This category contains 8 posts

Have Mobile Phones In the Classroom Reached Their Calculator Moment?

Last week, while reviewing our class syllabus on the first day, I made a decision to do a little experiment. Rather than make the announcement that mobile phones should be turned off during class, I did the opposite. I told my visual anthropology class that unrestricted use of mobile phones in class would be allowed … Continue reading

Good Food Class Midterm Tasting Meal, Part Two

  This past Monday night our First Year Seminar gathered together for a food tasting meal—an event that gave us a chance to taste a wide variety of foods in dialogue with the books we have been reading and discussing so far this semester. In Part One of this post I summarized some of those … Continue reading

Good Food Class Midterm Tasting Meal, Part One

This semester I am teaching a First Year Seminar titled Good Food: Eating and Culture. For the first half of the semester we have been learning about different aspects of the American food system and its history. Beginning with Michael Pollan’s classic Omnivore’s Dilemma and James E. McWilliams Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We Can … Continue reading

Need Help Writing College Essays? 论文写作专家

No, I’m not running an essay writing service. I am, however, happy to see that I have career choices. Yesterday while enjoying a walk through the University of Toronto campus I noticed hundreds of fliers taped up on information boards and utility poles advertising the professional essay writing services. These were special, however, because they … Continue reading

Anti-Cheating Posters on Chinese University Campus

A few days ago I just happened to be visiting a university campus in the outskirts of Shanghai during the beginning of finals week. Along one wall in the lobby of the teaching building I noted a number of very interesting posters discouraging cheating on tests. Done in different styles they all had a singular … Continue reading

Simulating Victor Turner’s Liminal of Pilgrimage on Campus

Every other year I offer one of my favorite and longest-running classes, Pilgrims, Travelers and Tourists—a class which surveys different genres of travel and voyaging historically and cross-culturally. Since travel and movement—questions of who travels, where, why and how—are central to the experience of being a person these days, I find the interesting theories and cases we … Continue reading

The Weight of Creation(ism)

“…it is an inherent characteristic of common-sense thought precisely to deny this and to affirm that its tenets are immediate deliverances of experience, not deliberated reflections upon it…common sense rests its [case] on the assertion that it is not a case at all, just life in a nutshell. The world is its authority.”—Clifford Geertz, “Common … Continue reading

Occupy Student Debt

**This is a repost of the original Facebook image and accompanying text. I have been meaning to archive a copy here. A sociology student at Hamline interviewed me about this image for her blog shorty after I posted it. It offers some useful context and explanation. Occupy Wall Street sure seems like a long time ago. Sadly, … Continue reading


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