Books received – Canguilhem, Foucault and the Modern International, Kantorowicz

img_0141A contributor copy of Foucault and the Modern International, the two published volumes of Canguilhem’s Oeuvres and his work on the reflex, and a copy of Ernst Kantorowicz’s biography of Friedrich II – the second volume is the later supplementary text, with copious references.

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Geography Books

Clive Barnett on old books and the history of geography

Pop Theory

screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-10-15-28It’s sad, I know, but one of my favourite places is the Bookbarn, in Somerset on the road from Bristol to Wells. It is, as the name suggests, a big barn full of old books (my partner refuses to ever come along with me, because the smell of second-hand books repulses her just a little). The books here seem to consist mainly of discontinued library stock, from everywhere from the Cleveland County Library and the former Bath College of Higher Education (precursor to Bath Spa) to the Seeley Historical Library in Cambridge. If you were so inclined, you could acquire pretty much any book written about the Royal Family in the last 60 years here, or, alternatively, construct your own personal archive of every single Open University social science course from The Dimensions of Society (1975) onwards.

The Bookbarn even has a whole Geography section, which is more than you can…

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‘The Bibliothèque Nationale is no doubt the one place in which Foucault spent the most years of his life’

As I renew my British Library card for another three years, and think all the years I’ve been working here – initially in the old reading room in the British Museum, and then for almost twenty years at the St Pancras site, I’m reminded of this comment about Foucault in the early 1950s:

This was when he developed the habit of going to the Bibliothèque Nationale every day—a habit he maintained for years, until he left for Sweden, and one he resumed upon his return to France. The BN is no doubt the one place in which Foucault spent the most years of his life.

Didier Eribon, Michel Foucault, p. 73 (French)/p. 40 (English).

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A roundup of posts on time management etc.

And following that last post, a bit of a round-up of a number of posts by others on time management etc. While some of the things here are not for everyone, part of the overall motivation is to help to prioritise, to create time and space to do what is important to you, and to breathe a bit, rather than rush ‘to be productive’ or to ‘achieve more’.

Jo VanEvery has some good posts – on keeping a ‘done’ list alongside a ‘to do’ one, and balancing writing and student demands.

For longer projects, see her post on how to plan a research semester with a book under contract; or Karen Kelsky on ‘My Top Five Tips for Turning Your Dissertation Into a Book‘.

On the mechanics of doing research, Raul Pacheco-Vega is good. See, for example ‘taking notes effectively‘, ‘Processing a paper protocol‘ and ‘Starting up and maintaining an Everything Notebook‘. Also see his ‘On slow scholarship, time investments and good research‘; and ‘Strategies to sustain your research during heavy-teaching semesters‘. It was also his blog that led me to this older post on making a weekly template.

And finally, yet another one on email – Don’t Let Email Zombies Eat Up Your Day


There are lots more posts and links about writing and publishing here.

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The Slow Professor movement: reclaiming the intellectual life of the university

9781487521851The Slow Professor movement: reclaiming the intellectual life of the university – radio interview with Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber on The Sunday Edition. More on the book here.


Some related links –

How many hours a week should academics work? – Times Higher Education

The challenge of writing in the accelerated academy – The Sociological Imagination

The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People – Podio

Update: for a critique of the slow professor book, see Jana Bacevic, ‘Against academic labour: foraging in the wildlands of digital capitalism‘.

See also A roundup of posts on time management etc.

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Cite Specific: Analyzing Endnotes to Teach Historical Methods

Cite Specific: Analyzing Endnotes to Teach Historical Methods – an interesting exercise by Roxanne Panchasi.

It all started with a desire to have a different kind of conversation with my students about citation, one that wouldn’t be consumed by the details of formatting or the penalties for plagiarism. These are important things, of course, and I try to address them in every syllabus and assignment outline that I put together. You know the section I mean: the clear statement of expectations, the links to resources and policies online, the striking of that balance between helpful guidance and stern warning. But you’ve probably also experienced that section’s shortcomings—or at least wondered if anyone was paying attention as you explained it—when unattributed information showed up in final papers. To provide an alternative that actually works, I’ve developed an in-class exercise called “Xtreme Endnotes,” which I use at the beginning of every historical methods course that I teach.
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A ‘geographically accurate tube and rail map’ of London


While the standard TFL map is a model of a functional map – all straight-lines and angles – it can sometimes mean that people take journeys that would actually be faster above ground.

So, someone asked TFL for a ‘geographically accurate tube and rail map‘ of London, and this is what they got. Click through for the full thing [pdf], but the part above of central London gives a good idea. It shows the as yet-unopened Crossrail (Elizabeth line) in dotted purple, and the Northern line spur to Nine Elms and Battersea (dotted black).

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The Challenges of Research Assessment – report on the REF 2014

The Challenges of Research Assessment‘ – report on the REF 2014. News report in the THE here.


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Livestreaming on Neoliberalism, Its Ontology and Genealogy: The Work and Context of Philip Mirowski

boundary 2 will livestream its spring conference, Neoliberalism, Its Ontology and Genealogy: The Work and Context of Philip Mirowski on March 17 and March 18, 2017.

The livestream will appear here, where you can also find the conference schedule.

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Tragedy and Philosophy – Dennis Schmidt interviewed by Richard Marshall

Tragedy and Philosophy – Dennis Schmidt interviewed by Richard Marshall at 3am Magazine

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