David Willetts, Karl Marx and Higher Education in the UK

The probable increase of tuition fees in Universities is back in the news. Our students, for the past few years, have been burdened with additional fees that leave them financially crippled by the time they finish their studies. Their debts amount up to 20.000 pounds just for their undergraduate education. This is certainly an inauspicious start in life! The new Minister of Education, David Willetts, positioned himself firmly on the side of the people who believe that the current system is not s... »

Generation Y and Academic Teachers

Generation Y are the children of baby boomers, born between 1982 and 1995. Currently these children are taking courses in Universities across the UK. Although the characteristics of Generation Y vary from one region to another, these persons seem to share a few common identifiers. For example, they are all computer literate, they have a facebook page, they read blogs, they know how to manipulate social media to their advantage. They use information found in Google and Wikipedia continuously and ... »

Berlusconi closes down the Italian School of Archaeology at Athens

Some time ago the Italian government announced severe cuts in public costs in attempt to ‘save’ the economy from the disgrace that Greece is going through. It seems that, among other cuts, they decided to sacrifice to the altar of money the Italian Institute of Archaeology at Athens. This School was established in 1909 and celebrated its centenary anniversary only last year. Apart from its celebrated library, it also operates the excavations at Aegialeia, Thuria, Poliochne, Hephesteia, Chloe, Ph... »

No more Abbreviations, please!

Have you ever been able to take a glimpse of a numismatic catalogue? It is the apotheosis of Abbreviations in ancient history. Each line has so many abbreviations that you need a second book to decipher them. I find it very difficult to understand the symbolism behind every small cluster of letters and I suppose that the non-experts are getting increasingly more frustrated. So why are they so popular? According to my fellow numismatists, it saves space on the page. Less pages mean less bulky boo... »

Trends in Ancient History

The Baynes Meeting for Ancient Historians was not entirely negative, as my previous posts may have implied. In fact, it gave me the opportunity to assert the trends Ancient Historians are following. During the meeting we had the opportunity to listen to the work of two excellent scholars, who seem to be in the forefront of current research. Dan Stewart, a competent (and I have to admit terribly diligent) lecturer from my School at the University of Leicester, in his paper “Sikyon, Pausanias and ... »

Annual Baynes Meeting for Ancient Historians: The Great Depression

This weekend I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express at Stevenage. You are probably wondering what on earth I was doing in such an unlikely town, as it is devoid of any historical or archaeological interest. And yet, its obscurity means that overworked and underpaid Ancient Historians from across the UK could afford to pay the modest hotel bill for one night (the whole experience cost us around 100 pounds) and hold there the important Annual Baynes Meeting. It is worth mentioning that, despite the l... »


Usually I am in favour of internet platforms that allow researchers to share their material for free with the rest of the world. However, in the case of Academia.edu all my hopes have been shattered. The site is so slow I have never been able to see any of the papers that have been uploaded. In the advertisements of their site they repeatedly mention how many researchers participated and how many articles they share. How they managed to go beyond the Home Page is anybody’s guess. If any of you c... »

The Upgrading (from MPhil to PhD)

My friend Dora is a Distance Learning student in our School at the University of Leicester; writing her PhD on Hellenistic Gymnasia. Today is her upgrading from MPhil to PhD. She will meet the committee around 10, when, hopefully, they will acknowledge her superior knowledge of the Hellenistic period and her innovative ideas on the development of the Institution of Gymnasia. I am confident that she will pass with flying colours. Dora’s self confidence, on the other hand, is non existent. Since m... »

How to Overcome Internet Procrastination Habits

I have always been prone to procrastination but, since I started blogging, the problem increased ten-fold. So, in an attempt to recover from my addiction, I would like to admit publicly that I have been abusing the use of social media on a daily basis! I find blogging, twittering and checking out my facebook account a source of excitement. I absolutely love reading the blogs of my peers. In fact, I get a kick out of writing down my own comments, while waiting for the well deserved answer. Over t... »

How to Publish your First Academic Book

So, you submitted your PhD successfully and you received the coveted title. You also managed to get a part time teaching job, or a full time job for which you get paid only at a part time rate. Your ex supervisor, your friends, your relatives, your new colleagues, they all have very high expectations of you. They are looking forward to reading your first monograph. On the other hand, you are too aware of the difficulties of satisfying them. It is true that there are too many books out there. Eve... »

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