Open Access Week (and stuff about me)
Michael at Complete Lies reminded me about the Open Access Week (next week 19th – 23rd october. Yes, it is 5 days and not seven, don’t ask). For info about celebrations see the Open Humanities Press website. More generally, just spread the word, since everything OA must be celebrated.
As for me, I’ve been a bit absent lately, but the first weeks of term made me much busier than I expected, and many of my mental energies are focused on some intra-departmental issue at my university. As a matter of fact, I am currently sort of ‘leading’ a student protest in my department.
You see, my home university is a lovely place to be, and a wonderfully varied university, but we do not have a department of philosophy. This of course is quite a big dissatisfaction for me, and I often feel somewhat like a stranger here.I have to confess, it is hard for me, especially because I firmly believe that it would be a wonderful place for such a department to thrive.
As a matter of fact, students in my department (SoR) deeply enjoy some of the more theory-oriented courses (courtesy of a small number of philosophically equipped lecturers…and my modest contribution as a TA), and they prepared a petition asking for more. I am just helping them out in terms of organization, signatures gathering and contact with the higher administrative spheres. Moreover, I am planning to start a comparative philosophy reading group, to start sometime in January. I cant give details yet because it is still in embryonic stage, but I am pretty sure I’ll put in some SR-related readings. Definitely Meillassoux, probably Harman on causation. If the few conversations with UG and PG students I’ve had recently are indicative at all, I think it might be quite a crowded one.
Yes, my long term dream would be the establishment of a brand new Philosophy department, ready to open its doors to me as soon as I’m finished with my PhD… Unfortunately, the well known economic situation does not help my dream at all, since severe budget cuts have hit almost all of the departments in my university, and I suspect in many more in the UK and abroad. I was once talking about this with some non-academic friends of mine (i.e. people with real lives), and one of them asked me, ‘Really? You guys are affected too? What do philosophers do in a period of economic recession? Think 30% less? I actually wish it was that simple.
Well enough personal whining. I have a draft of another, more ‘serious’, post, which I’ll try to shape up and publish on the blog as soon as possible.