Theory to the People

Here are some of the resources I’ve developed for theory teaching.

I’ve been teaching theory since my first full-time academic position, bac in 2009. At Durham, I currently (2021/2) teach two undergraduate theory modules (Modern and Contemporary Sociological Theory and Social Theory and Politics of Knowledge) and one postgraduate theory module (Public Sociology: Theory and Practice), but theory is at the core of what I do. Some of the resources I share here have been developed for these modules, others not. Feel free to use them but make sure you cite/credit properly, and, even better, let me know. Make sure you read the disclaimers first.

They’ll come for you next

I saw ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’ tonight, probably the best film I’ve seen this year (alongside The Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, but they’re completely different genres – I could say ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing is the best political film I saw this year, but that would take us down the annoying path […]

On doing it badly

I’m reading Christine Korsgaard’s ‘Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity‘ (2009) – I’ve found myself increasingly drawn recently to questions of normative political philosophy or ‘ideal theory’, which I’ve previously tended to analytically eschew, I presume as part-pluralism, part-anthropological reflex. In chapter 2 (‘The Metaphysics of Normativity’), Korsgaard engages with Aristotle’s analysis of objects as an […]

A Year of Reading Only (Well, Mostly) Women

Whenever someone asks me for my favourite (or top 5, or 10) books of the year, I become aware of the fact that in the last year (and some), I’ve read books only or mainly written by women. This wasn’t entirely planned. Of course, I was aware of Sara Ahmed’s approach to citational justice in […]

Does academic freedom extend to social media?

There is a longer discussion about this that has been going on in the US, continental European, and many other parts of the academic/policy/legal/media complexes and their intersection. Useful points of reference are Magna Charta Universitatum (1988), in part developed to stimulate ‘transition’ of Central/Eastern European universities away from communism, and European University Association’s Autonomy […]

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