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

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 […]

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 […]

Christian De Vito

Comparisons and Connections (part 1)

In her last blog (, Clare Anderson points to the challenges the Carceral Archipelago Project faces in writing the history of punishment as global history. Indeed, addressing the singularity of each site and connection of convict transportation and proposing broader interpretations is a complex task, which requires a high degree of self-reflexivity regarding our methodological […]

Andrew Dunn

Academy Awards

To mark the recent Oscars, here is some social science related research! Study the rhetoric (and find out which award winners cried) by consulting Who thanked Who a database of all speeches since 1952 compiled by Rebecca Rolfe.  This can be compared with the official awards website Does winning an Oscar improve box office success? […]

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. […]


Poisson regression with two random effects: WinBUGS, OpenBUGS and JAGS Options

In my last posting (available here) I described Stata programs that call WinBUGS, OpenBUGS or JAGS to fit a Poisson regression model with two random effects. WinBUGS, OpenBUGS and JAGS make automatic choices about the samplers that they use and in my previous comparison I accepted the defaults offered by those programs. This week I want to look […]

Kerry Dobbins

The learning outcomes teachers should set for themselves

  At the end of this module, I will know more about: the learning strategies my students use in this module; why they choose these strategies; how my students approach particular activities, such as reading set texts. All of my previous posts, and all of the work undertaken in the ‘Learning Outcomes Project’ so far, […]

Oliver Brett

Virtual Exhibition – Luca Nostri – Solarolo, 2011-2014

Images courtesy of Luca Nostri These images formed part of a Virtual Exhibition held during a conference at the University of Leicester, 19-21 September 2014, entitled: ‘L’esperienza del luogo': Italian photography, writing and landscape, Luigi Ghirri, his contemporaries, his legacy.

Deborah Toner

The Aesthetics of Authenticity in the Modern Chain Pub

In the last post, I referred to the undercurrents of authenticity running through an edited volume I’ve been working on, Biographies of Drink. To mark the publication of this volume, I thought it would be good to reflect on the chapter that tackles the problem of authenticity head-on, as a means of analysing the design […]

Barbara Cooke

January Book Group: Unconditional Surrender

In January, a small cohort of the Book Group met to discuss the last book in Waugh’s “Sword of Honour” trilogy: Unconditional Surrender, which appeared for the first time in 1961. It nearly did not appear at all; Waugh struggled with its writing, and at one point it looked as if Officers and Gentlemen (1955) […]


Anti Social Finance*

Senior Lecturer in Finance and Political Economy, David Harvie, suggests the UK’s nascent social investment market is more a matter of imposing market discipline and less a matter of ‘doing well by doing good’.   David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ star lit up the post-crisis landscape when it was first introduced in November 2009. As students of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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