ChatGPT and the Near Future of College Writing   

Last November, OpenAI, a Bay Area research company specializing in artificial intelligence, introduced the universe to a program called ChatGPT-3. Within five days, one million people had jumped on the program to play around with it.  For reference, it took Facebook ten months to reach one million users and Netflix three and a half years. …

Grasping at Totality and Defying Genre: Toward Spectral Thinking in Humanities Scholarship

There I was, a rhetorician reading poetry. I found this amusing given the disciplinary history of rhetoric and poetry. Aristotle wrote a treatise called The Rhetoric and another called The Poetics because those were separate fields for him. However, the two exist between the same covers on my shelf as The Rhetoric and the Poetics …

On Academic Returns

January has returned, trailing clouds of new year’s resolutions. My return to campus coincides with a return to the MLA Convention for the first time in more than a decade. I know that for many in the college, the yearly MLA gathering signals an important temporal point on the academic calendar while providing valuable professional …

Winter 2023

All Colloquia will take place in 4010 JFSB at 3:00 PM.   January 19 Ryan Christensen Loneliness and Love January 26 Laura Catharine Smith Promoting Information Literacy and Critical Thinking in the Modern Humanities Classroom February 9 Kevin Blankinship Brokers of the Trust Economy, or Why and How Professors Should Write for the Popular Press …

Of Christmas, Climate Change, and Communication

My title is not mere alliteration. Christmas, climate change, and communication have more in common than just the letter “c.” What else unites this holiday, hot topic, and humanistic discipline? For starters, climate change referentials are hidden throughout the holiday hymns. We sing “Joy to the world” and “Let earth receive her King!” (#201, emphasis …

On Confidence

Welcome back from Thanksgiving break, and best of luck as you move into the wind-up phase of the semester. I promise to keep this blog entry brief—proceed with confidence. I’ve been musing on confidence and its origins. Etymology provides no sure guide to words’ current meanings, I know, even if words do seem to remember …

Golden Odes and Ruby-Red Letters: Why Classical Arabic Literature Matters Today

In spring 2021, a Saudi man named Sultan Aldeet netted himself one million Emirati dirhams (roughly $273,000 USD) plus a symbolic cloak and ring. His achievement? Winning first place on Prince of Poets, an American Idol-inspired TV contest in the United Arab Emirates between classical Arabic poets.[1] It airs every other year from Abu Dhabi …