Category Archives: Writing

Blurry Resolutions: Writing in the New Year

My new year begins with a commitment to focus on the primary subject of my book: the near past. Reunion: The Role of English Departments in Reshaping Writing is about how English departments influenced epistemological and cultural change in the 1990s and … Continue reading

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The Company of Categories

This blog began as a chronicle of my near midlife career. For me, and maybe others at a crossroad, I hoped it could sound a weekly alarm in prose: “write or wrestle with regret.” “Alarm” signals immediate need, even emergency.  … Continue reading

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Moving from the Middle: The Definition of Meaning

Last week I reflected on an article I am writing about an influential 1994 conference on the sciences of “Complexity.” I am making a connection between this conference and the way we understand, enact, and teach writing. I am using … Continue reading

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It’s Hard to Run in High Altitudes and Other Reflections on Writing with Mindfulness

I’m writing this post above the clouds, on route home to NYC after three days in Estes Park, Colorado for the AEPL conference, “Inviting the Edge: Mindfulness in the Writing Classroom and Beyond.”  Here I respond to the question any … Continue reading

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Writers Block

Last year, in the name of progress, I stopped recycling.  No more retooling old writing material for new purposes.  Sustainability be damned; I would forgo one of the key lessons of graduate school and go it alone: make it new, … Continue reading

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Writer’s Block and this Unbelievable Coffee Shop

 The problem of writing: in order to designate something exactly, an exact expressions are utterly unavoidable.  No at all because it is a necessary step, or because one can only advance by approximation; on the contrary, it is the exact … Continue reading

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Like Being at an Academic Conference, This Post is All Over the Place

I am trying to figure out the meaning behind what could be the most significant ritual of academic life: the conference.  I’m mostly referring to the big national conferences,  like the MLA or the CCCC but regional conventions work for this cultural-rhetorical … Continue reading

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Beginning Again and the End of Teaching

What is teaching?  Is it conversation, community, correctness, conversion? Does it begin and end with the classroom, with students, with knowledge? In my parochial vision, I think of teaching in terms of the Humanities, a project that, in one scholar’s … Continue reading

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May

Psalms for David   He exists across an ocean of memory.  It is deep, almost frozen, and swimming with monsters.  Beowulf, on a dare, once swam across an icy sea in his suit of mail.  There were sea beasts–“fiend-corpses“–that tried … Continue reading

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Tactics, Topics, Threes

Five pages by 3pm.  Six hours on Tuesday.  Half a section before lunch.  These are proclamations towards progress, strategies to start and finish, ways to get it, writing, done. I remember when I first used these heuristics. In graduate school, … Continue reading

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