MoChridhe_resume

Had a great time yesterday talking about Aristasian fiction writing as a form of pilgrimage practice at the PAEAN conference. If you missed it, you can still catch the recording.

MoChridhe_resume

Of Place and Memory in the Library

Yesterday, I had an interview for a school media position at a local high school. Throughout it, I was repeatedly put in mind of the conversations I have had with my good friend Christopher Cocchiarella, who writes over at Mindful Media Musing on how media technologies impact our experiences with information. He has many times shared with me interesting research on the ways in which paper books outperform electronic copy in reader engagement and retention of information, and I knew he would have smiled when the media secretary, present at the interview, began to tell me how the school had invested a … Read More

MoChridhe_resume

Critical Thinking and the Persistent Story

In my last post, I discussed some of the reasons that I think we have probably passed the point of “peak literacy” in the regions formerly known as the Western world. This drew a very thoughtful response from my good friend and colleague Christopher Cocchiarella at Mindful Media Musing. In that post, he does an excellent job of describing in more detail the various levels of functional literacy and of collecting the statistics to show that shockingly low percentages of the US population exceed “basic” and “intermediate”. In identifying why he feels this is such a problem, however, he makes what I think … Read More

MoChridhe_resume

Peak Literacy

I was recently invited to interview for a gig answering questions via live chat for fifty cents a minute. What struck me about this was that I was contacted in my capacity as a scholar of world religions and, indeed, my interview included me responding to a number of prompts such as “What caused the Sunni/Shiite split?” Who, I wondered, is paying something, perhaps, on the order of a dollar a minute to ask these kinds of questions? I could see spending that money to ask a medical professional if your problem warrants seeing a doctor (who will charge you … Read More

MoChridhe_resume

New articles at RSP and FAR

It’s going to be a busy fortnight for me, and to kick it off I have two new articles out. Over at the Religious Studies Project, you can read my response to their interview with Dr. Caroline Blyth on the subject of gendered violence. Meanwhile, over at Feminism & Religion, you can find some of my recent thoughts on the possibility of a feminism of the right.

MoChridhe_resume

There’s a Sheep Loose in the Lane

Every week, I help high schoolers with their research projects. I watch them take the assignment, type its prompt questions exactly into Google, and then copy-paste the answer from the search result preview box into their slideshow/paper/spreadsheet. They evince no awareness of whether the text they are plagiarizing is thematically compatible with what they have already copied, or even whether it is grammatically consistent with the previously stolen sentence. On those rare occasions when it does dawn on them that what is in the box may not be what they need, they look at me like I’ve started speaking Welsh when I actually click … Read More

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APCs and the Independent Scholar

As Katie Shamash says in her recent review of the impact of article processing charges on libraries, “We’re part way down the road to open access.” This road has been long and perilous, and like most roads leading to terrible unintended consequences, paved with good intentions. The dream of open access academic publishing has been to facilitate scholarly communication and open its channels to wider participation. Subscription charges to academic journals were (correctly) identified as one of the major barriers to participation in research and targeted for elimination. It is a testament to the goodwill and energy of many in … Read More