It’s been busy.
I got book proofs on Thursday for Sacred Plunder: Venice and the Aftermath of the Fourth Crusade. That means that my writing will not so much stop, but will become erratic and not as predictable daily until proofs are done. Unless, you know, I get really pissed off about something.
In the meantime, I wrote/had published a lot over the last 10 days or so.
Two Friday’s ago, CNN published an essay on Columbus. On Monday morning, for awhile, it was getting 1000 views a minute and my email, as a result, as been lively. So many people want to tell me about the Vikings, or wish I spent more time talking about rape and mutilation (this essay is for kids!), or attacked me for slandering the great hero of the Age of Discovery!
Then, for Monday, I had an essay about two novels published by the Chronicle. Both novels are set in the Middle Ages and were written by active medieval professors. This is actually pretty unusual, and, as I elaborated in my blog post, tells us something about public engagement.
On Tuesday, I wrote about a Jewish professor at Fordham who found himself accused of religious discrimination for threatening to fight and destroy the American Studies Department if it supported the BDS movement. While not wholly analogous to Salaita (because he didn’t lose his job and had a process, if not so much due process), I emphasize that principles to academic freedom must apply to people with whom we disagree … or we have no principles.
On Wednesday, Al Jazeera America published an essay on the discourse of cute and sweet in the world of Down Syndrome, a context that applies more broadly to other kinds of sweet-i-fiction (a word I just made up) of marginalized or minority groups. I also wrote a blog post about my hypothesis of emotional intensification as a communication tool for some people with Down syndrome. I was taken to task, correctly, for over-generalizing from small amounts of data (mostly my son and my observation of people with DS locally). Still, I think the hypothesis is worth considering.
Finally, the Lawsuit Against The Deputies who killed Ethan Saylor is proceeding. The judge explicitly talked about rapid force-escalation, a phenomenon I link to the Cult of Compliance.