Name: Euan Hague
Location: 990 W. Fullerton, suite 4300
Current Gig: Professor and Chair, Department of Geography
One word that best describes how you work: conscientiously
Current mobile device: It’s a Flip Phone!
Current computer: Whatever the university has given me. A Dell desktop Optiplex 7010 is what it says on the hard drive. Not sure what that even means or if it is any good.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Most definitely http://guardian.co.uk and http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/. I check for UK soccer news at almost every available opportunity! As I have a flip phone, I don’t have apps…. As for software, ESRI’s ArcGIS is essential to teaching in the Department of Geography.
What’s your workspace setup like? Messy. Very messy. There are piles of papers everywhere that I neither have time, nor inclination, to tidy up. I see post-it notes stuck around with student requests for DPR updates. On the top of the piles there is a copy of South Side Weekly with an article about the demolition of Englewood and its replacement by railyards and a book copy of the edited collection “Notes for a Peoples Atlas” which I helped to put together (www.peoplesatlas.com). There are lots of pens, to do lists, notebooks and, basically, piles of papers.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager? A notepad and pen.
What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret? Getting through all those ‘to do’ lists. My secret – doing the things written on the ‘to do’ list! Also, working out what I can cross off that list in the time I have available. I get almost obsessed with finishing things up so I can cross them off the list or throw that last page away!
What do you listen to while you work? Nothing. Music distracts me when I am writing. I guess I mainly listen to the photocopier copying in the office opposite mine, conversations in the corridor and traffic humming through the window. The corner of Sheffield and Fullerton is never quiet, but I am very good at blocking out sound and staying focused.
What do you do to stay inspired? My family keeps me inspired. Also, learning about the efforts that people have gone through to effect political change. From the Chartists to the Black Panthers, the Suffragettes to community organizations today, the geographies of activism are always inspirational.
Who are some of your favorite artists? Music-wise, Spiritualized, Spacemen 3, Six By Seven, Jesus and Mary Chain, Teenage Fanclub, Frightened Rabbit, The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, Sloan, Crooked Fingers, the Pixies. I grew up in the post-punk UK of the 1980s, so that means The Clash, Joy Division, and numerous other bands that are seen here in the US as one hit wonders, then had cash to spend in the 1990s Brit Pop era – Radiohead, Pulp, Suede, Blur, Oasis, the Bluetones, Massive Attack, Portishead, Carter USM, Echobelly, and so on. In terms of art, I veer towards modern art I guess. I’m not too keen on 18th Century landscape paintings or Renaissance masterpieces! One of my first assessments of art was to study the Geography of 19th Century Paris through the art of Eduard Manet. I now teach about that in my GEO 172 – Cultural Geography, so I always have liked Manet. To that I’ve added teaching about early-20th Century New York urban planning and development through the Ashcan School and the contrasting representations of the American West in the art of Georgia O’Keeffe and Frederick Remington. Back in Edinburgh, I like the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and especially the work of Eduardo Paolozzi. Here in Chicago, the National Museum of Mexican Art and the MCA are very good.
What sort of work are you up to now? Making sure that students graduate on time by updating DPRs! I am also teaching my class on gentrification in Pilsen (GEO133) and have a range of Chicago-area guests coming to speak to my SUD 502 – Sustainable Urban Development Capstone class, so I am preparing for those classes. Writing wise, I recently published an invited article on the current Confederate movement for Politico. Additionally, I am working on a manuscript for the journal “Scottish Affairs” about the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence. I am also helping to organize the Association of American Geographers conference, which will see 10,000 geography faculty and students in the city in late-April, so I have been writing for that event as well, most recently, “Pilsen – the gentrification frontier” (http://news.aag.org/2015/03/pilsen-the-gentrification-frontier/).
What are you currently reading? I’ve just finishing the Nelson Algren collection “Entrapment.” It’s OK, but not as good as “The Man With the Golden Arm.” I also just finished “The Three Degrees” by Paul Rees about the rise of Black footballers in England in the 1970s. I went to my first football game in 1978 when I was seven years old, Manchester United v. West Brom and the three players profiled in the book all played that day. In retrospect that game became one of the most important in the history of British sport and race relations. Cyrille Regis was always a great player. But really what I read most of the time are children’s books. “Even Monsters Need Haircuts” by Matthew McElligott and “The Gruffalo” are popular this week.
What’s your sleep routine like? I tend to work late and get up early. The former is an attempt to get all the work done that I don’t get done in the office each day; the latter is a necessity as I need to do school drop offs.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Take a year off after high school before college. That was great. I worked, wandered around London and most of Europe, and even made it up to Svalbard, north of the Arctic Circle. I guess a more day to day thing is to treat others as you would like to be treated.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans? I have fans?
The How I Work series featured on the re/search blog is shamelessly stolen from Life Hacker’s How I Work series. The SSRC’s version asks DePaul’s heroes, experts, and individuals of note to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Jessi at jbishopr[at]depaul.edu.