Month: February 2014

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some […]

I read a book a decade ago and struggle with it. I read it again now and find it astonishingly thought-provoking. How do you explain this? It seems I bring something different to the book on the second reading: concepts, experiences and knowledge which I lacked at the time of the first reading. But what […]

I was recently intrigued to encounter Nietzsche’s evolutionary account of consciousness and find how completely I agreed with it. I would use different language but the point is pretty much the same: a faculty slowly emerges from our biological nature which, as we attain awareness of it, comes to be seen as constituting our essence (partly because, as […]

One of many likeable things about the renaissance essayist Michel de Montaigne was his relationship with animals. In an intellectual context soon to be overcome with Cartesianism, with its mechanistic understanding of non-human animals, Montaigne exhibited an admirable degree of sensitivity to the consciousness of animals. As Sarah Bakewell ably summarises, A dog, for Descartes, has no […]

The phone slips from a loose grip Words were missed then, some apology I didn’t want to tell you this No, it’s just some guy she’s been hanging out with I don’t know, the past couple weeks I guess Well, thank you and hang up the phone Let the funeral start Hear the casket close […]

Workshop: Orientating feminism(s): Feminist ‘turns’ and the political economy of knowledge production The Centre for the Study of Women and Gender, University of Warwick Friday 28th February 28th, 2014, 2.00pm – 4.00pm Social Sciences Building, Room A0.23 Speakers: · Prof. Clare Hemmings (LSE) · Dr. Carolyn Pedwell (Newcastle) · Dr. Rebecca Coleman (Goldsmiths) · Prof. […]

You are warmly invited to submit proposals for the forthcoming Gender and Disability event at the University of Sheffield. The Call for Ideas has been extended by one week and submissions will now be accepted up until midnight on Monday 3rd March 2014. Please pass this message on to anyone who may be interested. We look […]

I recently read an astonishing book, The Courtier and the Heretic, which I’d bought on the assumption it was a philosophical biography of Spinoza and Leibniz. I love philosophical biographies (and should write about them at some point) but this turned out to be something rather different. It was more of a psychobiography of Leibniz […]

Data Science Lunchtime Seminars February 27th, 12.30-1.30pm Room: B3.19 Free pizza! Speaker name: Alexander Petersen Title: Using big data to quantify complex social processes Abstract: New technologies are providing novel ways to curate, explore, analyze, visualize, and interpret massive sources of information, in some cases using previously inaccessible historical records, and in other cases tapping completely new […]

There’s a recent article in Salon which gives a great overview of the emergence of “viral publishers” (which need to be distinguished from “content factories”) which have grown rapidly but in a way entirely dependent upon the infrastructure of social media. They encompass everything that was wrong with the older content factories yet employ even […]

With the 2014 Volume, the Berkeley Journal of Sociology will focus its efforts on writing a “history of the present.”  The journal will no longer publish academic research articles. Instead, we seek compelling essays, insightful commentaries, critical analyses, and topical symposiums on the most pressing political and cultural issues of the day. Our aim is to provide […]

Not with my hand alone I write: My foot wants to participate. Firm and free and bold, my feet Run across the field – and sheet. – Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Prelude in Rhymes: 52 After spending much of the last three days cutting up my PhD and putting it back together again, what […]