Posts in Blog Posts
Aesthetic Categories in the 19th and 20th Centuries: Looking at Neoclassicism, the Renaissance, and the Gothic through Word Frequencies

One of my ongoing projects has been a historiography of the concepts of neoclassicism, the gothic, and the renaissance over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As part of this work, I ran some Google n-grams to chart the emergence of these categories. I don’t think that there is anything surprising in the data, but it’s nevertheless interesting to see it visualized. The first graph looks at the terms “Neoclassical,” “Renaissance,” “Gothic,” and “Arts and Crafts.” The second graph examines four different terms for speaking about the medieval world: “Medieval,” “Middle Ages,” “Gothic,” and “Dark Ages.”

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The Wrong Question: Is This Higher Education's Golden Age?

In sum, I don't disagree with Brint's data. Rather, I think that his essay unnecessarily rejects valid critiques of the state of higher education. Certainly, by some metrics, the US system of higher education is running on all cylinders. However, this has come at a cost: the increasing commodification of knowledge; cuts in public support and the concurrent rise of private debt; the instrumentalization of public education to serve market demands; and the balooning of the faculty precariat. 

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Kennington Common, the Occupy Movement & the Freedom of Assembly (From the Archive)

This essay offers a brief history of the commons and protest through the story of Kennington Common, relating it to contemporary debates over the Occupy Movement and the rights of assembly and protest.

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