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Reviewing for the Brighton Salon Culture Wars




I've been waiting for an excuse to get the blog together and have found one at last.

I've been involved with the Brighton Salon for the last couple of years.  Its a group of people, interested in challenging ideas, who meet regularly around Brighton, listen to visiting speakers and get stuck into important issues.  One of the best things, for me, about the Salon, is that I get to talk and think about all the things that made me interested in being an academic in the first place, but without it being 'work'.  Discussions are jargon free, focussed on current events and devoid of having to think about careers, deadlines or evaluation and assessment.  You never know quite where the discussion will take you, with a healthy mixture of people getting involved; 6th form and uni students, academics and people from the real world out there.

When Dan Travis, who co-ordinates the Salon, asked me to get involved with reviewing for the Culture Wars section of their website I saw an opportunity to put my money where my mouth is.  Dan thought the idea of historians using their skills to review contemporary cultural events was a good one.  I wanted to take this one step further.  I always talk about teaching as a collaboration between students and faculty, and that's certainly what I aspire to, if not always deliver.  On the whole I've done pretty well out of that collaboration, my research is constantly reformed and shaped by the interests and input of students.    So when facebook told me that one of my students, Ash Arcadian, and I were going to the same gig I jumped at the chance to rope him into some co-reviewing.   The review is here

I'm really interested in developing this sort of project further, and the Salon are too. So am looking for students who want to do some reviewing, music, art, theatre etc etc, that will use their academic interests to shed an interesting light on current events.  Hows that for transferable skills?




More reviews and launching the Sussex Trauma Group




I thought I'd share a couple more reviews that I've done for the Culture Wars website.  I'm particularly pleased that I have been able to persuade another of my students, Emily, to co-review Gethsamane with me.  I think there's a really nice tension between our responses. 

There's also a review of Peter Doherty's recent performance  which I wrote all by myself!

This term I'm going to be working with Sarah King (neuroscience), and Jill Kirby (History) to explore the possibilities of interdisciplinary work around trauma.  Sarah and I won a 'Christmas Stocking' prize to kick start our research project on Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The Christmas Stockinig event involved some festive themed academic speed dating and true to form I found my perfect match, Sarah, as we fought over the last bottle of free wine.  Since then we've been working up a joint research project and liaising with a number of museums, medical professionals and veterans organisations as well as invidividual ex-combatants.

We became increasingly aware of  how much interesting research on this topic is being done across campus by postgrads and faculty so we're organising an exploratory networking afternoon to bring together people working on Trauma (however broadly defined) in any discipline, in the hope of sharing interests and ideas, so far we've got a good mix of post grads and faculty, from English, Media, History, Life History as well as psychology and neuroscience.  If any one else is interested get in touch.  

The meeting will be Wednesday 29th April (Week 2) RB01 2pm.


We envisage an afternoon made up of a  series of short very informal presentations and discussions, exploring a particular piece of evidence, (this could be an image, audio visual source, object etc) academic debate or summarising a research project, followed by a more general discussion on Stein, Seedat, Iversen and Wessely's article 'Post-traumatic stress disorder: medicine and politics' from The Lancet 2007, 369, 139-44 .


If you would like to get involved, if you have any ideas for topics for discussion, or articles to be read please get in touch or forward to anyone you think my be interested