Archive for category Former staff

The Old Staff Reunion: Dedham Boat House: September 12th

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Katsuhiro Harada

 

HaradaCongratulations to the 50th Anniversary of the Sociology Department of the ESSEX UNIVERSITY!!!!

Knowing about this marvellous celebration, I have called my nostalgic memories,with deep gratitude,of those days staying from 1983 to1984 in the Department where I had many chance to enjoy happy,friendly relations with you and your faculty members.

I really hope the Sociology Department has more brilliant future in the next 50th years.

I have already retired from the University, and now I am mainly writing onthe family life story of my maternal historical lineage which go back in the17century(Edo feudal age)when the ancestor was a head of a fisherman’sCo-operative.

I am always walking nearby around, sometimes flying a kite on the seashore, and not in bad health at present.

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50th anniversary book

IMG_4943University Towers

Imaginations: fifty years of Essex Sociology

edited by Ken Plummer

An exciting new publication to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Sociology Department at the University of Essex

The Sociology Department at the University of Essex is a leading international sociology department. Through fifty contributions from past and present, the students and lecturers in the department tell the story of its history, its ideas and its community. It provides an unusual insight into the workings of a British university department as well as the shape of modern British sociology.

You will treasure this book, not only if you worked or studied at Essex, but also if you care deeply about sociology and its future. For those who experienced Essex, it will touch on special memories. But it will also show how much more was going on there than you ever realised at the time. This multidimensional book portrays the amazingly sustained creativity of sociology over a whole range of different directions. That’s why it is much more than history: it also demonstrates the potential of sociology for the future. Paul Thompson An invaluable record of an extraordinary intellectual and educational institution, chronicling the heady years of its genesis and fruition. The volume teems with memories, anecdotes and reflections on this history from a proud assembly of those at the heart of its achievements.  Rob Stones


Imaginations: fifty years of Essex Sociology
will be published by Wivenbooks in September 2014.

Copies can be ordered from The Wivenhoe Bookshop, The University Bookshop or direct from Ken Plummer at plumkessex@gmail.com. It will also (eventually) be available on Amazon.

Publication price: £25 ISBN: 9780957085046; 208pp, 50 contributors.

The book will be officially published and launched at the Essex 50th anniversary weekend scheduled for 12-14th September at the University.

The launch will take place at the Sociology Gathering and lunch between 12.30 and 2.30 in The Tony Rich Centre

You can find more details of this on: https://www.essex.ac.uk/fifty/

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50th Anniversary: Homecoming Weekend

Essex 50th ‘HOMECOMING WEEKEND’

September  12th-14th

University of Essex

Homecoming is “a celebration event with a street festival vibe and we’ll be staging a huge range of activities and

events to showcase our strengths and keep you and your family entertained!”.

The weekend event launches a yearlong series of activities that celebrate the University of Essex.
Here are some of the things that may interest you if you visit on the Saturday:

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Sociology Departmental Lunch, where the book Imaginations: 50 years of Essex* sociology will be officially launched. 12.30 -2.30 Tony Rich Centre

Bite-sized lectures from all departments, including from sociology:

11.30        Pam Cox on Shopgirls: Making at TV history

14.30        Paul Thompson on the early history of the university

15.30        Nigel South on ‘Consuming the planet’

All will be in LTB7. Re-live past memories!

Mustard – a film charting student activism in 1968

Architectural tours of campus/student rooms from the decades

Art Exchange open Exhibition

Exhibition in the Hex – Something Fierce**

plus: Sports activities; Things for children: Adventure trail (for 6 – 11 year olds) Brain science activities Comedy Club 4 Kids (6 years +) Entertainment; Music, late night

 

*Imaginations: fifty years of Essex Sociology is a major new book about the department. The Sociology Department at the University of Essex is a leading international sociology department. Through fifty contributions from past and present, the students and lecturers in the department tell the story of its history, its ideas and its community. It provides an unusual insight into the workings of a British university department as well as the shape of modern British sociology.

**Something Fierce is a major new exhibition which examines the history of the foundation of the University of Essex and 50 years of student life. The exhibition celebrates the bold, ‘brutalist’ sixties architecture of the Colchester Campus; the unique academic vision and the vibrant community of scholars and students they created. The Hexagon – one of the iconic buildings built at the birth of the University – hosts the displays and has been especially refurbished in time for our 50th anniversary. It includes

  • Designs, artist’s impressions and scale models of the original plan
  • films, audio and photos spanning the decades
  • memories from staff and students
  • a new virtual model of today’s Colchester Campus
  • reconstructions of student rooms from the past

Booking is free and you can find more details of this on: https://www.essex.ac.uk/fifty/

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Tony Woodiwiss (1974-1999, Professor and Head of Department)

Happy days: memories of Essex Sociology

Tony with Alison Scott at an Examiner's Dinner around 1979

Tony with Alison Scott at an Examiner’s Dinner around 1979

I have loved reading all the stories gathered in so far and share the affection and gratitude they exhibit. But there is one aspect of the experience that has not yet received the attention it deserves – how many ordinary happinesses there were and I am sure there still are. So here are a few of the many things that that still make me laugh or smile whenever I remember them.

 

 

Walking down to campus from Wivenhoe House.

The departmental reading room, especially when the morning rolls and coffee had just arrived.

Having to cross a picket line when I came for my interview.

Mary Girling’s huge dogs lying around the office when they were sick.

Walking past Mike Lane’s office after lunch.

Peter Townsend really meaning it when telling me that he was very pleased that the University had given me tenure despite the objections of the Department’s senior staff(himself included).

Staying overnight in George Kolankiewicz’s house in Queens Road with my first real duvet, my last outside toilet and my only Francis Bacon soon to live next door.

Stan Cohen’s greeting smile.

Dancing the ‘funky gibbon’ with Mary Mac at one of Ted and Shelley’s parties.

Numberless parties at Ken and Ev’s: great music, brilliant food and far too much drink.

Having to learn how to teach again after smoking was banned in all classrooms.

Seeing the first punk tour with Wreckless Eric, the Stranglers et al in the university ballroom.

Derrick Schwartz telling me that Harold Wolpe’s nickname amongst the graduate students was ‘killer’ because he always responded to their answers to his questions by asking them to explain why they had so answered.

Dropping in on George Kolankiewicz, Sean Nixon or Ted Benton for a chat.

The Rose and Crown.

Ted’s face when I told him at a party in the upstairs bar that my idea of communism was lying on a beach, listening to music and drinking beer.

Driving up to Colchester from London with Harold and Ernesto Laclau. They argued about Marxism all the way – never again, absolutely terrifying.

Many lifts from Harold on his own to and from London – also very fast but not quite so terrifying. I ultimately realized that he was trying to teach me how to theorize with his relentless ‘whys?’.

Being in a car going back to London wIth Jean Baudrillard – haunting.

Lifts to London with Sean, RIchard Wilson and Carlo Ruzza: life-enhancing and serene progresses.

Watching George on TV every night during the rise of Solidarity.

Harold’s poker evenings in Wivenhoe. I never played but Mike Lane, MIck Mann and colleagues from Literature did. No one ever admitted to losing anything…

The Fuller Bequest: it paid for two long trips to and around the US during the 1970s – Greyhound is probably the best way for a sociologist to travel around America, but does anyone have the time anymore?

An outdoor hot spring bath with Professor Fuwa and his colleagues on a Japanese mountainside when the first snowflakes of the winter started to fall.

Staying overnight at Dennis Marsden and Jean Duncombe’s, especially our breakfast chats.

Realizing that when Mary GIrling gave me a nickname it meant I was generally accepted as being a fit and proper person to be a member of the Department.

Spending time with Howard Newby in Madison when we were both exiles in America.

Maxine Molyneux when she suddenly swerved off the road and roared around a field when taking me and others back from the pub to my house in Wormingford – such is the power of Abbot Ale.

A gorgeous lunch at Mick Mann and NIcky Hart’s equally gorgeous house in Dedham.

The ‘Sociology of the USA’ class that lasted four and half hours.

David Lockwood’s amusement on suddenly realizing that we both had rather small feet.

Eating horse sashimi (and mushrooms) with HIromi Shimodaira in Matsumoto.

A lovely party at Ian Craib’s beautiful windmill in Sudbury.

Cruising (not really) in Santa Barbara and Hollywood with Harvey Molotch and Glen.

The External Examiner’s dinners.

Going with Pete Utting and Amalia Chamorro to the celebrations in Managua that marked the second anniversary of the Nicaraguan revolution – ‘presente’.

Getting extremely drunk (on Sociology as well as wine) at Bryan Turner’s house one night – I think that must have been when we became frIends.

Teaching the joint seminar in Government and Sociology with Bob Jessop. Having just ridden all the way from Cambridge on his pushbike, Bob would come in and speak perfect Jessopese for the first hour without a note.

DInner in Hong Kong with Ken and Ev, Travis Kong, Raymond Chan but unfortunately not Jimmy Wong.

Getting to know John Gagnon (a little). The most sophisticated person I have ever met – ‘awesome’ as he would never say in a million years.

An outdoor hot bath with Professor Fuwa and his colleages on a Japanese mountainside when the first snowflakes of the winter started to fall.

Great chats with Lydia Morris at the French House in Soho.

Bryan suggesting to me at the Dictionary Launch in the LTB foyer that I extend my work on labour rights to human rights more generally. I replied that unfortunately I knew nothing about human rights. ‘Exactly’ said Bryan, ‘nobody in sociology does’.

Suggesting to Richard Wilson that he extend his work on truth commissions to human rights more generally. Richard replied that unfortunately he knew nothing about human rIghts. ‘Exactly’ I said.

A summer holiday in Montecastrilli with Mike and Joan – delicious and topped off with dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Joinville on the way back.

Visiting (many times) Katsu Harada’s beautiful, neo-traditional house in Kamakura and listening to jazz.

Harold’s inevitable response to any request for advice on a difficult personal matter, ‘Tony, do as you think best.’ Still good advice.

Thanks everyone.
Tony

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David Lockwood (1929-2014): In Memoriam

 

 

David lockwood

 

We are sad to learn that David Lockwood, who was Professor of Sociology at Essex University from 1968 to 1995, died on Friday June 6th, 2014.

David was  one of the big names of his generation of scholars – and a major world influence within Sociology. His first major work was The Black Coated Worker; and he was probably most known for ‘The Affluent Worker’ which was published in 1968, the year he moved to the University of Essex from the University of Cambridge. He retired in 2001 and became Emeritus Professor.

He will be sadly missed.  Our condolences go to his beloved wife, Leonore Davidoff, the eminent feminist gender historian; and his sons Matthew, Harold and Ben.

There have been many obituaries and remembrances of David and this web site will try to keep abreast of them. You may like to look at  what is already on the site about David’s life by clicking here:    David Lockwood: honorary degree.    David Lockwood by David Rose  : Retirement Conference.

You can also read the transcript of an interview with him at Interview

See also our obituaries page

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Judith Okely ( Lectured 1981-1989)

UnknownFurther details on my Essex Students in the 1980s Judith Okely

When I arrived at Essex from Durham University where I had been lecturer, I soon noticed very different students. In the former, many came from elite Public Schools, although I am delighted one of the most talented was first generation university from a Manchester working class family. He is now professor and former Dean at Durham. But he was the exception. In Essex I did not encounter many students from private schools. One who attended my Social Anthropology Course, I knew immediately was from the North East. He was a true Geordie and shockingly, not likely ever to have been at Durham university. Indeed, so disconnected were the Southerners at Durham that when a postgraduate, born and brought up in Newcastle, was heard talking at a student party, several congratulated him for his ‘perfect imitation’ of the local accent.

The student in Essex was doing a joint sociology/government degree and told me years later he knew John Bercow there. This person is now Speaker in the House of Commons. Andy Dawson , by contrast got to know me well. He was gripped by social anthropology. I supervised his dissertation where he gathered the older university porters and cleaners for a recorded discussion about ageing. Typically he had got to know them. There was no class distance here. He obtained a distinction for the outcome.

Well into my time at Essex, I obtained several ESRC grants on Ageing both in France and Essex. There were at the time competitive ESRC phd awards ‘linked’ to an existing staff research grant. This was the year of the miners’ strike. Despite negative support from the then senior staff, I put in an application for Andy, at his suggestion, to do research on Ageing, retired miners. Just before we finalized the application, I asked if he had any connections with miners. His reply “EEH flower, 11 of me uncles were miners!” It was an added bonus to elaborate his knowledge of the North East locality as research site. I believe that some about 6 colleagues applied with different proposals. I was the only successful one.

I had been thrilled by Andy’s parents’ excitement at his graduation. He was the first in his extended family. The joy was even more ecstatic when he obtained his phd. He had various research jobs then a lectureship at Hull university. In the mid 1990s, he persuaded me to move there from Edinburgh. Eventually,  Dr Andy Dawson was to become Professor of anthropology at Melbourne university, Australia.

Recently I emailed him to ask for details of an extraordinary encounter which he had mentioned in the late 1990s when we were both at Hull. One of our phd students had become involved in studying conflict in former Yugoslavia. Andy followed him to the field sites, many of terrible violence.

Dr Andy Dawson in Bosnia asked if he could make contact with key peacekeeper officials. Initially skeptical, he found door after door opening. Entering the main office, he approached the manin charge who casually looked up and said ‘Hello Andy. I did your course on the Anthropology of Europe at Hull’. He argued that this was the only thing which helped make sense of the context. He has become a leading light in ‘The Organisation of the High Representative’ led for most of its existence by Paddy Ashdowne, the EU’s body in Europe. This senior official’s main degree was in S. E. Asia Studies at Hull, with the one course from our sociology/ anthropology department.

Andy emailed me: ‘ When I was there, Bosnia was full of young lawyers and political scientists whose core belief was that, since Bosnians has got themselves into this mess, they were the  last people that one should listen to in devising resolutions. They believed that peace-building was all simply about the rigid implementation of international law. In contrast, Jonathan  (Robinson) was very much an anthropologist, learning the language, getting out into the field and listening to people. The feeling was that through this he was able to broker some really significant agreements between local Serbs and returning Muslims. I have no doubt that this explains his rise.”

All this is inspirational. As a committed anthropologist I delighted that Paul Thompson, then HOD, and others on the appointments committee which included David Lockwood and Peter Townsend, offered me the lectureship. It was only a year later, that I was to discover  that a female sociologist, initiated an unsuccessful petition against my appointment. Apparently for her, anthropology was reduced to racial/racist profiling. A couple of years into my appointment, she asked me why it was that so many students enrolled for my course. It was incomprehensible. The example of Andy Dawson proves the point. I still note other ex students who have progressed in wonderful ways after graduating. It is always a joy to recognize them and see their trajectory.

Judith Okely

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