Laurie Taylor Column

January 13, 2006

Consultancy work is becoming so commonplace in academic life that it could be influencing subject specialisms adopted by lecturers - The Times Higher, January 6.

From : The Vice-Chancellor

Below is a list of the new undergraduate courses approved at a recent meeting of the Curriculum Committee. All approved courses meet our new course-development guidelines in combining coherent intellectual goals with a commitment to practical concerns relevant to our major research funding body, Poppleton Pork Products plc.

Department of Medieval Studies, Dr Rosalyn Tonkins

Two-term course: Who ate all the pies?: an examination of the "structured absence" of pork products from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Department of Physics, Professor James Faraway

Three-term course: Thermodynamics and sausages: a critical exploration of the argument that the second law of thermodynamics is demonstrated by the observation that, while one may put a pig into a machine and get a sausage, one cannot put a sausage into a machine and retrieve a pig.

Department of Political Science, Mr Jeff Danks

Two-term course: Metaphors of tyranny: a critical re-evaluation of Orwell's choice of pigs as agents of repression in Animal Farm.

Department of English, Dr Herbert Standfast

One-term course: Leopold Bloom's pork kidney: parameters of offal symbolism in Joyce's Ulysses.

Not recommended : The following courses were rejected for failing to integrate intellectual goals with practical research outcomes.

Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Professor G. Lapping

Three-term course: Hegemony, counter-hegemony, back bacon and deconstruction.

Department of Gender Studies, Sally Forth

Two-term course: Homosociality, queer theory, identity construction and gammon steaks.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

The Vice-Chancellor (signed in his absence by Mrs Dilworth)

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