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

Barbara Cooke

March Book Group: Scoop

How can a book be so current and so dated at the same time? This was at the forefront of our minds as we met to discuss Waugh’s 1938 parody of Fleet Street and the world of foreign correspondents. The book is drawn from Waugh’s own experiences as a journalist in Abyssinia, but far more […]

Maria Rovisco

The Lives of Others

The Lives of Others – A commentary on Anthony Minghella’s Breaking and Entering (2006)   This is a short commentary that I have written for the workshop ‘Bordering Strangeness’ organized by Chris Rumford (Politics and IR), Agnes Woolley (English), and Elizabeth Alexander (Geography) all based at Royal Holloway – University of London. The workshop intends to explore the […]


Poisson regression with two random effects: MCMC by data augmentation

When I restarted this blog after the Christmas break I resolved to concentrate more on straightforward applications of Bayesian analysis with Stata; I believe that is what most Stata users are interested in. A couple of months in and I am going to ignore my good intensions and discuss a topic that I considered too […]

Oliver Brett

Ghirri Research Project 2013-2015 – British School at Rome Conference 2013 – Francesca Fabiana – ‘Lo sguardo che cancella l’abitudine’, Luigi Ghirri e il paesaggio.


A tax on authentic cider?

A new tax on cider, or more properly, the end of a tax exemption for small cider producers is currently being demanded by the European Union, at the same time as a PDO designation for Welsh cider is being proposed. It is predicted that the end of the exemption will have a detrimental effect on […]

Philip A. Shaw

Inspiration in English

Dr Emma Parker, Senior Lecturer in English, has been recognised as an ‘Inspirational Woman at the University of Leicester’ for outstanding achievement in her career. The Inspirational Women awards, launched this year, aim to raise the profile of trailblazing women who work at the University. The awards formed part of a week of University events […]

The Interviewer becomes the Interviewed

Recently appointed Lecturer in Work and Employment, Benjamin Hopkins, ponders a little about how he has been represented in the popular media, and a lot about how research subjects are represented within academic media. The forthcoming election has sparked a flurry of television programmes discussing immigration: Channel 4’s UKIP: The First 100 Days, ITV’s Tonight: […]

Kerry Dobbins

Creating an effective e-learning resource: some helpful tips for a challenging process

One of my initial tasks when I started on the ‘Learning Outcomes Project’ was to develop an online resource that aimed to improve students use of their learning outcomes.  My brief was as general as that, however, I knew that we wanted a resource that students would find useful as a learning support and would help them to […]

Andrew Dunn

Online Privacy

Concerns about online privacy have surfaced in a number of key reports recently. Last week the Intelligence and Security Committee  reviewed the  extent of  online surveillance by UK intelligence agencies. UNESCO recently released a draft of its Internet study on privacy, access to information, freedom of expression, and ethics. The British Library has published a […]

Updates on some of the career management activities happening at the University of Leicester

10th Annual CMBSP Postgraduate Careers Symposium Bookings have opened for the 10th annual Postgraduate Careers Symposium for the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology.  Places are filling up quickly, with almost 50 people having booked their place since bookings opened on Tuesday last.  With a total of 90 spaces available, the advice has to […]

Katy Roscoe

(In)visible Aboriginal Convict Heritage on Rottnest Island

In modern day Australia there are two key heritage ‘issues’ that are addressed in completely different ways – firstly, convict heritage; secondly, histories of aboriginal contact and conflict with European settlers. I will explore the tensions between the two narratives that emerge in the heritage of Rottnest Island, which held convicted Aboriginals between 1839 and […]

Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum

You can now sign up for our MOOC (Massive Open Online Course): Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum, which will run for 6 weeks from 1st June 2015. Over the last few months we have been working away with our friends and colleagues at National Museums Liverpool on this great new project that […]

Dawn Watkins

What a week!

Well – what an exciting week this has been. On Friday I travelled up to Newcastle to collect our 40 tablets from Enigma, newly loaded up with our game – Adventures with Lex. This journey involved a road trip, a rickety train trip and a walk on foot trundling empty suitcases down an everlasting flight […]

Alberto Fernández Carbajal

Hanif Kureishi: the Assemblage of a Native Informant

There are few writers alive in Britain today who can elicit such polarised, or at best highly qualified, responses as Hanif Kureishi (except, perhaps, his fellow writer and friend Salman Rushdie). When I attended an event on Muslim writing last year, I was surprised by the critical tone that some Muslim cultural practitioners took on prominent […]

Stephen Walker

Using Screencasts to Enhance Teaching and Learning

Last week I ran a workshop on Using Screencasts to Enhance Teaching and Learning.  Here’s a summary of what we covered. What is screencasting? A screencast is a digital video recording that captures actions taking place on a computer desktop. Screencasts, which often contain voice-over narration, are useful for demonstrating how to use specific operating […]

Norman Housley

English charity and the Turkish threat

  English charity and the Turkish threat The Henry Smith charity When a friend of mine was at university he benefited from a charity established in his Wiltshire village for ‘indigent scholars’. He didn’t get much money, but it was typical of the thousands of similar bequests in towns and villages scattered across the country. […]

Sarah Hodgkinson

Reflections of Revenge: an International Conference on the Culture and Politics of Vengeance.

I am currently co-organising a major international conference on the study of Revenge, as part of my ongoing collaborative work with film directors Rex Bloomstein and Justin Temple. Details are as follows…. On 2 September 2015, the University of Leicester will welcome scholars from around the world to consider the topic of Revenge. From film […]


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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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