MONTHLY BLOG 28, ANSWERING QUESTIONS POST SEMINAR PAPERS/ LECTURES

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2013) If post-seminar questions are less memorable that the papers or lectures which precede them, then the answers tend to be even less anecdotable. I can think of only a handful, among thousands of intellectual encounters, which remain in my memory. Nevertheless, answers in an […]

MONTHLY BLOG 27, ASKING QUESTIONS POST SEMINAR PAPERS/LECTURES

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2013) What? what? what? Always good to ask questions. Not always easy to manage a good one. In the debates following the thousands of public lectures and seminar papers that I’ve heard, a few examples stand out. One was simplicity itself. It caught out a […]

MONTHLY BLOG 26, WORST AND BEST ACADEMIC LECTURES THAT I’VE HEARD

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2013) Apart from the routine lectures that form the bread-and-butter of an academic’s job, we constantly give special lectures and/or papers. These presentations are made to a miscellany of research seminars, public meetings, specialist societies, academic conferences and other outlets, at home and overseas. From […]

MONTHLY BLOG 25, CHAMPIONING THE STUDY OF HISTORY

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2012) How do we champion (not merely defend) the study of History in schools and Universities? Against those who wrongly claim that the subject is not commercially ‘useful’. Here are three recommendations. Firstly, we should stress the obvious: that a knowledge of history and an […]

MONTHLY BLOG 24, HISTORY AS THE STAPLE OF A CIVIC EDUCATION

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2012) Politicians have a duty to attend to civics as well as to economics. Indeed, we all do. So talking about whether the study of History is ‘useful’ for the economy is a very partial way of approaching an essential component of human’s collective living. […]

MONTHLY BLOG 23, WHY DO POLITICIANS UNDERVALUE HISTORY IN SCHOOLS ?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2012) Isn’t it shocking that, in the UK, school-children can give up the study of History at the age of 14? Across Europe today, only Albania (it is claimed) shares that ignoble distinction with Britain. A strange pairing. Who knows? Perhaps the powers-that-be in both […]

MONTHLY BLOG 22, TO TRUST OR NOT TO TRUST?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2012) When choosing Blog topics, I draw from my professional experiences as an academic historian and my grass-roots life as a long-term party activist and former Labour councillor. But today’s theme of Trust/or No trust comes from both fields of endeavour. Can society trust people? […]

MONTHLY BLOG 21, HISTORICAL PERIODISATION – PART 1

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2012) It was fascinating to meet with twenty-three others on a humid June afternoon to debate what might appear to be abstruse questions of Law & Historical Periodisation. We were attending a special conference at Birkbeck College, London University – an institution (founded in 1823 […]

MONTHLY BLOG 20, IN PRAISE OF DISTINCTIVE CITIES – AND AGAINST THE MARCH OF HIGH-RISE ANYWHERE-CITY

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2012) Okay, so not everywhere can look like Venice. Cities have to adapt and change. Venice itself is not immune from innovations. Yet, in the relentless processes of urban development, much more effort is needed to save each place’s distinctive identity – and to introduce […]

MONTHLY BLOG 19, IN PRAISE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION, AND DISPRAISE OF SUGARED PUBLIC RELATIONS

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2012) On the subject of accuracy, there’s no doubt that concerned citizens need access to good public information. But how can we get it straight? Without the sugared gloss of PR? Take the artists’ illustrations that are commonly presented as part of the brief for […]