Bibliography/Note-taking Software

Hi everyone,

At Bill’s History of a Book Talk last week and again at the session on seminar papers today, some questions came up about various bibliography or note-taking software: endnote, evernote, mendeley (which I had never heard of until today but which I’ve just downloaded because it looks totally sweet — hats off, Andrew). Questions like do you use them? and which one/s? what for? etc.

I thought this might be a conversation well-suited to this common forum. If you use some sort of organizational software you’re excited about, please tell us about it in the comments below! What do you like about it?


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I thought I would post a couple of texts to get us thinking about the future of the humanities in preparation for our upcoming event.

Here’s a very influential, but in my opinion deeply flawed, position on the humanities’ (lack of) responsibilities with respect to politics and culture from Stanley Fish:

A topical, and somewhat hysterical, essay by Louis Menand on graduate education:

And, finally, an excellent piece by our own Visiting Professor John Guillory on the history of general education (pp. 25-50):

So take a look if you have a chance, and let me know if there are other texts worth sharing.

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“Future of the Humanities” Event

Hi All,

This post is devoted to the event GAC plans to host this spring, the proposed topic of which is “the future of the humanities.” The aim of this event is to bring together graduate students and faculty to discuss a topic of interest and importance to us all.

This is also a great chance for GAC to invite a speaker or to arrange a panel that will appeal to us as a group, despite our various period, critical, and/or methodological affiliations.

With that in mind, we would appreciate suggestions and comments related but not limited to the following:

–Whom should we invite? (Please feel free to propose anyone, from our faculty or from outside of the University.)

–What specific questions do you think we should pursue?

–What type of format most appeals to you?

Thank you!

Kelly and Emily

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Minutes – September 30

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Funding options beyond the fifth year

At the most recent GAC meeting, we were able to begin to generate a list of sources of funding available to students after the fifth year of the program:

1. Adjuncting at local colleges

2. Precepting in other departments (e.g. the Sociology department’s Springsteen class)

3. Working in the Writing Program and the Writing Center

4. Serving as a Resident Graduate Student in one of the Colleges

5. Private tutoring (we didn’t talk about this at the meeting, but it can be a good option)

A lot of empasis was placed on the need to be proactive in obtaining these positions, especially in the case of precepting in other departments. Students who have been successful in securing positions in other departments got in touch with professors months before the start of the class (as soon as course offerings were released).

This list is only a start and it is still very vague – we need everyone’s help to make it as complete and as clear as possible. If you have questions, ask them. If you have wisdom to share, share it. We can use the comment section for a discussion that will eventually serve as a reference guide for this year and for the future.

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Americanist Hire Updates

A message from Bill regarding the Americanist Hires:

Dear all —

Claudia has authorized me to write with updates on both the current Junior Americanist job search and the ongoing Senior Americanist search. As of late last week, the department faculty voted to offer the Junior Americanist appointment to Sarah Rivett. We are very hopeful that she will accept our offer and join the department next fall.

As for the ongoing Senior Americanist search, Jacqueline Goldsby has decided to accept a position at NYU and will not be coming to Princeton. The department has thus forwarded a recommendation for the appointment of Jennifer Fleissner to the University’s committee on tenure and promotion. If the committee approves this recommendation, an offer will be made to Prof. Fleissner. We hope to learn of the committee’s decision later this spring, and I will write with another update then.

Many thanks to all of you who took the time to come to the recent job talks, and especially to those who sent in comments and thoughts about the three Junior Americanist candidates. Your comments were extremely helpful in the faculty deliberations.


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Also This Week: Michael Fried

Michael Fried, art historian, art critic, cultural historian, and poet, who teaches at Johns Hopkins, is going to be at Princeton this week as a Short Term Fellow of the Humanities Council, owing to the initiative of Comparative Literature, and this is to remind you of his presence among us. On Thursday December 4th at 5:00 PM, he will give a talk under the title “Anri Sala’s ‘Long Sorrow'” in Wolfensohn Hall at the Institute for Advanced Study. On Wednesday from 1:30-2:30, he will be available for conversation in the 3d floor lounge in McCormick Hall; you are urged to come with topics you’d like to take up with him, e.g., formalism, phenomenology, and the relation of criticism to history.

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Events for the Week of 12/1/08

**Please remember to sign up for Spring courses in the binder located on Pat’s desk.**

Monday, 12/1

12:00 PM. American Studies Workshop: The Treasure Hunt of Tradition: Re-visiting the archives of Jewish-American music; McCosh 40

4:30 PM. Lapidus Lecture: And You Shall Know Us By the Trail of our Vinyl: Music, Memory, and the Politics of Jewish-American History; James M. Stewart ’32 Theater, 185 Nassau Street

Tuesday, 12/2

4:30 PM. History of A Book Seminar: Jeff Dolven; McCosh 40

Wednesday, 12/3

12:30 PM. Works In Progress, Evan Kindley: “Technocratic Vistas: The Rockefeller Foundation, the Little Magazine and Modernist Expertise;” McCosh 40

4:30 PM. Department Holiday Party! Palmer House

7:30 PM. Jerelle Kraus: “All the Art that’s Fit to Print (and some that wasn’t): Inside the New York Times Op-Ed Page;” McCormick 101

Thursday, 12/4

4:30 PM. 20th Century Colloquium: “Theory and Practice: Foucault’s History of Sexuality;” Hinds

4:30 PM. Professor Eric Naiman: “Art as Afterglow: Totalitarianism, Artistic Freedom and Nabokov’s Bend Sinister;” Chancellor Green 103

Friday, 12/5

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GAC Meeting Minutes from 11/18/08

GAC Meeting Minutes


I. Updates from previous GAC Meeting

A. Travel Funding: Bill has reworded the passage in the handbook about accessing departmental funds so that it is recommended, but not required that students first seek funding from other sources. Ultimately, the reworked passage in the handbook will allow students unrestricted access to their departmental travel funds. At the WGGI Meeting, we also discussed the issue of “nominal” travel costs to conferences in the area that can still add up due to registration fees, train tickets, etc. Bill agreed to raise this issue at the next Humanities DGS Meeting.

B. Fridge and Microwave for Hinds: These items are on the departmental “wish list” and likely to be installed in Hinds, but not before summer 2009.

C. Books for the Grad Study Room in Firestone: Greg has been in conversation with John Logan. John wants to establish a second call code location that is not Scribner (SCE). One this step has been completed by the library, he will work on establishing a budget. John expects their will be funds available for this, so we’re just waiting on more news. Greg has not yet solicited students in the department for suggestions as to what the library should include. We agreed that one way to do this is to create a post on the blog where people can contribute their suggestions via the comment function. Yaron mentioned that he would also like to have the missing books from the Scribner room replaced. Lindsay asked whether or not we might organize the new collection by field. The committee agreed that this depends on the budget and size of the collection–we first want to purchase copies of works that are used widely across fields.

D. Class Size: Students at the meeting agreed that small classes can be wonderful, and also strongly oppose the idea of capping courses. In general, there were few complaints about class size. Bea and Amelia added that the course offerings are exceptional next semester, because of their range and because many faculty members who have not taught in the past three semesters are all offering grad courses.

II. New Issues

A. Precept hours for DCE students. Yaron asked whether or not students in the department feel strongly that DCE students should have to teach fewer than 6 precept hours in order to maintain their funding. Those present at the meeting agreed that although this is a university-level issue (rather than a department-level one, since the requirement is set through the grad school), it makes sense to continue a conversation on this matter.

B. Working with visiting professors: Students would like to know if they can work with professors who are visiting for an extended time (i.e. Professor Brooks)

C. Visiting Faculty Reception: Students at the meeting would like to host or have the department host a reception for visiting faculty (Doody, Brooks, Copeland) in the spring, as they did in Spring 2008.

D. Princeton Proposition 8: David informed us that an undergrad student protest against Prop 8 is underway. For more information on how to support their initiative, email Chris Simpson or checkout the Princeton Prop 8 Facebook group.

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Events for the Week of 11/24/08

Monday 11/24

4:30 PM. Simon Gaunt, King’s College London: Translating Diversity in the Middle Ages, East Pyne 010

4:30 PM. Rajeswari Sunder Rajan: The Crisis of Feminism in Some Recent Indian Fiction in English, 216 Aaron Burr Hall

6:00 PM. Contemporary Poetry Colloquium Planning Meeting, Hinds

Tuesday 11/25

Wednesday 11/26

12:30 PM. Works In Progress, Evan Kindley: “Technocratic Vistas: The Rockefeller Foundation,

the Little Magazine and Modernist Expertise,” McCosh 40

Thursday 11/27

Happy Thanksgiving!

(University Holiday)

Friday 11/28

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