Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thomas Devaney mini-interview

Thomas Devaney is interviewed by Apiary and I'm honored to see Tom's praise of me as a mentor.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fussell and Metcalf at Penn

Stephen Metcalf ponders the life and work - and long-form nonfiction - of Paul Fussell in Slate. The piece connects Steve's admiration of Fussell's writing to Steve's own feelings of, in some small way, following Fussell's footsteps in teaching at Penn. And so, in the end, he gets a chance to describe what he thinks an academic writer should be. Here's the final paragraph:

In my imagination (I never met him), Fussell had always been what an English professor should be: erudite, frank, worldly, unworldly, acerbic: library and cosmopolis unto himself. When, out of the blue, I was asked to adjunct a nonfiction writing class at Penn, I said yes, even though, as the crow flies, the gig made absolutely no sense. Every week I headed down to Philly on Amtrak, and every week I faced down the same revelation: that instead of the runnels of blood-strewn ditches, my prose is filled with pita chips, iced coffee, Facebook, and procrastination. Nonetheless, we front our losses as they come. I taught my class as honestly as I knew how; I loved my students; and every week, autumn falling over West Philly, I threw the black bag back over my shoulder, still blessedly heavier than itself, and the sum of its contents.

(Here is the course Steve Metcalf taught for us.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

filming for ModPo

Here's the ModPo team, filming discussions for the course I'll be teaching online for free starting on September 1. To register, go here.