MONTHLY BLOG 12, WHAT IS A RIOT?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2011) What’s a riot? Some people prefer to name the recent disorder in numerous English cities between 6-10 August 2011 as ‘looting sprees’. But there is no absolute right-or-wrong definition. Riots usually involve crowds in substantial numbers, who are flouting the law in a tumultuous […]

MONTHLY BLOG 11, WHERE IS THE POLITICAL LEFT TODAY?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2011) WHERE IS THE POLITICAL LEFT TODAY?1 2 Today’s political scene is a blurred rainbow. Gone are the old simplicities – if they were ever that simple – when one reactionary party of tradition and privilege (the Right) was confronted by one progressive party of […]

MONTHLY BLOG 10, WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE ARTS & HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCIL CITING POLITICAL SLOGANS?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2011) Why are many Humanities researchers so angry at the conduct of the Arts and Humanities Research Council? Its chief executive Prof. Rick Rylance has not yet managed to assuage his critics. They fear that the AHRC has not kept due operational distance from the […]

MONTHLY BLOG 9, WHAT HAS GONE WRONG WITH THE AUDIT CULTURE?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2011) As the sorry tale of FIFA currently implies, oligarchies without external audit and accountability sooner or later get corrupted. So there was a serious principle as well as praxis behind the late Labour Government’s extension of the audit culture to so many aspects of […]

MONTHLY BLOG 8, THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY: VIEWED SOCIOLOGICALLY, ORGANISATIONALLY AND IDEOLOGICALLY

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2011) What follows is an account of the British Labour Party, organised not by chronology but in answer to three broad thematic questions: who support it? how is the Party organised? and what ideology does it represent? My commentary was first presented as a short […]

MONTHLY BLOG 7, WHY ARE BRITISH UNIVERSITIES POLITICALLY SO SUPINE?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2011) I know that I am not the only person with an interest in and affection for Britain’s Universities, who is deeply worried by the Universities’ collective failure to stand up to successive central governments. Many people raise this point with me. There is a […]

MONTHLY BLOG 6, RECONSIDERING REVOLUTIONS

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2011) Revolution – metamorphosis – transformation – disjunction – diagenesis – dialectical leap forward – paradigm shift. Marvellous long words and phrases, such as these (and many more), collectively express the sense of drastic upheaval that is contained within the concept of macro-change. And yes, […]

MONTHLY BLOG 5, STUDYING HISTORY FOR LOVE AND USEFULNESS COMBINED

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2011) History as a University subject will have to fight harder for its custom – and why not? It has strong arguments for its cause. But they do need to be made loudly and clearly. From 2012 onwards the success or failure of subjects will […]

MONTHLY BLOG 4, ON THE SUBTLE POWER OF GRADUALISM

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2011) Currently, fashionable chatter on the new political Right refers approvingly to the case for ‘chaos’. That view is voiced by Nick Boles, Conservative MP for Grantham and Stamford, author of Which Way’s Up? The Future for Coalition Britain (2010). Out of institutional turmoil, financial […]

MONTHLY BLOG 3, WHY DO HUMANS STILL LEARN CHIEFLY VIA FACE-TO-FACE COMMUNICATION?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2010) Having written last month about the power of Continuity, my next discussion-point reverts to an issue within Education that is much influenced by Continuity. And that is the question of why face-to-face group teaching is not only surviving, in this time of technological alternatives, […]