front cover of Ab Initio Language Teaching in British Higher Education
Ab Initio Language Teaching in British Higher Education
The Case of German
Edited by Ulrike Bavendiek, Silke Mentchen, Christian Mossmann, and Dagmar Paulus
University College London, 2022
Practical guidance for teaching languages from scratch in higher education, using German as a case study.

As entries for UK school exams in modern foreign languages decrease, this book serves the urgent need for research and guidance on ab initio learning and teaching in higher education. Drawing extensively on the expertise of teachers of German in universities across the UK, the volume offers an overview of recent trends, new pedagogical approaches, and practical guidance for teaching languages at the beginners’ level in the higher education classroom that will be useful for teachers of both German and other languages.

The first chapters assess the role of ab initio provision within the wider context of modern language departments and language centers. They are followed by sections on teaching methods and approaches in the ab initio classroom, including the use of music, textbook evaluation, effective use of flipped classrooms, and the contribution of language apps. Finally, the book focuses on the learner in the ab initio context and explores issues around autonomy and learner strengths.

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Ableism in Academia
Theorising Experiences of Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses in Higher Education
Edited by Nicole Brown and Jennifer Leigh
University College London, 2020
Rather than embracing difference, academic ecosystems seek to normalize and homogenize ways of working and of being a researcher. As a consequence, ableism is an endemic experience in academia, though to date no attempt has been made to theorize those experiences. Ableism in Academia provides an interdisciplinary outlook on ableism that is currently missing. Through reporting of research data and exploring personal experiences, the contributors explore the concept of what it means to be and to work outside the so-called norm.
The volume brings together a range of perspectives, including feminism, post-structuralism, Derridean and Foucauldian theory, crip theory, and disability theory, and draws on a number of related disciplines. Contributors use various schools of theory to raise awareness and increase understanding of the marginalized. These theories are placed in the context of neoliberal academia, and used to interrogate aspects of identity and how disability is performed, and to argue that ableism is not just a disability issue. This timely collection will be of interest to researchers in disability studies, higher education studies, and sociology, as well as to those working across the social sciences.

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Ageing with Smartphones in Ireland
When Life Becomes Craft
Pauline Garvey and Daniel Miller
University College London, 2021
On the role smartphones play in the lives of the aging in contemporary Ireland.

This volume documents a radical change in the experience of aging. Based on two ethnographies in Dublin, Ireland, the book illustrates how smartphones enable old people to focus on crafting a new life in retirement. For some, the smartphone is an intimidating burden linked to being on the wrong side of a new digital divide. But for most, however, it has become integral to a new trajectory towards a more sustainable life, both for themselves and their environment. The smartphone has reunited extended family and old friends, helped resolve intergenerational conflicts though new forms of grandparenting, and has become a health resource. This is a book about acknowledging late middle age in contemporary Ireland and examines how older people in Ireland experience life today.

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Ageing with Smartphones in Uganda
Togetherness in the Dotcom Age
Charlotte Hawkins
University College London, 2023
Examines the impact of smartphones and mobile phones on older people’s health and everyday lives as part of the global Anthropology of Smartphones and Smart Ageing project.

Ageing with Smartphones in Uganda is based on a sixteen-month ethnography about experiences of aging in a neighborhood in central Kampala, Uganda. Taking a convivial approach, which celebrates multiple ways of knowing about social life, Charlotte Hawkins draws from these expressions about cooperative morality and modernity to consider the everyday mitigation of profound social change. “Dotcom” is understood to encompass everything from the influence of information and communications technologies to urban migration and lifestyles in the city to shifts in ways of knowing and relating. At the same time, dotcom tools such as mobile phones and smartphones facilitate elder care through, for example, regular mobile money remittances.

This book explores how dotcom relates to older people’s health, their care norms, their social standing, their values of respect and relatedness, and their intergenerational relationships—both political and personal. It also re-frames the youth-centricity of research on the city and work, new media and technology, and politics and service provision in Uganda. Through ethnographic consideration of everyday life and self-formation in this context, this monograph seeks to contribute to an ever-incomplete understanding of how we relate to each other and to the world around us.

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Ageing with Smartphones in Urban Brazil
A Work in Progess
Marília Duque
University College London, 2022
An exploration of technology’s role in the day-to-day life of aging urban Brazilians.

With people living longer all over the world, aging has begun to be framed as a socioeconomic problem. In Brazil, older people are expected to remain healthy and autonomous while actively participating in society. Based on ethnographic research in São Paulo, this book shows how older people in a middle-class neighborhood try to reconcile these expectations with the freedom and pleasures reserved for old age by using smartphones. Smartphones have become of great importance to the residents as they search for and engage in new forms of work and hobbies. Connected by a digital network, they work as content curators, sharing activities that fill their schedules. Managing multiple WhatsApp groups is a job in itself, as well as a source of solidarity and hope. Friendship groups help each to download new apps, search for medical information and guidance, and navigate the city. Together, the author shows, older people are reinventing themselves as volunteers, entrepreneurs, and influencers, or they are finding a new interest that gives their later life a purpose. The smartphone, which enables the residents to share and discuss their busy lives, is also helping them, and us, to rethink aging.

front cover of Ageing with Smartphones in Urban Chile
Ageing with Smartphones in Urban Chile
The Experience of Peruvian Migrants
Alfonso Otaegui
University College London, 2023
An anthropological account of the experience of aging among Peruvian migrants to Chile in the smartphone era.

What does it mean to be aging in Chile as a migrant? Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, Ageing with Smartphones in Urban Chile analyzes the experience of aging for Peruvian migrants aged around sixty who have lived in Chile for more than twenty years. Their lives, we discover, are informed by a series of experiences of being ‘in between’. They live between two countries, two generations, and two different stages in life, between giving care and not wanting care, and between a continuing legacy and not transmitting legacy. By focusing on the entanglement of aging, migration, and technology, this book is an ethnographic contribution to an unexplored subject in the vast literature on migration studies in Chile.

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Ageing with Smartphones in Urban China
From the Cultural to the Digital Revolution in Shanghai
Xinyuan Wang
University College London, 2023
An anthropological account of the experience of aging in the smartphone era in China.

The current oldest generation in Shanghai was born at a time when the average household could not afford electric lights, but today they can turn their lights off using smartphone apps. Grounded in extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Shanghai, Ageing with Smartphones in Urban China tackles the intersection between the “two revolutions” experienced by the older generation in Shanghai: the contemporary smartphone-based digital revolution and the earlier communist revolutions and argues that we can only understand the smartphone revolution if we first appreciate the long-term consequences of these people’s experiences during the communist revolutions. Supported by detailed ethnographic material, the observations and analysis here provide a panorama view of the social landscape of contemporary China, addressing such topics the digital and everyday life, aging and healthcare, intergenerational relations and family development, community building and grassroots organizations, collective memories, and political attitudes among ordinary Chinese people.

front cover of Ageing with Smartphones in Urban Italy
Ageing with Smartphones in Urban Italy
Care and Community in Milan and Beyond
Shireen Walton
University College London, 2021
An anthropological account of the experience of age and ageing in an inner-city neighborhood in Milan.

This book is an anthropological account of the experience of age and ageing in an inner-city neighborhood in Milan, exploring the relationship between ageing and technology amidst a backdrop of rapid global technological innovation, including the advent of mobile health, smart cities, and a number of wider socioeconomic and technological transformations. Through extensive urban and digital ethnographic research in Milan, Shireen Walton shows how the smartphone has become a “constant companion” in contemporary life, accompanying people throughout the day and through individual and collective experiences. The volume argues that ageing with smartphones in the contemporary urban Italian context is about living with ambiguity, change, and contradiction, as well as developing curiosities about a changing world, our changing selves, and changing relationships with others.

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Alexander Williamson
A Victorian Chemist and the Making of Modern Japan
Takaaki Inuzuka
University College London, 2021
A short, accessible biography exploring Alexander Williamson’s contribution to nineteenth-century science and Japanese society.

Alexander Williamson was a leading scientist and professor of chemistry at University College London in the late nineteenth century. He taught and cared for visiting Japanese students, assisting them with their goal of modernizing Japan. This short, accessible biography explores his contribution to nineteenth-century science, as well as his lasting impact on Japanese society. In 1863 five students from the Chōshū clan, with a desperate desire to learn from the West, made their way to England. They were put in the care of Williamson and his wife. Their mission was to learn about cutting-edge Western technology, science, economics, and politics. When they returned home, they rapidly became leading figures in Japanese life. The remarkable story of the part Williamson and University College London played in the modernization of Japan is little known today. This biography will promote a deeper understanding of Williamson’s scientific innovations and his legacy for Anglo-Japanese relations.

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‘Am I Less British?’
Racism, Belonging, and the Children of Refugees and Immigrants in North London
Dogus Simsek
University College London, 2024
An insightful study into contemporary identity formation and the sense of belonging of children of immigrants from Turkey, through an ethnography of their lives in North London.

‘Am I Less British?’ focuses on the children of refugees and immigrants from Turkey in North London. Providing a rich ethnography of the lives of the children, the book studies their sense of identity and belonging, and their transnational experiences. It aims to understand how the children position themselves within a range of locations (London, North London, and Turkey), where they face class hierarchy, racism, and discrimination. Dogus Simsek explores how these children think about their sense of belonging within the contemporary political context in Britain and Turkey. De-identifying themselves from national identities and holding onto their oppressed identities appear as new forms of resistance in response to racism and exclusion.

The experiences of the young people reflect the complexity of their lives in changing political and social circumstances across the borders of nation-states, as well as the importance of other categories of identity, including local identities. Overall, the book argues that the intersections of local, national, and transnational approaches, the political context through which the lives of young people are framed, and their sophisticated engagement with ideas of race, class, ethnicity, and gender, are crucial to understanding their identity formation.

front cover of The Ambivalence of Power in the Twenty-First Century Economy
The Ambivalence of Power in the Twenty-First Century Economy
Cases from Russia and Beyond
Edited by Vadim Radaev and Zoya Kotelnikova
University College London, 2022
An interdisciplinary perspective on the use and abuse of power in political economy.

This book explores the ambivalent nature of power as wielded in economic practices from an empirical perspective. It offers a collection of country-based cases and critically assesses the existing conceptions of power from a cross-disciplinary perspective. Analyzing power at the macro, meso, and micro levels allows the volume to highlight the complexity of political economy in the twenty-first century. Each chapter addresses key elements of a given political economy (from the ambivalence of the cases of former communist countries that do not conform with the grand narratives about democracy and markets to the dual utility of new technologies such as face-recognition), thus providing mounting evidence for the centrality of understanding ambivalence in the analysis of power.

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American Cities in Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction
Robert Yeates
University College London, 2021
A fresh, provocative history of urban ruins in popular culture.
American Cities in Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction traces the image of urban ruins across twentieth- and twenty-first-century American media. Surveying pulp magazines, radio dramas, films, video games, and the transmedia franchise, Robert Yeates explores how the synergy of technological innovation and artistic vision created an increasingly immersive space to reimagine the urban future. Through a series of medium-specific case studies, Yeates offers provocative new readings of familiar works such as Blade Runner and The Walking Dead situated against a fresh history of ruined cities in American literature.

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Ancient Knowledge Networks
A Social Geography of Cuneiform Scholarship in First-Millennium Assyria and Babylonia
Eleanor Robson
University College London, 2019
With Ancient Knowledge Networks, Eleanor Robson investigates how networks of knowledge enabled cuneiform intellectual culture to adapt and endure over the course of five world empires until its eventual demise in the mid-first century BC. Addressing the relationships between political power, family ties, religious commitments, and scholarship in the ancient Middle East, Robson focuses on two regions where cuneiform script was the predominant writing medium: Assyria, north of modern-day Syria and Iraq, and Babylonia, south of modern-day Baghdad. In doing so, she also studies Assyriological and historical method, both now and over the past two centuries, asking how the field has shaped and been shaped by the academic concerns and fashions of the day.

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Inspirations and Imaginaries
Edited by Ilan Kelman
University College London, 2022
Original research, art, and interpretations of different experiences and explorations of Antarctica.

Antarcticness brings together disciplines, communication approaches, and ideas to explore meanings and depictions of Antarctica. Personal and professional words in poetry and prose, plus images, present and represent Antarctica, as presumed and as imagined, alongside what is experienced around the continent and by those watching from afar. These understandings explain how the Antarctic is viewed and managed while identifying aspects that should be more prominent in policy and practice.
The authors and artists featured in the book place Antarctica, and the perceptions and knowledge through Antarcticness, within inspirations and imaginations, without losing sight of the multiple interests pushing the continent’s governance as it goes through rapid political and environmental changes. Because of the diversity and disparity of the influences and changes the continent faces, the book’s contributions are carefully connected to provide a more coherent and encompassing perspective of how society views Antarctica, scientifically and artistically, and what the continent provides and could provide politically, culturally, and environmentally.

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Anthropology of Landscape
The Extraordinary in the Ordinary
Christopher Tilley and Kate Cameron-Daum
University College London, 2017
An Anthropology of Landscape tells the fascinating story of a heathland landscape in south-west England and the way different individuals and groups engage with it. Based on a long-term anthropological study, the book emphasises four individual themes: embodied identities, the landscape as a sensuous material form that is acted upon and in turn acts on people, the landscape as contested, and its relation to emotion. The landscape is discussed in relation to these themes as both ‘taskscape’ and ‘leisurescape’, and from the perspective of different user groups. First, those who manage the landscape and use it for work: conservationists, environmentalists, archaeologists, the Royal Marines, and quarrying interests. Second, those who use it in their leisure time: cyclists and horse riders, model aircraft flyers, walkers, people who fish there, and artists who are inspired by it. The book makes an innovative contribution to landscape studies and will appeal to all those interested in nature conservation, historic preservation, the politics of nature, the politics of identity, and an anthropology of Britain.

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Archaeologists in Print
Publishing for the People
Amara Thornton
University College London, 2018
Archaeologists in Print is a history of popular publishing in archaeology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a pivotal period of expansion and development in both archaeology and publishing. It examines how British archaeologists produced books and popular periodical articles for a nonscholarly audience and explores the rise in archaeologists’ public visibility. Notably, it analyzes women’s experiences in archaeology alongside better-known male contemporaries as shown in their books and archives. In the background of this narrative is the history of Britain’s imperial expansion and contraction, and the evolution of modern tourism in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Archaeologists exploited these factors to gain public and financial support and interest, and build and maintain a reading public for their work, supported by the seasonal nature of excavation and tourism. Reinforcing these publishing activities through personal appearances in the lecture hall, exhibition space and site tour, and in new media—film, radio and television—archaeologists shaped public understanding of archaeology.

The image of the archaeologist as adventurous explorer of foreign lands, part spy, part foreigner, eternally alluring, solidified during this period. That legacy continues, undimmed, today.

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Architecture and Fire
A Psychoanalytic Approach to Conservation
Stamatis Zografos
University College London, 2019
Fire is at the center of human civilization. The first primitive hut was built around fire, deeply imprinting it on the collective memory of architecture. As we reassess architectural conservation, we would therefore do well to explore the intimate relationship between architecture and fire.

Founded in inventive interdisciplinary research that ranges across architecture and conservation, archival theory, classical mythology, evolutionary theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis, Architecture and Fire draws on the insights of psychoanalysis to offer such a reassessment. Among the topics discussed are the ambivalent nature of fire, seen through the conflicting philosophies of Gaston Bachelard and Henri Bergson; the ways in which architecture evolves by absorbing and accommodating fire; and the destruction of buildings by fire as a critical moment of architectural evolution, with a focus on the tragic disaster at London’s Grenfell Tower in 2017. Stamatis Zografos concludes with thoughts on Freud’s drive theory. He argues that the practice of architectural conservation is an expression of the life drive and a simultaneous repression of the death drive, which suggests controlled destruction should be an integral part of the conservation agenda.

front cover of Architecture as a Way of Seeing and Learning
Architecture as a Way of Seeing and Learning
The Built Environment as an Added Educator in East African Refugee Camps
Nerea Amorós Elorduy
University College London, 2021
How built environments impact early childhood education in East African refugee camps.
Displaced before they were born, children living in long-term refugee camps along the East African Rift grow and learn surrounded by ready-made structures. Architecture as a Way of Seeing and Learning explores what these built environments teach us about both childhood development and refugee assistance. With an eye toward architecture, Nerea Amorós Elorduy models how a more empathetic approach to refugee relief might both decolonize humanitarian aid and nurture the learning of young children.

front cover of Architecture in Dialogue with an Activated Ground
Architecture in Dialogue with an Activated Ground
Unreasonable Creatures
Urs Bette
University College London, 2020

Using case study projects, architect Urs Bette gives an insight into the epistemological processes of his creative practice and unveils the strategies he deploys in order to facilitate the poetic aspects of architecture within a discourse whose evaluation parameters predominantly involve reason. Themes discussed include the emergence of space from the staged opposition between the architectural object and the site, and the relationship between emotive cognition and analytic synthesis in the design act. In both cases, there is a necessary engagement with forms of ‘unreasonable’ thought, action or behaviors.

By arguing for the usefulness and validity of the unreasonable in architecture, and by investigating the performative relationship between object and ground, Bette contributes to the discourse on extensions, growth and urban densification that tap into local histories and voices, including those of the seemingly inanimate – the architecture itself and the ground it sits upon – to inform the site-related production of architectural character and space. In doing so, he raises debates about the values pursued in design approval processes and the ways in which site-relatedness is both produced and judged.


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Architecture's Model Environments
Lisa Moffitt
University College London, 2023
An exploration of the architectural model as a tool for design speculation in history.

Making innovative use of the distilling lens of the architectural model, Architecture’s Model Environments is a novel and far-reaching exploration of the many dialogues buildings have with their environmental surroundings. Expanding on histories of building technology, the book sheds new light on how physical models, conventionally understood as engineering experimentation devices, enable architectural design speculation. The book begins with a catalog of ten original model prototypes—of wind tunnels, water tables, and filling boxes—and is the first of its kind to establish an architectural approach to fabricating such environmental models. Subsequent chapters feature three precedent models that have been largely overlooked within the wider oeuvres of their authors: French polymath Étienne-Jules Marey’s wind tunnels, Hungarian-American architects Victor and Aladár Olgyay’s thermoheliodon, and Scottish chemist and building ventilation expert David Boswell “The Ventilator” Reid’s test tube convection experiments. Moving between historic moments and the present day, between case studies and original prototypes, the book reveals the potent ability of models, as both physical artifacts and mental ideals, to reflect prevailing cultural views about the world and to even reshape those views.

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Power and Voice from the North
Ilan Kelman
University College London, 2017
Climate change and globalization are opening up the Arctic for resource development and exploitation. But what about the views, interests, and needs of the peoples who already live in the region? Featuring essays by both academics and Arctic peoples themselves, this new book covers the social, legal, political, geographical, scientific, environmental, and creative questions related to Arcticness and addresses the exceptional challenges faced by the Arctic region and its local communities. 

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Assessment and Feedback in Higher Education
A Guide for Teachers
Teresa McConlogue
University College London, 2020
Teachers spend much of their time on assessment, yet many higher education teachers have received minimal guidance on assessment design and marking. This means assessment can often be a source of stress and frustration. Offering a concise overview of assessment theory and practice, this guide provides teachers with the help they need. In education, theory and practice are often poorly linked. In this guide, Teresa McConlogue presents theoretical ideas and research findings and links them to practice. She considers recent theoretical work on feedback and suggests ways of developing evaluative judgment. Throughout the book, teachers are encouraged to examine their practice critically, and there are ideas for small-scale educational investigations, involving teachers, their colleagues, and students, such as using the Assessment Review Questionnaire to adapt assessments. This guide explores the concept of academic standards and proposes methods of co-constructing shared standards within a teaching team and with students through calibration activities.

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