Updates from January, 2014 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Mark 6:37 pm on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    The Internal Conversations of Cats and Dogs 

     
  • Mark 6:14 pm on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Warwick’s strike-breaking history students 

    A group of history undergraduates at Warwick are causing controversy by organising their own student-led lectures while their tutors go on strike

    The group arranged for older students to deliver a lecture on the subject they would have been taught if not for the strike disruptions – to the consternation of many of their peers and tutors, who have accused them of strike-breaking.

    Larissa Quinn, one of the organisers, defended the initiative: “If a friend of mine had happened to take a module last year that I currently study and had gone over with me the topic of a lecture I had missed due to a strike, his help would not constitute ‘anti-strike behaviour’.

    “This is exactly what we are doing, only on a larger and more universal scale.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/warwick-students-break-university-staff-strikes-by-holding-selfrun-lectures-9096976.html

     
  • Mark 2:52 pm on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ios7, ,   

    Did iOS 7 ruin anyone else’s iPad or just mine? 

    Since installing it on my first generation iPad mini a month ago:

    1. My iPad now crashes on a daily basis. I can make this happen slightly less frequently by judiciously closing background applications but, even so, it now tends to crash at least once each day (I use my iPad a lot) whereas previously it not crashed once in a year of heavy daily use.
    2. The disk space is mysteriously and disturbingly vanishing. Either things aren’t deleting properly or new things are being installed without my knowledge. I’m constantly running out of space and, despite repeated rounds of deletion, I seem to be running out of disk space ever more quickly. It’s difficult to be certain but there’s at least 5-7 gig which has gone missing in the last month.
    3. It stalls at least once when watching a video, sometimes though not always followed by a few seconds of skipping ahead.
    4. When I delete videos if it’s set to ‘only show downloaded videos’ (which I use a lot because of the constant deletion the vanishing disk space requires) the video app crashes after you delete something.
    5. The keyboard is sluggish and sticky. Whereas I’d learnt to type very fast, it’s now not possible and I’ve given up on writing on my iPad.

    My contempt for Apple and their design philosophy has been slowly building for many months. It’s reached the stage where, as soon as I can afford it, I want to move to Android. The only thing that’s stopping me is Omnifocus. I’ve become so utterly dependent on this app (synched between desktop, laptop, ipad and iphone) to function as a human being that I find the prospect of having to switch to different software mildly terrifying. Using it heavily for years has meant that my every short, medium and long term intention is systematically recorded in there in a way that I’m wary of trying to recreate within different software. But god damn I am starting to hate Apple and the perpetual “fuck you” which seems to emanate from them towards any critical attitude towards their products, as well as the creepy apple fan boys who have internalised this attitude and direct it to anyone else who is critical in this way – go look at discussions of ios7 on apple support forums if you think I’m exaggerating.

     
  • Mark 10:32 am on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Deadline TODAY —> CfP: Quantified Self Research Network, March 25th 

    The next meeting of the Quantified Self Research Network will take place on the 25th March at the University of Warwick from 1pm to 6pm. It’s an informal seminar to present work in progress and is open to all.

    If you would like to contribute then please send a short abstract and bio to mark@markcarrigan.net by February 1st. We use ‘quantified self’ in a broad sense inclusive of self-tracking, wearable computing and digital augmentation

    We’re also keen to build on the last seminar and move the discussion forward. Here are some of the key questions which emerged during the last meeting:

    What is distinctive about qs?

    People have tracked their health data for a long time such as keeping food diaries or measuring their weight. Is qs conceptually different to this or is it merely an automisation and intensification? Does the quantity of the data produced equate to more of the same or a qualitatively distinct phenomenon?

    Are there inequalities in qs and self-tracking?

    The technologies required for qs are usually quite expensive even for a basic device and would certainly be out of the range of disposable income for many people and…

    Are we creating inequalities with the focus of research?

    If qsers are a relatively privileged group while it may be interesting to understand their practices and development of individual and group identities there are other people who cannot afford these practices, are uninterested or simply unaware of them.

    What about gender?

    The QS community seems to have more men than women as active participants. What are the reasons for this? If we take the broader notion of qs suggested by some of the presenters then often the more “mundane” or “domestic” approaches to self-tracking are more associated with women? Is there something fundamentally different about these?

    How do we identify a ‘non-user’?

    Although some of the methods of tracking have been used for a long time some of them are very new and it is currently unclear what kind of uptake they will have. We fairly easily identify a user (agreeing on a definition may be more complex) it is more difficult to identify a non-user. Are they people who do not practice qs or use the devices because they do not have access to them, they are not aware of them or they simply do not care? Is it right to define people as non-users of a fairly niche activity often engaged in by relatively privileged people? But with the amount of data which is generated about us (often without us knowing) are we not all quantified whether we like it or not?

     
  • Mark 10:31 am on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Social and Political Critique in the Age of Austerity – places available for participants 

    Social and Political Critique in the Age of Austerity – places available for participants

    We have a small number of places available for participants at this all-day workshop.  This will be held at Keele University, on Wednesday 12th February.  Email Emma Head (e.l.head@keele.ac.uk) as soon as possible if you could like a place. The programme follows:
    9.45-10.00 Welcome and introduction
    10.00-11.15 Panel one
    ‘Occupy Hong Kong: experiments with the citizen-assemblage in the heart of capitalist utopia’
    Paul-Francois Tremlett, Lecturer in Religious Studies, The Open University
    ‘Changing society? Proper politics, post-politics and Occupy London’
    Sam Burgum, PhD candidate, University of Warwick
    ‘The impossibility of the future: empty futures and the problem of critique in times of austerity’,
    Dr Chris Till, Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences, Leeds Metropolitan University
    11.15-11.30 Refreshments
    11.30-12.45 Panel two
    ‘Disciplining the reserve labour army: the reality behind the rhetoric in the UK government’s work programme’
    John David Jordan, PhD student, Manchester Metropolitan University
    ‘From lifeboat immigration politics to dry land: Cities of Sanctuary in an age of austerity’
    Dr Ala Sirriyeh, Lecturer in Sociology, Keele University
    ‘Scapegoating during a time of crisis: a critique of post ‘Celtic tiger’ Ireland’
     Dr. Lee F. Monaghan, Michael O’Flynn, and Martin Power, University of Limerick
    12.45-1.30 Lunch
     1.30-2.45 Panel three
    ‘Anti-capitalist resistance in the liberalist context’
    Daniel Fletcher, PhD candidate, Keele University
    ‘The rise of the network labour movement’
    Alex Wood, PhD candidate, Cambridge University

    ‘From 1968 to 2008 and beyond: lessons for transformative social movements?’
    Bryn Jones, Senior Teaching Fellow in Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath

    2.45-3.00 Refreshments 
    3.00-4.00 Panel four
    ‘Strikers, communists, tramps, and detectives’… the class, the party, and the state’.
    Professor Roger Seifert, Department of Human Resources, University of Wolverhampton

    ‘Post-citizenship and the democratic imagination’
    Dr Nick Stevenson, Reader, Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham

    4.15-6.00 Professor Costas Douzinas, Birkbeck University 

     
  • Mark 10:30 am on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Invitation: Queer Perspective on Law, SOAS, Feb 7 4-6 pm, Law, Ethics and Politics of Disclosure 

    The SOAS Centre for Gender Studies

    and the

    SOAS Centre for the study of Colonialism, Empire and International Law

    invite you to join us for:

    QUEER PERSPECTIVES ON LAW II

    Law, Ethics and Politics of Disclosure

    room 4426, SOAS

    Friday 7th February

    4pm – 6pm

    This workshop follows on the success of the Queer Perspectives on Law
    workshop. It will focus on legal, ethical and political issues
    surrounding disclosure/non-disclosure of facts considered material to
    sexual intimacy.

    In 2012, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Sabbar
    Kashur for rape by fraud. The ‘fraud’ in this case consisted in the
    fact that he was considered to have ‘deceitfully’ misrepresented
    himself as a Jew to a woman with whom he had sexual intercourse. In
    2013, the English Court of Appeal upheld the conviction of Justine
    McNally on six counts of assault by penetration. The ‘fraud’ in this
    case consisted in the fact that she was considered to have
    ‘deceitfully’ misrepresented herself as a man to a woman with whom she
    had sexual intercourse. The McNally case is preceded by similar cases
    in the UK, the US and Israel. The indictment and convition of Kashur,
    McNally and other individuals has led to public and legal debate
    surrounding questions of sex and nationality or sex and gender, and
    their interconnections.

    The workshop will examine  how the state’s punitive power in such
    instances is applied so as to preserve the national-gender-sexual
    order.  It will include presentations from Prof Aeyal Gross and Prof
    Alex Sharpe followed by comments from Dr Hedi Veritbo and Dr Sarah
    Keenan and general discussion. Paper abstracts, below, and flyer
    attached.

    Performativity and Crossing Gender and Nationality Borders in the
    Case-Law on Rape by Deception
    Professor Aeyal Gross, Tel Aviv Univeristy

    Sabbar Kashur was convicted for deception relating to national
    identity, with the court ruling that he had “deceitfully”
    misrepresented himself as a Jew to a woman with whom he had sexual
    intercourse alongside deception regarding his personal status. His
    indictment and conviction led to public and legal debate on questions
    of sex, nationality, and the connection between the two. This article
    discusses the Kashur case and other instances in Israel and across the
    world in which people have been convicted for a similar crime, while
    in the latter, unlike in the Kashur case, deception regarding gender
    identity was claimed. The article proposes an integrated examination
    of the case-law dealing with national impersonation and gender
    impersonation and considers how the criminal law rules governing rape
    by deception that relate to the “identity of the offender” serve to
    preserve the gender-national order from prohibited boundary-crossing
    that challenges the stability and “naturalness” of identity categories
    that lie at its base.

    The article considers how the state’s punitive power in such instances
    is applied so as to preserve the national-gender-sexual order. The
    Kashur case is examined through the prism of the “passing” phenomenon,
    where members of minority groups that regard themselves as deprived
    tend to present themselves, in certain social circumstances, as
    belonging to the majority group so as not to be exposed to racist or
    discriminatory treatment. The court decisions convicting people who
    “passed” as members of groups to which society does not regard them as
    “naturally” belonging to are critiqued from a perspective that takes
    nationality, like gender, to be a type of “performance,” which does
    not have a separate ontological status from the various actions that
    constitute its actuality. Like gender signals, national signals are
    exhibited-performed and, in effect, constitute the identity that they
    are allegedly expressing. The case-law that is analyzed demonstrates
    how deviation from the nationality, just as from the gender, that
    everyone supposedly “has” and is forcibly imposed on us leads to
    punishment. This is particularly the case when the deviation occurs in
    the framework of an intimate relationship with another person, in a
    way that violates the national-gender-sexual order.

    Sexual Intimacy, Gender Variance and the Criminal Law

    Professor Alex Sharpe, Keele University

    This presentation, which will begin with a brief film clip from the
    1992 film, the Crying Game, will challenge the notion that
    non-disclosure of gender history to sexual partners in advance of
    sexual intimacy is unethical. It will then challenge the legality and
    public policy interest in prosecuting transgender people on the basis
    of ‘fraud’ in these circumstances. In doing so, it will (a) highlight
    inconsistency in judicial constructions of non-consent, (b) contest
    the view that a right to sexual autonomy necessarily trumps a right to
    privacy (this will involve both a balancing of harms and recognition
    of the fact that non-disclosure of gender history does not,
    ontologically speaking, constitute deception) and (c) highlight how an
    emphasis on complainant determination of the materiality of gender
    history promotes transphobia/homophobia.

     
  • Mark 10:29 am on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    CFP: London Conference in Critical Thought 2014; London, UK; 27-28 June 2014 

    27-28 June 2014, Goldsmiths, University of London.
    CFP deadline: 10 March 2014.
    londoncritical.org

    The third annual London Conference in Critical Thought (LCCT) will offer a space for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas for scholars who work with critical traditions and concerns. It aims to provide opportunities for those who frequently find themselves at the margins of their department or discipline to engage with other scholars who share theoretical approaches and interests.

    Central to the vision of the conference is an inter-institutional, non-hierarchal, and accessible event that makes a particular effort to embrace emergent thought and the participation of emerging academics, fostering new avenues for critically-oriented scholarship and collaboration.

    The conference is divided into thematic streams, each coordinated by different researchers and with separate calls for papers, included in this document. We welcome paper proposals that respond to the particular streams below. In addition, papers may be proposed as part of a general stream, i.e. with no specific stream in mind. Spanning a range of broad themes, these streams provide the impetus for new points of dialogue. Read the full call for papers here: londoncritical.org

    • Aesthetic Refusals: Oppositional Citizenship and Public Culture
    • Conceptions and Practices of Critical Pedagogy
    • Critical Approaches to Care Relationships
    • (Dis)orders of Migration
    • Dissenting Methods: Engaging Legacies of the Past, Defining Critical Futures
    • ‘entitled’
    • ‘everyday political’
    • How Does One Think Difference?
    • Legal Critique: Positions, Negotiations and Strategies
    • Moving Through the Intersection? Interrogating Categories and Postintersectional Politics
    • Philosophy and Critical Thought Inside and Outside The University
    • Pragmatism and Critical Traditions
    • Sounding the Counterfactual: Hyperstition and Audial Futurities
    • Strategies of Silence
    • Street Level: Towards a Critical Discourse on Urban Aesthetics
    • Subjects in Space(s): Navigating Multiplicity
    • The Critical Brain
    • The Human After Anthropocentrism? Life. Matter. Being.
    • Time Discipline
    • What is the Question of Critique?

    Please send paper/presentation proposals with the relevant stream indicated in the subject line to paper-subs@londoncritical.org
    Submissions should be no more than 250 words and should be received by the 10th March 2014.

    Participation is free (though registration will be required).

     
  • Mark 10:29 am on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    CFP: Interdisciplinary Symposium on Gef, the ‘talking mongoose’ 

    CFP: Interdisciplinary Symposium on Gef, the ‘talking mongoose’: “If you knew what I know, you’d know a hell of a lot!”
    Senate House Library, University of London, Thursday 10th April 2014 (p.m.)

    In the autumn of 1931, one of the most bizarre episodes in the annals of British paranormal history commenced. An Isle of Man farmer, his wife, and their teenage daughter all claimed that a talking animal – a weasel or mongoose – was a regular visitor to their farm, displaying apparent gifts of clairvoyance and telepathy. Soon, the story had become an international Press sensation. Over the years, journalists, authors, spiritualists, psychic investigators (notably Harry Price and Nandor Fodor), and psychologists have all attempted to make sense of the family’s claims. Was it a simple case of fraud, a psychiatric matter, or a genuine paranormal episode? No one explanation has yet sufficed to account for what has become known as the case of Gef, the Talking Mongoose.
    This interdisciplinary symposium invites diverse responses to this extraordinary episode in cultural history, the people at its heart and its subsequent treatment and exploration. We would particularly encourage practitioners and researchers from the following disciplines to consider reviewing the case:

    •       Psychoanalysis
    •       Psychology
    •       Literary study
    •       Cultural study
    •       Local history
    •       Media studies
    •       Mythology and folklore
    •       The Paranormal

    Please send abstracts of 300 words for 15-20 minute papers to gefsymposium@gmail.com by February 25th. Requests to submit papers to be read in absentia will be considered.
    All applicants will be notified of the selected programme by March 12th.

     
    • idoubtit 1:53 pm on February 11, 2014 Permalink

      I hope you write up the proceedings and have them available online. 🙂

    • Neil McNab 10:19 pm on February 18, 2014 Permalink

      If he did indeed talk then everything we know is wrong.

    • Crocarla 2:58 pm on February 19, 2014 Permalink

      I think the whole Gef thing was an elaborate in-joke perpetrated by bored islanders.

  • Mark 11:01 pm on January 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    CRFR Seminar – Transforming Childhoods? 

    Transforming Childhoods?

    This research initiative at the University of Dundee, brings together
    researchers across disciplines and issues, to consider ‘Transforming
    Childhood’.  After the presentations there will be an opportunity to join in
    a discussion on new directions in childhood research, looking at the next
    big questions and future research agendas.

    Research ‘spotlight’ presentations:

    Lorraine van Blerk, Reader in Human Geography, School of the Environment,
    University of Dundee
    ‘Growing up on the streets: African street children’s rights and lived
    realities’

    Divya Jindal-Snape, Associate Dean of Research, School of Education,
    Community Education and Social Work, University of Dundee
    ‘Dynamics of relationships and life transitions’

    Monday 10th February 2014
    2pm – 4pm
    Centre for Research on Families & Relationships, 23 Buccleuch Place,
    Edinburgh

    Although this seminar is free, places are limited and booking essential.  To
    reserve your place please contact brenda.saetta@ed.ac.uk or call: 0131 651
    1832.

    Please Note:   CRFR reserves the right to charge a £5 cancellation fee if a
    booking is made but the delegate fails to appear.

    Kind Regards

    Laura Marshall
    Training & Events Administrator
    The Centre for Research on Families and Relationships (CRFR)
    The University of Edinburgh
    23 Buccleuch Place
    Edinburgh
    EH8 9LN
    Tel: 0131 651 3001
    http://www.crfr.ac.uk
    Office Hours: Monday & Tuesday: 9.30am-5pm, Wednesday: 9am-4.30pm

    CRFR 10 years – exploring why relationships matter

    CPD Courses 2014: Research Involving Children and Young People
    http://www.crfr.ac.uk/eventsandtraining/

     
  • Mark 10:59 pm on January 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Biographical research seminar @warwickuni (CC @sociowarwick) 

    Speakers:  Professor Linden West, Canterbury Christ Church University

     and

    Dr Barbara Merrill, University of Warwick

    Title: Using Biographical and Auto Biographical Narratives in Social Science and Educational Research

    Venue: Wednesday, 19th February, WTO.05, 2-4pm, Westwood Teaching Centre, Westwood Campus

    I’m very frustrated I can’t make this!

     
  • Mark 10:58 pm on January 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    LGBT history month at the university of leeds 

    Please find below two film events organised by CIGS students for LGBT history month, at the University of Leeds.

    Wednesday 5th
    Film: ‘Venus Boyz’
    Documentary. ‘A film journey through a universe of female masculinity’. Organised by students from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies. Followed by discussion.
    Film: 6-8pm, discussion: 8-9pm
    Baines Wing Miall Lecture Theatre (2.34) Free, wheelchair access

    Thursday 27th
    Film: Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls on the Heap
    The adventures of three female friends, showing the LGBT history of Spain and how it developed
    radically after the dictatorship. Film and discussion organised by students from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies.
    Film 6-8pm, discussion 8-9pm, Parkinson  SR (B.22) Free, wheelchair access

    The wonderful performer Bird la Bird will also be hosting an alternative Valentine’s night as part of the month’s events.

    There is a fantastic month length programme, more iinformation, of which can be found on http://www.leedsuniversityunion.org.uk/campaigns/lgbthistorymonth/

     
  • Mark 10:58 pm on January 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    LGBT history month at university of east anglia 

    LGBT History Month at the University of East Anglia

     

    All talks are free and they take place in Arts 2.02 at 7 pm. Contact B.J. Epstein at b.epstein@uea.ac.uk for more information.

     

    3 February

    Music in Queer Fiction

    Dr Clare Connors

    When music is described in novels it serves all sorts of purposes. It can connote passion for example, or an experience of intimacy, or point to areas of meaning, life and feeling beyond the grasp of words, or impossible for cultural reasons to articulate. This talk explores the specific role played by the representation of music in a number of twentieth-century works of queer fiction, including novels by Alan Hollinghurst and Sylvia Townsend Warner.

     

    6 February

    “Marriage is so Gay.” The battle for same sex marriage in the US and Britain: A comparative perspective

    Dr Emma Long

    Same-sex marriage has been a controversial political issue in both the US and UK in recent years. Yet despite the fact the issue is the same, the nature of the campaigns in each country has been quite different. This lecture considers the history of the debate and looks at why the issue has been received differently in the two countries.

     

    10 February

    Southeast Gaysia!: LGBT Heritage and Activism in the ASEAN Region

    Yi-Sheng Ng

    Southeast Asia is a hugely diverse region, where different races, religions and government systems exist side by side. And yet there are common threads in our queer history that bind us together, from traditions of holy transgender shamans to modern-day lesbian weddings and gay rights marches. Singaporean activist Yi-Sheng Ng will share stories from Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; these are tales of liberation and oppression, continuity and change.

     

    13 February

    Pitching Harmony: Thinking differently about the assimilation and difference debate

    Dr Jonathan Mitchell

    In this lecture I wish to speculate on the concept of harmony and how it offers creative possibilities for ways of thinking about LGBT politics. As LGBT politics becomes increasingly divided between a liberal acceptance and extreme differences – BDSM culture, bug-chasing, bare-backing etc. – I wish to muse on the concept of harmony, especially close harmony as a means to emphasize the ‘queer’ at work with and within the norm without having to lose one’s identity either to assimilation, or to the extremes. My own concepts here are fraught with problems and are highly value laden, and I aim to maintain these tensions as a process of self-critique.

     

    17 February

    “A Quiet Place”: Gay & Bisexual Classical Composers in 20th Century America

    Malcolm Robertson

    Perhaps due to the population size and the diversity of the cultural backgrounds of its citizens, the USA has produced a large number of diverse ‘classical’ composers in the 20th century of which a considerable proportion were/are gay or bisexual. The sheer variety of individual styles in which these composers expressed themselves is quite staggering and many of these composers have reputations that are of key importance to 20th century ‘classical’ music both nationally and internationally. The talk will look at the life and music of several of these composers, including works that seem to reflect their personal feelings and sexuality.

     

    20 February

    The Homosexual Steamroller: Queer “Propaganda” through Literature

    Dr B.J. Epstein

    Why are LGBTQ books for young readers considered so threatening? Can you turn people queer simply by featuring LGBTQ characters in literature? LGBTQ books for children and young adults are some of the most banned or censored books in the world. This talk will explore some of these texts and the many challenges they have faced. It will discuss the content of both picture books and young adult novels as well as how these works might influence readers.

     

    24 February

    Saints, Sinners and Martyrs in Queer Church History: The continuing evolution of religious responses to homoerotic relationships

    Terry Weldon

    History contradicts the common assumption that Christianity and homoerotic relationships are in direct conflict. There have been numerous examples of Christian saints, popes and bishops who have had same-sex relationships themselves, or celebrated them in writing, and blessed same-sex unions in church. There have also been long centuries of active persecution – but recent years have again seen the emergence of important straight allies for LGBT equality, and a notable reassessment of the scriptural verdict.

     

    27 February

    Trans & Gender Variant History 1800s onwards

    Katy J Went

    The development of modern theories, constructs and realities about gender, intersex, sex and trans. Changing social gender “norms”, sexual psychopathology, shifts in neuro and biological understanding of sex and gender, and modern medical possibility to redefine bodies. From crossdressing mollies to sexual inversion, transgenderism, non-binary gender and 80 shades of intersex. This is the second lecture in a series that began by covering the ancient and medieval history of gender variance until 1800, delivered at UEA in 2012.

     
  • Mark 12:06 am on January 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , International Studies Association, ,   

    The start of a broader backlash against academic use of social media? 

    Proposal from the Executive Committee to the Governing Council on Changes to ISA’s code of conduct policy

    Background

    The Preface to the ISA Code of Conduct states: “The purpose of this document is to provide an authoritative statement regarding the expectations for professional conduct for all who participate in ISA meetings and conventions, and it will be especially useful for those who are new to the profession and/or the ISA. It is borne out of the ISA’s commitment to maintaining and promoting a professional environment at its meetings and other organized activities, and it is guided by the conviction that the advancement of knowledge flourishes most readily in an atmosphere of constructive debate in which all members treat one another with dignity and respect.”
     
    The issue of “maintaining and promoting a professional environment” is particularly pertinent to the material that is made public through the use of blogs. It is the sense of the ISA executive committee that ISA’s Code of Conduct applies not only to individual members but also to ISA publications. The committee believes that any connection between blogs and ISA journals should be severed or separated. There should be no connection between independent/personal blogs and ISA journals.  

    Proposal

    The Executive Committee requests that the Governing Council of the ISA add language to ISA’s code of conduct policy that will state the following:  “No editor of any ISA journal or member of any editorial team of an ISA journal can create or actively manage a blog unless it is an official blog of the editor’s journal or the editorial team’s journal. This policy requires that all editors and members of editorial teams to apply this aspect of the Code of Conduct to their ISA journal commitments. All editorial members, both the Editor in Chief(s) and the board of editors/editorial teams, should maintain a complete separation of their journal responsibilities and their blog associations. Adoption of this policy requires either stepping down from any such editorial responsibilities, or removal of affiliation with, and any participation in, external blogs for the duration of ISA editorial duties.”
     
     
    • BeingQuest 10:28 am on January 30, 2014 Permalink

      Mythical Professionalism extends its Code of Conduct into the once autonomous and private space of its underlings, laying claim over all existential domains with coercive authority to demand compliance with its own megalithic and institutional values?

      Resistance is futile. ~Borg

  • Mark 12:03 am on January 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Deadline TOMORROW —> CfP: Quantified Self Research Network, March 25th 

    The next meeting of the Quantified Self Research Network will take place on the 25th March at the University of Warwick from 1pm to 6pm. It’s an informal seminar to present work in progress and is open to all.

    If you would like to contribute then please send a short abstract and bio to mark@markcarrigan.net by February 1st. We use ‘quantified self’ in a broad sense inclusive of self-tracking, wearable computing and digital augmentation

    We’re also keen to build on the last seminar and move the discussion forward. Here are some of the key questions which emerged during the last meeting:

    What is distinctive about qs?

    People have tracked their health data for a long time such as keeping food diaries or measuring their weight. Is qs conceptually different to this or is it merely an automisation and intensification? Does the quantity of the data produced equate to more of the same or a qualitatively distinct phenomenon?

    Are there inequalities in qs and self-tracking?

    The technologies required for qs are usually quite expensive even for a basic device and would certainly be out of the range of disposable income for many people and…

    Are we creating inequalities with the focus of research?

    If qsers are a relatively privileged group while it may be interesting to understand their practices and development of individual and group identities there are other people who cannot afford these practices, are uninterested or simply unaware of them.

    What about gender?

    The QS community seems to have more men than women as active participants. What are the reasons for this? If we take the broader notion of qs suggested by some of the presenters then often the more “mundane” or “domestic” approaches to self-tracking are more associated with women? Is there something fundamentally different about these?

    How do we identify a ‘non-user’?

    Although some of the methods of tracking have been used for a long time some of them are very new and it is currently unclear what kind of uptake they will have. We fairly easily identify a user (agreeing on a definition may be more complex) it is more difficult to identify a non-user. Are they people who do not practice qs or use the devices because they do not have access to them, they are not aware of them or they simply do not care? Is it right to define people as non-users of a fairly niche activity often engaged in by relatively privileged people? But with the amount of data which is generated about us (often without us knowing) are we not all quantified whether we like it or not?

     
  • Mark 4:01 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , opportunity, , ,   

    Individual biography and the spatial distribution of variety (or, what the sociological imagination looks like to a critical realist) 

    Throughout my thesis I use the term ‘exploration’ as a short hand to designate a rather precise process. I’m trying to conceptualise a particular sort of biographical process, which in spite of its empirical variability shares an underlying structure in which the relation between concerns and context lead a person to look beyond that context in order to find a sustainable and satisfying way of manifesting those concerns. In such a movement, an inability to find a mode of life in which they feel compelled to invest themselves leads them to look beyond the boundaries of their context in pursuit of something ‘more’. Crucially, the constitution of this ‘more’ may be utterly opaque to them. Individuals can search for ‘more’ without being able to articulate what this ‘more’ is. My contention is that this is a purposive activity which is nonetheless inarticulate. People search for new things to know, new things to do and new things to be without being clear about what exactly it is they’re looking for.

    It’s in this sense that I’ve been thinking about the spatial distribution of variety. How is variety, which I’m understanding generically as opportunities (i.e. possibilities to do/know/be X which are foreclosed elsewhere), distributed in a geographical sense? Through asking this question we can begin to map a micro-sociological analysis of individual biographies (of the sort alluded to above) onto macro-sociological analysis of the mobility patterns of particular cohorts within broader populations. There was an interesting article in the Guardian recently which left these issues newly at the forefront of my mind:

    Monday’s Centre for Cities report starkly illustrated the extent of the brain drain taking place in this country as waves of gifted young people shun what is somewhat patronisingly referred to as “the regions” in order to build a career in the capital. According to the centre, a third of all people aged between 22 and 30 who leave their home towns move to the south, most of them never to return.

    I’m one of the exceptions. After six months of signing on while avoiding eye contact, I now have a job that is stimulating, rewarding, offers some hope of progression and, most amazingly of all, is in Birmingham – not London.

    I work as a university researcher and so come into contact with bright young people regularly. The students, artists, curators and designers I meet are dynamic, imaginative and energetic. They dream, think differently and make “scenes” (in a good way).

    It is inspiring, but it also makes the report’s findings all the more worrying. What does the future hold for cities such as Birmingham if the best and the brightest continue to be sucked into the capital? As the authors of the report point out, compared to other European countries such as Germany, Britain’s financial, cultural and political hubs are already disproportionately concentrated in London. A rich city is going to get richer while the rest are left to stagnate.

    Some people will stay and do what they can. But it is not enough to rely on youthful vigour. Faced with a choice between the dole and a zero-hour “McJob” outside London or the possibility of a career in the capital, graduates are doing the only thing they can do: migrating south.

    Things clearly need to change. My own university does good work in providing paid internships, artists-in-residence posts and other initiatives to help give young people a real stake in the city. But the problems are vast – they are structural and, as such, require intervention from local and national government. So here are a few ideas.

    Local authorities and other landlords outside London should be compelled to make any shop that has stood empty for more than two months available via an application process to students free of charge. This would help break down the distinction between “gown” and “town” and provide a platform for innovation for young people with ideas.

    Bodies such as the Arts Council should offer a special fund, open only to first-time applicants under 30 who have an idea for an activity taking place outside London. A young people’s commissioner with real powers should be established in every city and, importantly, it should be a recent graduate who fills the role. And we should relocate some of the key British institutions away from London to other parts of the country.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/28/young-people-lure-of-london-cities

    I agree wholeheartedly with this analysis. In a sense, it’s a much more straight forward way of saying what I’ve articulated in the sometimes cumbersome language of relational realism. Macro-social trends which engender a concentration of variety in certain geographical regions and within certain social milieux (there are far more things to do, to know and to be in Manchester than there are in Rochdale) are mediated at the level of lived experience by action which aims, in various ways, to circumvent the contraction of variety in other areas as individuals try to shape a life for themselves, with the resources which individuals are able to deploy in making such moves themselves being unevenly distributed. So far from being a retreat from macro-social analysis, working at the level of individual biography offers a really interesting sort of traction on macro-social processes – these are inflected through individual biographies with all manner of aggregative consequences (the sheer weight of numbers doing X, Y, Z) and emergent consequences (acting collectively in response to convergent circumstances).

    This is how I understand the linkage between biography and history, between private troubles and public issues, or in other words what I think the sociological imagination looks like from the vantage point of the particular sort of critical realism I espouse.

     
  • Mark 12:41 pm on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Baffling theoretical diagrams that would benefit immensely from being made interactive 

    20140129-124037.jpg

    From Christian Smith’s What is a person?

     
  • Mark 9:26 am on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Let em Come – Scroobius Pip, Sage Francis & P.O.S 

    (I don’t get the video…)

     
  • Mark 8:48 am on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , syriza,   

    Leo Panitch on Syriza’s success 

    (HT Organized Rage)

     
  • Mark 8:45 am on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Lancashire LGBT History Month 

    LGBT History Month – the nationwide celebration of the heritage of LGBT communities past and present, which takes part throughout the whole of February – reaches its eighth year in 2014.

    Once again a number of Lancashire based organisations have worked in partnership to provide three high profile events for the region including Lancashire County Council’s LGBT Staff Network, Cultural Services, Museums, Libraries and Archives, Age Concern Central Lancashire and Lancashire’s centre of excellence for LGBT people in the region, Preston Pride, The Isaac Hitchen Project, Burnley LGBT Hidden History project, Lancashire Constabulary, Lancaster University, Out in the Bay and PYRO.

    LGBT History Month has grown from a London-centric project, to a much respected national event and this year’s celebrations in Lancashire are even bigger than before, reflecting all aspects of Lancashire LGBT people’s lives and history.

    Each year LGBT History Month is themed and this year explores the rich and diverse theme of ‘Music’.

    Speaking on behalf of the Lancashire History Month consortium Drew Dewing-Drake of Age Concern Central Lancashire said, “Throughout history LGBT people have made a huge contribution to music, from Benjamin Britton, Dusty Springfield and right through to current stars such as George Michael, Will Young, k.d Lang, Rufus Wainwright and Jakes Shears of the Scissor Sisters”.

    “Plus we can’t deny the fact that without LGBT people there would be no dance culture as we know it today. We created ‘Disco’, ‘Techno’ and ‘House Music’ and also helped to raise the profile of some of the world’s biggest superstars such as Madonna, Kylie Minogue and the Pet Shop Boys and of course we mustn’t forget the ‘Divas’  Diana Ross, Cher, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey to name but a few.”

    “We also have a fine history when it comes to ‘Rock’ with artists such as Freddy Mercury, Elton John, Pete Townshend, Little Richard and Michael Stipe of R.E.M.”
    “LGBT History Month is such a wonderful opportunity to celebrate what in many ways is only a recently emergent culture and we are proud, as are all of the organisations involved, to be a part of the celebration for 2014”.

    As part of Febuary’s 2014 LGBT History Month celebrations in Lancashire, three very special events will take place celebrating LGBT artists with live music, film, talks, delicious food and featuring songs from the musicals, disco, rock, pop, folk, dance and classical!

    OUTING THE PAST 4 – Saturday, February 1st   2.00pm ~ 5.00pm & 5.45pm ~ 7.00pm –
    Lancashire Archive, Bow Lane, Preston, PR1 2RE.

    Join us with Preston’s very own ‘Musical Comedy Society’ who will be performing a selection of ‘Camp’ faves, the ‘Poptastic’ Clive Taylor presents ‘Hotpot and Hotpants’ a look at LGBT music history and culture in 1970’s Lancashire.

    The premier of a new documentary from the team at ‘Older & Out’ entitled ‘The Love That Dare Not Speak its Name’, ‘Queer Noise’ a digital archive project celebrating the history of Manchester’s rich LGBT music background, followed by ‘BBC Radio 2’s Folk Music Award’ nominees O’Hooley and Tidow, presenting a Q&A and performance of ‘Gentleman Jack’.
    A full set performance will follow at 5.45pm. The afternoon session is FREE.
    There is a charge of £5 for the full live performance. To book places please contact Vicci McCann at vicci.mccann@lancashire.gov.uk or (01772) 533039.

    UPROAR OVER THAT CLUB – Saturday, February 15th: 2.00pm- 4.00pm- Towneley Hall Museum, Towneley Holmes Road, Burnley BB11 3RQ
    Find out more about how Burnley stopped us dancing to the music that we loved with a controversial public meeting ‘Homosexuals and Civil Liberties’ and the following campaign to set up a gay nightclub in Burnley in 1971. Guest speakers include Michael Steed long-time activist, member of the ‘Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) and speaker at the public meeting in 71 and Peter Scott Presland, activist, actor, journalist and author of ‘Amiable Worriors: The History of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality’. A phone app of Burnley LGBT Heritage Trail will also be launched.  For more details contact: burnleylgbt@yahoo.co.uk

    I’M COMING OUT!

    Thursday, February 20th: 6.30pm – 8.30pm- Lancaster Library, Market Square, Lancaster, LA1 1HY

    Grab your hot pants and leggings and join us under the disco ball for an evening of fun entertainment, documentary films and guest speakers.
    Acts will include Lancaster’s very own Kitchen Collective who will be getting in touch with their inner ‘Diva’ and singing LGBT classics from the 60’s up to the present day, followed by ‘Out in the Bay’s’ first ever showing of their production ‘Drag me to the Disco’ plus the launch of a new exhibition from Age Concern Central Lancashire – ‘Le Freak’ – which looks at the influence popular music artists and genres have had over the lives of Lancashire’s older LGBT Community.

    For more information please contact Lancaster Library: 01524 580700
    EMAIL: lancaster.library@lancashire.gov.uk

     
  • Mark 8:43 am on January 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Deadline in 2 days –> CfP: Quantified Self Research Network, March 25th 

    The next meeting of the Quantified Self Research Network will take place on the 25th March at the University of Warwick from 1pm to 6pm. It’s an informal seminar to present work in progress and is open to all.

    If you would like to contribute then please send a short abstract and bio to mark@markcarrigan.net by February 1st. We use ‘quantified self’ in a broad sense inclusive of self-tracking, wearable computing and digital augmentation

    We’re also keen to build on the last seminar and move the discussion forward. Here are some of the key questions which emerged during the last meeting:

    What is distinctive about qs?

    People have tracked their health data for a long time such as keeping food diaries or measuring their weight. Is qs conceptually different to this or is it merely an automisation and intensification? Does the quantity of the data produced equate to more of the same or a qualitatively distinct phenomenon?

    Are there inequalities in qs and self-tracking?

    The technologies required for qs are usually quite expensive even for a basic device and would certainly be out of the range of disposable income for many people and…

    Are we creating inequalities with the focus of research?

    If qsers are a relatively privileged group while it may be interesting to understand their practices and development of individual and group identities there are other people who cannot afford these practices, are uninterested or simply unaware of them.

    What about gender?

    The QS community seems to have more men than women as active participants. What are the reasons for this? If we take the broader notion of qs suggested by some of the presenters then often the more “mundane” or “domestic” approaches to self-tracking are more associated with women? Is there something fundamentally different about these?

    How do we identify a ‘non-user’?

    Although some of the methods of tracking have been used for a long time some of them are very new and it is currently unclear what kind of uptake they will have. We fairly easily identify a user (agreeing on a definition may be more complex) it is more difficult to identify a non-user. Are they people who do not practice qs or use the devices because they do not have access to them, they are not aware of them or they simply do not care? Is it right to define people as non-users of a fairly niche activity often engaged in by relatively privileged people? But with the amount of data which is generated about us (often without us knowing) are we not all quantified whether we like it or not?

     
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