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Matthew Biberman's Blog

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Feb.01.2009
Losing power in the middle of the night during last week’s ice storm was sobering.  We had lost power in September in the wake of Hurricane Ike for a week but if anything, that had given me a false sense of confidence.  Then it was still warm and going off the grid felt like I had suddenly entered...
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Jan.26.2009
A few blogs past, I shocked some people by arguing that Stanley Fish was more liberal than Judith Butler.  Fish betrays his liberal basis again when he endorsed the argument Frank Donoghue’s presents in his recent book “The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities...
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Jan.23.2009
It popped up in my email inbox: “I don't think you need to be a motorcycle enthusiast to lose yourself in this book.  It is an open-handed classic about living and love, with a heart as big as a Vincent V-twin engine.”—Mark Knopfler For a moment I was stunned as I waited for the words to sink in. ...
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Jan.17.2009
This semester I am using Charles Nicholl’s recent book The Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street as the centerpiece of my upper level Shakespeare class.  Pivoting off of preserved documents generated around a 1612 legal dispute concerning an unpaid dowery, Nicholl presents a portrait of...
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Jan.14.2009
For the first time since 1989 I am teaching a creative writing workshop.  Twenty years ago I was a grad student at NYU, living off a 7K stipend and a paralegal paycheck. I had my idols and burned stuff I wrote just to prove to myself that all I cared about was the process.  Back then it was...
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Jan.11.2009
In ten years at the University of Louisville, I have had two students move on to Ph.D. programs.  Recently I caught up with one, who had ventured out of radio silence mode long enough to call me.  It’s a brave thing for a candidate on the market to do.  I learn she had several interviews at the MLA...
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Jan.02.2009
Every year, about 9,000 professors of English, grad students, and hangers-on attend a conference hosted by the Modern Language Association of America. In my last blog, I wrote some about attending the 2008 convention, held just a few days ago in San Francisco.  The high point of my involvement in...
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Jan.01.2009
All compelling arguments are not charismatic.  ("No school of Fish.") So Scott Eric Kauffman notes in his blog under the title “Things I learned at MLA.” Turns out Kauffman and I were in the audience at the same panel, one on why English professors should bother to teach literature now...
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Dec.22.2008
It is difficult for me to blog on this subject as I am days away from interviewing candidates for an entry level tenure track position in early modern literature and individuals reading this post will probably include individuals prepping to impress me.  However, Scott’s post is important and I...
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Dec.19.2008
As part of the publicity for my memoir, I worked up this material. It was an interesting exercise as I get ready to launch this book in the spring.  Feedback welcome! Q: What inspired you to write BIG SID’S VINCATI? A: I got the idea when Cycle World sent their best known writer, Peter Egan, to...
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Nov.27.2008
Years ago (aroung 2000), I learned that Mark Knopfler, former Dire Straits frontman, had penned  a song that featured a Vincent Red Rapide. That song "Red Staggerwing" is on All the Roadrunning (2006) but it would appear that there was some thought to including it on an early record...
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Nov.26.2008
Big Sid2.jpg
Though the work involved in getting ready for the launch of Big Sid's Vincati has prevented me from posting on RR recently, I thought I would go ahead and share the cover now that my publisher has settled on one.  So . . . what do people think?  On a related front I am now getting ready to send out...
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Nov.09.2008
The astrologer Simon Forman went to the Globe on Saturday April 10th, 1611 and later wrote about it in his diary.  Although it is tempting to paste in the entire account, I am going to drop it in in snippets in order to highlight my thoughts about its implications. Forman begins: “ther was to be...
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Nov.03.2008
A crib on what to look for when you watch Hamlet.  Remarks given during a roundtable prior to a performance of Hamlet (directed by Rinda Frye) at the University of Louisville (11/2/08). Before the curtain rises on Hamlet, it might be helpful to review Freud's argument. To that end I would stress...
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Oct.14.2008
Belle Yang drew my attention to Fish’s recent post over at the NYT where he wrote in support of current policy that forbids educators from wearing political campaign buttons while teaching: http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/buttons-and-bows/ He concludes by citing Professor William Van...
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