Tuesday, September 9, 2014

AAUP Opposes Trigger Warnings

A subcommittee of the American Association of University Professors has drafted and approved a statement opposing the use of trigger warnings in the classroom. The document supports academic freedom and takes the following position:
The presumption that students need to be protected rather than challenged in a classroom is at once infantilizing and anti-intellectual. It makes comfort a higher priority than intellectual engagement and--as the Oberlin list demonstrates--it singles out politically controversial topics like sex, race, class, capitalism, and colonialism for attention. 
Indeed, if such topics are associated with triggers, correctly or not, they are likely to be marginalized if not avoided altogether by faculty who fear complaints for offending or discomforting some of their students. Although all faculty are affected by potential charges of this kind, non-tenured and contingent faculty are particularly at risk. In this way the demand for trigger warnings creates a repressive, “chilly climate” for critical thinking in the classroom.
Read the complete "On Trigger Warnings" (August 2014).

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tug of the Past, Lure of the Future

Sociologist Allison Hurst helped launch the Association of Working Class Academics with a membership composed of "faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, staff, and administrators from working- or poverty-class backgrounds."

Among other research, Hurst has published an engaging study of working-class students and describes the many challenges they face in the realm of higher education:
Limited expectations, unfamiliarity with the college application process, transportation troubles (to tests, to campuses, to interviews), the perceived "treachery” of moving away from friends and family, the exorbitant cost of college and the necessity to work and take on unmanageable debt--all of these factors play a role in the decision to go to college. A few working-class students are either fortunate enough to find mentors who will help guide them through this process or are perseverant enough to make a way for themselves. 
It is crucial to understand, while applying to college is rarely easy, it is much more difficult for some, so much so that many working-class undergraduates feel they have “made it” simply by entering college. . . . [T]oo often there is a “myth of classlessness” operating on our campuses, that by the fact that all are here all are similar. This could not be farther from the truth.
Read more from College and the Working Class: What It Takes to Make It (2012).

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

We Were All Freshmen Once

Julie Wollman, president of Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, enrolled in a spring music class with a group of undergraduates. Her experience helped to connect (and reconnect) her with many of the challenges and concerns that new college students bear:
"I’m really nervous about going to the second class, afraid I’ll be the only one who isn’t any good. I’m not taking it for credit or a grade, but the thought actually crosses my mind that I should skip class; after all, I can offer a good excuse. I am shocked to realize that, 36 years after I started my freshman year of college, being in a simple but challenging class well out of my comfort zone, I am again looking for excuses to miss class. So I go, despite my fear. Before class, waiting for the professor to arrive, I chat with my classmates about how hard it is to breathe right and make a sound come out and I feel less alone in my incompetence."
Read the rest of "Becoming a Freshman, Again" at InsideHigherEducation.com.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Libraries Are Not a Netflix for Books

Part of a commentary by librarian Kelly Jensen:
"It is not the goal of the library to make money. Nor is it the goal of the library to create levels of service so that those who can afford to indulge will receive more while those who can’t, don’t. Instead, libraries work to ensure their services reach as many facets of their community as possible. Libraries want to offer what they can to those who have nothing and those who maybe have everything."
Read the rest at BookRiot.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Why Students Need Librarians

"We recognize knowledge in action when we see it done effectively, but too many professors don’t teach this fundamental skill systematically and progressively as part of an academic program. . . . [F]rom community colleges to the Ivy League, a significant learning gap is widening. Librarians, trained in both digital and print research techniques, are in the best position to step into the breach. But that will require more support for library services at a time when budgets are under siege. And it will take an administrative commitment to ensure that training is incorporated comprehensively throughout the curricula."

Read the rest of "At Sea in a Deluge of Data" (Chronicle.com, July 7, 2014).

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Free eBooks from Routledge

According to the website Open Culture ("the best free cultural and educational media on the web"), scholarly publisher Routledge is making 6,000 ebooks available for free during the month of June, including "lots of works focused on Economics, Finance and Business; Politics and International Relations; and Philosophy and Cultural Studies."

The giveaway is fast winding down, so take a look today!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Earth Day 2014: Farm to Table

On Tuesday, April 22nd, the Athens Campus will host an event called "Farm to Table" in celebration of Earth Day. A free lunch is included for everyone who attends!

The following books--compiled for this event--are available from our libraries in print and digital editions.

Click here for a PDF handout of the list, which also links to our catalog.

Contact us for other recommended readings and resources!

Paul B. Thompson
University Press of Kentucky, 2010

Anne Becher and Joseph Richey
Grey House Pub., 2008

Michelle Obama
Crown Publishers, 2012

Jonathan Bloom
Da Capo Press, 2010

Tracie McMillan
Scribner, 2012

Barbara Kingsolver, with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver
HarperPerennial, 2008

Warren J. Belasco
Cornell University Press, 2007

Gene Logsdon
Pantheon Books, 1994

Gabrielle Hamilton
Random House, 2011

Paula Dutko, Michele Ver Ploeg, and Tracey Farrigan
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 2012

Consulting the Genius of the Place: An Ecological Approach to a New Agriculture
Wes Jackson
Counterpoint, 2011

A Continuous Harmony: Essays Cultural and Agricultural
Wendell Berry
Counterpoint, 2012

Frederick Kirschenmann
University Press of Kentucky, 2010

Alison Hope Alkon and Julian Agyeman, eds.
MIT Press, 2011

R. Ford Denison
Princeton University Press, 2012

Jonathan Safran Foer
Little, Brown and Co., 2009

Carl A. Zimring and William L. Rathje, eds.
SAGE, 2012

Robin Morris Collin and Robert William Collin
Greenwood Press, 2010

Julia Rothman
Storey Pub., 2011

Eric Schlosser
Perennial, 2002

Peter Bellwood
Blackwell, 2005

Justin Kastner
Praeger, 2011

Geoffrey Lawrence, Kristen Lyons, and Tabatha Wallington

Gary H. Holthaus
University Press of Kentucky, 2006

Edward O. Wilson
Vintage Books, 2003

Leslie A. Duram
University of Nebraska Press, 2005

David Farrell, ed.
Nottingham University Press, 2010

Huey D. Johnson
University of Nebraska Press, 2008

Greening the Academy: Ecopedagogy Through the Liberal Arts
Samuel Day Fassbinder, Anthony J. Nocella, and Richard Kahn, eds.
Sense Publishers, 2012

Jennifer Jensen Wallach
Rowman & Littlefield, 2013

Alison Blay-Palmer, ed.
Ashgate, 2010

Ann Vileisis
Island Press/Shearwater Books, 2008

Robert Albritton
Pluto Press, 2009

Locavore Adventures: One Chef's Slow Food Journey
Jim Weaver
Rutgers University Press, 2012

Leslie A. Pray
National Academies Press, 2009

Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson, eds.
Foreword by Desmond Tutu
Trinity University Press, 2010

Richard Louv
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2012

Hugh Acheson
Clarkson Potter, 2011

Michael Pollan
Penguin Press, 2006

Shannon Elizabeth Bell
University of Illinois Press, 2013

Lynn A. Nelson
University of Georgia Press, 2007

David M. Kaplan, ed.
University of California Press, 2012

Neil Goodwin and Judy Crichton, producers
PBS Video, 1993

Matthew Reed
Earthscan, 2010

Lucy Knisley
First Second, 2013

C. Clare Hinrichs and Thomas A. Lyon, eds.
University of Nebraska Press, 2007

Aldo Leopold; Curt Meine, ed.
Library of America, 2013
Noreen Olson; foreword by Will Ferguson
D & M Publishers, 2012

Melinda Joy Miller
Process, 2013

Stan Cox
Pluto Press, 2008

Bob Flowerdew
Skyhorse Pub., 2012

Edward Lee
Artisan, 2013

R.E. Hester and R.M. Harrison, eds.
Royal Society of Chemistry, 2012

David DiBenedetto and the Editors of Garden & Gun
HarperWave, 2013

Rob Cross and Roger Spencer
CSIRO, 2009

David C. Deardoff
Timber Press, 2011

The World Without Us
Alan Weisman
Thomas Dunne Books, 2007

Henry David Thoreau
Library of America, 1985

* image of Winona LaDuke from the White Earth Land Recovery Project; the quote is from her TEDxTC talk, "Seeds of our Ancestors, Seeds of Life" (June 2011), available on YouTube