Opinions

Academic Administration. Good or Evil?

Don’t you just love administration? And I do not mean “like”. I mean absolutely loving every minute you spend in front of your computer, downloading forms, filling them up and then sending them off to cyberspace. Did you ever wish you had more administrative tasks to complete? Did you ever look back at your long and arduous day hoping that you had one more report to fill before you went to bed? I know I did. No I am not perverse. I just came up with the perfect solution to a very difficult probl... »

Humboldt Fellowship in Berlin

Two years ago I was over the moon. I just found out that I won the 18-month Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers in order to finish my monograph. My destination was Berlin, the Deutches Archäologisches Institut. The idea of living for a year and a half in this vibrant city, surrounded by excellent libraries, made me quiver with joy! And then, reality struck. I had to move to another country, yet again. This involved making arrangements about my salary, renting a flat, re-learning Germ... »

Why teach and study history

In a previous post Neville Morley commented on the reasons for teaching history. It is worth repeating them in brief here. First of all, it provides critical skills, such as critical reading and analysis. Secondly, it helps us understand the way the world works. History draws together politics, economics, sociology etc. and studies their development and interaction over time. Thirdly, the study of history is a means of understanding how people work. As we are historical animals, we develop a sen... »

Burn History Books!

No doubt the call to burn History books reminds us of some the darkest times in European History of the 20th century. I am very well aware that such calls led in the past to perverse actions and heinous crimes, nothing short of sacrilege. And yet, some books trigger such strongly negative feelings in me that I would rather see them burned. These are the History books produced by the Greek government and distributed to innocent schoolchildren. Once the books reach the classroom the teacher has no... »

The Beginning of History

My friends assume that I always wanted to become a historian. Well, I am fairly certain this is not true. I have a vague memory that when I was seven I was infatuated with surgery. At that time, my baby brother was admitted to hospital with hernia. Since then, I was determined to become a baby surgeon. Cutting up little people became the sole purpose of my life. My parents encouraged me to follow this path, hoping that one day I will become a rich and famous doctor. The “doctor” part may have be... »

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