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John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
Aaron Bady
Adam Roberts
Amardeep Singh
Andrew Seal
Bill Benzon
Daniel Green
Jonathan Goodwin
Joseph Kugelmass
Lawrence LaRiviere White
Marc Bousquet
Matt Greenfield
Miriam Burstein
Ray Davis
Rohan Maitzen
Sean McCann
Guest Authors

Laura Carroll
Mark Bauerlein
Miriam Jones

Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

Event Archive

cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

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Friday, July 04, 2008

I’m sure The Valve was 101st on the List…

Posted by Rohan Maitzen on 07/04/08 at 06:34 PM

...of “The Top 100 Liberal Arts Professor Blogs“:

Academics are flocking to the Internet like never before, particularly to start a blog. Faculty members in colleges across the world are connecting with people on a whole new level. Let’s face it – academia can actually be very lonely at times. Not only can a blog be cathartic for professors, it can allow for valuable feedback from students and/or colleagues.

Liberal arts subjects are wildly varied. From art to science, the major disciplines have long been considered part of the liberal arts. Below are 100 of the most interesting and popular blogs written by liberal arts professors.

Congratulations to Valve authors Amardeep, Miriam, and Marc who are deservedly among those recognized for outstanding contributions to the academicoblogosphere.  And, of course, thanks to all of the bloggers here and everywhere who are helping us overcome our loneliness.

(Link from BooksInq)


I think Ron Silliman would be amused to find himself listed as an academic. No Laval Subject under philosophy? Is there a bias here against continental philosophy?

No Cosmic Variance or RealClimate under science? A recent contributor to Critical Mass would profit from visiting the latter.

By Jacob Russell on 07/04/08 at 08:06 PM | Permanent link to this comment

This seems to me a wayward list.  I don’t see on what basis it has been assembled; unless somebody has promoted their personal and rather idiosyncratic blogroll to the middle of their site.

No Language Log, In the Middle or Blogging the Renaissance, three of the most important ‘English’ blogs?  Also some of the accounts given demonstrate ignorance: so 40, Wormtalk and Slugspeak (an excellent blog, one I read often) is not written by ‘two English professors’, but by Michael Drout on his tod.  Plus ‘The Meaning of Life’ blog (philosophy) is not a blog at all, but a website on which are posted various essays, last updated mid-2007.

The more I look at the list the pickier I become.

By Adam Roberts on 07/05/08 at 04:10 AM | Permanent link to this comment

They also have ‘Another Damned Medievalist’ in the (ridiculously large) ‘English’ section. 1: the blog is called Blogenspiel; 2: ADM, as anyone who’d spent two minutes actually reading the blog would know, is a historian. Miriam Jones’s old scribblingwoman blog has been defunct for months. Then, thirty ‘English’ blogs and only ten history blogs? ‘English’ seems to includes anyone in an English department, which is a pretty broad umbrella these days. Not a very helpful categorisation.  (And Crooked Timber is in the Philosophy section, which isn’t exactly wrong but isn’t right either.) Conclusions: not a moment’s thought spent on meaningful categorisations, and almost no time wasted on little things like checking names or that the blogs are active. I would agree with Adam, except that if it’s someone’s blogroll, it’s a blogroll they never actually use.

And finally, the basic concept is a pile of crap: ‘liberal arts professor blogs’. Come on. Some of the best ‘liberal arts’ blogs out there are written by students, not professors. A list that excludes Acephalous is basically worthless.

By on 07/05/08 at 05:36 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Actually, that’s not finally. I just noticed that in fact there are 101 blogs on there: go check out 73. They can’t even format a list properly…

By on 07/05/08 at 05:39 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Yeah, I thought it seemed a bit ... idiosyncratic ... too, but then who knows, I might just have odd interests myself.  I peered around trying to see more about who put it together but couldn’t find anything.  Still, I figured lists are always fun!

By Rohan Maitzen on 07/05/08 at 06:48 AM | Permanent link to this comment

I’ve got to agree, an odd collection.

By Bill Benzon on 07/05/08 at 07:37 AM | Permanent link to this comment

On the one hand, all you need to know about the list is that it was produced by “Online University Reviews,” a site offering “Reviews and ratings of accredited top online universities and help finding the best online university.”

They must have sensed that most of the bloggers on the list wouldn’t otherwise be dropping by.

So they sent each of us notification the day they released it--hoping we’d link to them, of course.

When I saw who produced the list, I thought, well, what next? The top 100 anti-capitalist blogs by Forbes.com?

On the other hand, since this sort of operation is all contingent labor, all the way down, I resisted the impulse to be too hard on the poor uncredited individual who was paid a few bucks to compile this list.

Without the (more expensive & arduous) validation of such procedures as multiple compilers, a nomination process, and user voting, it amounts to little more than a blogroll, as Adam notes.

Nonetheless she clearly has excellent taste in certain respects.

By Marc Bousquet on 07/05/08 at 08:03 AM | Permanent link to this comment

"A list that excludes Acephalous is basically worthless.

Hear hear!  All hail the Glorious Leader!

By Adam Roberts on 07/05/08 at 08:53 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Such a list is, well, headless, no?

By Bill Benzon on 07/05/08 at 09:44 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Thanks Adam. Only 3/4 In the Middlers are professors, and our guest posters are generally grad students....

but by Michael Drout

Which means Drout’s on there twice (Anglo-Saxon out loud is his, no?), which, uh, hurrah for the medievalists?

Thanks Marc for the material context.

By Karl Steel on 07/05/08 at 10:28 AM | Permanent link to this comment

“A list that excludes Acephalous is basically worthless."

By on 07/05/08 at 10:45 AM | Permanent link to this comment

To be honest, I couldn’t even tell if the poor compiler had read my blog, given that the write-up consists of my tagline.  Somebody must be reading the site, though, because I’ve had several hits from it.  Ah, well.

By Miriam on 07/05/08 at 09:10 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Yes, the write-up of Amardeep’s blog is also a bit cursory: “thought-provoking posts on literary criticism, among other topics.” But even darts thrown at random sometimes hit the board, right?  Still, my favourite part is the plaintive note about the loneliness of academe.  Mind you, it’s kind of true, at least in my experience.  Northrop Frye prescribed metaphor as a way of bringing disparate things together, but blogging helps too.

By Rohan Maitzen on 07/06/08 at 08:37 AM | Permanent link to this comment

The URL suggests that this list dates back to 2005.  Is that true?  It might account for some of the stranger choices and omissions.

By on 07/06/08 at 02:48 PM | Permanent link to this comment

>>>>this list dates back to 2005.  Is that true?

Only if the compiler had the power to see two years into the future and discover blogs not yet gleams on the polished surfaces of their authors’ little egos…

By Marc Bousquet on 07/07/08 at 12:24 PM | Permanent link to this comment

I’ve just looked around a bit on that site. All the articles I looked at were in the “2005” directory, but I didn’t attempt to look at all of them. This particular article was written by Peter Poffenberger, who seems to have written almost all the articles.

By Bill Benzon on 07/07/08 at 12:38 PM | Permanent link to this comment

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