seems like a nice extension to the larger conversation, as well as my previous post, lamenting the difficulties of being interdisciplinary and applying for positions


Last month, I was offered one of 25 Birmingham Fellowships at the University of Birmingham. From 1 January, I will be based in the School of Geography, Earth, and Environmental Sciences and in the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation, and Security.

Differently from my previous academic posts, this is a permanent one. It consists of a 5-year Research Fellowship, leading to a full-time Lectureship, in which I will have the opportunity to become a “future academic leader”. I’ll be working on geographies of protest and urban resilience, looking particularly at the impacts of uprising on urban everyday life.

Having spent more than a year applying for all kinds of permanent and temporary academic jobs in the UK and abroad, it’s a fantastic outcome. Before 2012 finishes, I’d like to reflect on this particular moment before – with pleasure – relegating it to the past.

The process was lengthy and competitive, with…

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hartleyI have just finished reading John Hartley’s hugely entertaining and provocative book on cultural studies past, present and future.  Called Digital Futures for Cultural and Media Studies, it argues that cultural studies as a discipline has ossified into a field where ‘reading’ after ‘reading’ of cultural texts accumulates to no particular end, and where those readings are based on assessments of value (some form of the ‘how critical is this?’ question) rather than any other methodology.

I’m pretty sure if I was a fully paid-up member of the cultural studies club I would be pretty aghast at the very generalised level of his account… nonetheless, a lot of his argument really got me thinking.  Not least because I am trying to figure out a way to plan the ending of a paper I am writing without assessing the value (ie how critical of capitalism/neoliberalism/national identity/) of the images…

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good food for thought

Progressive Geographies

Urban — New Series, 6

Call for Papers — ‘Urban Theory: States of the Art’

There will never be good urban planning without a consistent urban theory. This controversial aphorism could serve to open the debate proposed by the journal in a forthcoming special issue. Urban theory (the theory of the city and urbanisation processes) has had a complex historic relationship with planning practice and urban policies: anticipation of more or less happy worlds, expert dissection of already materialised urban phenomena, critical interpretation that re-imagines the past and the present of cities and territories, opening up a new horizon for them… The state of theoretical work is without a doubt an effective index of the health and the perspectives of the planning field, but could it also be a weapon loaded with future? Can we still devise theories that are able to change the facts of an increasingly complex and…

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