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Archive for March 30th, 2009

photoessayer (v.)

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Was just looking at triple canopy’s issue #5, which is devoted mostly to photoessays and videoessays. Worth looking at… good choice for a theme, no? I wonder why the photoessay is so persuasive as a form, all of a sudden.

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March 30, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Posted in photoessay

in boxes

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Nice photospread in Saturday’s FT by Michael Wolf, who “used a telephoto lens to take a surreptitious look behind the façades of Chicago’s international-style architectural gems, he fantasised he would see ‘thrilling things,'” but found of course only banal working and more working….

Also worth looking at the pocket history of the office cubicle that comes at the end of this week’s magazine…

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March 30, 2009 at 12:31 pm

lucky i came through when i did, i am

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I knew this already from the trouble that some people I’m trying to help through the Ph.D. application process are having this year, but here it is in html at Inside Higher Ed:

But there is a notable exception: Several colleges have recently announced that, regardless of application quality, they plan to admit fewer Ph.D. students for this coming fall than were admitted a year ago. The economics of doctoral education are different enough from those of other programs that some universities’ doctoral classes will be taking a significant hit, with potential ramifications down the road for the academic job market, the availability of teaching assistants, and the education of new professors.

Emory University plans a 40 percent cut in the number of new Ph.D. students it will enroll this fall. Columbia University is planning a 10 percent cut. Brown University has called off a planned increase in Ph.D. enrollments. The University of South Carolina is considering a plan to have some departments that have admitted doctoral students every year shift to an every-other-year system. These cuts are exclusively for Ph.D. programs. Terminal master’s programs and professional school programs are generally being encouraged to fill their classes; those programs are of course ones in which many universities assume students will pay most or all costs themselves, using loans as needed.

As someone who got into my Ph.D. program off of the “wait list” – and in the year of what was apparently the best (non-academic) job market in world history, 1999, when you had to be insane to take a $13,000 stipend rather than a ridiculous $100,000 job generating “content” for some “new media” outfit or other – I have a hard time fantasizing that I would have made it through the grinder if I’d been a prospective research student now. Lucky I am – don’t think I don’t know it.

You know, those of us who made it through just before the barndoor slammed shut might want to think about things that might be done to aid those still in the pipeline as the shit hit the fan. No one’s got lots of money to throw around… But I wonder what sorts of things might be done, our departments might do, hmmm…. I don’t have any specific ideas yet, but it’d be worth thinking about so as to prevent a “lost generation” effect from happening.

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March 30, 2009 at 10:06 am

Posted in academia

design thru the mailslot this morning: the new iht

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I received an email from the publisher of the IHT last week warning me that my paper would look a bit different on Monday. And I must admit, as I lazed and dozed this morning, there was a little jolt of Xmas morning excitement when I rememebered what was waiting for me at the foot of the mailslot.

They’ve changed the font of both the masthead and the body text to resemble that of the mother-paper, the New York Times. The redesign as a whole is a deferred outcome of the fact that the paper used to be a joint operation of the NYT and the Washington Post until the former took over sole ownership in 2007. So this is a step towards the final rebranding of the paper into the global edition of the Times, rather than a curious hybrid of an independent international paper filled with its own content plus a crosscut of materials from two papers at home.

Looks a lot lighter and graphicalistical throughout. Especially in this land of content-light newspapers, the IHT always felt like you were reading a paper designed to maximize the amount of newsstuff per page, the equivalent of the whole NYT but crushed into twelve pages designed to make it by air efficiently to Kuala Lumpur or Montevideo. It’s always felt a bit like eating something that looked on the outside like a croissant, but left you feeling like you ate a loaf of bread by the time you were done. We’ll have to see if we feel as full when we’re done with the new one.

They’ve added more business opinion and dropped business numbers, which is only the fulfillment of a trend across the industry. The sports section has grown from two pages to three, but I’m not sure, again, they’ve added comment so much as spread it out more evenly over the pages.

Above all else, they’ve kept the crossword. Phew. I’ll have a nice opportunity later today to check if that’s any clearer and simpler and easier. Let’s hope not.

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March 30, 2009 at 10:00 am

Posted in news