Are you from Wales and would you like to do an MSc by Research in Social Theory and Space?

Interested in doing an MSc by Research in Social Theory and Space? This funding opportunity would fully cover the tuition fees if you did it Full Time (1 Year). Contact me/see me if you want to apply.

You will need to apply quickly to secure a place at Swansea University as a part of the funding scheme.

The James Pantyfedwen Foundation distributes grants to postgraduate students from Wales studying for a Master’s or PhD award. Grants will be offered towards the payment of tuition fees only, up to a maximum of £5,000 in each case. The closing date for any applications for the 2022-23 academic year is 31 MAY 2022 – and the Trustees will not consider any applications received after the closing date. Details and application forms can be downloaded from the James Pantyfedwen website on www.jamespantyfedwen.cymru.

URGENT: Masters / PhD Funding Opportunity

If you are from Wales and would like me to supervise your research Masters or PhD please get in touch with me: r.g.smith@swan.ac.uk. You will need to apply quickly to secure a place at Swansea University as a part of the funding scheme.

The James Pantyfedwen Foundation distributes grants to postgraduate students from Wales studying for a Master’s or PhD award. Grants will be offered towards the payment of tuition fees only, up to a maximum of £5,000 in each case. The closing date for any applications for the 2022-23 academic year is 31 MAY 2022and the Trustees will not consider any applications received after the closing date. Details and application forms can be downloaded from the James Pantyfedwen website on www.jamespantyfedwen.cymru.

Welsh Government Supports UCU Strike Action and Calls for UUK to start supporting University Staff

Swansea University is the only Welsh University on strike; but we have a strong statement from the Welsh Government today on how UUK need to start acting in the interest of University staff:

“Statement of Opinion – OPIN-2022-0260 – Welsh Parliament (assembly.wales)

OPIN-2022-0260 Swansea University and Open University Action (e)Tabled on 16/02/2022

This Senedd:

1. Recognises that, throughout the pandemic, academic staff have worked hard to keep education open and stabilise the sector and that, now the emergency has passed, university lecturers face a 35 per cent cut in pension entitlement.

2. Recognises lecturers’ deep commitment towards their students and that the decision to strike is never easy.

3. Calls upon Universities UK to:

a) return to the negotiating table immediately to avert damaging strikes and allow a post-pandemic evaluation of the pension fund.

b) work with staff to devise a UK-wide plan to re-build the sector by eliminating precarious contracts, managing workloads and addressing inequality.”

On the Barricades: Strike Reading

UCU strike action here in the UK over pension cuts (and poor pay, job security, fairness, etc.). I am seeing our strike as an opportunity to get some reading done (when I am not on the picket line that is). A few books I picked up in the last couple of weeks look like an interesting distraction from the dark cloud of personal and collective financial doom that striking (always a last resort) inevitably entails.

Museum of Contemporary Art Rome (MACRO) Conference Catalogue Publication (Audio File Links)

Catalogue Publication in English and Italian.

Audio of the Rome conference talks:

My contributions:

Smith RG (2019) A World Beyond The Real: Jean Baudrillard’s Photographic Theory, in Extending Baudrillard: Space, Image, Representation, Volume: MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art (Rome)) Catalogue, 21-11-2018, Unpaginated

Smith RG (2019) Introduction – International Symposium on Jean Baudrillard: ‘Baudrillard Redux’, in Extending Baudrillard: Space, Image, Representation, Volume: MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art (Rome)) Catalogue, 21-11-2018, Unpaginated

The Matrix’s real-world legacy – from red pill incels to conspiracies and deepfakes

By Alex Taylor
BBC Entertainment reporter

I was interviewed for this BBC article published today. Quote extracts:

“Where for Baudrillard there was no escape from the simulation, the Wachowskis offered hope in the “promise of a true natural world ‘unplugged’ and separate from the Matrix”, explains Prof Richard Smith, editor of The Baudrillard Dictionary. Baudrillard was not a fan of the change. “The Matrix is surely the kind of film about the matrix that the matrix would have been able to produce,” he said.”

For Prof Smith, the film’s Marxist narrative evokes Plato’s allegory of chained prisoners in a cave “who mistake the shadows on the wall for reality”.

As Morpheus puts it: “The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.” The pill scene “urges human beings to free themselves from the world of appearances”, says Prof Smith.

Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves star in the original 1999 film

URGENT – ESRC PhD funding for Human Geography with the Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (Post-Doctoral Fellowships also available)

 / DRRICHARDGSMITH / EDIT

Email me if you want me to supervise your PhD or mentor your Post-Doc Fellowship: r.g.smith@swan.ac.uk

Deadline for PhD applications is 12:00pm GMT on 4th February 2022.

Indications of interest in PDFs must be sent to the pathway convenor, Professor Gary Bridge at Cardiff University before February 1st, 2022.

Further Information (DTP website)

Further Information on Human Geography Pathway (DTP website)

Further Information on PDFs (DTP website)

The Department of Geography at Swansea University invites applications for PhD students and Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs) as part of the Human Geography pathway of the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership. The deadline for PhD studentship applications is February 4th, 2022. Indications of interest in PDFs must be sent to the pathway convenor, Professor Gary Bridge at Cardiff University before February 1st, 2022. These are both for October, 2022 entry. Enquiries can also be sent to Chris Muellerleile at Swansea University: c.m.muellerleile@swansea.ac.uk


The PhD studentships are ‘open’ awards meaning that any topic within the broad remit of the ESRC is eligible. If successful, applicants would be awarded a fully funded studentship for either 3 or 4 years depending on previous experience. Applicants should approach a potential supervisor before submitting their application. Information on the research interests of Swansea Geography staff can be found here.  A short description of the accredited Human Geography pathway is available on the ESRC Wales DTP website here. Prospective PhD students should apply here: https://apply.swansea.ac.uk/#/home.

The Postdoctoral fellowships are one year awards. Potential applicants will need an academic mentor, which would be a member of staff at either Cardiff, Aberystwyth, or Swansea University. Information on the research interests of Swansea Geography staff can be found here. The first formal step in the application process is to contact the Human Geography pathway convenor, Professor Gary Bridge at Cardiff University to discuss the suitability of the topic and potential mentors. This conversation with Professor Bridge must happen by February 1st, 2022 at the latest. More information on eligibility for these fellowships, including application information, can be found here: https://walesdtp.ac.uk/fellowships/.

There will be an information session on applying for a PDF on Monday, January 10th, 2022. See below.

Applying for an ESRC Wales DTP Postdoctoral Fellowship

Monday 10th January 2022, 11:00am-12:00noon

ESRC funded Postdoctoral Fellowship opportunities are open to applicants who have completed their PhD at a research organization that is part of a DTP. Full information regarding Postdoc Fellowships and eligibility is available on the Wales DTP website .

The DTP recently opened its call for ESRC funded Postdoctoral Fellowships to commence in October 2022.  Join us for a live one-hour session aimed at helping you to decide whether a Fellowship is right for you, and how to go about applying. In the session, Wales DTP Director Professor John Harrington will outline the benefits of a Fellowship and how to apply. You will also hear from and have an opportunity to put questions to current and former Wales DTP Postdoctoral Fellows, who will share their own experience of a Fellowship and how it has helped to further their career.

Register for this free one hour session by 5th January 2022. Live talks will be recorded and made available after the event.