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

Steve Rooney

‘Belonging’ and ‘Resilience’ in Higher Education

  Back in July, I gave a brief presentation at the University of Leicester’s Annual Learning and Teaching Conference.  Based on some stuff I’d been reading and had been on my mind for a while, the presentation sought to problematise notions of ‘belonging’ and ‘resilience’ in contemporary higher education (HE). This was in response to […]

Martin Parker

Macron’s labour reforms are a major test for France’s trade unions

  Heather Connolly, Associate Professor of Employment Relations at ULSB (hmc33@le.ac.uk), on why President Macron’s labour reforms are a major test for France’s trade unions. Are they part of a programme of state-led liberalization which will shift the balance of power towards employers and test trade union strength and unity? (This blog was originally published on […]

Andrew Dunn

Russian interference in US elections?

View the recordings from Senate committee hearings into Russian interference in the 2016 elections via C-Span video library.

jbridges

10th November 2017 Sol 1871 – Scottish Quadrangle on Mars

The field area for Curiosity along its traverse (currently nearly 18 km) is divided into a series of map qaudrangles. Each of these has outcrop and feature names based on a region of Earth e.g. South Africa, Maine etc. We are just about to move into a Scottish quad. With colleagues in our Participating Scientist […]

Emma Parker

Joe Orton, Edna Welthorpe and Creative Writing by Bryony Adshead

After signing up for an Open Day at the University of Leicester, I was intrigued to receive an email regarding the ‘Yours Faithfully, Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)’ creative writing competition, run by Dr Emma Parker and Chris Shepherd. The prompt, ‘If Joe Orton were alive today, who or what would be the object of his satire?’, […]

Martin Coffey

Training? Who needs it?

Recently, whilst talking to a trainer in one of the UK police forces, he mentioned how their staff trained in police driving techniques had to undergo regular refresher training. It reminded me of the work related training that many professions undergo. National Health Service Staff, and their equivalents in other countries such as the Irish […]

Transporting Convicts from New Zealand to Van Diemen’s Land

By Dr Kristyn Harman Senior Lecturer in History, University of Tasmania   Like many New Zealanders, I grew up hearing stories about the Australian penal colonies, particularly anecdotes of London pickpockets and similarly desperate, impoverished characters, and the harsh and sometimes unfair regimes of punishment and deprivation under which such convicts lived and laboured. These […]

Simon Dixon

Who were our first students?

There’s always an extra buzz around campus at this time of year, as we welcome all our new students to the University. With student societies out in force looking for new recruits, there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people, explore new interests, and enjoy all of the excitement that student life has to […]

ekrockow

Exploring antibiotic prescribing in South Africa and Sri Lanka: A brief travel report

Think university research is abstract and boring? Think again! I love my academic job, because it combines meaningful research on global health problems with exciting travel opportunities. This summer, for example, I swapped my university office for the beautiful sea views of Cape Town in South Africa and the lush green hills of Sri Lanka. […]

An Oxford Quarrel: Evelyn Waugh and Hugh Trevor-Roper

Ahead of our Waugh’s Enemies event on Monday 25 September, Milena Borden gives a brief history of Waugh’s hostile relationship with Hugh Trevor-Roper – and asks what it tells us about Oxford’s post-war battle of ideas.   There is no shortage of writing on the feud between Evelyn Waugh and Hugh Trevor-Roper. Most of it […]

Leigh Fletcher

Farewell to Cassini

Seven days left until we say farewell to @CassiniSaturn @CassiniNooo pic.twitter.com/Sx7ACHeKDa — Leigh Fletcher (@LeighFletcher) September 8, 2017 After almost twenty years in space, the Cassini spacecraft is now just seven days away from its final encounter with the giant planet, ending humankind’s first detailed exploration of the ringed planet.  Cassini’s Grand Finale is the […]

Are museums ‘safe spaces for debate’? Not always…

I keep hearing people talk about museums being ‘safe spaces for debate’, and this always makes me feel a little uncomfortable. Is that true? Are they always ‘safe spaces’? Why do we assume that the museum is a ‘safe space’? And who is it a ‘safe space’ for? And what does it say about the […]

Marina Spunta

Luigi Ghirri and the Photography of Place

Our book on Luigi Ghirri has just been published:   M. Spunta and J. Benci (eds), Luigi Ghirri and the Photography of Place. Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2017)   https://www.peterlang.com/view/product/79823?rskey=lwTAcx&result=1   Many thanks to all the contributors and to all those who supported our research project.   Please share this with interested colleagues.

Grant Denkinson

Automated concept / keyword generation for journal articles in repositories

I was checking out a research paper in the ACM Digital Library: SibylFS: formal specification and oracle-based testing for POSIX and real-world file systems and spotted something interesting: a “Concepts in this article” drop-down “Powered by IBM Watson” For more on Watson, see IBM Watson: Beyond Jeopardy! Q&A I’ve been thinking what calls to action a user […]

The University Leadership Team

International Women’s Day – The Gender Pay Gap at the University of Leicester

Today March 8th 2017 marks International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day is a global day of celebration that marks the struggle for gender equality. It provides a forum for celebrating the role of women and their achievements, identifies challenges for the future and campaigns for change.   We know that one of the greatest challenges […]

Marie Muir

Waffle…not the good kind!

You are in an interview, you are nervous, there are three interviewers and they are all staring at you in suspense. One of them is asking you a question, but your too busy trying to conceal your nerves so you hear ‘Tell me about…experience….school…team?” You launch off in to an answer about your netball teams’ […]

Emma Battell Lowman

Being Disturbingly Informative. By Shane McCorristine

  Last year I visited a fine old building nestled incongruously close to the skyscrapers and busy financial offices of Market Street in downtown Philadelphia. The building houses the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest private medical organisation in the United States (founded in 1787). Today, Philadelphia’s heyday as the centre of medical and […]

Alberto Fernández Carbajal

Tehmina Kazi reading and Muslim LGBT activism

As the final event of the Queering Islam events series for 2015-2016, Tehmina Kazi, the Director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy, visited us at the University of Leicester to do a reading of her story ‘The Tulip Asylum’, a story about homosexuality in contemporary Iran. Below you can find an excerpt of her reading and […]

Helen Dexter

A legal war is no less lethal.

The question of the legality of the war in Iraq was, quite deliberately, beyond the scope of Chilcot Enquiry and the report published yesterday makes no direct comment about legality. Never the less, for many the question of the legality of the war is crucial. The initial response to the report is that it indirectly […]

Stephen Walker

Student Perceptions of ‘useful’ Digital Technology

“Now, what I want is, Facts….Facts alone are wanted in life” (Mr Gradgrind) A recent Australian study by Henderson, Selwyn and Aston (2015) found that students use digital technologies to support the logistical aspects of their learning : time-saving; finding out about and fulfilling course requirements; mobile and remote access; researching information; getting organised. Where students […]

Ana Verissimo

Staff away day

The latest staff away day took place at Stamford court, with university and departmental updates, a group activity over coffee to reflect on how the department could improve various aspects of the working environment via the working lives committee, bite-sized research presentations and lunch. In the afternoon, departmental staff got competitive at the sports hall. […]

Memorial Page

Mark Pluciennik died on 7 May at the age of 62, following a battle with a progressive neurological condition. Mark joined the School of Archaeology and Ancient History in 2003 and was the second Director of Distance Learning in Archaeology and Ancient History at Leicester, retiring in 2011. He subsequently held the title of University […]

Paul Boyle

Why Open Access?

We are committed to undertaking research which inspires and delivers change for the better.  So, it is vitally important that our research findings are freely available to the world.   To achieve this, we need to embrace Open Access.  In this short video, I consider the benefits of Open Access and how it can help […]

Philip Shaw

Daring Deeds of Valour

Daring Deeds of Valour By Dr Rachel Bates, University of Leicester The 29 January 2016 marks the 160th anniversary of the Victoria Cross, a key legacy of the Crimean War (1854-56). Over the past four years, I have been looking at how the Crimean War shaped British understanding of war, violence and nationhood. The creation […]

Marie Muir

New Year, New Career, New Outlook

January is rubbish. It’s cold, wet and dark and your holiday is over. You are back, revising hard for your exams and assignment deadlines are coming in thick and fast, so how do you motivate yourself to get back on the job/internship search. Ten members of the Career Development Service Team tell you how; “Plan […]

Maria Rovisco

Dancing With Strangers: Body and Otherness in the Experience of Citizenship – by Rita Marcalo

This post is authored by Rita Marcalo, dancer, choreographer and Artistic Director of Instant Dissidence, as a response to the Workshop ‘Arts and Citizenship’ held at the Department of Media and Communication in June 2015. Since 2013 I have been developing a performance series entitled Dancing With Strangers. The first instance in the series took the European […]

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