Staff Blogs: University of Leicester

Welcome to the University of Leicester academic and staff blog site.

From Royal Society Fellows to early-career researchers, corporate services to academic related – all members of staff are engaged in creating new knowledge, whether in the sciences, social sciences, business, the arts or wherever their interests lie. This wealth of research expertise means Leicester has a unique and critical role to play in helping to overcome major challenges faced by society.

This site aims to provide a platform for University of Leicester staff – whether early-career, established or somewhere in between; whether researching and rehearsing ideas, networking with peers, or an early form of publication. As you would expect from Leicester, it’s inclusive and accessible so we look forward to your comments.

Latest posts from the staff blogs

Oliver Brett

Jacopo Benci gives a talk at the Barbican exhibition – Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age

    Luigi Ghirri installation images, Barbican Art Gallery, 25 Sept 2014 – 11 Jan 2015, © Chris Jackson / Getty Images On 11 December 2014, Jacopo Benci gave a gallery presentation of Ghirri’s work included in the Barbican exhibition ‘Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age’ (25 September 2014–11 January 2015): I […]


Student experience at Leicester

In this video blog, I discuss the strengths of the student experience we offer here at Leicester. Having met with a number of students since I arrived, I am extremely proud of the experience we provide to our students and the reputation we have for student satisfaction. Of course, there is always room for improvement […]

Kerry Dobbins

Students developing their own learning outcomes

In a recent post I questioned how we might frame the concept of learning outcomes (LOs) from the students’ perspective.  I was interested particularly in developing a student-focused definition of LOs that goes beyond LOs simply as statements of what a student will know, understand or be able to do at the end of a learning period.  […]

Emma Battell Lowman

Awful Things Began to Happen: Rapid Change of Ainu Homeland and Convict Labour as Seen by the Ainu, By Minako Sakata

The Kamikawa region is one of areas that today still has relatively a large population of the Ainu. It is also the site of the most famous land dispute between the Hokkaido Government and the Ainu in the early 20th century. The Hokkaido Aborigines Protection Act of 1899, containing some restrictions and leading to many […]

Face to face with Waugh: John Freeman (1915-2014)

On 20 December last year John Freeman – soldier, Labour politician and television interviewer – died aged 99. As an interviewer for the BBC, Freeman will be remembered for his series Face to Face (1959-62) with its distinctive format and Freeman’s brand of incisive questioning. His style was at the core of the show’s depth […]

The Euro is (probably) dead, long live Europe!

Amidst the occasionally apocalyptic commentaries on the likely consequences of Greece’s recent general election results, Angus Cameron, the Deputy Director of School, drives a wedge between the potential loss of the Euro and the historical ‘project’ of Europe Syriza’s victory has stimulated renewed speculation that Greece might withdraw from the Euro, putting the entire European […]

Andrew Dunn

Sub-Saharan Africa’s knowledge economy

Geonet is a new project from the Oxford Internet Institute.  It is mapping  ICT developments and analysing their potential for economic and social development.

Deborah Toner

Alcohol and Authenticity

For some reason I always expect January to be a relatively low intensity month in which some leisurely research and reading can be achieved, but it has never worked out that way. Aside from the usual flurry of marking of last semester’s final assignments and teaching preparation for the coming semester, two projects related to […]

Stephen Walker

The Durham 15th Annual Blackboard Users’ Conference

    This Year’s Theme: Students as Partners I recently attended the 15th annual Durham Blackboard Users’ Conference. This is organised and held at Durham University in the first week of January every year. The theme for this year’s conference was ‘Students as Partners’. As usual there was a range of different workshops and presentations […]

Alberto Fernández Carbajal

How can we talk about Islam after terrorism?

Due to the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on 11 January, Islam and Muslims are once again at the centre of public attention. The tragic event was followed by an almost unanimous public repulsion in the ‘West’ of the fatal violence that Islamist extremists brought to the workers of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The discourse that […]

Margaret Maclean

17th Century Adventures in Travel Writing

In 1627, at the age of only 21, Sir Thomas Herbert travelled to Persia and India as a low-ranking member of Charles I’s embassy to Shah Abbas I. His account of his experiences, Some Years Travels into Divers Parts of Africa and Asia the Great …, first published in 1634, was a great success and […]

Norman Housley

Ottoman Defeat in the Eastern Balkans: the Battle of Vaslui, 1475

Ottoman Defeat in the Eastern Balkans:  the Battle of Vaslui, 1475. We approach the 540th anniversary of the Turkish defeat at Vaslui, which occurred on 10 January 1475.  Compared with the sealing of Magna Carta (1215), or with Agincourt and the burning of Jan Hus at Constance (both 1415), Vaslui is likely to attract scant […]

Children’s Voices in Law in Children’s Lives

The 20th November 2014 was the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) by the UN General Assembly. The writing of this convention was an incredibly important moment for children across the world, because it was the first time that children were recognised specifically as […]


JAGS with Stata III

Merry Christmas This will be my last posting before Christmas and in January I will be abroad for a few weeks so I will not be posting again until February. I have several topics in mind for the new year, including more on JAGS, a discussion of the use of Stan and more on using […]

Laura Dean

Congratulations to Mindhacks has won the British Psychological Society’s Public Engagement and Media Award.  Whilst this site aims to increase engagement with academic research by ordinary members of the public, it is also a useful and interesting resource for psychologists in training too.

Museums Alive!

A guest blog post by Ryan Nutting The PhD students at the University of Leicester School of Museum Studies recently partnered with the Migration Museum Project to present the sixth School of Museum Studies PhD student led conference Museums Alive! Exploring How Museums Behave Like Living Beings 3-5 November.  This conference attracted delegates and presenters from 22 […]

Julie Coleman

The Soles of Harborough Folk: New Digital Resources Reveal Leicestershire’s Shoemaking Past

[Posted on behalf of Corinne Fowler] Wise souls talk to young souls about shoe soles. The Centre for New Writing’s Sole2Soul project is based in the School of English and directed by Corinne Fowler. The project is funded by Arts Council England and commissioned by Leicestershire County Council. Sole2Soul has created new digital resources for […]

Ana Verissimo

Heart Health: A beginner’s guide to cardiovascular disease

  Last month, after hearing about this course through a departmental e-mail, I decided to enrol, to refresh my knowledge of cardiovascular disease. This is a free course, delivered in lay terms, produced by the University of Reading (all images were taken from their videos). The course comprised 4 modules in weekly instalments: Cardiovascular anatomy […]

Grant Denkinson

Ideas for tools for helping with Open Access publication

I find tools from SHERPA useful. I like to keep an eye on what I’d ideally like as well as what is currently available both for me and people I work with. In tools to help with Open Access publishing: For researchers: A clear choice between contractual choices for a journal, with a small number […]

Amy Jane Barnes

The ‘China Dream': conference programme and registration

Planning for ChiSRA’s inaugural conference (24th/25th September) continues apace. A provisional programme is now available to download from our website. The presentations will cover a range of themes and subject areas, including literature and film, visual arts, design and marketing. We are delighted to announce that Professor Zhong Xin from Renmin University will be delivering […]

Charlotte Barratt

Universities Week and Adult Learners’ Week 2014

Putting some of the Richard III projects to one side for a moment, I thought I would write about the events of the next two weeks that I have been working on with colleagues. Firstly, Universities Week 2014 is 9-15 June.    Universities Week is run by Universities UK to highlight the research that takes place […]

Dawn Watkins

Leicester Legal Eagles come in to land

Last Friday was the final day of activities for the Leicester Legal Eagles project.  Students handed in their group work materials; each group having created and trialed in St Peter’s School a workshop for children in years 4 and 5.  Our students had covered a variety of legal topics; animal rights, human rights, libel and […]

Andrew Burnham

A history of computing in 5 minutes… and 38 seconds

I thought that I would share this excellent short video which covers the history of computing in less than six minutes –   As a communications device it is very impressive – this style of using drawing is something I’ve seen before within Jisc projects (I think the University of Leeds produced one) and […]


The Landscapes and Communities Research (LACR) research theme aims to foster research that examines the constitution of and relations between communities and landscapes. Although run from the University of Leicester College of Science and Engineering the theme involves researchers from across the University and aims to foster the development of inter- and trans-disciplinary research, making […]

James Earley

Burrough Hill Excavations Week 3!!

Welcome to the Burrough Hill Blog. This page has been set up to give you information on the excavations from the point of view of the students. To view the full website for the project please visit (If any of the students who I am quoting are reading this, I apologise in advance for […]

Sarah Hodgkinson

‘Stumbling’ upon Berlin’s National Socialist past

Last week I returned from my second and (at the moment) final field trip of European Holocaust sites. Another gruelling itinerary and I returned home exhausted and in need of a break from Holocaust-related sites. I found that after visiting so many sites within the space of a month – reading so much atrocity-related material, […]

James Earley

My Placement so far….

Warning of the Dangers at Caerwent!       What I did done so far….   19th February…Met with Debbie for the first time after interview…Natalie (the girlfriend with the patience of a saint) came with me…Sat in on David Carthy (Primary school teacher), Laura Massey (Intern with University Schools and Colleges Services) and Deborah Frearson’s […]

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