Shepherding thought (and a coda from Varro)

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…

liberal arts 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…

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Emotional geographies, reflected

All day I've been multi-tasking. There's something vaguely sinister about the multi- prefix. Makes me think of multifarious, which rhymes with nefarious... But the point is that multi-tasking is when I'm typically at my most efficient and productive, even though it's a fine line between spinning plates and blood-spattered sherds. What I'm mostly working on … Continue reading Emotional geographies, reflected