Author Archives: Maria Pretzler

Call the Royal Baby Mohammed – here is why:

As everybody is still speculating about the names for the royal baby, there are two distinct approaches: one is to find the name that would seem silliest with the royal number I behind it, and the other is to speculate, … Continue reading

Posted in Current events, Exploring the Past, Inventing the Past, Life in the UK, Memory, Remembering the Past | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I am back!

Wipes away the cobwebs… I have been absent for a long time. There are reasons, and I hope to blog about that sometime in the future. In short, I haven’t been very well, but I hope things are getting better now. It’s … Continue reading

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Critical Reading, Online Scare Stories – and the Death Star

Yesterday, a petition from avaaz started going round the internet. It spread very rapidly, through twitter and Facebook. Many generally thoughtful, concerned people passed it on, some with words of anger or concern, urging others to sign the petition as … Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, Politics, Protest | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Welsh Higher Education Madness

During the last few days universities have been concentrating on Clearing, the process whereby students can find places in university courses in the days after they receive their A-level results, and change their plans if their A-levels are significantly different … Continue reading

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Open Access Publishing – but who will pay?*

Today’s Guardian front page offers an encouraging headline: Free access to British scientific research within two years. The idea is that by 2014 all publications of all research which has been funded by the British taxpayer has to be accessible … Continue reading

Posted in Current events, Education, Universities | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

London 2012 and the Pastoral Idyll

(Do shepherds dream of idyllic sheep?) Danny Boyle’s set for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony A few weeks ago, when the design for at least part of the Olympic opening ceremony was revealed, I was nothing short of appalled. … Continue reading

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British Academia: abandoning the next generation

The fate of young academics in UK universities looks increasingly bleak: the chance to reach paid employment as an academic in the Arts and Humanities increasingly depends not only on talent and a willingness to work hard, but also on … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Universities | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

What the Church of England is really saying about same-sex marriage

Guest post by Alan Renwick, Reader in Comparative Politics, University of Reading   @alanjrenwick Confused about the Church of England’s arguments concerning same-sex marriage? Here is a brilliant executive summary which which knows how to read between the lines. Alan Renwick … Continue reading

Posted in Current events, Guest Post, Politics, Religion | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Subject to a right royal confusion

(with thanks to Don Kranz, whose blog is a real inspiration, for luring me out of work-induced blog hibernation!) It’s Diamond Jubilee weekend, and a time to think about the role of the monarchy, and the role it plays in … Continue reading

Posted in Current events, Democracy, Life in the UK, UK Citizenship | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Greek Treasures: ancient and modern

I just came across this opinion piece in the LA times of 26th February by James Romm, a scholar I admire greatly. But here he offers an example of  highly emotional rhetoric which is historically unjustified. At the same time, his article … Continue reading

Posted in Exploring the Past, History, Inventing the Past, Remembering the Past | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments