Author: M.J.Ryder

About M.J.Ryder

Writer, academic and digital communications professional.

We are not pigeons! (Or are we?): Animality and the Homeless Conundrum

It was with great interest that I read in the news recently tale of Jennie Platt from Prestwich, who has been so incensed at the installation of anti-homeless spikes in Manchester, that she’s covered them up with cushions. According to Ms Platt, “The building owners are treating human beings like pigeons.”

This line intrigued me, and for a number of reasons. Firstly, there is the obvious assumption on the part of Ms Platt that we are not like pigeons and should not be treated as such. Yet in reality we all know and accept that we actually are an awful lot like pigeons and share more in common with them than we like to admit. In a way this incident reminds us of the strange Orwellian ‘double-think’ that we all subscribe to on a daily basis. That is, the way that we are at once both human and animal, and define our humanity in relation to, and through the exclusion of, the ‘animal’ other. Continue reading »

Can you ever read too much?

I sit here, on Friday 20th January typing away at non-PhD work to rest my eyes from all the reading I’ve been doing of late. My working bibliography thus far comes to near on four full pages, and most of these aren’t exactly what you’d call ‘easy’ books (Agamben, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze etc.). Plus there are all the novels I’ve been re-reading ready to integrate with the philosophy.

Yet still I feel like I haven’t read enough. Continue reading »

Ushering in 2017… (a brief update)

We’re only just over a week into the new year and already 2017 is shaping up to be an incredibly busy year all round.

Since the turn of the year I’ve spent much of my time working on my first chapter, provisionally entitled ‘Future Soldiers’, and am currently up to around 7,500 words including footnotes. This will come down a bit once I’ve got the main structure sorted and can tidy up the footnotes, but it’s a pretty good start considering at the end of 2016 I had nothing in terms of written argument at all. Continue reading »

A mantra for academic research

'Resilient Life' coverAs part of my ongoing research, I’ve recently been reading through Brad Evans and Julian Reid’s Resilient Life: The Art of Living Dangerously. I’m not normally one for prefaces and acknowledgements, but this book’s front matter really struck a chord with me. In it, the authors rework Foucault’s own preface in Deleuze’s Anti-Oedipus to create a series of basic principles that they believe every intellectual project ‘of a political kind’ should follow. Personally, I believe these principles should be applied to all research, and I will certainly do my best to be guided by these principles in my own work Continue reading »