Category Archives: Fifteen Minutes of Fame

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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November 2, 2012, 9:34 pm

Fun With Anthropology! Hurricane #Sandy Uncovers Colonial Bones

What accounts for the skeletal remains embedded in a tree that was toppled on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut during Hurricane Sandy?

A passerby saw what she thought was a rock embedded in the interior roots of the 100 year old tree.  When she looked closer, she realized it was a skull and called the cops. A medical examiner, and then a Yale anthropologist, were called to the scene.

Workers cut away some roots, brushed off some dirt, and yessiree, Bob, there it was: “Visible among the roots of the tree was the back of skull, upside down, with its mouth open” writes reporter Thomas MacMillen. “It was still connected to a spine and rib cage.”

According to the New Haven Independent, a Connecticut web newspaper,  the bones “belong to at least two different centuries-old skeletons. And counting.”

The New Haven Green was originally an eighteenth century common space, used…

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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 17, 2012, 2:00 pm

Th-th-th-th-th-that’s All, Folks! Speech Quirks That Work?

Is perfect public speaking really best?

I have received a lot of thoughtful reactions to the TEDx talk posted below, not only in the comments section, but in private communications as well.  Responding to one new colleague who wrote me a gracious note, I admitted that I was a little self-conscious about the “ums” and “ahs” that punctuate my performance.

The more I have participated in visual and aural media as a scholar, the harder I have worked to eliminate speech quirks that I find distracting and amateurish.  Everything is now memorialized on line, and anything not said well on the first take is recorded forever.  Some of my performances sound embarrassingly unpolished to my own ear, and are discouragingly unlike the confident, fluent PBS Newshour talking head that I long to be.  As I listen to …

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August 11, 2011, 1:26 pm

Stick To The Foghorn, Rush: Or; Right-Wing Radio School For Aspiring Black Newsmen

By cheerful happenstance I had a few empty minutes last night prior to The NewsHour. (Al Qaeda?  If you ever want to cripple the nation’s intellectual class, consider hitting living rooms in Cambridge, New Haven, Providence and Philadelphia at 7:00 EST!)  I clicked over to MSNBC, where the Reverend Al Sharpton was delivering a personal message to Rush Limbaugh about the possibility that the Cenk Uygur show (where Sharpton has been guest hosting as the network determines Cenk’s fate) has a racist teleprompter.  WTF? I said to myself, which is professional blogger-speak for “Sounds like a post to me!”

November 17, 2008, 5:53 pm

Edie Sedgwick: R.I.P., an online magazine devoted to death — or, as they say on the website, “What death can mean to the living and what living may have meant to the dead” — reminds us with this story by Paul Wilner that November 16 was the 37th anniversary of Edie Sedgwick’s death. She died of a lethal dose of pills and alcohol, ingested accidentally, like so many fabulous people of that drug-addled era.

Sedgwick, a society hanger on of the Factory crowd was, as you may recall, one of the few celebrities associated with Warhol who was already a celebrity in her own right. She also brought money and class to a very ambitious artist at crucial moment in his career when he had neither.

But for my money, the best thing about Sedgwick (other than that she serves as the focus the book that best evokes Warhol’s early Factory years, Jean Stein’s Edie: An American Girl) is that she may have been the…

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