MONTHLY BLOG 35, DONS AND STUDENT-CUSTOMERS? OR THE COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2013) Names matter. Identifying  things – people – events – in realistic terminology means that they are being fully understood and taken seriously. Conversely, it’s warping to the mind and eventually corrosive of good thought to be constantly urged to give lip-service to the ‘wrong’ […]

MONTHLY BLOG 34, COPING WITH WRITER’S BLOCK

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2013) You’re suffering from writer’s block? A common ailment. What to do?? The first and best answer is: don’t hit the bottle. It’s only too true that alcohol makes you think that things are going better (at least for a while) whilst concealing the fact […]

MONTHLY BLOG 33, CONTRACTING OUT SERVICES IS KILLING REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2013) ‘Contracting out’ is a policy mantra especially of financial/services capitalism (as opposed to industrial capitalism or landowner capitalism), which has been gaining greater support year by year. As an ideal, it was succinctly formulated by Nicholas Ridley (1929-93), who held various ministerial posts under […]

MONTHLY BLOG 32, REACTIONS TO MAKING A HISTORY DVD

 If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2013)  Having made the hour-long History DVD Red Battersea 1809-2008 (2008), what reactions did we get? The production team quickly became aware that Battersea CLP, among all Britain’s local constituency parties of all political persuasions, has done something unique. We’ve written a collective autobiography in […]

MONTHLY BLOG 31, ON SCRIPTING AND CO-DIRECTING AN HOUR-LONG HISTORY DVD

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2013)  At first, it seemed simple. Based on research by myself and a keen group of historically-minded comrades, I gave an illustrated public lecture in June 2006 to mark the centenary of the Labour Party, with special reference to Battersea. There was much interest and […]

MONTHLY BLOG 30, BUT PEOPLE OFTEN ASK: HISTORY IS REALLY POLITICS, ISN’T IT? SO WHY SHOULDN’T POLITICIANS HAVE THEIR SAY ABOUT WHAT’S TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS?

 If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2013) Two fascinating questions, to which my response to the first is: No – History is bigger than any specific branch of knowledge – it covers everything that humans have done, which includes lots besides Politics. Needless to say, such a subject lends itself to […]

MONTHLY BLOG 29, SHOULD EACH SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EDUCATION REWRITE THE UK SCHOOLS HISTORY SYLLABUS?

If citing, please kindly acknowledge copyright © Penelope J. Corfield (2013) The answer is unequivocally No. (Obvious really but worth saying still?) History as a subject is far, far too important to become a political football. It teaches about conflict as well as compromise; but that’s not the same as being turned into a source […]

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 […]