I love the frisson of terror that live theatre produces. For me, in the audience, it's as thrilling as a high-wire act to see people transformed by stepping into performance space, becoming something entirely other to their everyday selves. Will that transformation stick? Will I suspend or wallow in my disbelief? Will some element of the … Continue reading Shepherding thought (and a coda from Varro)
Evaluating Europe — the Second Years’ Brussels trip
Although Rome will always be the beating heart of my Europe, a working trip to Brussels was illuminating and I wrote up the adventure for the Liberal Arts and Sciences blog…
One of the perks of my role as Dean is that I was in a position to develop and participate in our new annual trip for second year Liberal Arts and Sciences students, taking the group to the heart of Europe: Brussels. This built on their first and second year core modules, studying the nature of modernity and crises facing humanity, and helped us all as a group to think hard about recent and forthcoming flash-points relating to European and UK politics.
We are fortunate at the University of Birmingham to have close research and development ties with continental Europe, and the University has an office in Brussels giving us a base for engaging with policy developments across the Union. To get our second years in the mood, the big questions we posed for the trip were:
- When you hear “Brussels”, what does it represent? Does this change over the course of…
View original post 1,446 more words
Ovid’s Garden: Digging!
Miriam's amazing "Ovid's Garden" project, located at Winterbourne House & Gardens (University of Birmingham) represents a laboratory space for her PhD on Classical echoes in Italian Renaissance gardens, and also an imaginative way for enthusiasts to help shape a cutting-edge research project here in Brum. Brava, Miriam!
I'm still reeling from the beauty of our tiny holiday to Ponza. You know how it goes: you're sitting in a bar, or maybe a restaurant, with friends. It's an early summer evening, but that back-note of Rome's high summer mugginess is already beginning to wisp tendrils round your neck, presaging the hot soupy air … Continue reading processing pleasure
I used to think it was a terrible thing to feel out of place; you know, perhaps, that sense that one is subtly (or totally) out-of-step with the world? That was how I spent much of my childhood; teenage years at school didn't bring huge respite, despite some lovely class-mates. I still just seemed to … Continue reading unheimlich
Making distinctions and observing boundaries are two activities central to my working life. They tend to bleed through, inevitably, to the rare minutes when I believe myself instead to be at liberty. I was struck in various ways, recently, by the near-impossibility of delivering crisp limits in an increasingly greyscale academic/life framework. Three images are … Continue reading b/w
Sitting on a plane, today, reminds me of the odd confluence of flight and want in the first person singular (present) Latin terminology. This flight, FCO-BHX, is no worse than other such in the fallen world post-9/11; that is to say, one is so chivvied, corralled, grilled, herded, and dehumanised by the process of getting … Continue reading Volare
Belatedly: what’s it all about?
In brief, and that's what I prefer, there are occasionally things that don't fit into the jewel-like microblogging idiom of twitter. For those moments, there's this. Posts are only likely to be occasional rather than regular events, but it seems like an interesting experiment!