benfell's blog

A simple definition of fascism

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One of the topics I avoided in my dissertation work is fascism. There are two main reasons for this. First, the term is so ill-defined that at times, especially in the run-up to the election last year, I've even gone so far as to suggest the term should not be used. Sara Robinson notes that "[t]he word has been bandied about by so many people so wrongly for so long that, as [Robert] Paxton points out, 'Everybody is somebody else's fascist.'"

Vegetarian Ecofeminism

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A first draft for presentation on September 9, 2016 at the Human Science Institute Conference, "Compassion, Connection and Response-Ability," in Salt Lake City. It does not yet respond to my colleagues who will be presenting in the same session:

Draw a picture:

  1. 1) Change from living more or less in harmony with our natural environment to: 

Parsing the second amendment

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Update, June 16, 2016: Since writing this post, I have learned that the late Chief Justice Warren Burger offered a similar view, saying "that the Second Amendment 'has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud—I repeat the word "fraud"—on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.'" I have not located a transcript to confirm the full text in the meme; apparently he said it on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour in 1991

Migration from Wordpress to Drupal complete (hopefully)

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Owing to a couple of problems I had encountered, I had moved this research journal from Wordpress into this Drupal installation on June 20, 2015. In doing so, I failed—and I'm not even sure it's really possible—to automatically take care of the old URLs so that they would point to the Drupal copies of the posts rather than the original Wordpress copies. So I just left the Wordpress lying around. Ick.

Editing the dissertation

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Update, December 25, 2015:
I approved the submission and paid off the editor this evening. Hopefully I didn't miss too many errors. Saybrook's offices will be closed until the 29th; hopefully all this occurs in time for me to actually receive the degree on January 8th, 2016.

I have passed my oral examination

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I have passed my oral examination. There are three things which I need to do before my Ph.D. will be conferred:

  1. incorporate final changes from my committee,
  2. get my abstract (a brief summary of the dissertation) approved, and
  3. have the dissertation proofread and checked for APA compliance

Summary of dissertation work: For my oral examination (the defense)

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My dissertation committee chair, Bob McAndrews, writes of my forthcoming defense, "the usual way these meetings go is for you to briefly summarize how you came to your dissertation topic and how the Human Science program helped you shape it, then to explain your methodology and 'findings' and then what you feel your work has contributed to existing scholarship. Then we will discuss your work.

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