This summer I have a) finished a book and b) not yet finished a book. The fact that that was not "finished two books" means that the paper I was going to write for the Weird Council conference had not been written when I left home on Thursday. Nor, because mine host got back from work at 5.30 rather than 6.30, was it written by 6.30 on Thursday. Then, naturally, Googlemaps lied about the location of Southampton Row (locating it off Bainbridge Street) so it took about forty minutes to find a Caffe Nerd. However, the paper was written by 8.50 and so, if it was "a talk from spidery quotes in a miniature pocket notebook!" that was because I didn't have time to write neatly. Still, rather too close to zero hour.


Train journey home dominated by four young men trying to be the Three Stooges and thumping the crap out of each other. I don't know if the seats were torn before they got on, but that a couple of hundred quid of damage. So much for CCTV.


Today was bed, mostly, not finishing the book. Should I do some now or go to the pub?

Please forward

CALL FOR PAPERS: “The Evolution of Research: Adapting to Survive in the Changing World?”

Canterbury Christ Church University Postgraduate 10th Annual Conference

Friday 17th June 2011, 9.30am – 4.30pm

The CCCU Post Graduate Research Association Annual Conference has attracted greater interest and wider academic attention year upon year and for the first time proudly invites papers and attendees from a national demographic. In keeping with this organic evolution, papers are welcomed on the theme “The Evolution of Research.” The aim of this conference is to encourage post graduate students of an interdisciplinary range to present their research based on this theme to an audience of fellow academics, in a comfortable environment for debate.

The theme “The Evolution of Research: Adapting to Survive in the Changing World?” has been selected because as post graduate researchers we are in a climate whereby we inevitably have to adapt our research ideas and approaches to the changing world around us. These recurrent changes to the world affect us from the levels of technology right through to government policies regarding universities, alongside institutional and external pressures upon the very nature of research.

Papers are welcomed from all disciplines of research; to help you interpret the theme of this conference we have provided topic areas intended to help guide your ideas (below), but you are not restricted by these topics or the guidelines we offer within them. Poster presentations are also welcome. Please adapt these topics as you see fit, but should you have any questions or need clarification, please contact us. If you would like to present at the conference please follow the guidelines for applications; here you can also find more information regarding the conference.

POTENTIAL TOPICS OF INTEREST )
Tags:
faustus: (seventies)
( Aug. 15th, 2010 09:17 pm)
Avoidance of the first person is something which has caused academic writing to be felt overly abstract. Cases may be objected to, but the objection seems free of any concrete agency. Such a passive tone is not to be encouraged. Much overinflation, tautology, repetition, overwordiness which is to be avoided by careful writers is fostered, encouraged, reinforced, created, imposed by the disconnection between the subject and the verb, not to mention the means by which or in which or of which the verb connects to or with an object that relates to and connects with the verb is not necessarily the most lucid of grammatical opinations. It is not that it is said that meaning has to be expressed by reference to the person who has produced meaning, rather some people have argued that a concrete placement within a specific communities of speakers, communicators, critics, researchers, writers and utterers allows for a clearer generation of meaning within the reader, audience, addressee, auditor or receptor.
I really ought to write an abstract for a conference on Memory and Identity. I'd forgotten the deadline was coming up. And my mind has gone blank. It looks like it's a tv conference, although the CFP mentions film.

Have I watched anything this century (which I'm assuming is the cut off point) which I could get enthusiastic enough about, doesn't commit me to watching multiple 22 episode arcs and hasn't already had two or three anthologies of academic coverage already. Most of the tv I watch is crime related.

I think that leaves Demons.

And I'm not sure any of the films I know about which might fit are available (must track down The Nature of Nicholas again). My head is in the wrong decade. (Has anyone had dealings with azov.com?)
faustus: (Angry)
( Mar. 26th, 2010 12:28 pm)
So last night, whilst insufficiently binge-drinking, I was reflecting on the role of programme leader and how at some point I as likely to have to take the role on again. I'm not convinced that timetabling, checking registers, and giving extensions are academic jobs, or, if we are being paid to teach and research, I don't think it's an effective use of resources. (I leave to one side the notion that a third of our time is thought to be administration.) In addition to this the logic of whatever DRAM is called now - devolving the visibility of budgets as far down the foodchain as possible, and at Bucks that was meant to be the programme before they hastily retreated - it might include number crunching. In return for this, you are given teaching remission equivalent to one day a week. My theory is that I would therefore only spend a day a week doing so.

As I said last night, if I wanted a job where I had to take work home and work in the evenings and weekends, I would have become an accountant like my dad.
faustus: (Default)
( Dec. 19th, 2009 03:21 pm)

  1. read and comment on article for journal
  2. write and deliver six four three lectures
  3. mark thirty-five two horror essays
  4. second mark ten audiences essays
  5. write and deliver seminar paper
  6. write chapter on The Man Who Fell to Earth
    Scrivener was due to expire today (I've eked out a thirty day trial since July...) so I've exported successfully into Word. I scribbled on two-thirds of a draft and ought to plot scribbling on the rest. Interesting if fiddly experience breaking an article down to individual argument points and then aiming for 300 words on each; I've overshot badly, but this may be not bad thing.



    4829 / 4000 words. 121% done!
  7. write chapter proposal for book project
  8. read book and watch two films for adaptations project
  9. write a chapter of seventies book


Now I'd better go and do what I'm here to do.
faustus: (Heaven)
( Dec. 15th, 2009 11:58 am)
Good news - the 7000 word article only needed to be 4000 words. It didn't all get written yesterday - too much prevarication and discussion of biscuits - but the first half between 5 and 7 and 12 and 1. At this rate I should finish it before the deadline - although I need to rewatch The Man Who Fell to Earth again and insert more of the film into the article. Chopping the thing into 400 word chunks seems to work - I finally followed advice I give the kids...




2389 / 4000 words. 60% done!

  1. read and comment on article for journal
  2. write and deliver six four three lectures
  3. mark thirty-five two horror essays Two got separated and need to be done. Darn
  4. second mark ten audiences essays
  5. write and deliver seminar paper
  6. write chapter on The Man Who Fell to Earth Today is big push on ths. Well, I've set up word counts on Scrivener
  7. write chapter proposal for book project
  8. read book and watch two films for adaptations project
  9. write a chapter of seventies book
faustus: (Culture)
( Dec. 5th, 2009 12:52 pm)

  1. read and comment on article for journal
  2. write and deliver six four three lectures
  3. mark thirty-five two horror essays Two got separated and need to be done. Darn
  4. second mark ten audiences essays
  5. write and deliver seminar paper
  6. write chapter on The Man Who Fell to Earth
  7. write chapter proposal for book project
  8. read book and watch two films for adaptations project
  9. write a chapter of seventies book
faustus: (Culture)
( Dec. 1st, 2009 11:36 am)

  1. read and comment on article for journal
  2. write and deliver six four lectures
  3. mark thirty-five two horror essays Two got separated and need to be done. Darm
  4. second mark ten audiences essays
  5. write and deliver seminar paper
  6. write chapter on The Man Who Fell to Earth
  7. write chapter proposal for book project
  8. read book and watch two films for adaptations project
  9. write a chapter of seventies book
faustus: (Culture)
( Nov. 30th, 2009 10:08 am)
Time for a December to-do list:


  1. read and comment on article for journal
  2. write and deliver six five lectures
  3. mark thirty-five two horror essays Two got separated and need to be done. Darm
  4. second mark ten audiences essays
  5. write and deliver seminar paper
  6. write chapter on The Man Who Fell to Earth
  7. write chapter proposal for book project
  8. read book and watch two films for adaptations project
  9. write a chapter of seventies book
faustus: (Default)
( Nov. 29th, 2009 01:51 pm)
I'm doing lectures tomorrow and next Monday on avoidable errors in essays and dissertations - formatting of titles, bibliographies, use of apostrophes and, above all, misused words.

You'll know the kind of thing - famous/infamous/notorious

"Robert de Niro famously played Travis Bickle."
"Robert de Niro infamously played Travis Bickle."
"Robert de Niro notoriously played Travis Bickle."

Defiantly for definitely:

"Robert de Niro is defiantly a good actor."

Bare/bear:

"The Americans have the right to bare arms."

"Paddington is bearly an illegal immigrant."

They're/their/there:

"Its' there birthday so their over they're"


If you have any gems and bugbears (bugbares?) to share I'd be grateful.
faustus: (Comedy)
( Nov. 26th, 2009 09:55 am)
"The Faculty of Health and Social Care is holding a one day KT conference"

Knobbly Thighs?
Ketamine Transportation?
Kantian Theology?
Kristevan Theory?




I know really. I don't need to be told
Tags:
faustus: (Angry)
»

Grr

( Nov. 25th, 2009 10:46 am)
So, rather than anticipate in advance a fault I had last week, I have to report it when it happens and hope I don't look like so much of a loser when it goes wrong. (And I have overheard students laughing at staff inability to use equipment.)

I can contact the helpdesk by a) emailing them (assuming it's not a problem logging on) or b) phoning them - it is an advance to have a contact number that's a direct line rather than an extension number (unlike, say, first aid) but of course it runs aground on there not being a phone in any of the teaching rooms.

Ah, am I expected to pay for the call on my mobile?




I have checked, and having climbed on a table to open the cubboard with the projector in it, and logged on, the equipment is working and we do have volume.
Tuesday 1st December 5.30 Lg26 [Laud]
North Holmes Campus
Canterbury Christ Church University


Dr. Andrew M. Butler
Unsatisfactory Conclusions: The Ends of 1970s Science Fiction Films



The science fiction films of the first half of the 1970s reflect the tumultuous political times in which they were made – the women’s movement, civil rights, gay liberation, President Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal and so on. The films were at best uneasy about the way forward, at times downright pessimistic. These seriously intended, often artistic, films have largely been eclipsed by the success in 1977 of Star Wars, a movie which set the mould for more than thirty years’ of rather more optimistic sf blockbusters. This paper explores the ends of these films from the first half of the 1970s, and the emotions they evoke.

Andrew M. Butler is a world expert in the field of science fiction and has written five books and edited seven on the subject, including two on bestselling comic fantasy writer Terry Pratchett. He is a past winner of the Pioneer Award, given by the Science Fiction Research Association. He has recently spoken at conferences in California and Belgium, as well as in Leicester and Nottingham. This is a great opportunity to hear the fruits of Andrew’s latest research for his next book, Solar Flares, to be published in 2011.

For further information, please contact: Dr. Shane Blackman
shane.blackman@canterbury.ac.uk

faustus: (cinema)
( Nov. 16th, 2009 12:43 am)
Tonight, after a weekend of prevarication, I marked a batch of essays.

Students are their own worst enemies - increasing numbers are printing out single space and (I'm not sure why this annoys me but it does) on both sides of the paper. Italicising film titles (like I do on the lecture slides) seems to be out, save for where it is also in quotation marks, and those students who also italicise every quotation, date and reference irrespective of the source or its need to be italicised.

Too many of them are simply writing about a film (although at least aren't just summarizing the plot) as if the question I've set is just for the sake of my health. Which clearly it isn't. If the question is on the sublime, cognition, estrangement, define these terms. Maybe even use them occasionally.

Given the library resources (an atrium big enough to house 94 double decker buses) it is hardly surprising that dead tree references are rarer then hen's teeth, but despite precise instructions Kuhn and Redmond tend to be quoted rather than Bukatman or Sontag who wrote that chapter. If any of the students - notice that word there, any - had come to see me, I might have been able to point them towards the secondary literature on Blade Runner, The Matrix, Dark City. Some of it is on JSTOR.

And a special prize to a student whose six quotations were all taken from the lecture, despite all being from sources readily available on line thanks to Google or Gutenberg.
... I learned from Doctor Who. And sf more generally.

I appear to be gaining a reputation for asking pointed questions. I've realised this before, as when I managed to put down a senior academic by noting the similarities between their paper and something television critic wrote nearly forty years ago - but I'm intrigued by the mismatch between the perceived value of my opinion by myself and by others.

This came back to me over an incident this week in which someone stated that they were getting annoyed, and I had to struggle to see this as a result, rather than a challenge for further action. Getting annoyed? I should push a litte further...

I must stop shaking beehives.


A public reflection on this (Facebook status) produced a response from someone who I've seen deliver a number of papers, in particular one in which spaceships were described as phallic or vaginal (with the Enterprise being an interesting liminal case). That seven word summary obviously doesn't do the paper justice, but the other liminal case I could think of was the TARDIS. Clearly it is phallic as it is a cuboid (...), but on the other hand its interiority makes it vaginal. I was given no answer at the time. And apparently scored a point. I can't remember this being deliberate.

Then this morning I remembered a forgotten umbrella. In Spurs, Derrida writes about images of feminity (as truth, modesty, as withdrawing from the light) and invokes a line in Nietzsche's unpublished manuscripts, "I have forgotten my umbrella." On the one hand, in its folded form, the umbrella is phallic, on the other, the opened state is a concave shape or cup.

There's an article in that.

I can't see me writing it, mind.

The second article idea of the week - or rather the first, as it sprang into mind last Friday - came to me in a coffee bar in Whitstable; reading through The Seventies Now I came across mention of a trope that echoes something in a contemporary British writer, and which again is to be found in Derrida (in Disseminations). This one I may write.

Two Derridean articles in one week, and that's before we deal with his "The Law of Genre". There may be a book in it.

I hope not.
Spent part of this evening listing my research accomplishments for this last academic year - remind me why I am feeling drained and exhausted? When then integrating this into my CV, I ponder if I really have not had a refereed journal article since 2005, or what I have forgotten?

Cut for sheer bloody exhaustedness )
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