I am very pleased to announce that, as of today (1st of May, 2015), I am now a Senior Lecturer in Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London. I have greatly enjoyed my time at Lincoln and fully intend to stay in touch with the colleagues and friends that I have made there, whom I will sorely miss. That said, I am, of course, looking forward to the future. I’ve been excitedly sitting on this news for some time now and it is good to be able to say it aloud!
Birkbeck is a world-class research and teaching institution, a vibrant centre of academic excellence and London’s only specialist provider of evening higher education. It has a most distinctive history:
On the evening of 11 November 1823, around 2000 people flocked to the Crown and Anchor Tavern on the Strand to witness Dr George Birkbeck and his supporters, including Jeremy Bentham, JC Hobhouse MP and H Brougham MP, discuss education for the working men of London. From this grew the London Mechanics’ Institute, dedicated to the education of working people, formally created on 2 December at the same location.
This foundation meant that, for the first time, artisans and craftsmen could learn about science, art and economics – a concept so controversial that Dr Birkbeck was accused of ‘scattering the seeds of evil’. Undeterred, Dr Birkbeck called his supporters to action: ‘Now is the time for the universal benefits of the blessings of knowledge.’ Many donors were convinced by the important mission and enough money was raised to open the College and push forward a radical new vision. Seven years later, the Institution took a further radical step by becoming one of the first colleges to admit women as students.
By 1858, Birkbeck was the first choice for students who wanted a university education but who could not afford to study full-time. This role was formalised in 1920, when Birkbeck officially became part of the University of London.
This is supported by a mission to:
- Provide part-time higher education courses which meet the changing educational, cultural, personal and career needs of adults; in particular those who live or work in the London region.
- Enable adult students from diverse social and educational backgrounds to participate in our courses.
- Maintain and develop excellence in research and provide the highest quality research training in all our subject areas.
- Make available the results of research, and the expertise acquired, through teaching, publication, partnerships with other organisations and the promotion of civic and public debate.
Hurrah! Thanks to all who have supported me so far and I’m looking forward to the future.
On a more geeky note
Any regular readers of this blog will also note, I hope, that I have changed the layout; a fresh start. That said, the changes are, in fact, not just cosmetic. The site now runs on Jekyll, a static-site generator that lets me write posts in markdown and eliminate any server side scripting, which makes for a much more secure hosting environment. Do let me know if you find any bugs or dead-links, though. The site should be fully operational and all links preserved from Wordpress. Email subscribers should have been automatically migrated. There’s also, you’ll note on many pages, a nifty annotation button at the top to activate http://hypothes.is.