Academics


What is Targum?

It occurred to me this morning that I have never offered a definition or description of Targum and the Targumim on this site. Here is the entry I wrote for the Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible. The Hebrew term “targum” (plural “targumim”) literally means “translation,” but in the rabbinic period (c. 1st century – 7th century AD) the term came to refer specifically […]


To blog or not to blog…that is the question. At least for graduate students.

During the Q&A period of the panel discussion with Bart Ehrman, Will Gaffney, and Larry Schiffman were asked about whether or not grad students should blog. There response was an unanimous “no.” Some of their specific reasons were concerns of exposure, that they might post things/opinions that could come back to hurt them in the job […]


Don’t just say it, wear it: “It’s in the Syllabus!” 3

From Inside Higher Ed: ‘It’s in the Syllabus!’ October 18, 2013 By Colleen Flaherty Some things are better worn than said. At least that’s what one Austin Community College professor of English thinks, based on his “It’s in the syllabus” T-shirt. A student posted a photo on Reddit and Imgur of David Lydic flashing the shirt this week, with […]


Moving forward at Penn State

Most of you know that I am dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State. Those of you in the United States also likely know that this has been a very hard week. I thought I should share with those of you who only know me as “Targuman” what I wrote to our students […]


Just say no to endnotes. 14

Can we all agree that endnotes are simply awful? They are annoying at best and, when reading electronic texts that are not hyperlinked, downright damnable.1 Footnotes, on the other hand, are convenient, easy to read and do little to interrupt the flow of the argument. I believe we should stand up for our rights and […]


Joe Pa in a toga.

How To Get Tenure: Dos and Don’ts 3

Sean Caroll, “a Cal Tech physicist denied tenure a few years back at Chicago” wrote a guide: How To Get Tenure at a Major Research University | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine. His field is not mine (or likely that of those reading this blog) but you should read his whole post because it has very […]


Connecting to younger generations 1

It is tough to admit it but I am no longer the “younger generation.” Sure I use twitter, facebook, and often have the gadgets. Folks are saying that twitter and facebook are really for the old folks anyway so maybe that isn’t a sign of my hipness. But when it comes to education and preaching […]