Archive for category Alumni

New Honorary Degrees

 

Two former Essex people were awarded Honorary Degrees at this year’s Graduation Ceremonies

 

Paul Thompson is a world pioneering oral historian and was a founder appointment in the sociology department in September 1964. He has been associated with the department for the past fifty years!

Paul Thompson gaining an Honorary Degree at Essex in July 2015

Paul Thompson gaining an Honorary Degree at Essex in July 2015

 

Andrew Mack was an early Sociology/ Government student at Essex. He helped revolutionise the field of peace research, making important contributions to the work of the United Nations and working at leading universities around the world.

He is currently Director of the Human Security Report Project at Simon Fraser University in Canada and a faculty member of the university’s new School for International Studies. Prior to this he directed the Human Security Centre at the University of British Columbia. Before this, Professor Mack was a Visiting Professor at the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University.

Professor Andrew Mack is an Essex alumnus who helped revolutionise the field of peace research, making important contributions to the work of the United Nations and working at leading universities around the world.School for International Studies. Prior to this he directed the Human Security Centre at the University of British Columbia. Before this, Professor Mack was a Visiting Professor at the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University.

Andrew Mack gaining his Honorary Degree at Essex in July 2015

Andrew Mack gaining his Honorary Degree at Essex in July 2015

 

Hear what they have to say on the University/ Department Facebook  Page

Click here:

https://www.facebook.com/UoESociology

 

 

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Sociology Department’s 50th Anniversary Conference: 24th June, 2015 PROGRAMME

Sociology Department’s 50th Anniversary Conference:
24th June, 2015 Programme

NEW DIALOGUES AND DIRECTIONS

 

Ivor Crewe Auditorium

9.15-9.50 Registration and Refreshments

9.50-10.00 Conference Introduction (Nigel South)

 

10.00-12.30 Past Excitements New Dialogues

A panel of distinguished members of the Department reflect on what was thought to be most exciting about Sociology in the past (both as a discipline and in the way[s] in which it was practiced at Essex) – and how all this has been reflected in their own ideas and research – as well as in ‘new dialogues and directions’ today (Ted Benton; Joan Busfield; Diane Elson; Ken Plummer; John Scott; and Paul Thompson)

 

10.00-11.15:

Chair: Lydia Morris

-Paul Thomson ‘Discovering life stories from first fumbles to our own Pioneers of Social Research’ (30 min)

-Joan Busfield ‘Continuities and Changes in British Sociology’. (15 min)

-Ted Benton ‘Beyond nature/society dualisms (15 min)

Questions (15 min)

11.15-11.30 Break

 

11.30-12.30:

Chair: Michael Roper

-Ken Plummer ‘Dialogues of Hope for a Better World’ (15 min)

-John Scott ‘Stratification and Social Theory: Retrospect and Prospect’ (15 min)

-Diane Elson ‘Challenges to Women’s Rights in a Time of ‘Austerity”? (15 min)

Questions (15 min)

 

12.30-14.00 Lunch break

 

14.00-16.000    Future Challenges New Directions

In three parallel, thematic sessions, colleagues who have joined the Department in more recent years will reflect on the interesting/challenging issues facing Sociology in the 21st century

Room 5S.3.8   Challenging Questions in Social Theory

Chair: Sean Nixon

-Michael Halewood, “Rethinking the Social” (20 min)

-Linsey McGoey, “Theorizing Excess” (20 min)

-Sandya Hewamanne, “Affect, Human Genome, and Dogs and Monkeys” (20 min)

PhD Discussant: Ms Stephanie Nitsche 5 mins

15 minutes question time

Following the session please re-convene at the Ivor Crewe Auditorium

Room 5S.4.9 Civic Challenges, Community Studies and Public Sociology

Chair: Jackie Turton

-Michael Bailey, “Whither Community Studies? Return to Ecclesfield” (20 min)

-Neli Demireva and Isabel Crowhurst, “The Impact of Sociological Research on Social Policy” (20 min)

-Robin West, “Environment: Moral Selves and Civic Responsibilities” (20 min)

PhD Discussant: Ms Sarah Day 5 mins

15 minutes question time

Following the session please re-convene at the Ivor Crewe Auditorium

Room 5N.4.6 New Terrains

Chair: Andrew Canessa

-James Allen-Robertson, ‘Gameplay Capitalism and the Hacker Ethic’. (20 min)

-Darren Thiel, “Countering Austerity and the Logic of Welfare Reform” (20 min)

-Pete Fussey, “Topologies of Urban Security and Surveillance in the Post-Snowden Era” (20 min)

PhD Discussant: Ms Roxana Baltaru 5 mins

15 minutes question time

Following the session please re-convene at the Ivor Crewe Auditorium

 

16.00-17.00 Ivor Crewe Auditorium

 

Closing Comments (Sean Nixon)

and Drinks.

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The 50th Anniversary Conference of the Department of Sociology

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The 50th Anniversary Conference of the Department of Sociology

Wednesday 24th June, 2015

Ivor Crewe Hall, 9.30 start.

 

The Essex Sociology Department has helped to shape sociological thought and practice across Britain and around the world. In our 50th year, a panel of distinguished former and current members offer their own critical reflection on this contribution.

In the morning, we discuss its legacies and the new dialogues it continues to foster (Ted Benton, Joan Busfield, Diane Elson, Ken Plummer, John Scott and Paul Thompson).

In the afternoon, there will be three thematic sessions (social theory, civic challenges and new terrains) that will explore some of the Department’s contemporary research challenges and collaborations. These include: theorizing excess, moral selfhood, hacker ethics, countering austerity and urban security (Michael Halewood, Linsey McGoey, Sandya Hewamanne, Michael Bailey, Neli Demireva, Isabel Crowhurst, Robin West, James Allen- Robertson, Darren Thiel, Pete Fussey).

ALL WELCOME

For further details and to reserve your place please contact Agnes Skamballis on askamb@essex.ac.uk

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Jennifer Bullen MA 2006, Ph D 2010

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Eamonn Carrabine writes:

I would like to say a few words as Jen’s death touched many of us…she was a familiar figure around the department, having begun to study here in 2005 taking the MA in Sociological Research and then going on to complete her PhD in 2010…She also worked as a GTA in the department, and was much liked by her fellow teachers and students. In addition to this, she also worked closely with Jackie Turton as a researcher interviewing inmates at Bullwood Hall prison about their life stories. These interviews were filmed and then edited to be used in training for prison staff. She also worked with Dick Hobbs as a researcher on one of his projects looking at the Champions League. This breadth of experience is unusual for a PhD student, but I think gives a sense of how much faith we had in her abilities. I have many memories of Jen, but I want to share two.

The first is when I first met her. This was just after she had been awarded the ESRC funding to come and study here. The project was meant to be on I think, a social history of female football fans, but it was clear she was not really interested in that topic and instead she wanted to change focus and concentrate on the then new phenomenon of WAGs. Footballers Wives and Girlfriends. So from the beginning I knew she was someone who had a very strong view about what they wanted to do in their research, and who was determined to achieve all that she set out to do. And for me that quickly became one of her defining features, a very determined mind set mixed with a quiet enthusiasm for whatever task was at hand.

The second memory is when I was at home one early evening, several years later, and Radio 5 was on in the background as I was making the dinner. I heard one of the presenters saying they were now going to go live to the British Sociological Association conference, where they were going to interview someone who was researching WAGs. The interviewer was Pete Allen, and for those of you who know the station, know he can be difficult,  and I knew he was going to be highly sceptical of academics doing research on this kind of thing. But, I have to say I was absolutely blown away by how well Jen handled the interview, giving measured, thoughtful and calm answers to what were pretty hostile questions. It was a very impressive and assured performance, giving listeners some much needed sociological insight into how the media themselves represent WAGs.

It was one of those moments when I felt that Jen was the kind of student that the Department should feel very proud to have given an intellectual home to for over five years…and I think for much of that time she was very happy here, making some very close friends along the way and I think this tree will be one way in which her memory will live on in Essex.

Eamonn Carrabine

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Rhiannon Morgan (1974-2014) M.A, Ph.D.

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It is with great sadness that we heard of the death of Rhiannon Morgan, aged 40, on 26th October 2014. Rhiannon came to Essex in 1999 to study the MA in Human Rights and then moved to Sociology to pursue her PhD on the global indigenous movement, which she completed in 2004. During her time in the department Rhiannon was not only a dedicated and outstanding scholar. She was also a very active, sociable member of the PhD community, and an enthusiast for the staff-student football matches that thrived at this time. On completing her PhD, Rhiannon went on to a post-doctoral fellowship at Cambridge, and then took up post at Oxford Brookes University in 2007 where she became Senior Lecturer in Political Sociology. In addition to her work on indigenous peoples, Rhiannon was interested in the rights of refugees and carried out research with Iraqi refugees living in Jordan. Her publications included: Human Rights: Social Science Perspectives which she co-edited with Bryan Turner (Routledge, 2008); and her monograph, Transforming Law and Institution: Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations and Human Rights (Ashgate 2011). Rhiannon was supported and loved by a close family through her illness, which she faced with dignity, bravery, humour and concern for the pain of others. She leaves a husband, parents, siblings and two daughters, aged 4 years and 5 years.

Jane Hindley

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The 100th Blog entry: Annemarie Naylor M.B.E and ‘Common Futures’

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Annemarie Naylor was a sociology student at Essex in the mid late 1990’s, gaining a distinction for her sociology degree. She went on for a while to study for a PhD, and became the manager and designer  of the sociology department’s first web site. After leaving Essex, she went on to community activism.

She writes about her work:

I am a Director of Common Futures, a modest new venture working with the public, private and third sectors to explore and kick at the boundaries of the community ownership landscape.

The ownership and management of land and buildings by communities for public benefit is nowadays a feature of neighbourhoods the length and breadth of the UK.

There is no shortage of ambition – with communities engaged and hard at work in socially conscious attempts to take control of an altogether bewildering range of assets. Likewise, the social enterprise sector and interest in social and impact investment is growing apace. However, technological advancements are transforming the operating context at break-neck speed. Increasingly, people expect super-fast broadband and 24/7 access to public services.

Government is investing to upgrade our digital infrastructure. It is implementing a digital-by-default approach to public service transformation. And, it is investing significant public funds in open and big data alongside cutting-edge technological innovation. But, there are potentially very serious ramifications for deprived communities – whether we’re talking about accessibility, affordability or confidence, knowledge and skills. Equally, there are concerns about the preparedness of the third sector and communities, more broadly, for the revolution that is already well underway. Nonetheless, there are also significant opportunities and considerable scope for socially conscious types to identify with the principles of openness and mutuality that underpin so much that is good about our ‘brave new world’. In fact, we can all get involved in developing our digital communities.

A handful of communities have made a start already – becoming ‘civic engineers’ and establishing themselves as community broadband pioneers. Elsewhere, the creative industries are flourishing, and a local manufacturing revolution borne of the hacker and maker movements is increasingly discernible, with social enterprises beginning to come to the fore. Still others have spotted the potential to begin developing digital services and internet enterprises to deliver social impact and improve their income generation prospects.

We’re here to advise the public sector as well as to help communities with all of that. If you’d like to know more, please take a look at our website and get in touch.

See:http://www.ourdigitalcommunity.org/users/annemarie-naylor

In January 2014, it was announced in the Queen’s Honour List that she had been awarded an MBE for her work.

Congratulations Annemarie!

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Damian WHITE (1995-2000): 101 on the roll call.

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Damian WHITE (PhD 1995-2000). Taught Sociology at East London and Goldsmiths after Essex. Then headed off to the USA.

5 years at James Madison University in Virginia. Now in New England, Associate Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of HIstory, Philosophy and Social Science at the Rhode Island School of Design.

He is the 101 entry on the ROLL CALL. Thanks Damian!

The next entry will be the 100th entry on the Blog will it come from  you?

 

 

A Note:

Damian White is a sociologist and political theorist with interests in urban and environmental sociology, historical sociology, political sociology, urban political ecology, critical theory, science and technology studies, the sociology of the future and the sociology of design and architecture. He has a BA (First Class) in Political Science and American Studies from the University of Keele, an M.Sc in Political Sociology and Political Theory from Birkbeck College, University of London and a Ph.D in Sociology from the University of Essex. He is the winner of the Edna Schaffer Humanist Award (2008) and the John.R.Frazier Award (2012) for excellence in teaching.

Damian has published three books to date: Bookchin – A Critical Appraisal (Pluto Press, UK/University of Michigan Press USA 2008), Technonatures: Environments, Technologies, Spaces and Places in the Twenty-First Century (Wilfred Laurier Press, 2009) and Autonomy, Solidarity, Possibility: The Colin Ward Reader (AK Press, 2011).

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