name that blog

All right, I need y’all’s sage advice. I’m going to have my first-year seminar this fall maintain a blog as part of their course work, and I need a name. The seminar is “Citizenship and Society in the United States,” and it’s focused on political participation, writ broadly, but using the election as a consistent point of consideration.  My current top choice is since it’s sociology 66 and the election of 2008, but I can’t decide if it’s hip and tangential or just geeky. Other ideas?


So I’m sitting in an incredible house in the Cote d’Azur after four days in Paris. This is the life! First time overseas since my kids were born, and Europe is definitely a different experience with kids–and, by the way, with the Internet.

I made my visit particularly Francocentric by reading Jean-Noël Jeanneney’s Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge: A View From Europe while in Paris. Continue reading “francophilia”

offentlichkeit and the problem of translation

My friend Jeff Olick and I are working on a translation of, and introduction to, Gruppenexperiment, a “lost” public opinion experiment in immediately postwar West Germany carried out by Theodor Adorno and his Frankfurt School colleagues.  It’s really fun and interesting, and a great post-tenure project as it’s kind of quirky. (I’m sure I’ll blog more about it later.) Anyway, we just got back the reviews of the proposal for Harvard University Press, and one reviewer complained about my translation in an earlier piece of the German word Öffentlichkeit as “publicness.” As the reviewer pointed out, it’s a technically relatively precise definition, but he claims “public sphere” would have been a better translation for this piece.

Continue reading “offentlichkeit and the problem of translation”

more on the gene fetish

I confess, I don’t read the NYT regularly because with two small kids I just don’t have time. Frankly even the hometown rag often goes days before being read (forgotten as history and reborn as second nature). But my father-in-law sent me this editorial while he was reading and commenting on an article I’m working on for Contexts on voting in America. Continue reading “more on the gene fetish”

they need to be made to make sense

I spent this morning at a very interesting seminar sponsored by UNC’s terrific Center for Genomics and Society. The speaker was talking about potential “breakthroughs” in the genetics of psychiatric conditions using Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS). More on my thoughts on genetics a different time, but I was struck by an interesting set of comments. Continue reading “they need to be made to make sense”