Category Archives: digital media

May 9, 2015, 10:58 am


My sister bloggers Historiann (who has spent part of her sabbatical creating a snazzy new design) and Madwoman with a Laptop, now a fancy executive director, could tell you this farewell has been coming for a while. I’m hangin’ up my template.

It had to come someday. After 1,115 posts (with this one, 1,116), Tenured Radical is coming to an end. Why? you may ask.

I ask: "Why not?"

I ask: “Why not?”

Tenured Radical was launched in 2007. It migrated here in 2011 at the invitation of  an ambitious young journalist who has since moved on to The Charlie Rose Show. It did its work well for four more years, which is really long in Internet Time. While some writers thrived in this new section and others did not, together we harnessed the power of blogging to address big changes in academic life, political writing and scholarship as…

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September 25, 2014, 4:00 pm

Hello? No, Ello!

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 3.56.05 PMAs if we at Tenured Radical did not spend enough time on Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangouts, Skype and blogging, now there is this Ello thing. Ello? Ello is a new social networking site that advertises itself as “totally ad-free. Ello does not sell data about you to third parties, including advertisers and data brokers,” they promise.

News of this Ello started popping up in my Facebook feed last week. Queer academic colleagues were vowing to leave the Big Blue Monster because of a policy that forces San-Francisco based drag queens to use their legal names. It is not just drag queens, and has only been enforced in the Bay Area: I think Facebook is forcing everyone everywhere to use their legal name, but drag queens and friends of drag queens are particularly incensed about it for obvious reasons. Because everyone who is Leftish makes policy with their feet and their pocketbooks…

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January 2, 2014, 3:07 pm

AHA Day 1: Digital History Workshopalooza


We’ve come a long way, baby.

After breakfast with #Graftonliner Surekha Davies, and a surprise encounter with Tony Grafton himself, I beetled off to “Getting Started in Digital History.” If you go to the #dhist #AHA2014 hashtags on Twitter, you can pick up a crowd sourced account of the first hour (it was also live blogged here: anybody want to Storify it for extra credit?)

As someone who is not a beginner, but who still has big holes in her DH education, I thought the new guy at the AHA, Director of Scholarly Communications Seth Denbo, working with Kalani Craig and Jennifer Serventi, did a great job kicking off the morning with the basics of what it means to do digital history in 2014. I would be interested to hear if it worked well for newcomers, but I thought it mapped the field well and was relatively…

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October 30, 2012, 3:03 pm

The Morning After: the Twitterati Report #Sandy

Morning, October 30 2012. Photo credit: Tenured Radical

Before I get to the role that Twitter played in documenting Hurricane Sandy yesterday, I have to ask: do you remember the “disaster girl,” Maureen McGovern?

A singer with an otherwise middling career, McGovern had two cheesy hits in the 1970s that are still played in elevators today.  One was “The Morning After.” It was the so-called “love theme” from The Poseiden Adventurea 1972 movie about a cruise ship that overturned in a tsunami, dooming (nearly) everyone aboard. McGovern re-recorded the song, originally sung by an even more obscure chanteuse, and it went up the charts with a bullet in 1973. This success got her the job of singing “We May Never Love Like This Again,” the love theme for The Towering Inferno, a 1974 thriller about the world’s…

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September 1, 2012, 10:23 am

Tenured Radical’s New Media Adventures

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a new Huffington Post feature called HuffPost Live. My segment — on marriage equality — was hosted by Janet Varney, who once had a part on one of my all-time favorite shows, Entourage (2004-2011).

I can’t figure out how to embed the video (perhaps because it is unembeddable?) but you can access Tenured Radical discussing the question of whether the government ought to get out of the business of marriage altogether here.

As you can see if you click on the link, it’s a web broadcast with a live chat feature on the right. There is a central studio in Los Angeles, where they sometimes have sit down guests: our feature was done via a Google+ Hangout, a video chat feature that allows up to nine people to join a conversation.

One obvious feature of doing a digital media event — aside from the fact that it is fun — is that in a …

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May 28, 2012, 6:17 pm

Is Facebook Worth The Trouble?

Yesterday around midday I discovered that I could no longer post status updates to my Facebook page.  This was no big deal, and would have represented the elimination of a major weekend time-suck, except for one thing.  I couldn’t figure out why this was happening, which sets off a little alarm in my brain that Something Might Be Wrong, Something That Might Represent A Bigger Problem.

I don’t worry about being hacked.  On the other hand, I never worried about identity theft until my debit card was canceled because someone managed to duplicate it at a gas pump that had been bent to this purpose in West Philadelphia: the next day I went out and bought a shredder. Similarly, before now, despite legendarily sloppy password use for many years, I have never been hacked.  And yet, I thought uneasily as I fiddled with a Facebook that was behaving strangely, there’s always a first time.

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December 1, 2011, 10:52 pm

Going Postal: A Few Random Thoughts At The End of Term

I was at the Zenith post office today, mailing a large box of books to a former advisee now in his first year of graduate school.  As usual, I had to wait in line.  Students, who have little access to ordinary household supplies, have a tendency to purchase a box at the post office for whatever they are sending and then pack the box right at the counter.  This means that when a personal appearance at the PO is called for, and you don’t feel like driving downtown, it is usually a good idea to bring something to read:  each customer ahead of you can take a while to finish up.  When I got to the front of the line, the Mistress of Post rang up my shipment at the Media Mail rate, and I held out my debit card. (more…)

September 10, 2011, 10:46 am

After 9/11 — What? A Historian Contemplates the Future of Memory

Commemorations of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, and of those murdered on a third plane brought down in western Pennsylvania, began long ago and will culminate tomorrow. Here at Tenured Radical we have promised you no commemoration. Other media have a grander scope than we do, and ours will be trivial by comparison, even though memories of that day occasionally cause us to tear up unexpectedly. We also believe that life can sometimes become so saturated with commemoration that as citizens we become besieged by memory and unable to recall what it is, exactly, we experienced.

September 11 2001 is perhaps as fine an example of the role of simultaneity in generating nationalism as Benedict Anderson, or any American Studies scholar teaching Anderson, could invent.  As I drove up to Northampton yesterday, where la famille Radical is spending the weekend, I was listening to an…

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September 15, 2010, 12:44 pm

The Annals of Technology: The Pros And Cons Of Going Audible

Many years ago, when I was commuting between Zenith and New York, I tried what were then called “books on tape.” At that point in time, every car had a “tape deck,” a now defunct technology that was, from time to time, carved out of the dashboard of one’s car by enterprising youths on the Lower East Side. Books on tape would arrive in the mail, much as Netflix do today, but in a large padded envelope. Contained within would be a large plastic folio with multiple cassette tapes in numbered order (usually 8-12.)

Listening to books was, and is, a project about which I am conflicted. For reasons I don’t quite understand, I dislike being read to, and prefer to have text be a starting point for inserting myself in another narrative world (is this why the young enjoy video games?) On the other hand, when I first tried listening to books in the 1990s, I had a highly literary and elderly…

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