T. Mels (ed.), Reanimating Places : a Geography of Rhythms, Aldershot : Ashgate, 2004, 278 p. Quelques pages sont accessibles ici. For geographers, rhythm is one of the most seductive and elusive of concepts. And, as Tom Mels's expansive introductory essay to this collection demonstrates, it is possible to trace the 'lineage of a geography of rhythms' through various theoretical and empirical trajectories. The content and tone of this volume is, however, dominated by one particular (...) - Recensions.
Small-scale research projects involving human subjects have been identified as being effective in developing critical appraisal skills in undergraduate students. In deciding whether to grant ethical approval to such projects, university research ethics committees must weigh the benefits of the research against the risk of harm or discomfort to the participants. As the learning objectives associated with student research can be met without the need for human subjects, the benefit associated with training new healthcare professionals cannot, in itself, justify such (...) risks. The outputs of research must be shared with the wider scientific community if it is to influence future practice. Our survey of 19 UK universities indicates that undergraduate dissertations associated with the disciplines of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy are not routinely retained in their library catalogues, thus closing a major avenue to the dissemination of their findings. If such research is unlikely to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, presented at a conference, or otherwise made available to other researchers, then the risks of harm, discomfort or inconvenience to participants are unlikely to be offset by societal benefits. Ethics committees should be satisfied that undergraduate research will be funnelled into further research that is likely to inform clinical practice before granting ethical approval. (shrink)
Our pollution of the environment seems set to lead to widespread problems in the future, including disease, scarcity of resources, and bloody conflicts. It is natural to think that we are required to stop polluting because polluting harms the future individuals who will be faced with these problems. This natural thought faces Derek Parfit’s famous Non-Identity Problem ( 1984 , pp. 361–364). The people who live on the polluted earth would not have existed if we had not polluted. Our (...) polluting behaviour does not make these individuals worse off. It may therefore seem that we do not harm them by polluting. Parfit argues that we should replace person-affecting principles with an impersonal principle of beneficence, Principle Q ( 1984 , p. 360.). I argue that Principle Q cannot give an adequate account of our duties to refrain from polluting. I consider attempts to solve the Non-Identity Problem by denying that to harm someone an agent must make them worse off. I argue that such responses provide a partial solution to the Non-Identity Problem. They do show that we harm future individuals in a morally relevant sense by polluting. Nonetheless, this is only a partial solution. The Non-Identity Problem still suggests that our harm-based reasons not to pollute are less strong than we intuitively believe. Thus on its own an appeal to the claim that we harm future individuals is not able to give a fully satisfactory account of why we are required not to pollute. (shrink)
Is Rabinowitz seriously suggesting that his “rules” of reading are equally applicable to the analysis of British and American forms of popular writing and their readerships between 1920 and the 1960s? Is he seriously suggesting that Gone with the Wind, for example, would be “read” in the same way and for the same meanings in the southern states, the northern states, in Yorkshire and London? In this particular case the issue of cultural reproduction is also crucial—the complex relations between the (...) book and film “texts” and readerships for both. Is the book now read “through” the film and the mythos of Hollywood? Can the novel’s “history” of the Civil War and the period of Reconstruction be seen in relation to experience of the Depression on the one hand and to dominant historical discourses of the period privileged within American educational institutions on the other?2Or, if we take a British example like A. J. Cronin, whose work was regarded as both “serious” and “popular” in the late 1930s, what happens to Rabinowitz’s distinction? Clearly, Cronin’s fiction is not “acceptable” in the literary canon but his example illustrates the weakness of any critical analysis of the popular rooted in “literary” assumptions. Very important questions are raised by the commercial success of The Citadel, not among “the people” in any generalized sense but among specific constituencies of professional, middle-class readerships in both New Deal American and in Britain during a period of history remarkable for the regrouping of the forces of social-democratic consensus politics—an alliance between “sympathetic” fractions of the professional middle class and “the people” which culminated eventually in the postwar Labour party election victory. Thus readers are not only readers, and the processes of reading—especially perhaps of popular fiction—are not reducible to abstract rules which exclude all considerations of cultural=political institutions and discourses. 2. This example is partly indebted to discussion with Greg Gaut and Jane P. Tompkins during a University of Minnesota Conference, “On the Social Edge” . Derek Longhurst is principal lecturer and course leader in communication studies at Sunderland Polytechnic and general editor of the forthcoming series Culture and Popular Fiction. His publications include chapters in Re-Reading English and An Introduction to Contemporary Cultural Studies. He is currently working on a book about the political thriller. (shrink)