Now we’ve settled into the start of our teaching term we wanted to announce a few changes to our blog. There’s been some interesting reflections on what blogs do here and here, and more recently here, and our thinking has certainly evolved from back in April when we began. Clearly, there’s a sense that blog postings do other things than articles, they’re less restrictive, become spaces that we regularly visit to catch up on the latest news in the field, and encourage us to write in different ways – possibly without endless throat clearing, or lazy referencing. Perhaps most significantly they act as a resource or a go-to gateway to some of the most interesting work out there. Also, while many of our postings have been individual, we are a collective and there’s a feeling of some strength in that somehow, and we often comment on each other’s posting before publication.
However, there’s a sense then that while the blog helped us reach different communities of scholars and students, it would be just as if not more valuable, to reconsider how the blog might interact with our new students, who are specifically exploring issues that involve this kind of communication, such as the practices and performances of geopolitical agents and how they communicate and distribute analysis through formats just like blogs. Looked at the other way round, the blog encourages shorter and more pithy styles of writing compared to more lengthy reports, it means that they will routinely edit and format each others postings, quickly gain a profile outside of our departmental walls and open themselves up to useful criticism and advice etc etc.
So in the ethos of something like an experiment, our current intake of MSc students will begin to write for the blog and take shared editorial responsibility for its content. We’ll publish more book reviews, analysis of topical events, articles we’re reading, speakers that come to talk to us and important events we’re involved in and witness, as well as generally things that we do. The idea, as always, is that the blog is able to feel out different and distinctive ways that our research relates to our teaching, and give our postgraduate community an important voice as well as experience in publishing and communicating geopolitical and security scholarship.
As we do this, we are also starting a new association with the International Relations website, e-IR. Our new blog will post writing from critical perspectives in geopolitics and security and hopefully reach new audiences within International Relations unused to an explicitly geographical viewpoint. We’ll publish under the moniker GPS (GeoPolitics and Security), and our first posting sets out the sort of agenda and approach that our staff and graduate students will take.
Watch these spaces!