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

Carrie Crockett

Reflections on the world’s largest prison

Several days ago, I broke from reading through the notes of nineteenth-century Russian penal inspectors to admire the 23rd edition of the International Prison News Digest, a publication of the Institute for Criminal Policy Research. As I perused this amazing compendium, I was struck anew by the way in which certain facets of the prison […]

Barbara Cooke

January Book Group: Unconditional Surrender

  Email us to join the group as we discuss the conclusion of Guy Crouchback’s wartime experiences in Unconditional Surrender, first published in 1961. This is the last book in Waugh’s acclaimed ‘Sword of Honour’ trilogy. New members are always welcome. When: Saturday 17th January, 11.00am-1.00pm Where: Leicester Central Library Contact:

Simon Dixon

Supporting teaching in Special Collections

Supporting academic colleagues with teaching is an important part of our work in Special Collections. Semester 1 has been a busy time for us, with visits from students on eight different courses at the University of Leicester and one from our friends at De Montfort. In an age where so much primary source material is […]

Kerry Dobbins

How do we frame the concept of ‘learning outcomes’ for students?

In a previous blog post I detailed a current project that we are working on which concerns engaging students in the process of developing learning outcomes (LOs).  I had a very interesting conversation with a colleague the other day in which he asked me: ‘if you are asking students to develop LOs, how are you […]

Deborah Toner

Introducing the Project

Consuming Authenticities is all about how history, as well as different categories of time and temporality, can be mobilised in making particular cultural products seem “authentic” – the “real” thing. The project grew out of a conversation about the workings of authenticity at a workshop designed to develop new projects that related to the AHRC’s […]

A Multi-Scalar Solution for England

Lecturer in Regional Development at the School Martin Quinn outlines his proposal for a new regional development infrastructure The recent referendum on Scottish independence has plugged ‘the West Lothian Question’ back into the political mainstream. Tam Dayell’s original concern in raising this question was with parliamentary representation whereas today the controversy is over parliamentary devolution. […]


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 […]

Andrew Dunn

What are the most popular online purchases?

Recent date from the ONS allows you to discover what types of products are purchased by different age-groups.

Alberto Fernández Carbajal

Muslims and homophobia

A case came to prominence a few days ago of a gay Egyptian couple who captured their commitment to each other on video and posted it online; they were subsequently identified by the Egyptian authorities and jailed for 3 years on the grounds that they were distributing pornography and inciting debauchery. (Please read the article reporting the case […]

Oliver Brett

Part II: Nancy Goldring-The Uncanny Seascapes of Luigi Ghirri

Having detected a powerful strain of the uncanny in Ghirri’s work in Polignano, I began to ponder my own work done there. After a year and a half, I have just finished a series based on my stay there. When I showed the series to an Italian film-maker friend – he made a one word […]

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 […]

Getting Started with Law in Children’s Lives

Welcome to the Law in Children’s Lives project blog. This exciting project was initiated by Dr Dawn Watkins, of the University’s School of Law, and is being funded by the ESRC. The team, including two dedicated Research Associates, started work at the start of September 2014, and since then it’s been all go. The project […]

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 […]

Stephen Walker

Blackboard Education on Tour 2014

I recently attended the annual Blackboard Education on Tour conference in London. The event provides an opportunity to listen to Blackboard’s senior staff outlining the latest developments and plans for Blackboard. There are two strands to the event – Product discussion and Personal Development. I attended the Personal Development strand, which turned out to be […]

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 […]

Norman Housley

Two fifteenth-century prelates and crusading – Piccolomini and Cusa

Two fifteenth-century prelates and crusading – Piccolomini and Cusa The Church produced some outstanding figures in the  fifteenth century and none more so than Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (1405-64), who became pope in 1458 as Pius II, and Nicholas of Cusa (1401-64), who was made cardinal in 1448. They make for an interesting comparison. Piccolomini hailed […]

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 […]

Sandra Lee

Do people really believe the Daily Mail / Telegraph anymore?

Once again I am fascinated to see yet another piece denying climate change in a popular right-wing newspaper despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary Really? There’s a very nicely written piece here responding to it Every headline news bulletin led with something along the lines of ‘Man-made climate change causes ‘even more certain” […]

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