Life Cycles: The Ephemera of Research

Parking tickets, library cards, recipes, notes, and adverts; I love second-hand books and the stuff that you can find tucked inside them. These little things seem to make the everyday nature of their reading resonate, reminding me of the material history of the book alongside the wider history that I’m researching. Coming across someone else’s expired parking tickets (or their idle doodling) calls to mind … Continue reading Life Cycles: The Ephemera of Research

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

2014: A Year in Review

On reflection, 2014 offered opportunities and disappointments, as it did for all. I’m writing this not necessarily for readership, though perhaps instead as a cathartic exercise. I’ve divided it into 3 sections, to make it more accessible and to help me divide my thinking: Publications and Research, Teaching and Employment, and Personal. As I’m writing this, I’ve realised it is over-long, navel-gazing and perhaps a … Continue reading 2014: A Year in Review

‘The World is too much with us’: Scotland & Britain After the Referendum

The principal figures that emerged from the debate with their reputations enriched were not callous youths, but wizened campaigners. Salmond led a campaign that seemed to energise and undermine political engagement in equal measure. By drawing people into the Yes campaign, he created a surrogate for traditional civic institutions. Inclusivity drove engagement with the cause and activated a core of the electorate previously not well … Continue reading ‘The World is too much with us’: Scotland & Britain After the Referendum

Refashioning the Fashioned

There will be no great flood nor biblical disaster should the result of the imminent referendum favour Independence. Yet both Scotland and what is left of the United Kingdom will be tarnished by the process: poorer for want of diversity, and poorer for lack of solidarity. Old acquaintances forgot for want of favour. Despite never emigrating, I was denied a vote on the future of … Continue reading Refashioning the Fashioned