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Category: Public Humanities

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Part history, part memoir, part management guide, Creativity Inc. is an engrossing read filled with behind the scenes tours and sage advice. The authors (Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace) mix detailed examples of Ed Catmull’s management philosophy with background on Catmull’s path to Pixar, Pixar’s development, and their transition to working within Disney. This book isn’t just for Pixar people, entertainment executives, or animators. It is for anyone who wants to work in an environment that fosters creativity and problem solving. My belief is that good leadership can help creative people stay on the path to excellence no matter what…

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The Office Space Myth

During the first weekend of the Humanities Without Walls pre-doctoral workshop, I caught the last half of Office Space on television. The fear of becoming a corporate drone is one many academics likely identify with. But the choice is not between Initech and academia. (Even if it were a choice between only those two options, academia has its own litany of issues — just check out the academic equivalent of Office Space, Tenure). One of the most important things that the HWW workshop achieved was demonstrating the wide array of culturally and intellectually vibrant positions accessible to doctoral students. The…

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Who’s Afraid of History?

Contemporary US society. (That’s who) The College Board revised the AP history exam to better reflect actual historical knowledge and scholarship. Manufactured political outrage convinced them to water it down with nationalism. From NPR: For example, in the 2014 version Europeans “helped increase the intensity and destructiveness of American Indian warfare.” Now it says simply that the Europeans’ introduction of guns and alcohol “stimulated changes” in Native communities. People are deeply uncomfortable with the past. Just ask Ben Affleck. He tried to cover the fact that he is the descendant of slaveholders (and then got Streisand-ed). I’ve started doing some…

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