The Price of Reading

By Jul.21, 2014

The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology

The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology

The South African Archaeological Bulletin is a venerable academic journal but is not on everyone’s reading list. So I think it’s a safe bet that few (anyone?) reading this blog will have seen my review of the Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology that came out last month. To give you the pleasure of this experience, I’ve reproduced the review below.

Apart from academic vanity, I have a particular reason for drawing attention to the Handbook Phenomenon. The richness of African archaeology is in the heritage of some of the poorest countries in the world. Academics in these countries will have to pay £120 for the 1080 pages of this handbook. For this price – already unattainable – they will receive content that will have about one fortieth of the academic value of the online version of the same book. And the online version is only available at an annual subscription that is almost ten times the price as the printed book. These are the challenges of the current state of academic publishing and, of course, of many aspects of the world economy.

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Born Free?

By Jul.14, 2014

Fizah Tahir

Fizah Tahir

What does Salford make of South Africa? This – of course! – fascinates me since, for the past five years I’ve been asking the same question the other way round. And so I was intrigued when, earlier this year, our TV Journalism programme lead Sarah Jones told me that a group of our final year students had been chosen to go to South Africa and report.
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Democratic Innovation and the University

By Jul.07, 2014

Higher Education for Democratic Innovation Global Forum

Higher Education for Democratic Innovation Global Forum

Northern Ireland today, says Stephen Farry, is a case study of “peace as pursuit of war by other means”. Farry, who is Minister for Employment and Learning in the Northern Ireland Executive, sees a central role for universities in moving beyond a society divided by religious sectarianism and to a new form of responsible politics. Majoritarianism, he says, must be balanced against minority interests and human rights if there is to be reconciliation.

Farry was the opening speaker at the Higher Education for Democratic Innovation Global Forum at Queen’s University Belfast. This brought together universities and associated organisations from North America and Europe to take a fresh look at community engagement in an ever more divided world.
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Patentees and Inventors

By Jun.30, 2014

Gramophone, Film, Typewriter (Writing Science): Friedrich Kittler

Invention is a compulsion that changes the world. I’m reading Friedrich Kittler’s remarkable Gramophone, Film, Typewriter (Writing Science); Kittler shows how, over a few years towards the end of the nineteenth century, key mechanical inventions changed the nature of writing and how we perceive, record and remember the world around us.

For almost a century, inventors have come together to share ideas as the Institute of Patentees and Inventors. Now, for the first time, the Institute has set up a branch outside London, here in Manchester. We’re proud to be partnering with them in this venture.
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Summer of Creativity

By Jun.23, 2014

Graduate Fashion Show at Create Salford 2014

Graduate Fashion Show at Create Salford 2014

Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s new Chief Creative Officer, has an annual allowance of £440 000 for clothing and other personal needs. For those of us whose needs are largely met by an annual renewal at M & S, this seems close to the inventory of the entire men’s department. Mr Bailey himself appears disarmingly scruffy, although scruffy chic can be expensive. More interesting, though, is that 80% of Christopher Bailey’s pay is linked to his company’s performance in a volatile and very competitive part of the retail sector. In fashion, the stakes are high.
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