Zusammenhang

Academic thinking, speaking and doing – it’s fascinating to observe how to speak the right lingo and make the right moves. I had a couple of stumbles this week. Monday in London, sorry Dr Lovelace, my bad. And a lecture in Newcastle that presented two case studies, but I found their contextualisation tenuous (nearly distracting from the serious message and findings). I was reminded of academics not automatically being broad advocates for social justice and change, and that there may be hidden rules and codices to follow.

Whilst I now at least know words like epistemology and ontology, properly talking the talk will take a while. It reminds me of minority languages – and to speak them integrally isn’t easy. Look at UK cycling with its special linguistical characteristics or Mr Cumberbatch’s colourful stumblings (both linked to the heavily codified language of stigmatised groups, where words can kill). Or my ‘How to do research in human geography’ book which suggests the word mastercopy isn’t pc any more (use original instead). These are some of the many reasons why I intend to be more than superficially fluent in the language of ‘feminist transport geographies’. I want to speak that language well, understand its codes and sensitivities – because, really, I want to tell its story with integrity and make suggestion for its future.

Monday I received more training. UK Data Service’s wicid (flow data); and we touched on infuse (more data), datashine (flows etc visualised) and nomisweb (more data). My monthly supervisor meeting on Thursday went well. Yes it’s good to talk. My EndNote library is taking shape and now has about 350 references (I am dearly hoping quantity and quality) and I managed to attach many pdfs.

I had a few people (women to be more precise) say to me now: you will really enjoy investigating the existing power relationships. And I think they are right. Till Koglin’s research into institutional(ised) structures already makes good reading on that subject. A fellow German.

Talking about power relationships – last weekend I sent my last email to the chief executive at the Environment Agency, thereby closing a turbulent chapter. Retention time: five years. Destroy date: 2.2.2020. Method: burn.

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