• The Interpretive Footnote: Three Facets of Catherine Opie     

    We’re almost to the mid-point of Nelson’s The Argonauts. Eighty pages in, I’ve had the students spend time in the computer lab drafting and then publishing “interpretive footnotes” in ord...
  • The Interpretive Definition: Meaning in Context

    For previous posts on teaching The Argonauts, click below: “I now understand her point better”: Reflections on Empty Narratives of Research  What Does Interpretation Look Like? A Play in Three Acts...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • What Does Interpretation Look Like? A Play in Three Acts

    In The Argonauts, the sole text in my writing seminar, Maggie Nelson bids her readers to think about Roland Barthes’ interest in the Argo—which remained the Argo, even after all of the original parts of th...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • “I now understand her point better”: Reflections on Empty Narratives of Research

    I’m using Maggie Nelson’s award-winning memoir, The Argonauts, as the central text in an essay course I’m teaching this semester. We’re reading five to ten pages a week, moving slowly through N...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • Igniting the Re-Enlightenment

    If you read past today’s folderol about the Tweeter-in-Chief, you’ll get to an article about the first day of school for the new curriculum in Turkey. From this point forward, students will be spared learn...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • On the Current Dark Ages

    We are surrounded by light, yet we live in darkness.   With internet access, we all have the opportunity to wander in a global library that dwarfs the collections at any of the schools or universities where we ...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • Writing in the Post-Factual World

    Much ado of late in response to one Scottie Nell Hughes, “News” Director of the Tea Party “News” Network: “There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.” From all th...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • Why the Humanities Matter

    In light of recent events, I’ve taken to my bed, hanky across my forehead, a delicate buttercup, as the victors would have it.   Fortunately, my dear friend and colleague, El Burro de Fromage, has agreed...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • Writing after the Election: Trying out the Language’s Three Most Important Words

    I’m writing this the weekend before the election. So much has already been written about the candidates, the process, the scandals, the lies, the cheating, the intimidation, the vitriol, the ignorance, the racis...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • As if! Writing Under a Pseudonym

    Six or seven years ago, I threw in the towel on academic publishing. The precipitating event was a ridiculous argument I had with an editor over an article I had been invited to write that I ended up withdrawing from ...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • Be Interesting! The Story Behind the Most-Read Student Paper in Human History

    In the last post, I discussed our “Be Interested” assignment and I argued for the value of giving assignments titles. So, what comes after an assignment entitled, “Be Interested”? “Be Int...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • Be Interested: On Giving Assignments Titles

    Ann and I like our assignments to have titles that tell students exactly what we expect from them. So, our syllabi don’t say, “Paper #1 due . . . ,” and “Persuasive Essay due . . .” ...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • On Linearity and the Syllabus: Notes Against the Idea of a Writing Process

    When Ann and I started writing Habits of the Creative Mind, we were motivated by a desire to represent writing as creative engagement with the world. There’s no best place to start and there’s no predeterm...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • Into the Thicket

    When offered the opportunity to have a sustained encounter with the limits of one’s own understanding, most people would politely decline. But, if you think about it, that’s what the act of writing really ...
    Richard E. Miller
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  • What Does It Mean to Think?

    What does it mean to think? And how do you know you’re doing it?   Let’s consider the question in three different scenarios: listening to a lecture; driving; writing a college essay. Is thought nece...
    Richard E. Miller
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