Waves, Floods, and Tears: Welcoming Refugees in Context

Sometimes, familiarity has a way of masking small differences. Everyday trivia has a way of distracting us from the complexity and immediacy of events that happen at a level of abstraction just beyond our own experience. Julian Jackson has said as much in lectures on Occupied France: one’s history can be dominated by tooth-ache or a lost cat, even as the world falls to pieces … Continue reading Waves, Floods, and Tears: Welcoming Refugees in Context

Echo Chambers and Exit Polls

I’m still stumped, I suppose. It’s tough for me to get my head round what happened, and so I’m writing this partly as a way of digesting the events of Thursday night and Friday morning. Polling stayed locked in a dance of minute intricacy, a slow suite building towards crescendo. Steady numbers, fluctuating almost imperceptibly, seemed to establish a digestible narrative that convinced us all … Continue reading Echo Chambers and Exit Polls

Spiders by Taxi

Sometimes there are things in the archives that enlighten our enquiries, underpin some new discovery or reveal an important truth. Sometimes there are things that are just silly. I recently spent time working as part of a big collaborative and interdisciplinary research project on ‘Cultural Value’ led by the Open University (outputs can be found here). As part of this, I found myself in the … Continue reading Spiders by Taxi