1. Thinking About Public Intellectuals: Harvard is hosting a conference on public intellectuals next month with the theme “Speaking Truth to Power.” In the late afternoon on the first day is a symposium that looks to be a future-oriented reprise of our USIH Wingspread panel from last November. Otherwise, the program looks excellent.
2. A Useful Derrida? Or should I say a Derrida that might become useful to historians? Andrew Dunstall, a USIH 2.0 participant last fall, wonders about a new, materialist approach–a retranslation, if you will—to reading Derrida’s writing and thinking.
3. The Meaning of the Tea Party: About a week ago David Brooks the amateur political-intellectual historian (again) paralleled the Tea Party to the New Left of the 1960s. (Aside: I agree with his observation about both ~not~ being conservative movements.) Brooks’ column came on the heels of a Michael Lind article in Salon the week before where Lind called Glenn Beck the new Abbie Hoffman. A few days after Brooks’ piece, Todd Gitlin refuted him in a post at Talking Points Memo. I don’t have a dog in this fight because I have no stake in protecting either the Tea Party or the reputation of the sixties New Left. Still, it’s an interesting intellectual history discussion because it speaks to how we define both ideology (e.g. paranoia), anti-intellectualism (e.g. paranoia again, radical anti-statism), and atavism as a historiographical causal issue (cyclical-ness).
4. A New Lead-Off Hitter for Grad School Historiography Courses? All intellectual historians love reading about historiography (right?). With that in mind, Adam Arenson makes the case, at Making History Podcast: The Blog, that Allan Megill’s Historical Knowledge, Historical Error (U of C Press, 2007) should replace Peter Novick’s That Noble Dream. Discuss. …In the meantime, it looks like I have yet another book to add to my infinitely expanding reading list.
5. Off-Topic: It looks like expectations for “treatment” by the nursing profession in Amsterdam are on the rise. Boy oh boy. – TL