Tag Archives: editors

subtext 197 – you know your worst is better than their best

Frequency determined by contributions received.

Letters, contributions, & comments: subtext-editors@lancaster.ac.uk

Back issues & subscription details: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/subtext/about/

In this issue: editorial, campus update, campus by-election, bailrigg garden village special, tolerance update, honorary degrees, valete spineless, post-lockdown dystopia, peter scott review, three widden reviews, letters.


Before 2021, the longest ever hiatus between subtexts was a little over five months, between subtext 61 on 10 December 2009 and subtext 62 on 20 May 2010. The editors put out ‘not issue 62‘ on 21 January 2010, where they explained: ‘subtext relies on willing volunteers, but time moves on, and people come to feel that it is time for others to shoulder the task. The collective is now down to three people, and that is not sufficient to produce subtext. Either we need more people to join the present team; or subtext can hand over to a new collective; or it disappears.’ This tale of winter woe did the trick, because subtext returned triumphantly in the spring with nine editors and a bumper issue.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Welcome to subtext 197, hitting your inboxes after a record-breaking eight month gap. While the timing is hopefully a sign that, as with our campus and the whole world, things are getting back to sort-of normal, the reality is that, as in 2010, the subtext collective is now down to two, and without a new influx of hip young gunslingers (or anyone, truth be told), it’ll probably be even longer before the next one. Which is a pity, because the stories – on academic freedom, health and safety, forthcoming UCU strike action, ‘pulse surveys’ and more – are very much out there. We would say that they write themselves, but… they definitely don’t!

So, while the spirit of subtext is currently weak, we think there should be life in it yet. We need you. If you might like to get involved, or would just like to gossip for a few hours a month, get in touch via subtext-editors@lancaster.ac.uk.

subtext 181 – ‘mean as you start to go on’

Every so often during term time.

Letters, contributions, & comments: subtext-editors@lancaster.ac.uk

Back issues & subscription details: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/subtext/about/

In this issue: editorial, evening teaching, gender pay gap, UA92, wellings, stansted 15, heaton-harris, masons, buses, letters.



Over the long hot summer of 2018 market forces required us to undertake radical restructuring at the subtext warehouse, rationalising the workforce and streamlining our operations. As a result we have reduced the number of drones by 50%, relying largely on accidental consumption by bears and rifts in the space-time continuum to prevent enforced redundancies. Several functions of subtext will be outsourced to freelance drones on zero hours contracts. All drones and subcontractors will now work to an enhanced day of 25 hours to mitigate the effect of the extended teaching day. We have agreed a range of new Kwantifiable Pseudo Intentions (KPIs) including: identifying efficiency savings of 5-10%, eliminating any remaining work/life balance and counting the number of teeny-tiny paving stones in the new-look Spine.

Our heartfelt thanks go to outgoing editors Ian Paylor, Ronnie Rowlands and Joe Thornberry. Over the last 5 years (7 in Ian’s case) they have investigated a huge variety of University shenanigans, bringing satire and panache to your inboxes, and this will undoubtedly be a loss to subtext’s pages. This leaves us with a collective captaincy of three remaining editors, and we would like to have more! If you don’t think you can commit to being an editor, we’d really welcome contributions – you know the things we like to print: it’s what you like to read. If you’re interested in either of these possibilities, please contact us at subtext-editors@lancaster.ac.uk


In 13 years, 180 issues, 8 specials and a suspension notice, 28 individuals have at some point shouldered responsibility for producing subtext. None of us are getting any younger. People move on, storm off, succumb to ailments, or retire.

We haven’t recruited new, longstanding editors in some time, and now is the time for us to start looking. If you are interested, then do get in touch with us at subtext-editors@lancaster.ac.uk so that we can have a conversation.

The fickle finger of fate could send any of us packing at a moment’s notice. In 2010, the collective was reduced to three individuals. This, not being enough to produce subtext, led to a hiatus lasting several months. Would staff and students of the university be informed and empowered to speak out against the tsunami of scandal, incompetence and occasional lunacy that engulfed Lancaster in 2017-18 without subtext? For an answer to that, see our recaps below.