Al-Diwan Roundup: News and Analysis from Publishing and Academia
Al-Diwan brings you the latest news and analysis from the publishing and academic worlds that relate to pedagogy and knowledge production.
Kalimat Foundation’s Ara Initiative Helps Sight-Impaired Children Read
By Porter Anderson (Publishing Perspectives)
As part of its literacy expansion program, the Kalimat Foundation has distributed 30,000 copies of fictional literature in Braille, large-print format, and as audio books. The Kalimat Foundation hopes to highlight the power of books for all peoples and the importance of providing materials accessible to all levels of knowledge and seeing abilities.
The Entire President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities Just Resigned
Donald Trump’s statement following the events in Charlottesville, all of the Committee on the Arts and Humanities (excluding Melania Trump) resigned. If read as an acrostic poem, the letter of resignation includes a message to society on how to respond to Trump’s behavior.
KaZoom Kids Books Launches Multicultural Digital Library of Stories
By Donna Beasley (Digital Book World)
In discovering that only 5% of children’s books feature children of color, Donna Beasley pulled from her career in advertising and her networks to develop a platform that would host interactive, digital, and multi-cultural children’s books.
Arundhati Roy’s Fascinating Mess
By Parul Sehgal (The Atlantic)
Reviewing Arundhuti Roy’s most recent novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Parul Sehgal traces threads of activism, which are reflected in Roy’s life, through the novel. Pitfalls and issues of activism, though, are also seen in the published work. Minimal reflection, “formulaic depictions of people,” and stock figures all have parallels in activist movements.
Expensive academic conferences give old ideas and no new faces
By Julian Kircherr and Asit Biswas (The Guardian)
The grandeur that comes along with today’s academic conferences makes it a challenge for academics of nearly all ranks to attend. For these spaces to live up to their potential in regards to networking, collaboration, and critical thought Julian Kircherr and Asit Biswas posit that academic conferences must be restructured, becoming more accessible and welcoming to young researchers.
Online Harassment of Faculty Continues; Administrators Capitulate
By Hank Reichman (Academe Blog)
Two new cases regarding faculty statements made as private citizens have come to the fore: Mark Bray of Dartmouth College and Kenneth Storey of the University of Tampa. In both cases, the faculty have been threatened and harassed following a website called Campus Reform’s coverage of their statements.
Suck Up U.
By Deborah Parker and Mark Parker (The Chronicle of Higher Ed)
Recalling references to flattery and sycophancy in Dante’s Inferno and Shakespeare’s King Lear, the authors delve into the negative consequences that have erupted from the prevalence of fawning in academia.
The Charlottesville Syllabus
By Peter Rothberg (The Nation)
Knowledge production via crowdsourcing has provided society with the #FergusonSyllabus, #StandingRockSyllabus, #BlackIslamSyllabus, #IslamophobiaIsRacism, and now the Charlottesville Syllabus. Developed by the UVa Graduate Coalition, this syllabus contextualizes the event in Charlottesville within a historical framework, “denounce it, and amplify the voices of community members most affected by this ‘alt-right’ occupation of space.”