This is Mary Beard's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Mary Beard's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Mary Beard
Recent Activity
dear anthony, do read again.. let me draw your attention to (eg): "I cannot imagine any university not wanting to know how their lectures, classes are going down, how students think they might be improved etc" "These questionnaires assume very standardised view of what ‘feedback’ on a piece of written work — and it’s rather like the A level version (what assessment objectives have I met? how might I improve this work in order to achieve a higher mark? etc). Of course there is a place for that. But appropriate feedback comes in many forms."
I am afraid this is really uninformed Truthlord. For a start, it is simply not the case that modern historians concentrate on emperors (and my own emperor project is largely about modern art history), I could go on....
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Et tu, Boris at A Don’s Life
the camerino dei cesari discussed and illustred towards end of the post
yes indeed, wonderful!
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2017 on Mantegna in Mantua at A Don’s Life
Olivia, that is the original Mantegna. Sorry if I wasnt clear
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2017 on Mantegna in Mantua at A Don’s Life
they are going to wroxeter after half term
Toggle Commented May 29, 2017 on Roots at A Don’s Life
because I am a fellow of an all women's college
Toggle Commented May 19, 2017 on We'll always have Paris at A Don’s Life
yes, but when you look at the plaster cast the restorations are invisible!
Toggle Commented May 19, 2017 on We'll always have Paris at A Don’s Life
Can I point out that by definition noone knows except for me whose comments I have edited, and which have not been published. Overall, I try to get the balance right. Sorry if I dont always, m
Toggle Commented May 16, 2017 on Manifestos at A Don’s Life
Toggle Commented May 15, 2017 on Dustbin politics at A Don’s Life
that is precisely why I wrote about forward predictions.. (ie automation) .. sometimes you do take me for a bit of an idiot
Toggle Commented May 14, 2017 on Manifestos at A Don’s Life
thanks... perhaps I should get a UK agent, but not sure I shall. My problems are exactly as I say, how to write a good, approachable, interesting book on the basis of those lectures.
sorry.. this is the book of the A W Mellon lectures I did in the National Gallery at Washington DC in 2011.. and not what you say at all. (I know I might seem a sitting target, but actually some of this is quite upsetting!)
Thank you Andrew.. i am utterly happy to take the idea that we are not getting it right, but the idea that this is a simple problem and we would wave the magic wand if we were not so benighted is such an bloody insult (and, if I might say, ignorant of what we do across the board, with every potential student, and those who dont even think they are potential stdents. it is always easy for some to carp from the sidelines (and feel virtuous about it)! It is harder at the coal face. The point is that we are all on the same basic side... for f's sake I went to cambridge and no one in my family had ever got a degree from any uni before.
Toggle Commented May 7, 2017 on Ivy League vs Russell Group at A Don’s Life
i had already used reader I thought.. so avoiding repetition!
no it isnt simples this is a joined up system... i do agree however tat it is very odd when independent and state schools (of various types) are compared that the per capita spending is rarely mentioned. It isnt that independent schools or teachers are better (good and bad teachers work in both sectors).. much more to do with the cash spent. One difficulty for some subjects is a 'knowledge base'..and the LMH preliminary year project is something we are all looking at carefully, waiting to see if the experiment works...
Toggle Commented May 6, 2017 on Ivy League vs Russell Group at A Don’s Life
Totally agree (which is why I put 'Russell Group' in the title). There are all kinds of problems in Oxbridge, of course, and in other places, but the way that the troubles of the nations get projected onto oxbridge admissions will in 500 years be the subject of dissertations.
Toggle Commented May 5, 2017 on Ivy League vs Russell Group at A Don’s Life
well of course, human interaction is messy. But the key thing is not to be aware at admission (or at least to be able to talk through with colleagues, if you do realise who a candidate 'is', and discuss biases on the playing field (cliché but they're clichés because they are useful). Those biases can actually worl two ways. After that, when it appears in talking to students that 'x' has a big shot Mum, well in the end you sometimes have to trust us .... I am sure fallible etc, but I didnt go into the academic business to reward privilege. And over my time at Cambridge I believe that immense strides have been taken in that direction. (When I was an undergrad 12% of us were female... whatever the knock-on consequences, I still believe it was a triumph to change that in a few decades, out of 800 years)
Toggle Commented May 5, 2017 on Ivy League vs Russell Group at A Don’s Life
Phew thank you. I explicitly say that we can learn from abroad.. and no, i do not think that, the present situation is satisfactory in any elite uni in the UK... my point was about quick fixes and how we turn a blind eye to aspects of foreign systems that we wouldnt like.
Toggle Commented May 5, 2017 on Ivy League vs Russell Group at A Don’s Life
This is a bit insulting, to be frank. Do you think that we do NOT spend many hours in talking and DOING about this? I feel rather hurt to think that you imagine we dont care enough..
Toggle Commented May 5, 2017 on Ivy League vs Russell Group at A Don’s Life
yes of course... it was j winterson but dont you see that there are often implied or real targets here. 'I want you to get 50% of women within x years' (an objective by the way i think honourable). So what happens... we know. Of course I know that there are well qualified working class black women (do you think I am stupid??), but most incentives and targets and aspirations work by disaggregating complex problems, with the obvious oversimplifying results. (wat do you do about the disadvataged kid who has had schoalrship place at posh school... posh or disadvantaged etc etc..) That is the difficulty!
Toggle Commented May 4, 2017 on Ivy League vs Russell Group at A Don’s Life
the trouble is that it is very hard to get to the bottom of this... when people apply to the same college as parents, it may be because they think it will help their chance, it may be nostalgia, it may be both. I am happy to say that i have absolutely no idea where the parents of current applicants went, and we are forbidden to ask. I am pleased that it was an EX master! there is always a problem with the implications of fund raising (look at Duveen in the BM), and it would be made not to raise the issue. I have never seen that being used in admissions in my time at Cambridge, and I would shout very loudly if I did (no I cant be certain that behind closed doors... but I have never seen it)
Toggle Commented May 4, 2017 on Ivy League vs Russell Group at A Don’s Life
blimey, this brings out knee jerk reactions. if you read what i wrote more attentively you will find that indeed i said that all faculty i have ever met are concerned about these problems, i also made it clear that we could learn from other practicesm and indeed that legacy admissions were linked to fund raising. And that NONE of this was simple. My objection is, as I stated plain as day, when I started this post, was to those who thought that you could solve Oxbridges diversity problem by telling them to copy usa. How often have I heard stuff about 'needs blind' processes etc etc. There is a lot that is very good (and yes I do know what Yale does in the local community, but thanks for reminding me!).. but if you take the whole package, there are some things that would have the UK public up in arms. Legacy applications is one; the involvememt of alums in admissions would be another. My point was too hint lightly at the complexity. Too lightly obviously. Do please read again.
Toggle Commented May 4, 2017 on Ivy League vs Russell Group at A Don’s Life
i think you will find that one problem is different make up of the 'disadvantaged'... lets go back a bit and say ok, there is a gender problem, a class problem and a race problem (to name but 3). To a very large extent, the gender problem was solved a entry (not entirely), but was that at the expense of other disvataged groups. I dont have figures to hand. But Willetts was not the only one to observed that working class boys lost out to middle class women. I cant say it enough: it is easy to see the problems, no one contests that (and as I said in the post, every faculty member in every elite, oversubscribed uni in the world has their version). It is much less easy to see the solution, when it is not a single one, not easily transferable from other places, and integrally bound up with ther forms of social and edicational disadvantage. Just keep trying is probably the best we can do
Toggle Commented May 4, 2017 on Ivy League vs Russell Group at A Don’s Life
it is a false dichotomy: between mechanism and miracle. There can hardly be a system in the world where in some respects being a family insider does not help (from singing to swimming to quantum physics.. look at the backgrounds of Olympic athetes). How we even that out is one of society's big problems. But it is a different issue from having formal mechanisms in place to privilege a legacy group.
Toggle Commented May 4, 2017 on Ivy League vs Russell Group at A Don’s Life