Tag Archives: teaching

Friday reading

Security/politics:

  • Hot off the press: Critical Security Methods, by Claudia Aradau, Jef Huysmans, Andrew Neal and Nadine Voelkner. I’ve just ordered my own copy, and can’t wait to read it – it’s always nice to see research methods taken seriously.
  • In the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, here is an interesting article on how it would have been covered had it occurred in a country other than the US. Includes: ‘Chinese and Russian officials are warning of a potential humanitarian crisis in the restive American province of Missouri, where ancient communal tensions have boiled over into full-blown violence. “We must use all means at our disposal to end the violence and restore calm to the region,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in comments to an emergency United Nations Security Council session on the America crisis’.
  • The ethics of killer robots. Yes, you read that correctly.
  • Fascinating piece on translation and the relationship between the North Korean dialect and Soviet Russian. Apparently North Korean has a lot of borrowed phrases from Soviet Russian which are difficult to translate into English, but make sense when translated into Russian.

On academia/teaching:

  • Professors’ pet peeves. Includes beauties like: don’t be too cool for school, don’t fudge your formatting to make your essay look longer (I’m not an idiot), and don’t ask the professor if you missed anything important during your absence (‘Of course you missed something important!  We’re college professors!  Thinking everything we do is important is an occupational hazard.  Here’s an alternative way to phrase it:  “I’m so sorry I missed class. I’m sure it was awesome.”‘). Seriously considering printing this list out as a handout for start of term.
  • Confuse students to help them learn?
  • Great piece on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as the ultimate IR blockbuster, and some interesting ideas for using it in teaching.

apes

PhD advice:

 

….and lastly, why academics really use twitter, from the always brilliant @phdcomics:

 

 

Teaching International Relations With Memes

I thought I had the revolutionary idea of using memes to engage with my students on the IR theory courses I teach but it turns out Dr Jack Holland has already beaten me to it!

The idea behind using memes is that they’ll be a funny way to highlight interesting theoretical points in a concise way. I’m going to roll one out in this weeks class and then set my students a task of producing a meme related to the course content  over Christmas. Because surely they’ve got nothing better to do over the holidays…

Here’s the first one I’ve come up with that ties in to this week’s class on constructivism. Conspiracy Keanu gets to grips with a bit of Wendt…

I’m a bit worried that my students won’t be quite as nerdy as me and won’t get the whole meme thing, so if anyone out there has tried teaching IR/politics using memes then it’d be good to hear how it went down!

Here’s one meme that they should all appreciate…

Friday Links

With Jonna starting a new job and myself doing actual PhD  and teaching work rather than watching cat videos all day, we’ve been a bit slow getting Friday links together so here’s a few things that have caught my eye today:

The beeb have a short  guide to the rebel/opposition forces in Syria. As you can see the majority of them are not Jihadist, something which might surprise you if you were to watch/read most of the British media.

Vice have an interesting piece on Jihadist culture in Syria. Parts of it seem to just echo a lot of the typical ‘Syrain rebels = Jihadist’ angle, but it has some interesting stuff on the role music is playing in Syria. Apparently “Al Qaeda is the Simon Cowell of the war zone, churning out hits the war-weary public wants and in doing so, providing itself with the perfect promotional gimmick.”

Meanwhile everyone’s favourite right-wing-fictional-daily-sewerage-spout has a piece with the headline “Tunisia’s ‘sex jihadis’ who were sent to Syria to have sex with 100 rebels EACH are coming home pregnant with their children”. You stay classy Daily Mail.

On another note, Politics has a virtual issue out which is all about teaching and learning in IR and politics, it’s an interesting read having just started teaching myself and worth checking out if you’re a student, researcher or teacher of global politics.

If you’re just starting out on the PhD path in IR and you’re based in the UK then this event organised by the BISA postgrad network will be of interest. It’s in London on the 6th of November and registration closes on the 30th of October.

Oh, and here’s ten reasons why recent intelligence leaks are not threats to national security. Have a nice weekend!