Sunday, February 12, 2012

Psephy's ~ologies begins

After some months in the twittersphere I have decided to take the leap and start a blog. I've drawn inspiration from others before me (thanks especially to toddocracy) and aim to make this blog a place to develop the tweets, comment on links, and, as the '~ologies' tag suggests, occasionally write about the ideas and philosophies that matter to me. Please bear with me for a little while as I learn to drive. 

I am, by day (and occasionally by night), a lecturer in Japanese Studies and International Relations at a university in SE Queensland, Australia. My professional commentary focuses on relations between Japan and Australia, international security in NE Asia, politics and society in Japan and politics more generally. I am particularly interested in the concept of security communities in the region and the concept is underpinned by Kantian notions of making the world a better place. 

I am a political scientist by training and a bilingual psephologist by inclination. The tag 'psephy' is short for psephology (silent 'p'), the study and analysis of elections and all that relates to that. My Politics and Media class voted for that name when I joined Twitter... :~/    I occasionally tweet in Japanese. 

In 2012, I plan to use the blog as a part of my teaching and research. A number of the posts will be 'About Japan', one of my undergraduate classes which examines modern Japan, mostly for students of Japanese language but also for those interested in the place in general. I anticipate the blog posts will present supplementary comments and reflections on our classes each week. However, since this is a public space, the blogs will also be written with a general readership in mind. This is a work-in-progress as we are wont to call our experiments. 

Psephy's ~ologies will not be just about work though. As those in the twittersphere will know, I can be seriously distracted by books and reading, music, photography, test cricket, MWSE (that's a football team based on Sydney's northern beaches) and I am an ABC Radio tragic. The radio is a substitute for my TV-free life. Occasionally the blog posts will range over these topics too...

So, I'm about to set post number one free. I hope I gain as much from this venture as I have in recent times with twitter, and as always, I draw inspiration from the students I've had the pleasure to teach and the ones I'm yet to encounter.