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Just got news today that the new Missouri Writers course I proposed has finished its journey through the approval process and is on the books. It’s going to join courses on Missouri history, politics, and geography as one of the core courses for the new minor in Missouri studies that’s getting built at the same time as the new Center for Missouri Studies (here’s the live construction feed, if you’re that kind of nerd).

As an article in the Arts & Science magazine on the new minor mentions, I don’t come by any of the meagre Missouri knowledge I might have from being born or raised here, but I’m reading up and am excited to build this thing and get some real live Missourians in it. (I had to put together a syllabus to get the course approved, so I’ve got texts picked out, but I’m always taking suggestions for the literature or the history–for them to read in the course or me to read in order to teach it–for next semester or the next time I teach it. So feel free. As they used to say in early web design, this site is under construction.)

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New York

Going in to the MLA offices today for a meeting of the Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Rights and Responsibilities, and here’s the forecast:

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Not sure what to make of this omen–or is it just a metaphor?–but I haven’t been able to shake the sense that we’re in for some heavy weather on campus. It may just be that I’m watching video of overturned rail cars on the Weather Channel’s breathless coverage of Hurricane Michael, which a correspondent just called a “tornadocane” (but not a landphoon), or it may be the story I saw yesterday about the possibility that Montana’s statewide ballot question on whether to fund higher ed might just get a “no,” but the hope that you want to have going in to two days of meetings like these is hard for me to summon right now. How we’ve gotten to the point at which a vocal portion of the people who vote don’t feel higher ed is a thing important enough to devote tax dollars to, I don’t quite know, but if there’s anything those of us who work in higher ed can do to show its value, we should really do it.