Life in the non-academic world – and what I miss

Prompted by a tweet by Jennifer Polk the other day I started thinking about what I miss about working in an academic environment. Strictly speaking, she asked, ‘What aspects of non-academic employment did you have to learn/ get used to when you moved beyond the professoriate?’ – and I honestly did not have to think… Continue reading Life in the non-academic world – and what I miss

Translation Matters

I work at the Foreign Services Desk of a news agency and I moonlight as an intellectual historian of early modern Britain. Both jobs have been fostering my obsession with translation. Part of my day job consists in translating news stories into German – mainly from English, less frequently from Spanish, and occasionally bits and pieces… Continue reading Translation Matters

On Misogyny, ancient and modern

Mary Beard’s Women and Power is one of those books that will make you shout: “Yes, she’s so right!” – “Very well put!” – “So glad someone is saying this!” For those of you who haven’t read it yet, the book consists of two essays on ‘The public voice of women’ and ‘Women in power’… Continue reading On Misogyny, ancient and modern

Uncertainty and the post-truth society

The word ‘Brexit’ entered the Oxford English Dictionary for the first time this month, only weeks after Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the United States and ‘post-truth’ was chosen as the word of the year. All three events are to a greater or lesser extent manifestations of anger with the establishment,… Continue reading Uncertainty and the post-truth society

Historians and the Fifth Estate

Historians should get more actively involved in shaping policy, in particular foreign and defence policy. That is the gist of a recent call by Graham Allison and Niall Ferguson in The Atlantic for a Council of Historians to be established in the US. Taking advice from historians, they suggest, could have helped President George W.… Continue reading Historians and the Fifth Estate

The quickie meeting: what academics can learn from journalists

Among the many new things I have been learning during my stint at the news agency, the way in which meetings are held has probably left the deepest impression on me. Few of them take longer than ten to fifteen minutes, and the reason for that is that they’re held standing up. As soon as… Continue reading The quickie meeting: what academics can learn from journalists

A historian in journalism – one week into the job

Just over one week into my new job at the press agency I must say I absolutely love it. Working at the foreign languages desk I spend most of my day monitoring the news coming in from our correspondents all over the world via the various ‘queues’ on my computer screen and see if any… Continue reading A historian in journalism – one week into the job