All posts by Gina Barreca


Better Campus Living Through Luxury

Nothing like unwinding in the pool after physics class.

A recent Wall Street Journal article titled “Resort Living Comes to Campus” highlights the “increasing appetite for luxury living” among students.

Splashy photographs of private housing developments designed for undergraduate living near Michigan State University, Texas A&M, the University of Central Florida, and Arizona State show lagoon-shaped pools, fireplaces surrounded by overstuffed leather chairs, and sandy volleyball courts framed b…


Sonic Sisters

If I didn’t like the enthusiastic talk and lively conversation of young people, I would not have chosen to be a college instructor. If I didn’t like the nervous energy, relentless vitality, and shimmering intensity of college students, I’d have chosen a livelihood more valued by today’s culture, such as horse racing or fire eating. (Horse racing and fire eating are considered more dignified, and usually offer better retirement benefits, than academic positions.)

I pride myself on enjoying my pro…


What Books Have You Stolen?

Oh, don’t get huffy. Every academic I know has stolen a book from a library—kept it, didn’t return it, or deliberately lifted it. We felt ownership over the work, somehow. We felt it belonged to us. To see it in circulation was to see it sullied or mishandled. It was unbefitting that others should have it in their hands, in their rooms, in—heaven forbid—their beds. We were rescuing the book, giving it a proper home where it would be appreciated and safe. Safe from what, exactly? Certainly no…


Are You an Idea Hoarder?

Recently I’ve heard academics say the kind of thing I once heard only from wildly amateurish writers: “I don’t want to reveal too much about my work, because I’m worried about people taking the premise/title/idea/template for themselves.” I’m worried that scholars are being encouraged to be hoarders of ideas.

The academic version of  Hoarding: Buried Alive goes something like this: You had a terrific, groundbreaking idea for a conference paper in 1997. Let’s call it the “Vortex Theory of Sex…