk) March 29, 2015 … this is some next. level. ish. What labor is necessary when the image precedes the self? What recognition is possible, […]

  • Lumbersexuals and Homosocial Spectacle

    The Advocate has an interesting, if brief, blurb on the illustrator Robert Riggs today. Riggs, not known to have been gay but clearly influenced by gay male artists of his time, sketched and painted oversized male bodies in dramatic, hyper-masculine scenarios (boxing, baseball, hunting, warring).  His work appeared in Life, The Saturday Evening Post, and […]

  • Never Graduate

    Every school year I hear rising college seniors express excitement about finally graduating. Every year I think this:

  • College is a Promise, Unless You’re a Humanities Major

    Frank Bruni covers some familiar terrain in this column from the Sunday Times. He points to data demonstrating that the choice of college major increasingly determines income and employability just as much as access to higher education. In short: what you study is just as important as earning a degree. The column cites Georgetown’s Center […]