November 30, 2020

Some days I feel like I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up; being a writer is high on that list, but I’ve badly sabotaged myself already, for unpleasant reasons. Read more

November 24, 2020

As you may have guessed, the fall 2020 semester kept me too busy to blog much (or at all). The challenges were immense, and I’ll outline them here for the curious. Read more

August 18, 2020

This may come as a surprise, but the U.S. has never uniformly upheld the right to free speech, and in many cases still limits it. Once you know this history, it’s hard to feel much sympathy for people with bad ideas being deplatformed. Read more

August 7, 2020

I keep seeing COVID-19 deniers and fans of toxic medicines claiming that their free speech is being violated when they’re denied platforms, and… no. Read a history book, or look to folklore studies for illumination. I delved into the free speech topic a few years ago while I was teaching at UC Berkeley. I made a post about alt-right speaker Milo Yiannapoulos coming to speak on campus, and followed up with a post about how not giving fascists outlets is… Read more

July 30, 2020

This is a blog post I never thought I’d write, but last week Swift and her fans overwhelmed the #FolkloreThursday hashtag, and gave folklorists everywhere tons of discussion fodder. Read more

July 21, 2020

In a rather unexpected turn of events, the university that let me go has asked me back for this academic year. Is it risky? Yes. Am I doing it? Also yes. Read more

June 11, 2020

Talk is cheap, but when I only see someone posting that it’s sad about all the property destruction, I get skeptical. Here’s why. Read more

May 20, 2020

I’ve seen varying opinions about whether to wear a mask during a pandemic, and I think some of these opinions are more valid than others (usually those with hefty research backing them). And I just came up with a metaphor to explain why the whole topic has me somewhat upset. Read more

May 15, 2020

Finding my way to a new career involves examining my thoughts on vocation or calling, as well as what to do with my existing specialization and privilege. Read more

May 9, 2020

Learning to assess and communicate about risk in relationships is something that many Americans don’t learn how to do, and I think it might be connected to our culture’s default setting of monogamy (or at the very least, that there’s a useful parallel to draw). Read more

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