Category Archives: Uncategorized

A New Year and a New Look at Open Letters

Open Letters Monthly has rung in 2010 with a great new design for their site to showcase their January issue. Take a look–including at my own contribution on “The Radicalism of Felix Holt” Finally, an excuse to try out my pet theory about why Jane gets all the costume balls and zombies…


Well, my time is up: tomorrow I leave for my nation’s capital to attend the yearly conference-formerly-known-as-‘The Learneds’. (I actually sort of wish that was still its name.) I have completed a version of my paper, which I will read to the 2 other members of the panel and the 4 or 5 other people […]

Summer Reading Plans?

Even in Halifax, spring comes eventually, so I’ve been thinking about my reading plans for the summer. One result is that over at The Valve I have raised the possibility of another group reading, organized along the lines of last year’s Adam Bede event. The novel I have proposed is Charlotte Bronte’s Villette; I give […]

Workload Comparisons

I’ve been grading exams. I have 65 of them. I also have a stack of 21 essays in progress. As these are not the only things I am trying to get done, occasionally I feel a bit overwhelmed. However, here’s some information to keep my workload in perspective: It has been estimated that in the […]

Happy New Year!

It has been quiet here at Novel Readings due to the combination of the holidays and the pressure to get my winter term courses ready for (gulp) Monday morning. As part of my class preparation, I have been working again on Tennyson’s In Memoriam, that beautiful, melancholy sequence described best by lines from the poem […]

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?

It occurs to me: the deadline for my ACCUTE CFP has now passed and I have received a grand total of … zero … submissions. Hmmm. I have a theory expressible through the sophistication of a homemade Venn Diagram. Let RM=yours truly and MJ=Scribbing Woman and here’s what I think the situation is:

How Not to Talk to Your Professor

On the stairs of an academic building, 3 minutes before class time: Student: Professor! Professor (thinking is this one of mine?): Yes? Student: I’m in your English 1010 class. Professor (at least this one knows which English class): What is it? Student: I just wanted you to know that I’m in sciences and I’m just […]

The Murmuring of Innumerable Bees

NAVSA has posted the preliminary program for this year’s conference, to be held in November at Yale University. Am I the only academic who gets overwhelmed and depressed when reading through such listings? It’s not that I object to any (or most, at any rate) of the specific papers on the program. I can at […]

He had a bad day!

Turns out, before Daniel Powter, there was…Herbert Spencer!? Over at Acephalous, Spencer scholar Scott Eric Kaufman has convincingly documented the importance of his research subject with evidence straight from the ‘paper of record’: “Herbert Spencer, who has been ill for some time, passed a bad day today.” As SEK says, “He was the Britney Spears […]

The 50 Greatest Books?

Announced in this weekend’s Globe and Mail: a new project to discuss the “50 Greatest Books”: So many issues, so many books, so few of them great. Watch for our first choice in this space next week. And be prepared to argue. (read the whole column here) As one of the top-secret ‘jurors’ points out, […]

New Address

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