Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday with Red Emma

It's been two months (minus one day) since we began The Notes Taken. The first post is dated September 16 (our 'about us' description), although the first content post is dated September 18. Two months in, and we have statistics: they are incomplete, because we've only have a sitemeter since late October, but they are revealing. Since October 25th, we've had 428 visits and 735 page views. In the last week of October, we had 98 visits/174 page views, while in the first two weeks of November, the numbers are 330/561, indicating a healthy growth in readership for the new site, courtesy of you. So, thank you.

For published posts, Devin has written a majority, at 42, Matt 7, Jason 3, Sean 1 and Josh 1. This post is the first signed by the 'Notes Taken Review.' We've been mulling it over, and we have decided to search for additional writers. Some of you, obviously, might want to contribute book reviews or brief review essays, and if you do, you can email (go to the Notes Taken Review profile and the link is there) us, and we will look it over and try and publish it if it accords with what we take our purpose to be.

Over the last week, we again had plenty to say: we discovered that Matt's been teaching the moral dilemmas of the Twilight series to his students (some people thought that Devin had posted it! Imagine!). There's some information up on the upcoming Sartre Society meeting in Memphis, filed under some shameless self-promotion. And I (meaning Devin; I can't keep writing in the third person at the moment) displayed some cynicism about the process of applying for tenure track positions, and then, more importantly, wrote a trio of blogs about politics and the economy: about the Federal Reserve as an ideological apparatus, the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the future of reform, and finally, about Tom Reifer's tribute to Giovanni Arrighi.

And then, as per tradition, if you only have time to read one post, read Joshua Kurdys's discussion about the status of women in philosophy. I've made the subject of the philosophical canon important to my Great Philosopher's course as a set up for reading The Second Sex. I've learned that if you make the status of women a critical issue in reading the canon, students are responsive (as much as they can be for a class of 130). They don't ignore questions like, what gender/sex is the Cartesian cogito? Who are the citizens in Plato or Rousseau's political philosophy? Could Hume doubt personal identity if he thought about bodies as gendered or sexual? We'll soon see how they take to Simone de Beauvoir...

When I taught this course in Toledo, my class loved Emma Goldman, despite the concerns of several 'philosophers' that Emma was not doing 'philosophy'. I didn't listen, and nor was I even the sole professor teaching Goldman's work (I ended up substitute lecturing that semester for a course in Women's Studies and one of my students was in both courses. Imagine her surprise when I walked into the other class!). I'm pretty sure we read "Anarchism: What it Really Stands for", "Traffic in Women" and "Marriage and Love" (for the rest of the book, see this page). Judge for yourself!

As for next week, since I will be out of town at the Sartre Conference, Sean Moreland is going to step in for the Sunday Review, wherein he will provide the best in links to material by or about David Foster Wallace.

Until then, a few odds and ends:
  • Look into the most cited authors in 2007 (they are measured according to books cited, not articles), and see how many you are familiar with. Standing tall at the top, after all these years, is Michel Foucault.
  • From the NYT Book Review, a review of Paul Auster's Invisible, and Nabokov's The Original of Laura.

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