About

Academic

I work at the University of Glasgow, where I'm Professor of Greek Drama and Culture. For details about what I am currently working on, and for my previous activities, see my research page. I also talk about my research on the Classics at Glasgow research blog. All opinions expressed here are my own and should not be taken to be endorsed in any way by my employer.

I've been at Glasgow for eighteen years; previously I studed at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and worked at a number of Oxford colleges as lecturer (Queen's, Wadham) and junior research fellow (Christ Church). I'm originally from North-East Essex, one of its many peculiarities being a state school that still teaches Latin and Greek (Colchester Royal Grammar School).

Politics

I have at various points in my life been heavily involved in politics, and am still a member of the Scottish Green Party. Before moving to Glasgow in 2001, I was previously a member of the Green Party of England and Wales. Accordingly, discussion on this site will include a fair bit of politics from that kind of perspective.

Visual Impairment

I am visually impaired, with a condition known as choroideremia (a degenerative x-linked problem). This typically creates holes from the outside in, leaving a small and progressively embattled central(ish) island of vision. By now, I have lost almost all peripheral vision, which has interesting consequences from a mobility point of view. I shall be blogging about the practical issues but also about the political aspects of disability

Transitioning

I am also transgender and am currently in the process of transitioning. There will be a few reflections upon this too. I had previously embarked upon this process back in 1999 before bailing out after sixteen months full-time. I have posted some reflections on that history on the blog.

Free Software

I have been a Linux user for over twenty years, both on the desktop and for various coding projects. The early combination of geeky curiosity and ideological commitment has largely given way to stubborn persistence (or masochism) and weary familiarity, but I still appreciate the options it presents and the Free Software movement, although my Associate FSF membership has long since lapsed. I may post aide-memoires or experiences that may be helpful to others. As well as using a variety of programming languages at one time or another (Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, C++), I have been a LaTeX user since 2000, which has included typesetting my first book, Politics and Anti-Realism in Athenian Old Comedy (OUP, 2011) myself. So I may post some of the fruits of this masochistic experience here.

About the Website

This is the first personal site I have put together since 2001, when I moved to Glasgow from Oxford, leaving my old site behind me. Having had rather too much publicity for comfort at one time, I've not been in any rush to create another. Increasingly, however, I find myself needing to write things, both personal and otherwise, and the long form of a blog is much more conducive to me than the shorter forms of Twitter or even Facebook posts.

I also prefer a platform that I can control mself. Although I've spent more time with SQL than is entirely healthy (especially PostgreSQL), I've decided to go for a static site generator (Pelican) rather than a database-driven site. At times this seems like a perverse choice (is this not just going back to Dreamweaver or similar?) but since I spend most of my time in a text editor, I may as well go with it.