Archive for other things

Reading and writing

In a fit of post-PhD arrogance1, I thought I’d write a blog about what I learned. 

My academic talents might be a bit limited but there’s a couple of things I’m good at: reading and writing. I can churn out words at a phenomenal rate. The whole concept of ‘writing up’ a PhD was completely foreign to me, because I started writing right out of the gate. Plus, I can read really fast. It’s a talent I developed when I did my first degree. It’s quite normal in an English Literature setting for assigned seminar reading to be half a dozen chunky Victorian novels which you do need to discuss in detail (plus you might want to find commentaries/articles on these books, if you want to be swotty), so it’s not a question of skimming. Read more

  1. This will no doubt dissipate as I go through the detailed corrections. 

Being British

Since one my top blogposts came out of a FB discussion, I think maybe I’ll have another go at writing about something that started in the same way.

I spotted this story recently: Bolton council votes for schools to fly union flag and sing national anthem.

The story is pretty much what it says on the tin, with the interesting wrinkle that the motion was proposed by Mudasir Dean, grandson of an immigrant from India, rather than the true-blue white-skin white-pride patriot you might have imagined. It is an effort to reclaim British pride from those who use it in an exclusionary way: to create an image of Britishness that is available to all citizens – a move which is, in fact, very much in the mongrel spirit of Britishness Read more