Disturbing restriction on UK government funding

Chris Bertram writes:

Unless ministers grant specific exceptions then, government grants to bodies like the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research to conduct research into policy, must not aim to “influence legislative or regulatory action”. The same would go for university-based researchers in receipt of government money vie HEFCE or the Research Councils. Still more absurd than this is the picture that emerges when the clause is combined with the government’s own “Impact Agenda” which forms part of its “Research Excellence Framework”. Under this, university researchers who apply for grants are required to demonstrate “impact” which may include influencing government policy, but it will now be a contractual condition that you may not do this thing that you must do.

The rise of inequality in the US: for whom the change comes

Charles Blow in the NY Times:


America has a gauzy, romanticized version of its history that is largely fiction. According to that mythology, America rose to greatness by sheer ruggedness, ingenuity and hard work. It ignores or sidelines the tremendous human suffering of African slaves that fueled that financial growth, and the blood spilled and dubious treaties signed with Native Americans that fueled its geographic growth. It ignores that the prosperity of some Americans always hinged on the oppression of other Americans.

Much of America’s past is the story of white people benefiting from a system that white people designed and maintained, which increased their chances of success as it suppressed those same chances in other groups. Those systems persist to this day in some disturbing ways, but the current, vociferous naming and challenging of those systems, the placing of the lamp of truth near the seesaw of privilege and oppression, has provoked a profound sense of discomfort and even anger.


CFP: Ethics and Aesthetics of Stand-Up Comedy

The Ethics and Aesthetics of Stand-Up Comedy
A Conference at Bucknell University
April 19-22, 2017

Submission Deadline: December 20, 2016

This conference aims to bring together scholars and practitioners interested in stand-up comedy from a range of academic disciplines, including but not limited to philosophy, performance studies, women’s and gender studies, African-American studies, theatre, art history, and culture studies.  In addition to academic papers, comments, and discussion, the conference also includes workshops, an open mic night, roundtable discussion with comedians, and stand-up comedy performances. #BUStandUpComCon.

Luvell Anderson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Memphis
Noël Carroll, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, CUNY Graduate Center
Eva Dadlez, Professor of Philosophy, University of Central Oklahoma
Oliver Double, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of the School of Arts, University of Kent
Tanya Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Sacramento State University
Aaron Smuts, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Rhode Island College
Cynthia Willett, Professor of Philosophy, Emory University
Jason Zinoman, Comedy Critic for The New York Times

Oliver Double, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of the School of Arts, University of Kent
Amy Seham, Professor of Theatre and Dance and Women’s and Gender Studies, Gustavus Adolphus College

Gary Hardcastle, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Bloomsburg University

​We invite submissions for paper presentations and offers to serve as commentator or chair.  Submissions are welcome on any topic in the aesthetics and ethics of stand-up comedy, broadly construed.

POSSIBLE TOPICS INCLUDE (but are by no means limited to):
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