Professor John Culhane’s Blog Provides Outlet for Thoughtful Discourse
Web Editor - Published: June 9, 2009
CulhaneJune09Promo"Blogging has been both a revelation and a drug for me. I find I keep up with what's going on in a number of different areas, and then I feel compelled to weigh in. I've written about many different issues, as you can see from the blog: Everything from serious issues like gay rights, criminal law and justice, abortion, and politics, to the occasional amusing or pop cultural posts,” says Professor John Culhane about WordinEdgewise.

Professor Culhane started blogging at wordinedgewise.org in January of 2009, and in the short months since, the blog has really taken off and opened up a number of exciting opportunities. "I love the immediate feedback from readers,” he says, adding, “I've been writing about my evolving thoughts on the late-term abortion controversy that was reanimated by the killing of the doctor in Kansas a couple of weeks ago, and that's involved me with a good-spirited back-and-forth with the blogger for The Atlantic, Andrew Sullivan. My thinking about profound questions is evolving as a result of these conversations."

From April 27th through May 3rd, Professor Culhane had the opportunity to serve as the official blogger for the 2009 Equality Forum in Philadelphia. Discussing the opportunity to fill that role, he notes, “As the blogger for Equality Forum, I was able to interview and write about San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, controversial Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, leaders in the nascent Russian GLBT movement, and many more people." He also followed the legal case in California over Proposition 8 on the blog; "I like synthesizing and explaining court decisions to a non-professional audience. I live-blogged the Prop 8 oral arguments, and issued summaries of the decision when it came down, as well as the Iowa Supreme Court's decision in that marriage equality case.”

While the blog has given him a forum to discuss his thoughts on a wide range of topics, that has not stopped Professor Culhane from exploring the more traditional avenues of academic research. "I still enjoy more in-depth legal research and analysis. This is a completely different thing. It's much more immediate, and even visceral at times. I find that doing it gives me ideas for more traditional scholarship. It also keeps me current in ways that are often interesting to my students," he says.

If there has been one downside to the frenzied activity on the blog over the last several months, it’s the self-induced pressure to keep up the momentum. As Professor Culhane wryly notes, "But I'm afraid to take a day off."