Armed Social Science (Summer 2016)

Since the invasion of Iraq there’s been a renewed debate in the social sciences about participation in military affairs, and counterinsurgency in particular. Those opposed to militarizing the disciplines seem to have prevailed — for which I am very glad. Unfortunately their arguments were fallacious. I explain why in the latest issue of Middle East Report.

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Utilitarian No More (July 2016)

Noah Berlatsky announced a few days ago that The Hooded Utilitarian will cease publication. That is bad news for comics criticism, and it is especially bad news for those of us who write it.

I’ve written for HU on an off for years. Or more precisely, I’ve written a lot of comics criticism — if that’s the right term for idiosyncratic essays that relate, for example, Albert Camus to V for Vendetta — and then thought, “What the hell am I going to do with this?” The obvious answer was to send it to Noah. Too often, that was the only answer.

The site was always entertaining, often enlightening, and sometimes provocative. It managed to preserve a fairly high level of discussion and yet seem casual and inviting — not really like wandering into a bar and finding it full of literature professors talking about Superman, but a lot like what you wish it would be like to wander into a bar and find it full of literature professors talking about Superman.

It was nice while it lasted.