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I always heard it as a gossip but a few days ago TÜBA (The Turkish Academy of Sciences) President Prof. Yücal Kanpolat made it official in my eyes: Prof. Şerif Mardin was not accepted as a member of the Academy because he “polished” Said Nursi too much. Prof. Kanpolat claims that not because Prof. Mardin studied on Said Nursi but because he praised him he was not accepted to the Academy.  Şerif Mardin is one of the best social scientists ever lived in modern Turkey and his work on Said Nursi (Religion and social change in modern Turkey: the case of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi) is probably the first sociological work on this religious figure. Because he did not explicitly demonize Said Nursi, he was “excommunicated”. Kemalist scholarly establishment could never forgive him while generations of social scientists relied on his many works to create a better understanding of the social…

and an academic roundup:

Digital Humanities vs the digital humanist

[Note: I’m cross-posting this, an article I wrote for the official HyperStudio blog, since this space allows for comments.]

What does it mean to be a Digital Humanist?

In a Dave Parry’s widely-circulated, post-MLA2009 blog post, tauntingly titled “Be Online or be Irrelevant,” Parry argued that social media should be front-and-center in Digital Humanities:

The more digital humanities associates itself with social media the better off it will be. Not because social media is the only way to do digital scholarship, but because I think social media is the only way to do scholarship period.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this claim sparked fierfce debate over the role, nature and future of digital scholarship. Who can claim to be a digital humanist? Do you have to have a PhD? How much coding do you have to know? Are humanities bloggers and twitterers participating in e-scholarship? At the root of it all: how do we (or do we not) want to delimit our community?

Decoding Social Media Mysteries

The University of Washington’s revamped master’s program in digital media attempts to answer questions about Web 2.0 that have confounded everyone, including universities. more

2009-10 Report on the Economic Status of the Profession

Source: American Association of University Professors

Rough financial seas had been buffeting many colleges and universities for years before the recession that began in late 2007. Then in mid-September 2008, an economic tsunami crashed into our campuses, challenging our ability to provide the accessible, high-quality education necessary to achieve long-term national goals. As the economy weakened at the end of 2008 and into 2009, college and university presidents, business officers, admissions deans, financial aid directors, faculty, staff, students, and parents wondered whether higher education would find a refuge from the worst of the storm, as it had in prior recessions.

Top Politically Incorrect Words of 2009

from The Global Language Monitor by admin

Swine Flu, Flush Toilet, Green Revolution, Minority, and Saint named top politically (in)Correct  words and phrases of 2009

Top Words of the Decade (2000-2009)

from The Global Language Monitor by admin

?Global Warming,? ?9/11? and ?Obama? are Top Words,

Remix Culture is a Myth

from Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology ? A Group Blog by Adam Fish

?remix is a myth. Talk to the ISPs. 99% of illegal content is downloaded for consumption only. Barely anyone is remixing illegally.? Andrew Keen (@ajkeen) 7:22 AM Mar 26th

Differentiating Between Police and Military Action

Eric Randolph’s article “Al Qaeda: When Any Attack Will Do,” (The Agenda, March 23, 2010) implicitly raises the question about differences between police and military action.  This is an important distinction to draw, but is rarely dealt with in discussions about the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Most importantly, Randolph points out that much of the American response in Afghanistan (and presumably Iraq) is about the need of American citizens to “feel safe,” rather than a need to combat the actual threats presented by Al Qaeda, etc., per se.  Both the military and police seek to make their home countries feel safe, albeit in very different ways.  The police do it by enforcing a pre-existing set of laws using pre-existing legal structures emerging from a civilian legislative process.  The military does not necessarily need to act within these boundaries, and is used in situations where the strength of the government to administer civilian rule is effectively challenged.

Hard problems in Social Science symposium: a couple of my propositions

from Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog by dienekesp

The Hard Problems in Social Science symposium is happening today, and there is a live webcast of the event. From the symposium announcement:

Male Studies vs. Men’s Studies

Scholars gather to push what they see as a new discipline, one with decidedly masculine sympathies. more

Global Wellbeing Surveys Find Nations Worlds Apart
Source: Gallup

Gallup?s global snapshot of wellbeing reveals a vast divide that underscores the diversity of economic development challenges around the world. The percentage who are ?thriving? ranges from a high of 82% in Denmark to a low of 1% in Togo.
Using data collected in 155 countries or areas since 2005, Gallup classifies respondents as ?thriving,? ?struggling,? or ?suffering,? according to how they rate their current and future lives on a ladder scale based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale.

‘Arrogance’ undid climate talks

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
The “disappointing” outcome of the UN climate summit was largely down to rich nations not listening, says a top economist.

TURKEY: New universities coming soon
University World News
Seven new state universities are to be established in the cities of İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Bursa, Konya, Kayseri and Erzurum once the relevant legislation .

MacEwan’s environments: shining through Solar

by openDemocracy

SolarShining through Solar, Ian MacEwan’s comedy treatment of energy and its crises, there are two views of why the environment is in a mess. The major diagnosis lies in the pathological incontinence of the novel’s anti-hero Michael Beard: he simply cannot stop himself eating, fornicating, travelling.

Deliberative democracy: Setting the people free?, John Jackson

from open Democracy News Analysis – by John Jackson

The Ministry of Justice has done something extremely useful! It has demonstrated that, given a fair wind, deliberative democracy could become a valuable addition to our representative democracy with liberating consequences for individuals and unifying consequences for our community as a whole. This demonstration is encapsulated in a report prepared by TNS-BMRB for the MoJ and published by it on 30th March.

Authenticity and Textual Violence: the Case for Autofiction, Heidi James-Dunbar

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Heidi James-Dunbar

A successful act of Life-Writing could reasonably be described as a reconstitution of facts bound up in a quasi-narrative form, in other words, a life rendered to a story. These ?facts? are of course open to interpretation and misrepresentation. And what of the gaps, the holes, the silences – the missing testimonies, lost letters, journals shredded and burnt, and simply forgetting? The spaces that open up and cannot be filled? How can writers piece together the episodes that delineate a life? Conjecture? An educated guess? Can the writer distil and then adequately portray a subject experiencing objects? Is it possible to faithfully recreate the complexity of experience? The multiple channels of information and events in a life?

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