Archive for the ‘online networks’ Category


I have been running a network on the Ning platform since 2008 with the title of Poststructural Theory, but most of the activity on it is currently related to Foucault and Education, so I have re-purposed the network and re-titled it Foucault and Education.

The Ning platform allows for the creation of custom social networks. Further information about how the Ning platform works can be found on the Wikipedia page. I have found Ning to provide a far more satisfactory interface for supporting effective work and research collaboration than platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or dedicated blogging platforms.


Foucault and Education is an international network for students and researchers applying the work of Foucault to Education. It incorporates the Poststructural Theory Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE).

Anybody engaged in research and study applying the ideas of Michel Foucault to the discipline of education is welcome to join this network.

Members can create their own profile pages and ‘friend’ each other, form private interest, work and reading groups, post status updates and post to the main forum or to the small private group forums. They can also post blog entries and notices of events. The network can be used to post notices of publications, calls for papers as well as for discussion of any other topics of general interest relating to Foucault and education. Members can in addition post documents, photos and videos, which is useful for those wishing to form work or reading groups.

The network also includes members of the Poststructural Theory Special Interest Group (SIG) of the AARE (Australian Association for Research in Education).

How to register

There is not a great deal happening on the network at present beyond a couple of small special interest groups (including one related to a M.Ed course), so new members are invited to generate activity to make the network a bit more lively!

If you are interested in joining, please visit this link to register. The content and activity of this network are only visible to members. Please email me if you have any problems registering via this link as the invitation link expires from time to time.


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Graphing the history of philosophy

For the complete graph where you able to see Foucault’s influence see here

Editor: As Simon Raper who put together this graph observes the data used is drawn from the ‘influenced by’ section on Wikipedia pages about philosophers and thus only delineates Foucault in relation to other figures designated as philosophers. Arguably Foucault’s impact outside the narrow confines of the field of philosophy is far wider.


If you are interested in this data set you might like my latest post where I use it to make book recommendations.

This one came about because I was searching for a data set on horror films (don’t ask) and ended up with one describing the links between philosophers.

To cut a long story very short I’ve extracted the information in the influenced by section for every philosopher on Wikipedia and used it to construct a network which I’ve then visualised using gephi

It’s an easy process to repeat. It could be done for any area within Wikipedia where the information forms a network. I chose philosophy because firstly the influences section is very well maintained and secondly I know a little bit about it. At the bottom of this post I’ve described how I got there.

First I’ll show why I think it’s worked as a visualisation. Here’s the…

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