Natasha Sajé, “In Praise of Dispraise”

by Meredith Kahn August 7, 2014
Cover of Natasha Saje's Windows and Doors

Natasha Sajé, author of Windows and Doors: A Poet Reads Literary Theory, was recently featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s blog The Conversation on the importance of critique: When creative writers are offered only praise, including the default praise of publication, they aren’t pushed to improve. By contrast, at a toastmasters’ meeting, the audience gives feedback on both argument and delivery. Similarly, a scholar’s argument and its assumptions would be rigorously questioned by more than one person due to the critical response built into both scholarly-conference presentations and peer-reviewed publication. Sajé’s nine essays in Windows and Doors cover foundational topics for creative […]

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Patrick James In Dialogue On Sean Astin’s Vox Populi

by Phillip Witteveen August 4, 2014
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The T radio V network is exactly what the order of words might suggest: radio in TV. (This is actually the conceit of their subtitle.) In the case of the show Vox Populi, it’s the video record of Lord of the Rings actor Sean Astin hosting pundits to jive about current events and the histories leading up to them. Or, as Astin puts it himself, to “model civil discourse.” On June 19th, he was joined by Professor Patrick James, who made a gift of his recent book The International Relations of Middle Earth to Astin, the erstwhile Samwise Gamgee, with the brief, satisfying aplomb of two little […]

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Ellen Handler Spitz to speak on the Nature of Translation

by Phillip Witteveen July 21, 2014
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On the first two days of August, the Austen Riggs Center will be hosting its annual Creativity Seminar. This year, Ellen Handler Spitz will be holding court, directing the conference, and bringing her experience as an aesthetician and student of psychoanalysis to a re-evaluation of the nature of translation. “Translation,” is the conference’s theme, and what for two days the attendees will be tweaking and re-adjusting their shared concept of. As an engine of description describing itself, the conference released a sound-byte, stating their intentions: “to stimulate our use of these ideas in our various clinical, educational, and other settings.” […]

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10 Years of Keith Folse’s “Vocabulary Myths”

by Claudia Leo July 16, 2014

The first in a series of posts about this book’s influence on the field of ELT By Kelly Sippell, Executive Acquisitions Editor and ELT Manager, University of Michigan Press Since Vocabulary Myths by Keith Folse burst onto the ELT market in 2004, many cool things have happened. One consequence was the birth of a series of Myths books: First, Writing Myths in 2008 (Reid), followed by Listening Myths (Brown, 2011), Second Language Acquisition Myths (Brown and Larson-Hall, 2012), and most recently, Pronunciation Myths (Grant, 2014). (Three more are under contract.) People who are familiar with the series know that the […]

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Election Hype: Robert Boatright in Washington Post, Vox

by Phillip Witteveen July 11, 2014
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There’s a kind of new journalism going on in Vox, with its swerving grey imprimatur over sharp yellow rectangles. One of Vox’ ever-changing taglines makes you think about its name: “The smartest thinkers, the toughest questions.” Vox is a stress test of the upper limit of our most interesting conversationalists, for whatever has brought them to our attention: being threatened by North Korea for a comedy (Seth Rogen), being the most powerful man in the free world (Mr. President, your two minutes are up) or having a nifty point of view on pop music (one Bob Stanley, music journalist and author). […]

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