Monday, 1 October 2012
I hope you all had a good summer. Ours was really, really lovely, but unfortunately, ended all too quickly. Now, the academic year, with all the ‘hussle and bussle’ starts once again.
There are a variety of news items in this update; including an exciting new contact we have made with Robert C. Smith of the Heathwood Institute.
1. ROBERT C. SMITH OF THE HEATHWOOD INSTITUTE REPUBLISHING GLENN RIKOWSKI’S ARTICLE ‘CRITCAL PEDAGOGY AND THE CONSTITUTION OF CAPITALIST SOCIETY’
We had a lovely email this summer, completely ‘out of the blue’, from Robert C. Smith of the Heathwood Institute, a new radical academic organisation and press.
Robert contacted us saying how mush he valued our ‘Flow of Ideas’ website, and that much of our work is very close to his own.
Robert said that he would like to republish an article of Glenn’s that is on our website, entitled Critical Pedagogy and the Constitution of Capitalist Society (see http://www.flowideas.co.uk/print.php?page=242&slink=yes)
He requested permission to republish it for the September issue of their online publication - this would form part of their guest article series. He thought it would provide an insightful analysis for their readers. Glenn delightedly agreed.
The article is now on the Heathwood Press website – see
This article from our website was previously published in Turkish – one of 10 of Glenn’s articles that were taken from our ‘Flow of Ideas’ website and published in a book in Turkish with Kalkedon Publishers, Istanbul, 2011. The title of the book is
Marksist Eðitim Kurami ve Radikal Pedagoji (‘Marxist Educational Theory and Radical Pedagogy’).
However, whilst it was lovely to see Glenn’s work being translated into Turkish (that it was valued in that way), permission had not been obtained from Glenn - see my previous news item about this in my 43rd newsletter, item 5, dated 30th October 2010 – now on my ‘Ruth Rikowski News Updates Progression’ blog – see http://ruthrikowskiupdates.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=turkish+book+by+glenn+rikowski. So this has been a serious issue for us (and not one what we would want repeated). This is why it has not been included as a news item in this newsletter before.
However, given how things are now working out it seems that a news item is now needed, so a short one is below (item 2). A fuller, more comprehensive outline and analysis might be given at a future date, but we will have to see what transpires on this and other related fronts.
Robert Smith is also a writer and researcher in the fields of philosophy and (post-Adornian) critical theory; with special interests in existential-phenomenology, psychology, systems theory, education and literary theory and author of the Consciousness and Revolt series and of ‘Experiential Coherence: further thoughts on the origin of Reconcililation’.
The Heathwood Press website can be found at:
2. ‘MARKSIST EĞITIM KURAMI VE RADIKAL PEDEGOJI’ (‘MARXIST EDUCATIONAL THEORY AND RADICAL PEDAGOGY’) BY GLENN RIKOWSKI, IN TURKISH, PUBLISHED BY KALKEDON PUBLICATIONS, TURKEY, FEB 2011, ISBN – 9786055679798 (with a Foreword by Peter McLaren)
On doing a random google search last year, in 2011, Glenn was most surprised to discover this book, ‘Marxist Educational Theory and Radical Pedagogy’ by him, on the internet.
Now, as already stated, this was a book proposal that I referred to in my 43rd newsletter (item 5), dated 30th October 2010. The news item is about a Turkish publisher that wanted to take a dozen or so articles of Glenn’s from our ‘Flow of Ideas’ website, translate them into Turkish, and publish them in a book.
When the publisher first contacted Glenn about this, Glenn found the idea very interesting but he also made it clear to Kalkedon Publications, that he only wanted the book published in a certain structured way as he wanted “…to make sure that readers appreciate the nature, purpose and origins of what I write.”. For this reason, Glenn proposed writing a new, additional chapter which would serve as an introduction; also that he would want a Foreword and an index. Furthermore, that he needed to retain copyright. The publisher did not reply to this and Glenn heard nothing further from them.
However, we have now discovered that they ignored all this (and the related copyright issues) and they published it anyway (without an introduction and an index), but in the way that they wanted to, in February 2011. They did not tell Glenn anything about it at all either. Heavens! They did not even send him a copy of the book.
It is nice that Glenn’s work has now been published in Turkish, meaning that his work will be read by a wider audience, and that these Turks were that keen on it that they were prepared to do the necessary work to translate it. However, they are also making some money out of it presumably (none of which, incidentally, is coming our way!). Also, if it had been translated into another language, such as in Spanish and with Peter’s help, then Glenn’s work might have been read by a wider audience. But the main thing is that Glenn wanted it published in a certain way.
Anyway, let’s move on. The book is now out and is there for people to read and hopefully in time, it will find a nice niche amongst Glenn’s publications. And Robert Smith, who was very courteous, sought permission and republished one of these articles, should certainly help in this regard.
3. PETER MCLAREN BACK AT UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES (UCLA)
We were surprised to discover that Peter McLaren is now back working at UCLA, in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies – see http://gseis.ucla.edu/people/mclareHis stay at New Zealand proved to be of a very short duration (although technically he still works there part-time). There has, it seems, been much ‘water under the bridge’. Anyway, one of the many things that he is now doing leading on from this includes co-editing a book series on ‘Education and Struggle’ with Michael Peters, published with Peter Lang.
4. COMMISSIONING LESLEY PITMAN AND PAUL VETCH TO WRITE BOOKS FOR CHANDOS PUBLISHING
I am delighted to say that I have commissioned 2 more people to
write books for Chandos Publishing (www.chandospublishing.com)
Lesley Pitman and Paul Vetch.
The tentative titles for their books are
‘Supporting research in area studies: a guide for academic libraries’ by Lesley Pitman
‘Digital Collections Management and Curatorial Practice’ by Paul Vetch
Lesley Pitman is Librarian and Director of Information Services, University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library. Lesley is responsible for the largest open access collection in the UK on Russian and East European Studies. She also coordinates the Research Support Strategy for UCL Library Services, Chairs the Digitisation Steering Group and takes the lead for UCL in some major digitisation projects.
Paul Vetch is Head of Research Development and Delivery in the Digital Humanities Division at King’s College, London, with responsibility for developing opportunities for new research collaborations and the management of the Research and Development team. He is also a Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities and a King’s Business Innovation Fellow.
Lesley’s book “will provide a guide for library staff who find themselves required to support academicsresearching in the ill-defined field of ‘area studies’. This can encompass an enormous range of disciplines in a single department or centre, from literature and film studies to economics and business, and is usually made more challenging by the fact that most of the source material will be in languages other than English.”
Paul’s book will explore “the practical impact and changing influence of digital collections management infrastructure on the way in which museums function, focusing in particular on the implications for curatorial staff – those directly involved with the interpretation and presentation of heritage materials to the general public.”
I wish Lesley and Paul all the very best with their Chandos book projects.
5. DAVID KAGOTHO-NDERITU INVITED ON SKY TV AND HIS ARTICLE ‘DANGEROUSLY LIVING’ NOW ON OUR WEBSITE
Several years ago now, Glenn and I got talking to someone in our local photocopy shop (‘CopyCats’), and amazingly found we had things in common. This person was David Kagotho-Nderitu. At the time we were photocopying our House of Lords globalisation papers; we started an interesting conversation between ourselves and discovered that we agreed about various issues around globalisation. Leading on from all of this David started doing some writing and at our suggestion some of his material was then published in ‘Information for Social Change’. Other material went in the Contributions section of our website.
This summer we had a surprise email (yes, another one!) from Joanna, the producer from the ‘Chrissy B. Show’ – a new show on Sky TV. The Chrissy B. show is a TV talk show based in London which covers ‘Real issues for real people, and better yet, you can get involved.’
David has an article on our website entitled ‘Multicultural Britain – what does it mean to be Black people?’ (http://www.flowideas.co.uk/print.php?page=401&slink=yes) and this was what interested Joanna as she was organising a show on ‘Multicultural Britain’ for around the end July/beginning August 2012.
Joanne wanted to interview David and include him on her programme. She also planned to have 2 other studio guests – Maghan Peterson Fenn, author of ‘Bringing up Brits’ and Sundar Katwala, Director of British Future.
David was very interested in going on the show, but now he lives in Kenya. They were hoping to get a Skype connection but unfortunately were not able to in the end, so he was not able to participate.
Still, once again, it shows the power of our website does it not and hopefully will all lead on to even bigger and better things in time.
Leading on from all of this, David then wrote another piece, and asked if we could also include this in the Contributions section of our website, which we happily did. This article is entitled ‘Dangerously Living’, is about the financial crisis, and can be found at:
6. DISSERTATION ON COMMODIFICATION OF CHILDRENS SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES
We received an interesting email on our Flow of Ideas website, from Sean Hayes, who recently studied for an MA in the Ethics of Social Welfare at Keele University and wrote a dissertation (2011) on ‘the commodification of Children within Social Welfare Markets as a consequence of the Privatisation of Childrens Social Welfare Services’. Sean is now planning to develop all this further by studying for a Doctorate on the subject.
I read the dissertation with interest. As a working practitioner in the field, I thought Sean’s knowledge and understanding should prove to be very valuable. It was an interesting dissertation.
On reflecting, I made the point to him that we are witnessing the commodification of Childrens Social Welfare Services rather than the commodification of children themselves (the latter would only apply if we lived in a Slave society). I also made it clear to him that we think that a thorough understanding and analysis of all of this can only be done through a Marxist approach and looking at the commodification process itself in detail. Whilst in his dissertation Sean focused on the philosophers Bentham, Kant and Mill.
Anyway, it is great that some people are looking at these important areas, and also from a philosophical position, and we wish Sean the very best of luck with his Doctorate. Hopefully, it can help in some small way, and will alert some people to the dangers of what clearly lies ahead.
7. CAMPAIGN AGAINST CUTS IN BRENT LIBRARIES
This summer 2012 we went to a couple of interesting talks at Conway Hall in London. The ethos of Conway Hall is very near and dear to our hearts. Conway Hall is run by the South Place Ethical Society, which is an educational charity, deriving from a radical religious congregation founded in London in 1793. It is now a secular and humanist organisation and is “one of the oldest freethought communities in existence”.
The talks we went to were part of the Sunday lecture series. They were:
‘Schopenhauer and Character-Determinism’ by Tom Rubens
‘Don’t get fooled again’ by Richard Wilson
‘Infinity and Immortality’ by Adrian Moore
We also went to some of the events of the ‘Festival of Film and Philosophy’ week in the summer that were held there.
At a discussion on ‘Will’ following on from the Schopenhaeur talk (who of course influenced Nietzsche and Lawrence), I got talking to a lady that happened to be a librarian involved in fighting some of the library cuts. One of these campaigns was fighting cuts in Brent Libraries. She then put me in touch with Charles Rudd, who is heavily involved with this campaign and who provided me with some additional information. I said that I would happily insert this information in my next newsletter – so here it is – see below:
“Campaigners in [London Borough of] Brent have been fighting the Council’s decision to close six of its twelve libraries. In 2011 a legal challenge went all the way to the Supreme Court, which however refused us permission to appeal against the lower courts’ judgment that Brent’s action, and the consultation which preceded it, were not unjustified. Since then, “pop-up” libraries have been set up at Barham Park, Preston and Cricklewood (at least), and moves are afoot to set up community libraries in some areas, which would be run by volunteers. For details, see www.brentlibraries.wordpress.com
Charles Rudd - firstname.lastname@example.org "
I hope this information is helpful to those out there that are currently actively involved in campaigns to try to save and protect various London libraries.
8. ALEXANDER RIKOWSKI OBTAINING A PLACE TO STUDY LAW PART-TIME AT BIRKBECK COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
Our eldest son, Alexander, has obtained a place to study for a Qualifying Law Degree (LLM) part-time at Birkbeck College, University of London. This means that he will be very busy indeed, as he will continue to work full-time at New Hunts House Library, King’s College London, but it should prove to be rewarding for him, long-term.
9. 3 NEW ITEMS ON MY ‘SERENDIPITOUS MOMENTS’ BLOG
There are 3 new items up on my ‘Serendipitous Moments’ blog. These are: ‘Women in Love’ by D.H. Lawrence, ‘Sustaining Alternative Universities’ and ‘Life in the Higher Sausage Factory’ – the paper
30th September 2012