Carl Henry Research

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Carl Henry, who served as editor for Christianity Today from 1956 – 1967, treated the color line differently from the liberal Christian Century. I am spending much of today doing research and going through the archives at the College of Biblical Studies. They have all but the first two years under Henry. The archivist here are great.Treating me like a king. These bad boys are old.

My friend, colleague, and co-author of our Du Bois’s reader, Dr. Phillip Sinitiere has been great in pointing me to the right folks at CBS.

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Academic Blogging

Great post published by Inside Higher Education on academic blogging. It notes:

Academic blogging can coexist with these academic journals and help writers develop their ideas by taking them for a trial run with readers before committing them to a journal article. However, traditional academic writing, with its lengthy paragraphs, heavy footnotes, and discipline-specific jargon, may not translate well to blogging. Here are some suggestions (which solely reflect my experience as a blogger and as an editor for blogs):

The articles outlines thoughts and considerations here. This is an excellent article.

Academic Changes: Good & Bad

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One of the many academic journals I receive is the Intercollegiate Review. It is published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. I believe they have been publishing this journal since 1953 — but I could be wrong. The institute is pretty conservative. Case in point: The above issue that just arrived on my campus desk ran a piece on the changing tide of academic studies. The author noted that schools — particularly universities — once served as the model for academic excellence. Students sought to be more well-rounded. They had a greater investment in their education and were intellectually curious. Thus, it was not unheard of for a business major to study the American Revolution; psychology majors took courses in the studies of Shakespeare and Milton; future politicians thumbed through the King James Bible. I will admit, I agree with the author in that a tide has shifted students away from being seekers to just being done. A few years ago, I was asked to be the keynote speaker at Houston Christian’s National Honor Society Induction Ceremony. In my speech, I stated that W.E.B. Du Bois used the term “the talented tenth” to describe the likelihood of one in ten blacks becoming leaders of their race in the world, through methods such as continuing their education, writing books, or becoming directly involved in social change. He believed they needed an education to reach their true destiny as what would in the 20th century be called public intellectuals. Du Bois stated:

We shall have only as we make manhood the object of the work of the schools — intelligence, broad sympathy, knowledge of the world that was and is, and of the relation of men to it — this is the curriculum of that Education which must underlie true life. On this foundation we may build bread winning, skill of hand and quickness of brain, with never a fear lest the child and man mistake the means of living for the object of life.

I do sense that society has shifted away from training people to be thinkers; in truth, it appears that we are training people to make money. And, I suspect that is the direction of the modern economy. Here is where I disagree with the premise of the article: It blamed the radicalism of the 1960s for destroying the traditional cannon of knowledge taught on campuses across the country. It ridiculed the notion that single-sex schools vanished. Now, in this new age, schools are teaching courses on gender and sexuality. Race and culture courses now dominate history, English, and political science departments. I suspect the author feels that the academy should reflect the white man theory on education. Forget about changing demographics and pluralism. Though the author makes a number of great points…as I noted above, I feel the attack on changing group dynamics as reflected in academic curricula is silly.

Here are a few courses being taught at various universities that the author took aim at:

Yale University — Humanities and Arts Requirement: US Lesbian and Gay History          

University of Texas — Science Requirement: Animal Sexuality

College of Holy Cross — Religion Requirement: Gardens and World Religions

I must point out that I do not know if the above courses are really required; I am simply stating what I read in this journal piece. I would not be shocked to learn that this is all for shock value.

I would love to get your thoughts on this.

Academic Memberships

Above: Copy of the American Historical Review

One of the benefits that come with academic organizational memberships are plentiful:

  1. You receive quarterly academic journals that contain a host of articles, book reviews, and field updates. At times I feel guilty for bypassing the articles and reading the reviews; it is impossible to read every book published. And seeing that on some university campuses people must publish a book to earn tenure, and another to be promoted — there is a lot of bad stuff out there. Thus, I read what I can but I never shy from book reviews; next time you are on campus, I must show you the sad fate of making annotations in the review of books section, which is half of the American Historical Review journal published by the American Historical Association.
  2. Conference discounts and updated emails on the field are great.
  3. A feeling of belonging to something much larger than my campus. This is very important to me seeing that teaching can be the most isolated field on the planet. I have worked to avoid this.
  4. The excitement of going to your campus box and seeing the most recent copy of a journal there. I get four: American Historical Review, Journal of American History, The History Teacher, and Perspectives. I have yet to renew my subscription to Foreign Affairs — one I need to read that addresses more recent events. I also receive a copy of Independent School and used to get the Chronicle of Higher Education.