Friday, February 20, 2004


This is cool:

Logic and Rhetoric has gone the way of the way of the five-paragraph high school essay. It's time for entering students to start writing like they're at a university. And Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature Joseph Bizup, who created and is now the director of University Writing, is attempting to invigorate not just student term papers, but the entire Undergraduate Writing Program.

So far, many students seem pleased with the change. The new course, which was tested as a pilot course last year, is now beginning its second semester as a first-year Core requirement for Columbia College and SEAS students. Unlike L&R, for which student writings were supposed to be the only class texts, University Writing focuses on the interaction between reading and writing through assigning academic texts, including Edward Said's Orientalism and Michel Foucault's "Panopticism," and encouraging students to explore with their own writing the methods employed therein.
Quite right. Logic has no place in the modern university and I have no doubt that Foucault and Said are the perfect role models for students hoping to outgrow it.

I'd like to introduce my husband, Howard Dienstag. Howard is a frighteningly ambitious graduate student who prides himself on keeping his finger on the pulse of the latest trends in American academia. Howard will do literally anything to get tenure, including marrying me*. His posts will reflect these interests.

(*Although this hasn't stopped him from suing me for sexual harrassment in order to publicize his latest book, "Post-Modern Carn(iv)alities: Jean-Francois Lyotard, Maurice Chevalier and the Hermeneutics of the Void".)

Hello and welcome to the blog of Dinah Dienstag and her husband Howard. Dinah is Professor of Idiotarian Logic at the University of North-South-West Rhode Island Red. Howard isn't. Together they hope to add to the growing number of academic blogs on the Net. You can look forward to lots of posts about tenure and pension plans. They feel this is a sadly under-represented area in the academic blogosphere. Dinah also hopes to post her papers on "Idiotarianism and its Metaphors", plus the results of the field work she did collecting and preserving the world's heritage of cliches for UNESCO with Professor Jacques La Palisse. Another focus will be the life and work of Count George Monbiot von Monsanto de Montecristo-Chauvesouris-Lunaire. Dinah has dedicated much of her career to deciphering the writings of this outstanding intellectual figure of our time. Dinah and Howard hope this blog will enable them to get linked by Crooked Timber and find exciting new career possibilities and research vistas elsewhere. Rhode Island really sucks.

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