Now is the season of student discontent
April 27th, 2012

Now is the season of student discontent. Every day brings more violence and rage in Quebec, as students continue to protest the government’s fee hike on the streets of Montreal. The issue has clearly escalated from general anger against the (modest) tuition increase to a much wider Occupy the Man sort of movement, with echoes of éclater le bourgeoisie heard all around. I have no idea where this Quebec Spring is going to end up but it’s serious and powerfully disruptive. When I was in Montreal a few weeks ago I saw hundreds of student demonstrators on the street below our hotel, calmly marching to somewhere. A colleague of mine exclaimed that it was fabulous—just like the ‘sixties and ‘seventies. I don’t know, I had an uneasy feeling about it all. That calm has since been replaced by something darker and determined, for sure. Perhaps the end of the winter semester will lead to some dissipation of protest energy, although there are no signs of slowing down yet. Government is playing chicken; the students feel roasted.

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This postcard comes from Halifax where I am attending the annual meeting of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS)
April 20th, 2012

This postcard comes from Halifax where I am attending the annual meeting of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS). I have blogged about NAGS before. It’s a cozy club. We just finished Day One of panels and meals, the US and the Canadian deans having exchanged ideas, political stories, and travel tips. Halifax isn’t necessarily looking at her best mid-April, and the wind off the harbor water is cold enough to produce hat head, but for the American visitors the city holds an exotic appeal. I get that. There are steel-grey frigates in the harbor and maple leaves on our flags, and although we share the same sea with the deans from New Jersey or Massachusetts, it’s definitely different here.

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If your article falls in a forest of print journals does anyone read it?
April 13th, 2012

If your article falls in a forest of print journals does anyone read it? Oh sure, it exists as an entry on your cv, but that might no longer be good enough as a measure of your scholarly impact. Today, if no one is reading your work, to some it doesn’t exist at all.

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