Finally saw the film of Les Miserables. Really enjoyed it (if enjoyed is ever the right word for such a depressing show). A lot of the dull bits from the show seemed significantly less dull with the magic of cinema, and despite a Tom Hooper’s real fetish for close up shots which were quite disorienting, it looked stunning. The majority of performances were very good – Anne Hathaway in particular. Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter were a bit disappointing – they didn’t really add anything special to their roles – and I actually felt myself wanting to get back to the depressing main characters every moment that they were on screen. As for Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe… Jackman did VERY well, and sounded pretty good, but I don’t think he sounded as amazing as many people are saying. And to all those Russell Crowe ‘haters’ out there… I think he played the role with just the right amount of stoicism, and although his singing wasn’t up to booming bass-baritone standards, he sang all the right notes in a perfectly acceptable manner for the context. Eddie Redmayne, however… hideous. You would never get away with that amount of flappy-jawed vibrato in an amateur production – why on earth would a director obsessed with close-up shots not nip this in the bud from the word go? Anyway, a solid 8/10 film that will be added to the DVD shelf and watched for years to come.
We are happy to announce a new occasional feature on our blog:
“How to Work with a Scholarly Press”
These entries will feature different aspects of the publishing process and advice from our commissioning, desk editorial, and marketing staff. Our hope is to educate authors about practical issues on an every day basis as well as empower authors to deliver a better and more complete manuscript and book proposal and ensure an effective and smooth process.
The brain trust at CNBC just published this little fluff piece about the least stressful jobs for 2013 and of course the least stressful job was being a university professor. Their rationale? There are no physical demands, no deadlines, no environmental condition hazards, we don't put our lives on the line, nor are we responsible for other peoples' lives. I will grant that we're not crab fishing on the Bering Sea nor making command and control decisions on the front lines of a military conflict; however, this feeds the myth that being a professor in the US is like living in a plush ivory tower disconnected from the world -- holding class like we've all seen in the movies.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 25,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals
“Our object of study is the way religion is organized, discussed, and discursively materialized in cultural and social contexts. “Religion,” in this approach, is an empty signifier that can be filled with many different meanings, depending on the use of the word in a given society and context. It is this use of “religion”—including the generic definitions of academics—that is the responsibility of scholars to explain. Making the discourse on religion the main focus of our work also acknowledges the fact that we as scholars are ourselves actors on the fields of discourse.”
Von Stuckrad, Kocku. “Reflections on the Limits of Reflection: An Invitation to the Discursive Study of Religion.” Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 22, no. 2 (October 1, 2010): 156–169, p. 166.
I do apologise for all of the activity lately… I can’t help finding ‘gold’ :)
“The result of the construction of a fact is that it appears unconstructed by anyone; the result of rhetorical persuasion in the agnostic field is that participants are convinced that they have not been convinced; the result of materialisation is that people can swear that material considerations are only minor components of the “thought process”; the result of the investments of credibility is that participants can claim that economics and beliefs are in no way related to the solidity of science; as to the circumstances, they simply vanish from accounts, being better left to political analysis than to an appreciation of the hard and solid world of facts!”
Latour, Bruno & Steve Woolgar (1986). Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 284.
Baumann, Gerd. Contesting Culture: Discourses of Identity in Multi-ethnic London. Cambridge University Press, 1996. p.11
“Ethnographers’ uses of the word culture have established one essential point of consensus: culture is not a real thing, but an abstract and purely analytical notion. It does not cause behaviour, but summarizes an abstraction form it, and is thus neither normative nor predictive. As a deliberate abstraction it is there to help anthropologists conceptualize that ever-changing ‘complex whole’ (1871) through which people engage in the continual process of accounting, in a mutually meaningful manner, for what they do, say, and might think. Culture thus exists only insofar as it is performed, and even then its ontological status is that of a pointedly analytical abstraction.”
Abby Day is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies, University of Kent. email@example.com .
Good result for census Christians: bad for old theologians
So, most people when asked to do so, ticked a box about their religious identity on the 2011 census, and most said they were Christian Numbers are down, as we would expect – not because of increasing numbers of non-Christians such as Muslims (still a tiny percentage of the population) but because older people, the most religious cohort of society, are dying.
I remember my days as a graduate assistant, spending hours toiling over my students' weekly papers, jotting grammatical instructions and probing questions in the margins. It was a New Testament class, and each week the students would respond to a writing prompt covering the assigned portion of the textbook and Bible.
And invariably during my grading time, my husband would hear me cry out, "How the hell did you get that from this passage?!"
There are a number of boring, tedious, and even unfair things about academia as presently constituted. No argument from me about that.
But sometimes certain procedures come under fire in ways that I find unconvincing.
For example, I've discussed here before that I am unpersuaded by the argument that the peer review system for articles and books needs to be abolished, because it enforces narrow conformism, etc.