Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tocqueville in China

So I'm told:

First there was Confucius. Then there was Mao Zedong. And now Alexis de Tocqueville tops the must-read list for avid Chinese intellectuals and bloggers.

The UMP Dogfight

I'm not sure that Claude Guéant's support for François Fillon is an advantage in his fight with J.-F. Copé or not. One might have expected Guéant, who supported the droitisation of the UMP in Sarkozy's last year, to have gone with Copé, who seems to have committed himself to extending the tactic. But Guéant, a bureaucrat at heart, may find Fillon's understated style more congenial. Who knows? Politics, like romantic comedy, is a matter of chemistry. With supporters like Guéant and Baroin in his camp, Fillon had better watch his back, but then I suppose that back-watching is part of the job description of party leadership. This contest has now been running about as long as a presidential campaign. It's time for a vote.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lecture Canceled

As announced here earlier, I was to give a lecture at CEVIPOF in Paris on October 26. Unfortunately, a medical issue has arisen that will prevent me from traveling for a bit, and I've had to cancel that lecture. My apologies to anyone who took the trouble to register. I will also have to suspend blogging for a while from Tuesday, Oct. 16, while I recuperate. Thanks for your support.

Badke's books: Research processes and Research Strategies

Badke, W. (2012) Teaching Research Processes: The Faculty Role in the Development of Skilled Student Researchers. Oxford: Chandos; New York: Neal-Schuman. ISBN: 9781843346746
The book "suggests a novel way in which information literacy can come within the remit of teaching faculty, supported by librarians, and reconceived as "research processes." The aim is to transform education from what some see as a primarily one-way knowledge communication practice, to an interactive practice involving the core research tasks of subject disciplines." Info here.
Also just a reminder that there is a free online abridged version of William Badke's Research strategies (updated March 2012). The full book is available in print and e-book versions:
Badke, W. (2011) Research Strategies: Finding Your Way Through the Information Fog. 4th ed. ISBN-13: 978-1462010172
The website with details of the publication and the abridged web version is at

EU Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize before he had done anything. The prize to the EU seems like the opposite: a sort of lifetime achievement award (overlooking a few mishaps such as Srbrenica and Kosovo). Europe may be collapsing, but it's not at war. In this light, the prize, while somewhat pointless, is not absurd. But it must seem a rather bitter pill to everyone but the fatuous José Manuel Barroso, who was crowing about the award this morning. Europe would do better to take care of its problems than to sit on its laurels.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Information Literacies Track call for papers

There is an information literacies conference track for the eighth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science (CoLIS8). COLIS 2013 takes place at the Royal School of Library and Information Science in Copenhagen, Denmark, 19-22 August, 2013. The call is for short or long papers presenting empirical research within information literacies and/or discussjng methodological issues. The deadline for submissions is March 1st 2013. Among the accepted papers on information literacies, one paper will be awarded the inaugural iilresearch Best Information Literacies Paper Award. The call for papers is at and the COLIS conference web site is at Questions regarding the workshop should be directed to Camilla Moring, member of the iilresearch-network and Local chair ( General queries regarding submissions should be directed to Jeppe Nicolaisen (, Chair of Publications and Proceedings.
Photo by Sheila Webber: duck, Sheffield, October 2012

This Is Not a Tabloid or a Scandal Sheet

Nevertheless, as Tolstoy observed, gossip is an essential part of human existence, and there is some gossip that is too juicy to ignore in a fit of high-mindedness.