It’s In There!

by Jim Groom

An agitation of the air,
A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night.
“End of Summer” by Stanley Kunitz


With the coming of August there’s been a bit of panic in the academic social mediasphere:

The start of another school year is coming, and Ruthann Robson describes what that can mean for academics in her recent post “August Anxieties: The New Teaching Year Approaches; Is That Article Finished Yet?”:

It’s depressing: Our summer scholarship project(s) may still be incomplete, the deadlines seeming to be rebukes rather than reasonable timetables. Or if we have finished, the end product is somehow not quite as spectacular as we had envisioned in June.

At the same time new year, new courses, new possibilities, and one of the things she recommends is to “reject the idea of a stark separation between ‘summer’ and the ‘academic year,'” pointing to an essay she wrote on the topic that’s readily available on CUNY Works.


And while you’re beginning to make out the silhouette of a new academic year far off on the horizon, you might want to consider a couple of things. First up, the good folks in the Ph.D. Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages (HLBLL) are running a Summer Series on Fall Teaching, and this week they’re showcasing the CUNY Academic Commons, Social Paper, and OpenCUNY. I couldn’t agree with their choices this week more 🙂 Be sure to follow them for more teaching resources in and around CUNY over the coming weeks.


The other event that’s just around the corner is the submission deadline for the 15th Annual CUNY IT conference which will be held December 1st and 2nd, 2016. Have something you did on the Commons you want to share? Did you integrate a technology in the classroom that you’d like to discuss? This year’s theme is “Good Moves in Hard Times,” and the submission deadline is September 15th—you can submit online here.

Good Times in Hard Times

Speaking of conferences, the North American Nietzsche Conference will be held at both Hunter College and the Grad Center this fall from October 14th through the 16th. There is no conference fee, but you must bring your will to power.


One of the gems I discovered this week was Maria Hernandez’s blog Spanish Through Culture, she has integrated her coursework into her blog in some remarkable ways. From the “About the blog” page:

Exploring Spanish Cultures in New York City, is a Civic Engagement assignment designed to address this issue. The students will be conducting an interview with or report on a Hispanic organization, business, community, or individual to learn about the subject’s cultural identity, experience, and stories. The reports, with the subjects’ consent, will be shared with the public on the blog to bring awareness of Hispanic and Latino communities in New York City, which make up 27.5% of the population. This assignment considers storytelling as a practice that bridges cultural and civic engagement, and your participation is essential for it.

This blog is part of a broader way of re-thinking language learning curriculum in professor Hernandez’s classes at Kingsborough Community College, and it is very, very cool! Her recent post on the blog points to what this might look like by providing a link to multilingual pop music by Prince Royce:

In terms of O.G.Commons gems, Tony Picciano writes about everything from “Making Algorithms Accountable” to a report on Hillary Clinton’s record with Teachers Unions to probably the biggest news of the past week: Captain Humayun Khan’s parents speech at the Democratic National Convention.


Speaking of politics and unions, the Murphy Institute blog continues to be one of the most active sites on the Commons. The institute is a partnership between the City University of New York and New York City’s labor unions “designed to serve the higher education needs of working adults and traditional-aged students in their pursuit of advancement within the framework of labor, urban, social, economic, and political issues.” The folks there regularly share reports, jobs, resources, and more on their blog—it’s well worth a follow. Yesterday alone they posted four job opportunities.


And that’s just some of what’s out there. The CUNY Academic Commons could share a slogan with the famed spaghetti sauce Prego: “It’s in there!”