Testimony, témoignage, martyrion 3: Sandby Borg, a late antique massacre

Part of a series. Part 2 is here.

An article in The Guardian today talks about the archaeological excavation of a fifth century massacre at the village of Sandby Borg in Sweden. It suggests some interesting things about how the late antique past is remembered. Continue reading “Testimony, témoignage, martyrion 3: Sandby Borg, a late antique massacre”


Piece from Sociology at Westminster about TEF

This piece captures neatly the iniquity of the TEF.

Westminster Sociology

Year after year in Sociology at Westminster we receive consistently high levels of student satisfaction (90-100%) in the National Student Survey. Individual Sociology staff have won awards for their quality teaching, and most recently were awarded a team Excellence Award in recognition of our innovative teaching programme. We have specialist teaching qualifications which mean our work is informed by the latest thinking in Higher Education. External examiners reported only last week how impressed and inspired they are by what we do.

While it does not come as a surprise, we are disappointed to find that our university has been ranked ‘Bronze’ – the lowest category – in the national Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), published this morning. Although the stated aim of the TEF is ‘to recognise and reward excellence in teaching and learning’ the outcome for Sociology at Westminster has been the direct opposite: the TEF result says…

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BCTR 2017: The Return to Birmingham

James Crossley, over at Harnessing Chaos, has some good news about the next “Bible, Critical Theory, and Reception” seminar:

The seventh annual BCTR Seminar will be dedicated to some of the latest developments in biblical studies. Building on the success of the Bible and Critical Theory seminar and journal in the southern hemisphere, this approximate northern hemisphere equivalent will welcome papers in the general areas of critical theory, cultural studies and reception history. Reception history is broadly understood to include the use, influence and receptions of biblical texts in all aspects of what might conventionally be called ‘culture’ (e.g. film, pop music, literature, politics etc.).

Source: BCTR 2017: The Return to Birmingham

SF and Late Antiquity

Luna II

In 1959 the Soviet satellite Luna II lifted off from the Kazakh steppes. At the very edge of the atmosphere, on the threshold of deep space, it released a cloud of sodium vapour so bright it could be seen from the Earth. A day later its plunge into the surface of the Moon was observed by the astronomers it had left behind on Earth. The probe was a tremendous success and a testament to Soviet primacy in space. In particular, it demonstrated that the USSR had the capacity to direct a craft through the vacuum between worlds and deliver it effectively (if violently) to its destination. This was a capability that would be critical in the next stage of the space race, for clear guidance is required if one is to study heavenly things. Continue reading “SF and Late Antiquity”

Upcoming paper: EHS Winter Meeting

Not Cambridge, but somewhere close by. Photo by Tamara Polajnar. CC BY-NC 2.0

This weekend (14th January 2017) I’ll be attending the Winter Meeting of the Ecclesiastical History Society in chilly Cambridge.

The theme this year is Church and Empire.

I’ll be up on my hind hooves, giving a paper entitled ‘The Influence of the Algerian War (1954–62) on Francophone Study of Late Antiquity’.

Satisfyingly vague.

Say hello if you see me.