Aaron Slodounik

Art Historian, 19th-Century Europe. Twitter and Instagram: @aaronslodounik

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Aaron Slodounik

119 days ago

The town’s Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1921: they put on hoods and burned crosses at midnight at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s sprawling plantation and the site of his grave. “Hundreds of Charlottesville’s leading business and professional men” were in attendance, the Daily Progress, which is still the city’s primary newspaper, wrote at the time. “It is said that the reorganization of the Klan is proceeding rapidly throughout the State, the South, and the Nation.” The K.K.K. made a thousand-dollar donation to the University of Virginia; the school’s president at the time, E. A. Alderman, signed his thank-you note “Faithfully yours.”

Charlottesville and the Effort to Downplay Racism in America

newyorker.com

Aaron Slodounik

121 days ago

I figured I would offer four strategies to help you build an academic routine. Three come from scholars I respect a lot and who write about academic writing. The fourth (forgive the self-citation) comes from me

Four strategies to help build an academic writing routine

raulpacheco.org

Aaron Slodounik

127 days ago

Waters’s phrase rang out as a rejection of that made manifest, delighting all of us who have been spoken over, ignored or had our time wasted by others.

In a year studded with absurd examples of men interrupting their female colleagues, a dignified woman’s firm insistence on being heard and getting straight to business was a welcome and empowering surprise

‘Reclaiming my time’ is bigger than Maxine Waters

washingtonpost.com

Aaron Slodounik

129 days ago

There’s not a single exception. All screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all nonscreen activities are linked to more happiness.

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

theatlantic.com

Aaron Slodounik

129 days ago

What is essential to understand is that it’s not a vast crowd of black or brown people keeping white Americans out of the colleges of their choice, especially not the working-class white Americans among whom Trump finds his base of support. In fact, income tips the scale much more than race: At 38 top colleges in the United States, more students come from the top 1 percent of income earners than from the bottom 60 percent

Black people aren’t keeping white Americans out of college. Rich people are.

washingtonpost.com

Aaron Slodounik

137 days ago

Miriam Bader shared the Tenement Museum’s method of “mapping” tours. For each room of their tours, their educators wrote the “big ideas” or “essential questions” that they wanted visitors to explore. Then they noted the objects, questions, oral history, primary sources, and facts that could support those big ideas.

Preserve Rhode Island | Statewide Advocate for Historic Places

preserveri.org

Aaron Slodounik

143 days ago

Artist and data researcher Mimi Ohuoha, whose practice focuses on missing data, tells us that the very decision of what to collect or what not to collect is political. “For every dataset where there’s an impetus for someone not to collect”, she writes, “there’s a group of people who would benefit from its presence”.

You Say Data, I Say System

hackernoon.com

Aaron Slodounik

143 days ago

They recognize that the “big companies that rule the Internet aren’t coming to dominate just because of a good idea and a charismatic founder; they grow out of supportive ecosystems, including investors, lawyers, sympathetic governments, and tech schools.” With that insight, the visions of Srnicek and the platform cooperativists converge: if, for instance, governments forced megafirms like Apple and Uber to pay a fair share of taxes, they would not have such huge advantages over upstarts.

Will Amazon Take Over the World?

bostonreview.net

Aaron Slodounik

145 days ago

When you’re stuck in a creative process, unfocus may also come to the rescue when you embody and live out an entirely different personality. In 2016, educational psychologists, Denis Dumas and Kevin Dunbar found that people who try to solve creative problems are more successful if they behave like an eccentric poet than a rigid librarian. Given a test in which they have to come up with as many uses as possible for any object (e.g. a brick) those who behave like eccentric poets have superior creative performance.

Your Brain Can Only Take So Much Focus

hbr.org

Aaron Slodounik

145 days ago

The person who wins the Nobel Prize is not the person who read the most journal articles and took the most notes on them. It’s the person who knew what to look for. And cultivating that capacity to seek what’s significant, always willing to question whether you’re on the right track — that’s what education is going to be about, whether it’s using computers and the Internet, or pencil and paper, or books.”

Noam Chomsky on the Purpose of Education

brainpickings.org

Aaron Slodounik

148 days ago

The purposes of higher education then gradually changed. In the mid-19th century, American universities followed German counterparts in focusing more on research and PhDs, and launching institutions like Johns Hopkins that were purely research-focused. By the early 20th century, most Protestant universities no longer had enforced chapel or Bible study. But many still tried to form the character of their students through compulsory courses in moral education or Great Books.

What UK universities can learn from the US about promoting well-being

emotionsblog.history.qmul.ac.uk

Aaron Slodounik

150 days ago

This fear of large concentrations of wealth and power came to fruition in America’s first Gilded Age at the end of the 19th century, and it has again today. It is the present-day oligarchy that led Sitaraman back to earlier egalitarian visions in search of an alternative path. While he gives us a large sweeping historical narrative, Sitaraman speaks unabashedly to the present moment. He believes his book’s argument—that America cannot be America without a strong middle class—is essential to understanding the world we live in today

A Billionaires’ Republic

thenation.com

Aaron Slodounik

150 days ago

While this is not great news, it’s not altogether surprising. Cultural organizations have what I’ll optimistically call a “millennial opportunity.” Simply, data suggest that millennials are the most frequent visitors to cultural organizations and also – in part because this generation is so large – the generational cohort that is not visiting at representative levels. Millennials are the ones to attract and the ones to keep happy. Millennials also have the most unrealized visitation potential.

Arts & Culture Remain Less Important To Younger Generations (DATA)

colleendilen.com

Aaron Slodounik

154 days ago

It is difficult to see the political structure of data, because data maintains a veneer of scientistic objectivity. But data is inherently a form of politics, argues Jeffrey Alan Johnson. Data does not just allocate material things of value, it allocates moral values as well. Data producers encode a state of the world at a given time, which is then decoded by data users to shape social practice. As such, a political theory of data, grounded in distributive and relational information justice, is necessary.

How data does political things: The processes of encoding and decoding data are never neutral.

blogs.lse.ac.uk

Aaron Slodounik

154 days ago

Horatio Greenough’s 12-ton marble statue of George Washington heralds the newly reopened wing; originally commissioned by Congress in 1832 for the centennial of Washington’s birth, it generated criticism soon after its 1841 installation in the Capitol rotunda.

Greenough based his statue on a pose of Zeus, so the president is depicted shirtless. Washington’s nudity disturbed visitors enough to warrant several relocations

Renovated Museum Wing Delves into Untold Chapters of American History

smithsonianmag.com

Aaron Slodounik

154 days ago

At the end of this project, we have found that the academic book/monograph is still greatly valued in the academy for many reasons: the ability to produce a sustained argument within a more capacious framework than permitted by the article format; the engagement of the reader at a deep level; its central place in career progression in the arts and humanities; and its reach beyond the academy (for some titles) into bookshops and the hands of a wider public. It seems that the future is likely to be a mixed economy of print, e-versions and networked-enhanced monographs of greater or lesser complexity.

What does the future hold for academic books?

blogs.lse.ac.uk

Aaron Slodounik

159 days ago

The idea behind the conference was to consider ‘research stories’ as meaningful elements of our research, combining affective and critical histories. The inspiration lay with Antoinette Burton’s discussions of Archive Stories (Duke University Press, 2005), Arlette Farge’s reflection on the Allure of the Archives (Yale University Press, 2013), Lisa Jardine’s discussion of Temptation in the Archives (UCL Press, 2015), and Ann Laura Stoler’s call to read Along the Archival Grain (Princeton University Press, 2009).

Paper Trails: Workshop Roundup

awmsmith.wordpress.com

Aaron Slodounik

159 days ago

Yet according to Henry Urbach, the closet as a “new spatial type,” a wall cavity adjacent to a proper room, did not emerge until around 1840 in the United States. The newly subservient closet obscured itself by receding into the wall, and it attempted to “disappear” the family’s stuff. Now householders could relish in consumption and enjoy their material possessions, while also moderating the objects’ display and maintaining a semblance of frugality and moral propriety. The “non-room” closet housed things (and gluttonous vices) “that threaten[ed] to soil the room” (and the family’s reputation).

Closet Archive

placesjournal.org

Aaron Slodounik

160 days ago

In the work of his disciple—and focus of my research—the painter Paul Gauguin, when we shine an x-ray onto his seemingly spontaneous canvases, we see evidence of the handiwork beneath the surface that is in fact carefully pre-planned.

We needn’t possess x-ray vision to expose Trump’s anti-civil-rights campaign. We’ll simply treat Trump’s written and verbal texts as a dataset.

How Big Data can expose a nascent White (House) Nationalism

blogs.lse.ac.uk

Aaron Slodounik

160 days ago

By the 1890s, most men were wearing either neckties or bow ties. For day wear, these ties could be solid or patterned. For evening wear, they were white.

A Century of Sartorial Style: A Visual Guide to 19th Century Menswear

mimimatthews.com

Aaron Slodounik

160 days ago

Even more remarkable was that some viewers would turn to their families and friends and actually pose alongside or in front of the paintings, imitating the figures themselves.[7] Although clearly intended for comedic purposes, this form of self-identification with these “Victorians in togas” made me realize that the audiences in fact did not see them as “Victorians” at all, but rather as themselves in costumed attire.

Ferrari reviews Alma-Tadema, klassieke verleiding (Alma-Tadema : At Home in Antiquity)

19thc-artworldwide.org

Aaron Slodounik

160 days ago

Here there is no passivity. Barron is the actor. He is in motion, walking, swinging, looking. He faces none of the restrictions that Melania places on herself. He stands behind no one, no barrier, no glass. Photographically, she composes a world for him that is much bigger than her own.

Fairytale Prisoner by Choice: The Photographic Eye of Melania Trump

medium.com

Aaron Slodounik

160 days ago

The London of the 1790s–the apex of the Enlightenment–is a history that is both far and near to 2017 America as it provides an analogue for resisting our own impending catastrophe. Inspired by new models of life developed in the biological sciences, 18th century Romantic artists like William Blake explored an alternative to the mechanistic, divisive Enlightenment principles that drove the oppressive legislation during the 1790s.

The Science of Life as Art and Dissent

thenewinquiry.com

Aaron Slodounik

160 days ago

This is not the first ‘big data’ era but the second. The first was the explosion in data collection that occurred from the early 19th century – Hacking’s ‘avalanche of numbers’, precisely situated between 1820 and 1840. This was an analogue big data era, different to our current digital one but characterized by some very similar problems and concerns.

Big data problems we face today can be traced to the social ordering practices of the 19th century.

blogs.lse.ac.uk

Aaron Slodounik

161 days ago

The paper assigned him to cover England, and for a decade, he published story after story “from” London, spellbinding his readers with “personal” accounts of dramatic events, like the devastating Tooley Street Fire of 1861.

But during the entire decade, he never actually crossed the English Channel.

The stunning thing — and the part that resonates today — is how Fontane pulled it off.

How the techniques of 19th-century fake news tell us why we fall for it today

niemanlab.org

Aaron Slodounik

163 days ago

Because modern antisemitic ideology traffics in fantasies of invisible power, it thrives precisely when its target would seem to be least vulnerable. Thus, in places where Jews were most assimilated—France at the time of the Dreyfus affair, Germany before Hitler came to power—they have functioned as a magic bullet to account for unaccountable contradictions at moments of national crisis.

Skin in the Game: How Antisemitism Animates White Nationalism

politicalresearch.org

Aaron Slodounik

167 days ago

Evidence, as the title suggests, concerns itself with just one segment of the social research process: the hazardous business of turning observations of the world into claims about the world. The book’s position is that the responsible use of evidence is a permanent problem for social science, one that demands the constant attention of researchers; the end of developing good evidence can never be achieved purely by procedural or technical means, but requires that we “use the deficiencies in our own way of working as sources of ideas about how to improve.”

Learning from Mistakes: Howard S. Becker’s “Evidence”

lareviewofbooks.org

Aaron Slodounik

167 days ago

But Hoffman said the team also relied on the principle of harm articulated by John Stuart Mill, a 19th-century English political philosopher. It states “that the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

Facebook’s Secret Censorship Rules Protect White Men From Hate Speech But Not Black Children

propublica.org

Aaron Slodounik

169 days ago

What can an art of words take from the art that needs none? Yet I often think I’ve learned as much from watching dancers as I have from reading. Dance lessons for writers: lessons of position, attitude, rhythm and style, some of them obvious, some indirect. What follows are a few notes towards that idea.

Zadie Smith: dance lessons for writers

theguardian.com

Aaron Slodounik

170 days ago

Feminist pedagogy teaches that silence is not an absence, but the effect of power. It encourages us to listen to those voices that have historically been silenced and to change the structural conditions so that their voices are heard. Equitable timekeeping is one way to achieve this. 

Timekeeping as feminist pedagogy

hastac.org

Aaron Slodounik

170 days ago

TMC: The best thing I have done for my practice is to develop one. It doesn't always feel like it but having a writing practice is an act of self-care if only because it moves a project along. And few things are as deeply satisfying as making writing progress.

Writing A Book In And Of Real Life: An interview with Tressie McMillan Cottom

hastac.org

Aaron Slodounik

170 days ago

A recent Pew Research Center survey of 1,408 technology and education professionals suggested that the most valuable skills in the future will be those that machines can’t yet easily replicate, like creativity, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, adaptability and collaboration. In short, people need to learn how to learn, because the only hedge against a fast-changing world is the ability to think, adapt and collaborate well.

The most forward-thinking, future-proof college in America teaches every student the exact same stuff

qz.com

Aaron Slodounik

170 days ago

Then there are other moments when I think folks thought intersectionality was just about who is standing up there. Not necessarily what they're saying. You can be a woman of color or you can be a queer woman and not necessarily have an intersectional analysis.... You can be a white woman or a man of color and have an intersectional analysis. It's one of the reasons why I stay away from the idea that you can tell if a movement or an organization is intersectional just based on who's leading it. That's not always the case.

No Single-Issue Politics, Only Intersectionality: An Interview With Kimberlé Crenshaw

truth-out.org

Aaron Slodounik

170 days ago

For most of the world’s population, the costs of inaction on climate change far outweigh that of action. But for the fossil-fuel industry, he said, “It’s like the switch from whale oil in the nineteenth century. They’re fighting to maintain the status quo, no matter how dumb.”

In the Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Koch Brothers’ Campaign Becomes Overt

newyorker.com

Aaron Slodounik

171 days ago

Il y a donc ce que Mallarmé appelle « un mystère dans les lettres », qui fait que, à partir de quelques signes, « les quelque vingt lettres de l’alphabet », ces vingt et quelques petits dessins conventionnels, on a pu produire toutes les langues qui se parlent (dans le monde indo-européen), et avec elles, la multitude des représentations, des mythes, des constructions intellectuelles. Tout cela à partir de vingt signes.

Apprendre à lire avec Mallarmé, le plus obscur des poètes

theconversation.com

Aaron Slodounik

171 days ago

The United States is the only nation in the world, for example, where it is easier to get into college if one of your parents happened to go there.

Stop Pretending You’re Not Rich

nytimes.com

Aaron Slodounik

173 days ago

A real educator will try to understand what the receptors look like in every individual, in every person they’re tasked with teaching. For many people there are some common receptors so you can get halfway there. But if you want to get all the way there, that means [understanding] what are the receptors in a 12-year-old versus a 20-year-old versus a 50- or 80-year old. If the person grew up in a city versus the suburbs or in the countryside, if they’re foreign, if they grew up wealthy, struggling—all of this will feed the demographics of your audience.

How to explain anything to anyone, according to Neil deGrasse Tyson

qz.com

Aaron Slodounik

173 days ago

“For me, the larger question about the relationship between museums, trustees and the political field has to do with plutocracy—the fact that the United States is now a plutocracy and that museums, in their origins, are a product of plutocracy,” Fraser said in a talk at the Artists Space gallery in New York last month. The artist will present the results of her research in a publication that is planned to resemble a phone book.

Andrea Fraser tracks down museum trustees' political donations

theartnewspaper.com

Aaron Slodounik

173 days ago

By grounding these lessons in historical examples of distinguished “leaders” or “innovators,” writers like Horowitz offer up a version of what used to be called “universal history,” a historical genre that emerged from the imperial 19th century to tell the cosmopolitan history of the world, rather than a parochial history of nations. As befitting an age of empire, of course, universal histories often centered on what Friedrich Schiller, a German historian, called “the ingenious thinker, the cultured man of the world”: a northern European. Horowitz, product of a more enlightened age, would probably just call him an “entrepreneur.”

The Poverty of Entrepreneurship: The Silicon Valley Theory of History

thenewinquiry.com

Aaron Slodounik

177 days ago

Scholars don’t know what a “market” is, even when they write for a specific scholarly audience. The process of evaluating a work for whom it might reach and why is simply foreign to scholars -- especially humanists.

10 Challenges for Scholars Writing for Wider Audiences

insidehighered.com

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