Archive for August, 2008

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Meandering Indiana – 7

August 28, 2008

We need to thank our alert friends at Inside INdiana Business for pointing out this piece from WISH-TV8: Shoe Thefts Puzzle Small Town. The story of a beagle, a firehouse, and a crime spree in Waveland, Indiana, needs to be read in its entirety, yet we are thereby reminded that in Waveland people still have porches and they still leave shoes on them. Foolishly.

However, this tale jogged my memory about the next county I’d like to revisit virtually – Montgomery County. The county seat, Crawfordsville, is probably best known as the setting for Wabash College, “A Liberal Arts College for Men,” as its home page declares. Passing over the reasons why this institution still refuses to admit women (about which I have no clue), I will pause instead to recognize a past Indiana Humanities Council chair, Don Herring, who taught at Wabash and brought his love of literature to his work with us. Let me also give a nod to our friends at the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum who do wonderful work there.

Yes, Montgomery County is an amazingly rich spot for the humanities, but I have to admit that for sheer remarkableness, it’s hard to beat the Old Jail Museum. This structure is a two-tier cylindrical block of wedge-shaped cells that rotates to allow prisoners in and out of the only opening. I actually saw its mechanism demonstrated once, and it is beyond bizarre. It was only later that I learned about the Panopticon, a prison structure built for covert surveillance and popularized by Michel Foucault in Discipline and Punish. The Old Jail is different from a panopticon, but it too is chilling in an Orwellian way.

Whew, I feel like I just did six degrees of Hoosier associations to get from beagles and front porches to paranoid French intellectuals. Small town Indiana — it’s quite surprising once you get to know it.

This entry was posted by: Nancy

Posted Aug. 28, 2008

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Tyler Mueninch Art Exhibition at IHC Office

August 27, 2008

This announcement is a long time in coming but Tyler Mueninch, an Indianapolis-based artist (painter to be specific) became on June 6, 2008, the first artist to have his work displayed here at the Indiana Humanities Council office (the historic home of Meredith Nicholson).

Check out a slideshow I made of the displayed works (along with some carefully chosen words by yours truly) here.

My favorite piece is included below.

Unfortunately I do not have names of pieces, however, if you email me, I can give you prices (and sizes).

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Salman Rushdie and I, Rushing to the Singularity

August 27, 2008

Sometimes the world moves in ways that force you think about specific topics and that topic for me is Salman Rushdie.

I read Stanley Fish’s column over at the New York Times. And in a column on Sunday he wrote a complaint about some recent statements that Rushdie made about Random House refusing to publish Sherry Jones’ debut novel. I don’t have any opinions about Jones or her novel, because I know nothing of either, save what I found out in Fish’s column.

And at first I thought very little of Fish’s column other than his opening sentence was immature and snarky–an attitude that Fish routinely adopts to no good purpose. Rushdie is not “the self-appointed poster boy for the First Amendment” as Fish asserts. To be one would hardly have done Rushdie a lot of good since his self-expression was put in jeopardy–along with his life–not by the U.S. government but by Iranian mullahs. And if Rushdie were championing a First Amendment cause in his criticism of Random House, someone in Fish’s line of work should hardly be diminishing the effort by saying that they were “at it again” as if fighting the good fight for free expression were nothing more than a dog barking at the moon. It’s also funny that a guy with a built-in soap box at the New York Times would criticize Rushdie (or anyone else) from attempting to get their opinions printed in the newspaper. And…

OK, I’ll admit it, as per usual I thought a lot about Fish’s article and what I thought made me mad. Some of what I thought about Fish’s article appeared here, at Language Log, another blog I read regularly. Bill Poser, the blogger at LL who wrote on Fish’s column found ways to make me even more angry. It turns out Fish’s reading of “censorship” was not just overly narrow and therefore wrong. It turns out he’d actually altered the facts of the case to fit his argument better. Harumph! (He has since corrected one his alterations/omissions).

And then! Over at the Sycamore Review blog (which I linked to yesterday) I stumbled across this post from earlier this month which directed me to this article on the most recently added book to my Incredibly Long Reading List.

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Sycamore Review is Reviewing Submissions

August 26, 2008

Sycamore Review is now accepting submissions for Poetry, Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Art/Design. Submission guidelines for the various categories are explained on their site.

Deadline is October 17 so get to mailing!

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Latest Sycamore Review is Out

August 26, 2008

I’ve been way behind on my blog reading (as you might have noticed if you saw the date of the WYA link from yesterday). But this is information worth passing along even if it’s a couple of months old.

The newest Sycamore Review is (ahem…has been) out. Unlike a lot of university literary mags the Sycamore Review is not only produced at Purdue U. but it features content from students there (I could be wrong but I think student content is all MFAs and PhD candidates). At the time that this issue was being put together Michael Chabon was set to deliver what turned out to be a marvelously engaging talk at the university. As a result Chabon was interviewed for the issue and Friend of Hoosierati, Nancee Reeves,1 wrote a review of Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road.

1. Nancee is resistant to all attempts to get her to start posting again on her own blog, Fickle Foe, but many of the personal essays she’s posted about her teeny tiny hometown are worth re-reading.

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A Blog and a Library Collection that You May Care About

August 25, 2008

Thanks to Worth Your Attention (one of my favorite local blogs, and not just because they have impeccable advice on food worth seeking out) I found Child of the Fort–a pretty neat blog written by Kristina Frazier-Henry. On it she shares a mix of her personal history in Fort Wayne, archival photos of the Fort’s past, notes on historical men and women of note, and current public policy. The reason WYA linked to the blog, and the reason I clicked over, is because Kritstina linked over to this: an awesome collection of old Indiana photos at the Allen County Public Library site.

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I’m Blogging the Fringe

August 23, 2008

In non-Indiana Humanities Council-related news your humble blogger is blogging about a few IndyFringe Festival plays for Smaller Indiana.

You can check out my review of The Best of the Blizzard which is up right now. (You probably have to be a member to see it, but that;’s not such a bad thing either.) You can also check out all the various reviews that will be going up in the next 48 or so hours from me and the other IFF bloggers.

Today I’m seeing (and then blogging about) Good Grief, Sidney and The Babbling Banshee (both at Comedy Sportz).