Monthly Archives: June 2011

The ESRC 1+3: being a 1+ student

Part two: the ESRC requirements and being trained in research skills

Teaching ‘research skills’ for the social sciences is an idea that’s worried some historians I’ve spoken to this year, bearing in mind history’s uneasy relationship with the disparate components of social science and the concept of ‘science’ itself. However, the ESRC in its wisdom makes any PhD student it funds take a taught masters’ year first in ‘research methods’, unless they’ve already completed a course that fits the remit. So this post will focus on my experience of actually doing this course.

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The definition of debate

This is really worrying – not the division between Kiir and Machar, which is pretty clear, but the language used to talk about legitimate debate.  There is, legitimately, an uproar going on over the proposed interim constitution – including the postponement of elections after independence, the changes to presidential terms, the unequivocal declaration of Abyei as southern, and a host of other issues.  And it seems that most people think Kiir won’t make any changes, something he confirms in the Tribune piece.

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Filed under Politics, Sudan

Killing the natives as a jeans marketing ploy

Diesel Island advert, in ASOS magazine[Diesel advert reads: “Instead of conquering an island by killing the natives, we decided to simply buy it.  (Besides, have you seen the price of weapons these days?)  Diesel Island: Land of the Stupid, home of the Brave.”]

Not content with sexualising and appropriating various forms of culture – Native American stands out here, but fashion does love “tribal” stuff – this Diesel ad has been consistently annoying me this week.

Conquering an island is apparently still an option – although guns are pretty pricey at the mo!  Thank heavens we can resort to white Western privilege and buy an island through some happy debt slavery.  Apparently the Diesel campaign has the tagline ‘What would it be like to start a nation from scratch?’, and lets you become a citizen online.  I would like to be a citizen in a world where these kind of adverts – yay references to genocidal invasion! – just didn’t happen.

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Filed under Feminism, Procrastination

Where is New Site?

copyright Google Maps 2011

I’m having map issues with Sudan.  I’ve been looking for sites called New Bor in Magwi and New Site in Bor, and I can’t find them on Google, National Geographic’s version or on general searches.

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Filed under Procrastination, Sudan

The ESRC 1+3 PhD programme: being a 1+ student

Part One: Planning and Applying for a historical-political PhD: some general advice

Applying for four years’ PhD funding on a tentative, 500-word proposal is a terrifying and bizarre idea. This is only my experience of planning, applying and working on an ESRC 1+3 masters, but hopefully these series of posts will provide a little window in to the ESRC 1+3 world for those thinking of it, or applying for it, already.

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Filed under Academia, Procrastination