Tag: writing

From Going Public by Arlene Stein and Jessie Daniels, pg 80-81: An author’s voice is simply his or her “unique authorial fingerprint,” according to Theresa MacPhail, a New York University professor of science and technology studies. 19 If an author has a distinctive voice, she writes, “then we can often accurately attribute a text to […]

“Books and drafts mean something quite different for different thinkers. One collects in a book the lights he was able to steal and carry home swiftly out of the rays of some insight that suddenly dawned on him, while another thinker offers us nothing but shadows – images in black and grey of what had […]

My notes on Kember, S. (2016). Why publish?. Learned Publishing, 29, 348-353. This short piece is based on Sarah Kember’s inaugrial professorial lecture at Goldsmiths, its writing timed to coincide with the launch of Goldsmith’s new press. Its establishment was explicitly motivated by a sense of “the opportunities afforded by digital technologies and the new […]

My notes on Strathern, M., & Latimer, J. (2019). A conversation. The Sociological Review, 67(2), 481–496. https://doi.org/10.1177/0038026119832424 In this interesting conversation with Marilyn Strathern, who I had the pleasure to meet when Jana Bacevic organised a a masterclass with her at our department, Joanna Latimer explores the act of writing and the influence Strathern’s has had on […]

I’m increasingly hopeful that I’ll submit the second edition of Social Media for Academics to Sage next week, meeting a deadline which I suspect my editor had expected I would break. The book is six months overdue, I’ve broken countless deadlines and the impending date was only agreed after a period in which we agreed […]

In the last few years, I’ve noticed a pattern when I see photos of myself in front of an audience. I  am invariably tilting one foot forward as I talk, as in the attached photo from Andrew  Crane. Yet I have no awareness of doing it. Is this some strange adaptation to one leg being […]

There are some wonderful reflections in this Guardian interview with George RR Martin on the writing process, the power of fiction and losing yourself in your work: When he’s really on a roll with his writing, “there are days when I sit down in the morning with my cup of coffee, I fall through the page and […]

As any regular reader of this blog will know, I’ve been working on The Distracted People of Digital Capitalism for over three years. I’ve made little progress in that time and my reliable line “I’m working on a book about distraction but I keep getting distracted” has begun to be depressing. But for the last year, the […]

What does it mean to write? For a long time, it carried a sense of total immersion for me, letting the world recede in order to lose yourself in the production of a text. This is ‘binge writing’ and it was my standard mode for the six years I spent doing a part-time PhD. I […]

I encountered the notion of the drabble through reading Rob Kitchin’s fiction blog. These short stories of exactly 100 words can have a strange power to them, as little shards of reality that can be thrown out into the world. This is how Wikipedia describes the origins of the drabble: The concept is said to […]

An exercise in free-writing, undertaken at a writing workshop at the Becoming Academic conference at the University of Sussex. I write to eliminate the clutter in my head, the accumulated debris which emerges within me as I make my way through the world, trying to understand my experiences as I go. If I am free […]

What does social media mean for academic writing? Most answers to this question focus on how such platforms might constrain or enable the expression of complex ideas. For instance, we might encounter scepticism that one could express conceptual nuance in 140 characters or an enthusiasm for blogging as offering new ways to explore theoretical questions beyond the confines of the […]

I saw the science journalist Simon Makin give an excellent talk yesterday on how social and natural scientists can make their writing clearer. He offered some excellent tips to this end, including assuming your reader is exactly as intelligent as you are, but has absolutely none of your knowledge. For this reason, clarity isn’t about being simplistic: aim to clarify without […]

In the nine years since I first entered a Sociology department, I’ve had a deep interest in academic writing that has only increased with time. In my past life as a philosophy student, writing had never occurred to me as a topic of intellectual interest. Despite having once aspired to be a writer before concluding […]

The Sociological Review Foundation is delighted to announce that we have commissioned Rowena Murray to deliver a Writing Retreat for sociologists. Murray has devised and delivered structured writing retreats to support academics by providing dedicated writing time done in a group setting. To find out more about this approach see:http://www.rowenamurray.org/aims/references/ The retreat is for academics at all […]

A really fascinating reflection by Rob Kitchin on ten forms of academic writing beyond scholarly papers and books: fiction, blog posts, newspaper op eds, email correspondence, policy papers, policy consultation, a television documentary script, powerpoint slides, academic papers, and grant application. What makes this so interesting is that all of these were deployed in relation to the […]

An absolutely beautiful snippet from Brain Pickings: the letter of advice W.E.B. Dubois wrote to his teenage daughter when she went away to school in England. Dear Little Daughter: I have waited for you to get well settled before writing. By this time I hope some of the strangeness has worn off and that my little girl […]