Showing posts with label pedagogy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pedagogy. Show all posts

Monday, December 10, 2018

Union Power

Those charter school teachers in Chicago who went on strike have reached a tentative agreement with their school. Theirs was the first strike of charter school teachers in the country. Hopefully this sets a precedent.

Monday, November 12, 2018

All the Power, None of the Responsibility

In a move that's sure to please Michael Rectenwald, an international group of academics is launching a Journal of Controversial Ideas which promises to publish authors pseudonymously. The journal, one of its founders Jeff McMahon told the BBC, "would enable people whose ideas might get them in trouble either with the left or with the right or with their own university administration, to publish under a pseudonym."

Academic researchers are already looking askance at the journal, and for good reason. Part of academic research is being intimately familiar with who it is you are citing. A literature review, done well, gives a sense not only of what has been said in the literature, but the kinds of people saying it. With the advent of pseudonymous publication, this becomes difficult.

Friday, April 6, 2018

PE of Fash Week I: How to Talk to a Nazi (Reading List)

Tonight was the first of a six week course I designed for the New York Public Library. The course begins with an overview of the course in the form of my "How to Talk to a Nazi" workshop based on my zine "You Can't Punch Every Nazi." I gave students a copy of the zine. The course then goes through investigating fascist ideology at four levels: as a political religion, a social science, a governmental theory, and a political praxis. The course then concludes with an exploration of alternative perspectives that answer some of the legitimate critiques of liberalism that fascists appropriate from the far left but resolve with cynical authoritarianism.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How To Get Your Professor To Accept a Late Assignment

Shit happens. You misread the syllabus. You had a (real actual) death in the family. Your boss tells you she needs you to work on your day off. Your kid is sick with the flu and now so are you. There are a litany of legitimate reasons why you would miss a deadline. Personally, I am extremely lenient with deadlines, going so far as to explain to my students that, apart from the end of the semester, I effectively don't enforce them. Obviously, not every professor is this way.

Regardless, your professor is a person capable of empathy and leniency to varying degrees. Your professor may have specific reasons why they have the policies they do, but often with the right approach they are willing to make exceptions. I have written this guide to help students feel confident in approaching their professor for an extension. This method is by no means fool-proof, but following these tips will make your professor more likely to grant you a reasonable extension.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Quick and Dirty Fascism Studies Lit Review

In preparing to write a lit review due on the 8th, I've decided to make a spreadsheet of a selection of books notable either for their influence on fascism studies or their novelty. In another measure of procrastinating on actually writing the literature review itself, here is a short list of notable authors and a quick summary of what they thought about fascism. Any scholar not appearing on this list was omitted with the utmost contempt.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Liberalism Is Probably Impossible Reader

Since the Democratic Party and its enabling non-profits have recently staked their hopes on an electoral process that they have insisted for over a year was compromised by foreign actors, I have been thinking about the consistent failure of electoral strategy in light of fascist upsurge. What history demonstrates time and again, from the Pact of Pacification to the Sermon on the Mount, is that a brutal government cannot be thwarted through obsequiousness. Liberalism, understood not as a political orientation but a governmental paradigm, ultimately proves impossible. Whatever is won in the moral spectacle of violence cannot make up for the literally everything that is materially lost. Suffering is suffering. Dying is dying. Below, I present five texts that tackle different aspects of the logic and application of liberalism which prefigures its own demise.

Shawn Rosenberg - Against Neoclassical Political Economy: A Political Psychological Critique

Ed White - The Value of Conspiracy Theory

Frederick Shauer - Uncoupling Free Speech

Mitch Berbrier - "Half the Battle": Cultural Resonance, Framing Processes, and Ethnic Affectations in Contemporary White Separatist Rhetoric

Frantz Fanon - On Violence (from Wretched of the Earth)

Jean Paul Sartre - Preface to Fanon's Wretched of the Earth

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

I Brought All My Journals To Class

One of the things that drives me up the wall is when students cite bad sources. Students are taught throughout grade school - particularly in high school - to always cite their sources because plagiarism is bad. And while it's true that plagiarism does interfere with the production of knowledge, teaching students that plagiarism is wrong because it is 'theft' does the production of knowledge no service. If, however, we judge plagiarism by its impact on a broader scholarly community, I think we would still come to the same conclusion that plagiarism is bad. But with such a metric, we'd also be given a more useful understanding of credibility itself.

Teaching a research-based course in economics requires that my students develop a keen sense for credibility. There is a lot of bullshit written about the economy. I told my students that today after passing out all the peer-reviewed academic journals I had. (In case you're curious, it consists largely of the Review of Radical Political Economy, a few volumes of Feminist Economics, and the special Anwar Shaikh issue of the Global & Local Economic Review.) I plopped the journals on the desk in the front of the class and had students come up during the middle of lecture to take one at random.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Back from Boston

This past weekend, I attended the Boston Anarchist Bookfair to lead a workshop titled "How to Talk to a Nazi." I first gave the workshop as part of the DC Action Camp put on by #DisruptJ20 in advance of the presidential inauguration. The workshop has since become a zine called "You Can't Punch Every Nazi" that I released in June and updated last month.

Because of some last minute scheduling changes, I was also able to table and sell the zine. I got invited to some parties and met come great people. Learned some stuff about the Boston "Free Speech" rally in August that wasn't reported in the news. Look forward to what happens this weekend.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Universities Are Protecting Free Speech for Bigots at the Expense of Student Safety

"When I see these people on the roofs," said University of Florida (UF) student Ebony Love, gesturing to the groups of snipers on nearby campus buildings, "I understand the reason why they're up there, but at the same time, you have to take my money and pay for that, but I couldn't get an escort to walk me to my classes, and you said you were going to post security outside these classes and you didn't."

When I talked to her, Love was leaning on a police barricade set up outside of the auditorium on campus where prominent white supremacist Richard Spencer was due to speak on October 19. The night before, however, Love was escorting a student to an 8 pm exam. She and another student sat watch outside for two hours in lieu of the campus security she said the university had promised but failed to provide.

Continue reading at Truthout

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Interview on "The Radical Imagination"

Last week, I sat down with Jim Vrettos for The Radical Imagination on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network. We had an hour-long conversation about policing, pedagogy, and antifa. Watch it in full below.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Introduction to Economics and Global Capitalism Syllabus

I finally did it! I have taken the plunge, and ditched textbooks altogether for my intro class. The course, which serves as one of the two introductory courses at this department, is an intro to mathematical theory in general, rather than an intro to either micro or macro.

It's all in the syllabus

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Oh What, We're Not Gonna Strike?

You know me. Why would I ever pass up the opportunity right? It should probably come as no surprise that I am asking my fellow workers in the City University of New York to vote 'no' on the proposed pay cut and power grab from Governor Cuomo, Bill De Blasio, and Chancellor Milliken.

So a union is supposed to fight for worker power, right? To get a better living standard, worker control, and worker democracy, that's not happening right now. The union leadership tell us that this was the best they could get.

CUNY workers should have their suspicions.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Economics in Historical Perspectives Syllabus

Stack of books for the course

I have been fortunate enough to be given the privilege to teach a 300-level course in the Spring. The course, Economics in Historical Perspectives, takes students from the Paleolithic era up to the present day exploring economic history, history of economic thought, and historiography.

The course is designed through the lens of my politics (left anarchist, what have you), and the readings reflect that. Because of this I urge you (and my students) to be critical of the readings contained within. You should consider who you're reading, their historical context, their motivations, their social status. This approach to scholarship, probably above all else, is what I hope for my students to get out of the class.

For your approval (or disgust, whatever), I give you the course syllabus and the recommended additional readings.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Scholars Against Scholarship

There have been a lot of professors railing over trigger warnings, and I honestly don't see what the big deal is. Being careful in what you say and embracing a diversity of perspectives are each fundamental to any sort of scholarly endeavor. Introducing trigger warnings and doing other things to increase the accessibility of your classroom is not only good pedagogy, it's not difficult.

As far as I am concerned, this pursuit of classroom accessibility is not a threat to academic freedom, but rather, it is crucial to it. What follows is a rough outline of the topics I intend to talk about on my panel at Left Forum. The arguments for trigger warnings, though disturbingly short in supply, have been made in plenty of places, and I am not interested in scolding academics by reproducing them. Instead, what I hope to lay out here are some best practices that I have used to grant my students the autonomy over their own education that adults deserve.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Any Questions?

As you might imagine, I go to a lot of academicky sorts of panels and lectures. Last Monday, I attended a panel at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture entitled From Binaries to Bridges: Black Liberation and Model Minority Mutiny. It was moderated by Soya Jung and featured UConn professor William Jelani Cobb, Indiana University professor Ellen Wu, and Deepa Iyer from the Center for Social Inclusion. Overall, the event was incredible (except for Twitter). You can watch the full recording of the talk here.

Like most of these things, the Q&A session was mostly a chance for people to hear themselves be deep on the microphone than actually ask a question. And so a stunned silence filled the room followed by a chorus of whispers when someone actually did. The first question of the night was from a young Black woman who asked, "I would like to know what we have discussed during this event."