Moments of beauty in academia

The Academics’ Writing Project has taken us to destinations far and wide. We’ve given talks in England, Sweden, Hong Kong, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Spain, and the USA. And before the year is out, we’re going to The Netherlands and Wales.

Even at home in North West England the project has taken us to unexpected places. So far, we’ve visited the offices of 38 academics, and because they often work from home, we’ve also been invited into the domestic domains of several of our participants. I’ve been to farmhouses with sweeping views of misty moors. I’ve perched on a child’s chair among stalagmites of books in a cramped study. I’ve been invited through bedrooms and up vertiginous staircases to hidden attics piled high with papers and paintings. I’ve been fed homemade bread and jam, and I’ve been given books of poetry. Yesterday, after our interview, someone sat me down and played me a Haydn sonata on the piano.