David Thompson


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April 05, 2013



NB: No technical skill, including HTML encoding, is assumed or necessary.

That would be much too useful.

Next: a course in how to use your mobile phone.


Given that it’s possible to study “queer gardens” – “a survey of the horticultural achievements of gay and lesbian gardeners and a re-reading of literary works on gardens from a queer perspective” - I suppose a course in blogging “theory” seems like a sound career investment.


"Advanced Writing" (cough)


"Value for money" (cough)


Maybe it's just me, but this just doesn't seem like that remarkable a course. It does look like lot of work if it's conducted as implied.

As for: "No technical skill, including HTML encoding, is assumed or necessary", the course description also says "Students will be urged to make use of Blogger or WordPress", which sounds like an appropriate choice in a writing course.

Yea, they're formally teaching something that evolved from talented people exploring on their own. That is because blogging matters and people are being hired to blog. You can get a degree in theater too. It's just SOP. Nothing to see here.

John D

I'm having a Jeff Wayne flashback.




"You will spend a lot of time on the Internet for this course, studying blogs, commenting on them..."

Kind of like what most of us do in our spare time, then.

Do they offer a supplementary course on sedentary studies? (aka sitting on the couch, scratching oneself)

Bad News Quillan

Wat duz NB meen?

-- Bad News


My cynicism about lib arts/humanities aside, and were I able to have faith that the course would be both a rigorous study of the subject AND conducted in a classical liberal environment, I think this would be a worthy subject of study. But in such a world pigs surely also would have wings.


Unless they analyze Internet memes and LOLspeak, the course can be nothing but pretentious twaddle.


a course in blogging “theory” seems like a sound career investment.

At least it keeps another 'queer literature theorist' off the dole.


WTP & Tempdog,

My cynicism about lib arts/humanities aside,

I suppose that’s the thing. Blogging, like “queer gardens,” needn’t be unworthy of study per se, briefly, though such courses tend to attract left-leaning mediocrities peddling tendentious fluff, and the economic utility is somewhat elusive. As a way to spend one’s tuition fees and get heavily into debt, it’s a curious choice. And academic study, so defined, can not only be a waste of one’s money, or of other people’s money, it can also be the kiss of death. (Have academic “theorists” done much to improve art?) I wonder if Ms Lindemann’s students will be encouraged to address the fact that many blogs arose as a corrective to a mainstream media seen as populated in large part by left-leaning people who were educated in left-leaning environments, much like the one inhabited by Ms Lindemann.


I’m having a Jeff Wayne flashback.

Here you go. Relive the dream.


can not only be a waste of one’s money, or of other people’s money, it can also be the kiss of death.

Aye, there's the rub. Though I'm a bit of the theory of using elective courses for fun. It would make a good elective for the kind of people who might one day develop the kind of software that is used in these classes. But I would be quite surprised if the course didn't devolve into yet another opportunity for lefty tirades that would waste the time of most serious engineering, software, or business students. I found it interesting that the two links mentioned in the course description one was left-leaning (Julie/Julia, assuming it's related to the movie) and the other's domain name was expired. And that no direct links were provided except to the prof's own blog which is certainly lefty.

BTW, went to that Jeff Wayne link and the commercial before hand was some more Awesome Shat...



some more Awesome Shat

Which gives me an excuse to remind readers of this.

Sam Duncan

It's another step along the road to making it a Profession, with qualifications and Societies and Unions and regulations, creating nice high barriers to entry for keeping the riff-raff out.

At which point it'll be dead.

Is it any surprise that the Left colonized this sort of thing? With their creationist models of society, they can never just let stuff happen.


"Advanced Writing" (cough)

Have 'advanced writing' courses produced any good writers who wouldn't have been just as good without racking up huge student debt?


rjmadden: "Next: a course in how to use your mobile phone."

Already done. Students on a computer course at a college where I taught had to demonstrate that they could do various things with it like dial a number, answer a call, charge the phone and so on. Fascinating for the students, and then we tutors had the extra pleasure of them trying to get the students not use them during lessons to call anyone, including the person next to them.

By the way, this college had signs on the wall saying no mobile phone use in college. A good idea, but sadly one that the management of the college were unwilling to enforce. It was down to the tutors to make that happen. As always with education, the tough stuff isn't down to the well-paid theorists and managers.


Further to my earlier post, I meant to add two things about the blogging course: first, that if you have no idea what to do in life and no ambition to achieve anything then this shambles seems like as good a waste of time as any and second, I bet that Mr Marx (the bushy bearded blight on civilisation, not the funny one in Duck Soup) makes an appearance in it fairly early on.

John Farrier

NB stands for "nota bene"--Latin for "note well".

Karen M

blogging “theory”

Bloggers are sometimes terse, sometimes not and they sometimes use hyperlinks.

There, done.



blogging “theory”

You do have to wonder how much padding and chest-puffing will be required to justify the word theory. A word that doesn’t sit too well with the premise of blogging – i.e., that any fool can do it. [ Added: ] But then there are intellectual titans filling space with their deep, deep thoughts on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Hey, it’s vital intellectual work. And we mustn’t forget this colossal effort.


I wonder if Ms Lindemann’s students will be encouraged to address the fact that many blogs arose as a corrective to a mainstream media seen as populated in large part by left-leaning people

One of the two blogs mentioned by name in that syllabus was "Baghdad Burning", which you might remember arose as a corrective of sorts to the neocon-dominated mainstream media of 2003 by offering the pro-Baathist perspective from an ostensibly Iraqi young woman writing in Baghdad (so the blog said, though the quality and occasional American idiom of the English used made some wonder if the anonymous hero wasn't actually a graduate student at Brown or the like). The blog won the affection of All the Best People - and, per Lindemann, eventually a book deal - for offering daily reminders about how Bush and Blair made Iraq worse.

The blog was discontinued in 2007 with a statement that the author was moving to the safer environs of Syria, and there hasn't been a word of complaint from her ever since.

Jon Erickson

I find it interesting that one of her primary choices is Riverbend's "Baghdad Burning" blog. I confess to being an academic who back in 2004 gave a paper at a theater studies conference on Iraqi blogs during the initial phase of the Iraq War. I followed 16 Iraqi blogs (ones in English) over the course of the year, including the most famous one of the celebrated Salam Pax, who was initially championed by the Stop the War coalition, until he changed his mind about the invasion and thought it necessary (wherewith he was quickly dropped by the Left). Some Iraqi blogs at the time were anti-occupation, some were pro-occupation, and there were changes of mind over time. I tried to present a balanced account--which as you can imagine, did not go over very well at the conference and raised suspicions about me. But Riverbend's blog was consistently hostile to the US, UK, and their coalition partners, and consisted in a great deal of self-pity about the loss of her privileged existence and pure hatred toward others who didn't agree with her. I discovered over the course of time--or at least so I found it claimed by someone also researching Iraqi blogs--that the anonymous Riverbend's father was someone at a fairly high level in Saddam Hussein's regime.


Does Lindemann realize very few bloggers actually call their blog "a publicly accessible multimedia text"?

Also love the "think critically" bit. People who need to take a course on blogging as a "social/literary genre with deep, multiple roots in cultural history" are going to be naturals at that.



Does Lindemann realize very few bloggers actually call their blog “a publicly accessible multimedia text”?

The summary does manage to sound both pompous and remedial, which makes me wonder who’d be likely to take the course, and take it seriously. Presumably, someone who doesn’t find the inflated starchiness amusing. As you say, that may not bode well for the “critical thinking” we hear so much about.


anyone who pays for that course is a div, What title would you get at the end of it? They need to use their head.



They need to use their head.

The arts and humanities aren’t exactly known for their fostering of economic realism, which may explain why Marxoid boilerplate still hasn’t been laughed into oblivion. And thinking about one’s degree choice as an investment or a debt to be repaid is, I’m told, terribly uncouth. Or, as Karen once put it: “Gender Studies, it’s the fourth emergency service.”




Hmm, no mention of cat videos? What kind of institution of higher learning is this, anyway?

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