Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs teaches online classes at He is the author of How To Be UnluckySomething They Will Not Forget, and Blasphemers. His wife is generous and his children are funny.

Joshua Gibbs Mar 13, 2014

From the preface to Look Homeward, Angel:

This is a first book, and in it the author has written of experience which is now far and lost, but which was once part of the fabric of his life.  If any reader, therefore, should say that the book is "autobiographical" the writer has no answer for him: it seems to him that all serious work in fiction is autobiographical-- that, for instance, a more autobiographical work than Gulliver's Travels cannot easily be imagined.

Joshua Gibbs Mar 10, 2014

At the mall, you pass the window display of the Gap and see they have “classic khakis” on display. The model wearing the classic khakis has a classic look, as well— a young Steinbeck mustache, shock of curly hair towards his forehead, pomade. The last pair of pants you’ll ever need. This is written in the window display. What if this is true? you wonder. You have always reckoned yourself a classic person, though you give yourself a once over and you don’t look particularly classic today. Busted running shoes. Cargo shorts. You look like an idiot, actually.

Joshua Gibbs Feb 28, 2014

"Whether it was concern for the effects of grades on student self-esteem (e.g. Bauchman and O'Malley 1977; Marsh 1990), intra-departmental concerns about attracting students though the implicit promise of good grades (Becker 1997; Freeman 2010), or concerns, particularly strong at elite schools, about the effect of grades on graduates' job prospects (e.g. Dickson 1984), the trend of grade inflation continued. As of 1975, it was reported that one-half to two-thirds of the marks given in US colleges and universities were As and Bs (Davidson 1975; 122-125).

Joshua Gibbs Feb 27, 2014

He was educated in his father’s library. Her uncle kept a large collection books which she read during the eight winters she passed in Scotland. And so on and so forth…

Joshua Gibbs Feb 21, 2014

A questionnaire given to students after finishing The Discarded Image, yet before beginning a conversation about the book.

On a scale of 1 to 6, where…

1 means “Strongly Disagree”

2 means “Disagree”

3 means “Kind of disagree,”

4 means “Kind of agree”

5 means “Agree”

6 means “Strongly agree”

…please respond to the following statements.

1.___The Medievals were more superstitious than contemporary Americans.

2.___The Medievals were less moral than contemporary Americans.

Joshua Gibbs Feb 19, 2014

This week, a host of classes at Trinitas will celebrate Zeus's Family Reunion, an annual feast day wherein students dress up as gods and goddesses and give presentations on Greek mythology. I was asked to deliver a brief apologia at the beginning of the feast to describe why Christians study the gods and goddesses. 

Joshua Gibbs Feb 18, 2014

"...a god of purity and brightness and the clarity of perfect form, the most radiant and visible of all that is divine, but also a god always more distant, more hidden, whose arrows fly from farther and ever farther away; the shining one, the lord of poetry and song and prophecy, but also the god of wrathful countenance, who slays with the gentle bolt or instantanteous death; the lord of cleansing sunlight and of the clear, sweet water of living springs, the purifier and the healer, but also the death-dealing god of plague and spiritual contagion; wise, invincible, the god of consummate hum

Joshua Gibbs Feb 13, 2014

Liberalism and conservatism, explained in two fables I wrote for Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Edmund Burke

A Fable by Jean-Jacques Rousseau:

Joshua Gibbs Feb 12, 2014

Count me as one of those amused by the self-congratulation inherent in just about every American news story about how primitive Sochi is. In the weeks leading up to the 2014 Olympics, my favorite media outrage was the one about stray dogs being rounded up and put down before Olympic visitors arrived in town. Never mind the 8000 strays euthanized in New York City every year, or the 3 million strays put down yearly in the US, what happened to the Sochi strays seemed little worse than murder by Daily Mail standards.

Joshua Gibbs Feb 9, 2014

Several months ago, Babette’s Feast received a Criterion release accompanied by a fat little book of essays about the film, as well as the Isak Denisen short story upon which the film was based. In the last several years, I have seen the film five times and loved it so much I named a daughter after the heroine, although, until several weeks ago, I had not ventured through the text.

The film is unfailingly fair to the story, but until you’ve read the story, the film is merely a gorgeous hibernating animal. You read the story, though, and the bear will dance.