Monthly Archive: August 2015

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Practical intellectuals

During the Napoleon Wars, French (invader) troops were dispatched in the homes of Berlin inhabitants. Some of these cohabitations went well, others were depicted as being quite catastrophic. But the letters written by intellectuals in that time generally show that their abstract consideration of the political situation (mainly a patriotic discourse) was situated on another level than their assessment of these practices of imposed lodging of French soldiers. Until recently, I never really payed attention to the meaning of this discursive gap. I have always considered the two aspects separately, while there is in fact an excellent question to be asked at the interface of both,...

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For what it’s worth

Social expectations to women scholars have been driving me crazy for about 10 years now (my daughter is 9 years old). It has been a daily fight to work, then run errands, pick up the kids from school, do laundry, cook, bring the kids to bed and reopen the laptop at 8 P.M. every single evening, for years. But that, I have become used to, even if it still makes me angry (an anger that I consider as a sign of good mental health). I can’t see anything illegitimate in raising one’s kids while doing research. Something has become worse in the last year though, because...