From tomorrow, I’m starting a new series where each Sunday morning I will post a summary of an academic article about Namibia.

These articles will be from across the social sciences – I’ve got history and sociology lined up, and have anthropology and political science next.

Most people won’t read an academic article in their life. The academic world is seen as elitist, which it is true both in terms of the escalating costs of higher education but also because of the language which we use. Most people would struggle wading through the jargon to get to the meaning of your average academic article. Some complexity is necessary when talking in-depth about issues, but the truth is that many academics are simply poor writers.

A lot of people think so: there was a “bad writing” award for academic writing for a while, and many essays have discussed the various causes and solutions for this problem (or contested the conventional wisdom).

I’m doing this because people are doing some really interesting research on our country, and I think it’s a shame that most of it doesn’t reach (m)any Namibians. I have no illusions that my blog will change that on a grand scale, but through this and twitter I might get an interesting paper or two into the hands of a person or two who might appreciate it.

This exercise will also help me: it’s an excuse (and structure!) to read more widely. And I’ll practice writing clearly. Hopefully it’s interesting to folks out there.