Postcards from a sabbatical


Following his time as dean of Goldsmiths Graduate School, Professor Les Back records insights into the world of the academic alone with their research.

Podcasts in this series

Returning to my Desk - a Last Postcard

Les Back

In this last recording in the postcards from a sabbatical series Les Back reflects on what he has learned about scholarship and writing during the course of the series. Reflecting on the etymology of sabbatical he argues for the value of having time away from teaching for all academic staff to replenish their imagination

Mon, 29 Sep 14 2

Lesson Plans

Les Back

Les Back talks about the dangers of intellectual inertia in teaching, the value of having time to think and read and the opportunities that are afforded to scholarship in the age of digital resources and Twitter. In particularly he focuses on the opportunities to share thinking and writing alongside the ways publishers and educational institutions struggle to hold on to their intellectual property.

Sun, 21 Sep 14 2

The Life of the Mind Behind Bars

Simon Williams, Les Back

Les Back talks to Simon Williams about his experience of prison life, his involvement in Goldsmiths' Open Book programme and the value of education. This discussion is structured around the letters exchanged between Simon and Les during 2013-14 when Simon was an inmate in Wormwood Scrubs. Amongst other things they talk about the current ban on sending books to prisoners, the impact of pubic sector cuts on prison life and what Simon hopes for as he contemplates start the 3rd year of his degree in Sociology.

Wed, 06 Aug 14 2

The Politics of Conviviality - Cultural Typhoon - 2014 Japan

Les Back

Les Back reports from the The Cultural Typhoon, 2014 held this year at the International Christian University, Tokyo. This annual event is a festival of ideas and artistic work in cultural studies. Les talks about his keynote address at the event and why the idea of conviviality matters in a period when nationalism and post-imperial melancholia is on the rise in Japan and elsewhere around the world.

Tue, 05 Aug 14 2

On Immigration Hill

Les Back

Les Back visits the migration centre in Kobe with Hiroki Ogasawara who explains how Japanese emigrants settled in Brazil. This timely discussion took place during the 2014 world cup in Brazil. They discuss the politics of migration and the living multiculture at the port of Kobe.

Tue, 05 Aug 14 2