University Diaries
A professor of English describes American university life.
Aim: To change things.
Contact UD at: margaret-dot-soltan-at-gmail-dot-com

Read my book, TEACHING BEAUTY IN DeLILLO, WOOLF, AND MERRILL (Palgrave Macmillan; forthcoming), co-authored with Jennifer Green-Lewis. VISIT MY BRANCH CAMPUS AT INSIDE HIGHER ED

UD is...
"Salty." (Scott McLemee)
"Unvarnished." (Phi Beta Cons)
"Splendidly splenetic." (Culture Industry)
"Except for University Diaries, most academic blogs are tedious."
(Rate Your Students)
"I think of Soltan as the Maureen Dowd of the blogosphere,
except that Maureen Dowd is kind of a wrecking ball of a writer,
and Soltan isn't. For the life of me, I can't figure out her
politics, but she's pretty fabulous, so who gives a damn?"
(Tenured Radical)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


… certainly bouncing around the blogosphere today. There’s the Jack Anderson story:

During his life and career as a muckraking journalist in Washington, Jack Anderson cultivated secret sources throughout the halls of government—sources who passed on information that allowed Anderson to investigate and write about Watergate, CIA assassination schemes, and countless scandals. His syndicated column, Washington Merry-Go-Round, earned him the enmity of the corrupt and powerful—so much so that during the Watergate years, associates of Nixon had discussed assassinating the columnist. … His archive, some 200 boxes now being held by George Washington University’s library, could be a trove of information about state secrets, dirty dealings, political maneuverings, and old-fashioned investigative journalism, open for historians and up-and-coming reporters to see. But the government wants to see the documents before anyone else. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have told university officials and members of the Anderson family that they want to go through the archive, and that agents will remove any item they deem confidential or top secret. …

And there’s the Carol Darr story:

Carol C. Darr [is] director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet, which is affiliated with George Washington University. Someone in her position, the bloggers [on the left and the right who hate her guts] believe[d], ought to be an enthusiastic defender of online politicking in all its forms. Instead she [is] urging the Federal Election Commission — where she had worked as a staff lawyer in the 1970s — to bring certain kinds of blogging under the umbrella of campaign-finance law.

It’s typical of clueless UD never to have heard of this person, though she’s a colleague.

Both stories are chronicled in recent posts at Crooked Timber.

On the Darr -- Libertarianesque UD can’t be happy with her language about some regulation of blogs. But I need to read in more detail what she’s proposing.

On the Anderson -- Here I think I can be of some use. My office is directly across the street from the library. I can probably get hold of a master key pretty easily and scrounge around a bit. As soon as I do, I’ll let you know if there’s anything interesting in the boxes.