London Branch Seminar
I discuss themes addressed in my Virtue and the Quiet Art of Scholarship: Reclaiming the University, concerning how to do good work in a climate of constraint. The book provides scope for dimensions of life that are frequently suppressed in the quest for a convincing, consistent and comprehensive ‘grand narrative’ rooted in a particular disciplinary tradition or professional practice. It calls for an alternative aesthetic of academic practice, foregrounding lived experience and the contingent nature of scholarly inquiry. The book celebrates an alternative ‘epistemic virtues’, those that Italo Calvino considered the qualities of literature: lightness; quickness; exactitude; visibility and multiplicity.
Anne Pirrie is Reader in Education at the University of the West of Scotland. She studied German at the University of Edinburgh. She then had a brief and inglorious career as a teacher of modern languages in two secondary schools. After a short spell in Italy, she spent many years as a contract researcher at the Scottish Council for Research in Education and at the universities of Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow before taking up her current appointment.