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Simon Longstaff

In Australia, there is an event called the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, with some high-calibre contributors, like Salman Rushdie and Steven Pinker. One of the speakers they invited was one

HBV and risk management

UN Women

I was invited to present at a side-panel being held at the fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in

A history of ‘honour’

nooses

This is another, far longer section of writing which was removed from my thesis after the advice of the examiners. It’s kind of a history of how ‘honour’-based violence may have

The cradle of patriarchy

Mesopotamia_5

This is the second of four posts taken from the ancient history section of my thesis. This section is about the development of the acceptability of violence to enforce sexual mores.

Part one: A history of honour
Part two: The cradle of patriarchy
Part three: The castrated woman
Part four: The making of the Mesopotamian sex class

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A history of ‘honour’

nooses

This is another, far longer section of writing which was removed from my thesis after the advice of the examiners. It’s kind of a history of how ‘honour’-based violence may have developed in Mesopotamia.

This will be the first of four posts:

Part one: A history of honour
Part two: The cradle of patriarchy
Part three: The castrated woman
Part four: The making of the Mesopotamian sex class

Read more

Five minutes podcast: HBV and cousin marriage

I’m a nervous speaker so I like to record everything I plan to say. Anyway, I have just five minutes to present to a research group tomorrow, so here is my prep.

Reading and writing

Folders and books

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. 

Lucretia’s Example

Reni,_Guido_-_Lucretia_-_Google_Art_Project

I recently had my viva and, woo, I’m kind of a Dr now. But the examiners insisted that various bits and pieces be removed from the thesis. I do tend to go on. So that these are not lost to the ages, I figured I would pop them up here. Recycling: not just for my wine bottles! I’ve illustrated it with a lot of pictures of Lucretia: the repeated combinations of bare breasts and violent penetration feels pretty squicky.

In the interests of demonstrating the validity of considering crimes from such variant cultures as being connected to a similar paradigm, this appendix is a brief history of HBV in Italy. Read more