Published Work

Selected Popular Publications

On corporations as the greatest threat to free speech, for the Washington Post

On the threat of Republican antipathy towards universities, for the Los Angeles Times

On the need for a progressive policy agenda in California and beyond, for the Forward

On the left’s fixation on easy victories, for Current Affairs

On another charter school scandal, for Jacobin

On declining absolute income mobility, for The Guardian

On knowledge and knowingness, for Jacobin

On Bernie Sanders and Election 2016, for The Washington Post

On pro-globalization neoliberal pundits, for Current Affairs

On free expression and private forums, for the Los Angeles Times

On the identity crisis of the Democrats, for The Washington Post

On life in college towns, for The Towner

On the Panama Papers, for Foreign Policy

On the need to assess assessments, for the New America Foundation

On the limits of acknowledging white privilege, for the Washington Post

On the university in a time of ambient fear, for The Chronicle of Higher Education (paywall)

On Louis Farrakhan, the BlackLivesMatter protests, and the future of black political leadership in Harper’s

On the need for campus activists to work bottom-up, rather than top-down, when protesting in the New Republic

On the corporatization of campus and the real source of campus speech codes for the New York Times Magazine

On Google Deep Dream and the structural reasons the tech press is broken for Full Stop Quarterly

On the Ashley Madison leak and the culture wars in the Observer

On Bernie Sanders as a socialist in Politico

On bad arguments against polygamy in Playboy

On experimental metal in Vox

On Rachel Dolezal for The Los Angeles Times

On gay marriage and the “born this way” argument for the Observer

On polygamy for Politico

On critique drift for In These Times

On the Rolling Stone University of Virginia investigation for The Week

On geek culture for The New York Times

On the bogus notion that everything’s a remix

On Israeli fears matching Palestinian realities for The Dish

On the Brookings student loan debt story for Talking Points Memo

On my love for Diana Wynne Jones on The Dish

On neoconservatism for Salon

On Hartford, Connecticut, for n+1

On Gawker’s coverage of Rob Ford for Salon

On liberal humanitarianism and counterfactuals for Jacobin

On academics, public work, and labor for The Dish

On Twilight of the Elites for The New Inquiry

On international college students for The Huffington Post

On the fundamentals of conservatism for Wunderkammer

On the resentment machine for The New Inquiry

Academic Writing

Standardized assessments must account for non-standardized institutions, for eCampusNews

Standardized Tests of College Learning: Past and Future, for the New America Foundation

Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogywhere I serve as  Comm Editor

“Evaluating the Comparability of Two Measures of Lexical Diversity” for System

My review of Class Dismissed for Teacher-Scholar

My CCCC panel review for Kairos

“The First Person” for Writing Commons

“Singular ‘Their’ and the Grammar Wars”

“All of Bali”

“Review of Mary Soliday’s Everyday Genres”

“Eugene Debs’s Statement to the Court: A Rhetorical Analysis”

“Postmodernism in Rhetoric and Composition: Past, Passing, and Yet to Come”

“Towards a Place-Based Writing Pedagogy”

“The Perfomative Utterance in Hamlet

goodbye Miles

I had to say goodbye to my beautiful boy Miles this weekend, after more than 13 years together. I don’t know much what to say other than that I loved him completely and will miss him forever.

Some of you will know that Miles very nearly left us almost exactly five years ago. He came down with a condition called IMHA, and the vets told me he would likely not survive. Then the condition caused him to have a stroke during what was one of the very worst nights of my life. They told me he’d never leave the animal hospital. But thanks to the generosity of many strangers on the internet, I was able to raise the $13,000 his six days in the hospital cost, and he survived. I have never forgotten the generosity those strangers showed and never will. These five extra years have meant everything to me.

Things were not easy afterwards. He had to relearn to use his body, and even years after the fact I could tell the difference in his gait, how he struggled to get onto the couch. We went through, I think, nine different medications at one point or another following his stroke. I came very close to losing him some four months or so after. In order to try and prevent another stroke, he was put on blood thinners, but they were causing him to have terrible nose bleeds. In a weekend I filled a garbage bag full of paper towels saturated with his blood. And after watching him struggle that way, along with all the other struggles, I resolved to end it. What stopped me was a thought that I couldn’t shake as I looked at him: that this was a creature who would never ask, why me?

Today I find myself unable to adjust. It is remarkable how caring for him has determined my schedule, the feeding and walking. Even now I feel like it’s been too long since he’s been out and that I should grab the leash and call to him. He has been the rhythm of my days and I am alone and unmoored without him. Now I am forced to stay inside an apartment that could not feel more empty. Only my cat Suavecito helps. Those last few days Miles had wanted what he always wants, which is to be near me, physically, curled up next to me on the couch or at my feet or in bed, and I am grateful.

Miles was the gentlest being I’ve ever had the privilege to meet. He was everything I could ever want in a dog. I will never have another.