Tag: les back

  • The loneliness of knowledge production during a pandemic

    The loneliness of knowledge production during a pandemic

    We need to recognise the pandemic doesn’t have an ‘off’ switch, but rather will fade through a gradual process of normalising for increasingly large swathes of people alongside an ever present background of resurgent threat. This means that we won’t have a return to ‘normality’, but rather a slow, precarious and contested transition into a new reality.

  • The latent utopia of Twitter

    The latent utopia of Twitter

    It’s deeply satisfying to take something inchoate within your mind, what C Wright Mills called ‘the feel of an idea’, giving it form as you throw it out into the world and see what others make of it

  • The Pleasures of Scholarly Blogging

    There’s a lovely extract of the Academic Diary in which Les Back reflects on the life and work of the social theorist Vic Seidler. Remarking on the vast range of topics on which Seidler has written, Les suggests that this deeply committed man “writes not because his academic position expects it but because he has something […]

  • Using social media to ‘inhabit the attentiveness of another writer’

    There’s a lovely reflection in Les Back’s Academic Diary, released soon by Goldsmiths Press, concerning the role of Twitter in academic life. He suggests that Twitter sometimes facilitates our “inhabiting the attentiveness of another writer” by providing “signposts pointing to things going on in the world: a great article, an important book, a breaking story”. […]

  • Bev Skeggs discusses the contemporary sociological imagination with Les Back

    In this lovely dialogue hosted on the Goldsmiths website, thanks to Dave Beer for flagging it up, Bev Skeggs discusses the contemporary sociological imagination with Les Back. To begin they discuss discomfort and dislocation as an integral aspect of the sociological imagination, engendering an inability to take the familiarity of things for granted, instead prompting a […]

  • Academic scribes, their writing and their unsociability

    The paradox is that we academic scribes are not always very sociable. We cling to the library like bookish limpets that, like Kierkegaard, find real human beings too heavy to embrace. We speak a lot about society but all too often listen to the world within limited frequencies. I am proposing an approach to listening […]

  • A discussion of the craft of giving (bad) presentations needs to consider avoiding slides entirely

    This presentation by Nick Hopwood seems to have circulated quite widely this morning. It’s a satirical presentation attached to this post, visually illustrating all the presentational mistakes he observes in the attached article. It makes a lot of useful points in a very effective way, though given Nick is presumably vaguely aiming this at PhDs […]

  • Digital Sociologist #2: Les Back from @SociologyGold

    In this podcast I talk to Les Back from Goldsmiths about his Academic Diary project. So what is the Academic Diary?  How did the idea for the project come about?  What did the process of crafting it entail?  Was the experience of producing it different to that of a more traditional publication?

  • Les Back on Sociology’s Promise

    Les Back’s talk ‘sociology’s promise’ from the C Wright Mills session I organised at the BSA conference in Leeds. Will go up on Sociological Imagination once I’ve finished editing the session and gathering the related material I want to post up with it. There are two books Les mentions in the talk which are fantastic. […]