Monday, February 18, 2013

Hi + Cool Anti-Looting Apparel

I’ve put off coming back to blogging for the last six months for a number of admittedly lame reasons. Grad school is time consuming, I wasn’t sure how to approach this blog as a postgraduate, I may have forgotten how to blog in general, why should I subject myself to more criticism and self doubt when I already subject myself to all that daily through the joyous self-flagellation of grad school, grad school is time consuming, etc. But now I’m back and it’s going to be great and haphazard as usual, with three particular caveats:
  1.  I last left this blog as a recent undergraduate, pretty much flailing ambitiously, believing enthusiasm would probably make up for the lack of disciplinary cohesion. Now, as a postgraduate criminologist, my perspective on these issues has shifted drastically to a more sophisticated criminological framework. So what you see here in the future will undoubtedly reflect a more structured criminological perspective, rather than the mix of hostility and earnestness I was fond of previously.
  2.  The next three years of my life were recently determined by myself, but let’s face it, mostly by my supervisors, Neil Brodie and Simon Mackenzie, as I looked on and nodded solemnly like I wasn’t terrified or confused. My PhD research at the University of Glasgow (and my Masters dissertation as well) will focus on the antiquities market coming out of West Africa, principally Mali, Nigeria, and Niger. As a consequence, I may be more preoccupied than usual with these countries.
  3.  I think I initially geared this blog toward undergrads because I assumed graduate students actually know something about something and wouldn’t need some sassy little undergrad to break it down for them. As a current graduate student, I can happily confirm that we all only kind of know what we’re doing if we know at all, and anyone breaking down anything is almost always pretty useful. So some key terminology in the “About” sections and such has been altered to reflect this.

So for my first order of business, check out this really amazing "Give a Hoot, Don't Loot" design created by student Serena Abdallah. Not only is this really quality design work, but I'm kind of digging (haha, pun!) that it's not associated with any particular organization. It's just a really beautiful design you can wear or hang as a reminder that this stuff matters, and you'd be supporting a student who obviously cares about these things as well.


  1. I am glad you are back and will be concentrating on countries that are very important for me. Cheers,

  2. Welcome back, sorely missed.

    Will your research look only at antiquities, or will you be taking in more 'ethnographic' material too?

    1. Thanks, Paul. The great thing about a lot of West African cultural objects is that they're both, and many cultures view what we think of as "antiquities" as living objects, regardless of how old they are. I'll be considering the trafficking of a mix of objects, from artefacts that are more on the ancient side to objects that would more aptly be described as "historical" since they may only be about a hundred years old. There will be a range, which should keep things fun.