Archive for category Former staff

50th Anniversary: A date to note

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A  date to Note:

Open Day: 12-14 September 2014

The University of Essex is planning to launch of the 50th anniversary year with an open weekend, 12-14 September 2014.  Events start on the Friday evening and run through to Sunday. The Saturday will include  lectures, science demos, theatre, music, entertainment and sports – and there’ll be a family fun day and fete on the Sunday.

On Saturday 13th, Sociology will be planning a day of events; and part of this will be the official launching of the web site and a book celebrating the department’s story.

We hope to see many alumni, former staff and researchers –  and ‘old friends’ there –  from all five decades!

Make plans and come and celebrate.

Note: there will be other events during the year, but these are the dates for the opening event

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Ioan Davies (Essex: 1965-1970) Born 1936; died 2000

Ioan Davies was born in 1936 in the Belgian Congo.

He was one of the earliest lecturers and PhD students at Essex, from 1965 to 1970, when he gained his PhD.

Sadly he died February 15, 2000 in  Cuba.

FRANK PEARCE, who taught at Essex in 1978-9 and gained his Ph D a few years later, has written an obituary. He writes:

IDML
I remember well when and where I first met Ioan Davies. It was in 1968 at a Sociology Department seminar at the University of Kent at Canterbury. The word from Essex University, one of the most radical campuses in England, was that he was politically and academically well respected and was known to have a significantly international orientation. This strikingly tall and lyrical Welshman certainly made a strong impression on those of us attending the seminar not only because of the impressive quality of his talk but but also because he was so willing to seriously engage with our quite heterogeneous intellectual and political concerns. He presented a version of his important paper on “The Management of Knowledge: a critique of the use of Typologies in the Sociology of Education.” This was to be subsequently published in Sociology and reprinted in Michael Young’s influential reader, Knowledge and Control, a book which, incidentally, also included a paper by Alan Blum who was to become a close friend and colleague at York University. In the paper, Ioan, effectively challenged the then dominant functionalist approaches to the Sociology of Education and thus played a role in the general demolition then occurring of functionalism’s peculiar fusion of theoreticism and abstract empiricism. He did this in a quite original way by eschewing both the neo-Weberian subjectivism of so much anti-functionalist sociology and also the economistic reductionism often then characteristic of the Marxist alternative. Anybody familiar with his writings will not be surprised that his critique was grounded in Gramsci’s analyses and worked with rich comparative and historical materials — including articles by Edward Thompson and Perry Anderson, fellow members of the New Left Clubs — and that he also made confident use of the essays of the poet Octavio Paz. There was a similar breadth to the last paper he intended to deliver, “The New Internationalism,” for the conference, which he had helped organise, on “Marxism Today: A Renewed Left View” at the Instituto Superior de Arte, in Havana. Tragically, while in Cuba, he died of a heart attack before he could deliver it.

For more: see In Memoriam: Ioan Davies

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Farewell Diane Elson (on her retirement)

Diane Elson has been a prominent member of the department since 2000.  She has now officially retired but will be keeping her links with the department.

Farewell Diane Elson (on her retirement)

‘It is within gender and development… that Elson’s pioneering and enduring contribution to scholarship is most apparent. No student of gender and development in any part of the world today completes a course at undergraduate or postgraduate level without some exposure to Elson. Given Elson’s on-going ventures into cutting-edge issues in the GAD field … and with their hallmark rigour and vision, this situation is unlikely to change for a long time to come. In turn, there is absolute certainty that Elson will be present as one of GAD’s outstanding scholars and ambassadors in any retrospective review of gender and development that may be compiled in the future’

Sylvia Chant (2005) ‘Diane Elson’

A retirement conference for was held on Friday July 26th 2013 at the University. Many of the participants are pictured above.  This was the programme:

Feminism, Economy and Human Rights

10.50 Brief Introduction by Professor Mark Harvey

11.00-12.30 Political Economy

Professor Sue Himmelweit, Open University: ‘Follow the money: Diane’s Elson’s contribution to gender budgeting’

Professor Tracey Warren, Nottingham University: ‘Gender and the economic crisis: Elson’s 3 Sphere Framework’

Professor Georgina Waylen, Manchester University: ‘Feminist Political Economy: Taking Stock and Future Directions?’

12.30 – 1.15  Buffet Lunch

1.15 – 2.45 Development studies

Professor Sylvia Chant, London School of Economics: ‘Diane Elson:  A tribute to her early and on-going contributions to ‘en-gendering’ the ‘development agenda’’

Professor Shirin Rai, University of Warwick: ‘Depletion: the cost of social reproduction’

3 – 4.30 Human Rights

Professor Maxine Molyneux, University College London: ‘Who remembers Beijing? Women’s rights in a cold climate’
Professor Lydia Morris, University of Essex: Sociology and Human Rights

4.45 – 6.15 Final Panel: Reflections and Future Directions

Professor Diane Elson
Professor Ruth Pearson, Leeds University
Dr Jasmine Gideon, Birkbeck
Dr Marzia Fontana, Sussex University

Followed by a wine reception, and dinner

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Geoffrey Hawthorn, 1964-1970

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 1964-1970

Enlightenment and Despair: A history of social theoryStarting at Essex was utterly terrifying; I was the first non-professorial appointment so I was on every committee to plan everything; the first year teaching, on the social structure of modern Britain, didn’t worry me very much because at LSE I had done some extra-mural teaching on the subject; I had taught in Brixton with West Indian immigrants; that was a good education for me because these people did not have an academic interest in the subject but wanted to know how Britain worked; there were four members of the sociology department at Essex – the Professor, Peter Townsend, Herminio Martins, Paul Thompson, Ernest Rudd, and me……..

Read more about these early days from Geoffrey Hawthorn

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Remembering Mary McIntosh (1936-2013)

Mary McIntosh, who was at Essex for twenty years between 1976 and 1996, died in January. Ken Plummer wrote this on his blog at the time. You can also find his fuller obituary in The Guardian and under ‘Memories’: Mary McIntosh

Goodbye Mary : We Love You

Mary McIntosh was a popular and influential member of the department form 1976 to 1996

Mary McIntosh was a popular and influential member of the department from 1976 to 1996

It is with very great sadness I learnt of the death of Mary McIntosh – a very dear person to me and many others – and a great inspiration.  She had bounced back from very serious illness several times over the past few years; but finally it was another  stroke that took her on Saturday January 5th 2013. Sad news for the start of the new year. Condolences to all her close friends but especially Ange, her long time partner, and Duncan her ‘son’.

Mary was a pioneer: a second wave feminist, an active member of the lesbian and gay movement, one of the most quietly influential of sociologists of the 1960’s through 1990’s, and a wonderful person. She also remained a committed socialist.

She was one of the greatest influences on my life. Very early on, I wrote to her as an undergraduate when she was teaching at Leicester and she sent me several of her unpublished papers on the sociology of homosexuality. These were amazing pieces and a real eye opener for me. Very shortly afterwards, one of these papers was published as ‘The Homosexual Role’ in the journal Social Problems: the rest is history. It has become one of the classical foundational arguments of the sociology of homosexuality. It gave a historical and fully social meaning to the idea of same sex relations. I was to meet her personally just a few years later at the London School of Economics- first at a seminar on ‘deviance’ for graduate students ( when I was giving my first ever paper: Changing Conceptions of Homosexuality in 1968 She was very encouraging).  But later and more significantly we became friends in the very early meetings of the London Gay Liberation Front in 1970. She became a very prominent figure in this movement – with her partner of the time, Elizabeth Wilson.She was also becoming even more active in the then flourishing Women’s Movement .

Her activism bridged into a careful and thorough sociology. She had been well trained into the elements at Oxford and Berkeley, and adopted first functionalist ideas then Marxist ones ( there is really only a small (but major ideological) step between them). She became involved in  establishing the new and lively group of young academic Turks studying crime- the National Deviancy Conference. She was also engaged in setting up two journals Economy and Society (1978-1994) and Feminist Review (1972-1978) where she became part of the influential  first editorship and stewardship (both have gone on to become major world journals). She was also very active in the British Sociological Association.

Finally, I came to know her most of all when she arrived at Essex as a colleague at the University of Essex in 1976/7 – where she worked for the next twenty years. Academically, she straddled several fields: criminology, theory,social policy, the family, feminism, Marxism. She loved teaching and taught the first feminism and gender course in the department – hugely popular with students, but dropped when she retired. Here she was to become a key influence and the first woman ‘Head of Department’ of Sociology ( 1986-9). Sadly, and to the shame of the Essex Department, she was never promoted to the rank of full Professor.  She retired in 1996.

After her retirement, she worked a little at Birkbeck College, London; but she gradually  left ‘academia’ behind. She worked for some time at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and continued her  political activities. Her papers have been chronicled at the London School of Economics

Even though she did not like writing and suffered writer’s block, she published some influential works including:

  • co -editor with Paul Rock of Deviance and social control (Tavistock, London, 1974);
  • The organisation of crime (Macmillan, London, 1975);
  • co-writer with Michelle Barrett of The anti-social family (NLB, London, 1982);
  • co-writer with Lynne Segal : Sex exposed: sexuality and the pornography debate (Virago, London, 1992);
  • And a host of pathbreaking  articles on an array issues like of homosexuality, prostitution and family policy.

Mary was a serious intellectual and a passionate activist. A strong, caring, quiet presence – she also had a very joyful sense of fun and always ready for a dance and a laugh.  I missed her greatly when she left Essex; the department could never be quite the same for me. And now she leaves a gaping hole in the world. But she will be loved in remembrance.

For Mary: The Choir Invisible

Oh, may I join the choir invisible 
Of those immortal dead who live again 
In minds made better by their presence; live 
In pulses stirred to generosity, 
In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn 
For miserable aims that end with self, 
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, 
And with their mild persistence urge men’s search 
To vaster issues.

So to live is heaven: 
To make undying music in the world, 
Breathing a beauteous order that controls 
With growing sway the growing life of man. 
So we inherit that sweet purity 
For which we struggled, failed, and agonized 
With widening retrospect that bred despair. 
Rebellious flesh that would not be subdued, 
A vicious parent shaming still its child, 
Poor anxious penitence, is quick dissolved; 
Its discords, quenched by meeting harmonies, 
Die in the large and charitable air, 
And all our rarer, better, truer self 
That sobbed religiously in yearning song, 
That watched to ease the burden of the world, 
Laboriously tracing what must be, 
And what may yet be better, — saw within 
A worthier image for the sanctuary, 
And shaped it forth before the multitude, 
Divinely human, raising worship so 
To higher reverence more mixed with love, – 
That better self shall live till human Time 
Shall fold its eyelids, and the human sky 
Be gathered like a scroll within the tomb 
Unread forever.

This is life to come, – 
Which martyred men have made more glorious 
For us who strive to follow. May I reach 
That purest heaven, — be to other souls 
The cup of strength in some great agony, 
Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love, 
Beget the smiles that have no cruelty, 
Be the sweet presence of a good diffused, 
And in diffusion ever more intense! 
So shall I join the choir invisible 
Whose music is the gladness of the world. 

George Eliot

Some former students

After  Mary’s death old students started to write  these remembrances. The first few are here: others are on the page Remembering Mary. If you have one to add please send it to Ken Plummer at plumk@essex.ac.uk
6th January
Dear Ken
 I’m so shocked, so sad
Annabel Faraday
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9th January

Dear Ken

Saw a notice in The Guardian this morning re Mary’s passing – very saddening – just felt the need to let folk in the Department know how much I appreciated her teaching – I recall she gave all the Lectures for the 1st year core course 1981-82 – Thursday mornings if I recall correctly. Like all her students I really respected her and held her in high regard.

Steve Willis (Sociology and History 1981-84)

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9th January
Dear KenHappy New Year and all that, although it doesn’t seem so after I heard the sad news today about the passing of Stan Cohen and Mary McIntosh. My condolences to the people in the Department who know them much better, although I do hold both in high regard. I last chatted with Stan quite a few years back at a conference in Melbourne, and I remember Mary as my stand-in supervisor (‘it’s not my area, but it looks good to me!’) after Mike Lane left academe…..
David Rowe
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9th January
Thanks Ken.A wonderful and fitting memorial. I met Mary briefly, first at Essex, but knew her work well and she was so influential … This is a sad time but you have celebrated Mary beautifully.Phil
10th January
My dear Ken,I was so very sorry to hear about Mary’s death and read your beautiful tribute that was circulated around the European Group (Study of Deviance and Social Control).As I said in my previous email – you and she were inspirational teachers. Her feminist teaching really impacted on me and introduced me to a world that I have never left and inspired me to a professional life as a socialist, feminist and activist. I remember the impact of reading the Anti Social Family and the excitement of receiving my copies of feminist review in the post! A wonderful woman with a wonderful legacy.I have been reading the many tributes to Stan Cohen and I recall you introducing me to his work and its ongoing significance to my work around state violence.Sad times.
Deborah Coles
The messages continued and you can find them by clicking here: Remembering Mary

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Podcast Series: Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson was one of the earliest appointments  to the sociology department and  world leader of the oral history movement.

Paul Thompson was one of the earliest appointments to the sociology department and world leader of the oral history movement.

Voice of the Past

Creating a University: Podcast Series

In 1964, the doors to the University of Essex opened for the first time and welcomed an initial cohort of just 122 students. Today there are more than 12,000 students from over 130 countries studying at three campuses across the county, and around 70,000 alumni worldwide.

This new podcast series tells the story of Essex from its earliest days – – through interviews with people who were there, including students, staff from all levels and local residents.

The podcasts are based on archive interviews for the Wivenhoe Oral History Project, established by Paul Thompson. Paul was one of the founder members of the Essex  Department of Sociology – and a world leader in the field of Oral Hiostory. For many years, the journal Oral History was based in the sociology departmemt.  He has made these podcasts in conjunction with the university and they can be found be clicking here: http://www.essex.ac.uk/fifty/podcasts/

One podcast is to be released every month between November 2012 and August 2013

More about the podcasts

Series Editor: Chris Garrington
Series Director: Paul Thompson

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Stanley Cohen, Professor 1974-1981. Died January 2013.

Stan Cohen,Professor of Sociology, University of Essex 1972-1981

Stan Cohen,
Professor of Sociology, University of Essex 1972-1981

Stan Cohen arrived at Essex in 1972 – and became the 4th Professor of Sociology between 1974 and 1981. He chaired the department between 1974 and 1978, and after this he spent most of his time on leave at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He was a kind and influential figure in the  in the formative yeas of the department – not least in bringing the sociology of  deviance as  a critique of criminology to the department.  Years later, it was reinstated as ‘criminology’ and now it attracts the largest group of students in the department.

He also was  a pioneer in the field of human rights.

Stan left Essex over thirty years ago but he will always be remembered as an intellectual giant and an inspirational force: he changed lives.

There have been many obituaries to Stan.

We have downloaded The Guardian obituary on our obituaries page.

Y0u can also connect up with the oration given when he was awarded an honorary degree at Essex in 2004.

Here is the statement issue from the London School of Economics where he went in 1996 and was Emeritus on his death:

Professor Bridget Hutter, Head of the Department of Sociology, expressed the sorrow of colleagues from the Department upon learning the very sad news that Stan Cohen, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at LSE, passed away on the morning of Monday 7 January 2013 after a long illness.

Stan had a long and distinguished career. He grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and was an undergraduate sociology student at the University of Witwatersrand. He left in 1963 for London where he completed his doctorate at the London School of Economics while working as a social worker. He lectured in sociology at the University of Durham and then the University of Essex, where he was Professor of Sociology from 1974.

In 1980, Stan and his family left Britain to live in Israel. He was Director of the Institute of Criminology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and also became active in human rights work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He returned to LSE as a visiting centennial professor in 1994 and in 1996 was appointed Martin White Professor of Sociology. He has received the Sellin-Glueck award from the American Society of Criminology and in 1998 was elected as a fellow of the British Academy.

Stan Cohen has written about criminological theory, prisons, social control, criminal justice policy, juvenile delinquency, mass media, political crime and human rights violations. His books include:

  • Images of Deviance (1971);
  • Folk Devils and Moral Panics: the making of the mods and rockers (1972);
  • Psychological Survival: the experience of long-term imprisonment (with Laurie Taylor) 1973;
  • Escape Attempts (with Laurie Taylor), 1977;
  • The Manufacture of News (with Jock Young) 1977;
  • Social Control and the State (with Andrew Scull) 1983; and
  • Visions of Social Control (1985); and Against Criminology (1988).

His most recent book, States of Denial: knowing about atrocities and suffering (Polity Press, 2001), dealt with personal and political reactions to information, images and appeals about inhumanities, cruelty and social suffering. States of Denial was chosen as Outstanding Publication of 2001 by the International Division of the American Society of Criminology and was awarded the 2002 British Academy Book Prize.

The 30th anniversary edition of Cohen’s classic Folk Devils and Moral Panics (Routledge) came out in 2002. In the introduction, he reviewed the uses of the concept of ‘moral panics’ in the 30 years since 1972.

Stan was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Essex (2004) and Middlesex (2008) and in 2010 was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the LSE. In 2009 he received the Outstanding Achievement Award of the British Society of Criminology.

Bridget Hutter adds: “The Department was so fortunate in having Stan join us in 1996. His health was by then ailing but his intellectual vitality was ever present. He came to us as one of the world’s leading criminologists and his criminological work and theories of social control remain highly influential. Some of us were very privileged to work with Stan, in my case on MSc Criminology in the late 1990s, and also later sharing our experiences of setting up interdisciplinary research centres in the School. We will all miss him and send our condolences and fond memories to his family.”

While in the Department Stan was also absolutely fundamental to the establishment of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE in 2000 and establishing a central sociological presence in the human rights field. Stan was a wonderful and generous human being. In many ways, he was the heart of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights. He will be deeply missed even as his vision and his work continue to influence and shape the Centre.

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Sad News: The deaths of Stan Cohen and Mary McIntosh

Mary McIntosh c.1971We have sadly learned over the past few days of the death of two former members of staff who played a significant role in the life of the department.

Stan Cohen and Mary McIntosh

Stan Cohen was the fourth appointed Professor in the department and was chair in the mid 1970’s.

Mary McIntosh came to the department in the mid 1970’s and retired in the mid 1990’s. She was the first woman Chair of the department between 1996-1999.

They have both played a major role in their fields and will be much missed. We will honour them in detail on these pages in a little while.

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Tony Coxon (1939-2012)

Tony Coxon was the founding director of the British Household Panel Study at the University Essex. He died on 7 February 2012.

He was the first director, from 1989, of the ESRC Research Centre that created the pioneering long-running British Household Panel Survey.

Professor Coxon was well known for his work in quantitative methods teaching and had a passion for both collecting and using empirical data. Particular areas of research included his earlier work on occupations and perceptions of occupations, research methods relating to cognitive sociology and diary methods, and later his important work on sexualities and sociology of sexual behaviour and homosexuality.

He was well known for co-ordinating the longitudinal survey of sexual behaviour, project SIGMA, one of the largest studies of gay and bisexual men in the world. SIGMA was an integral part of the WHO Global Programme on Aids’ seven-nation Homosexual Response Studies which shared research instruments with a number of U.S. and European projects. A component part of SIGMA data consists of 1,975 month-long sexual diaries kept by cohort members. Data from this Project SIGMA Essex : Socio-sexual Investigations of Gay Men and Aids, Sexual Diaries Project, 1987-1994 are available from the UK Data Archive.

Professor Coxon was an inspiration to many younger researchers all over the world, taking the time to discuss and instruct on his distinct methodological approaches. He was passionate about ensuring a legacy of quantitative methods skills for UK social science, and contributed to the ESRC’s recent take up of action in this area.

He retired from Essex to Islay with his partner Phil Hawkins in 2002 where they worked together on an occasional basis with the University of Edinburgh, consulting on ESRC projects such as the Scottish Scoping Study and the Demographic Review of the Social Sciences. He also remained active in applications of multidimensional scaling (the newMDS(X) series of programs) and the method of sorting.

In 2008 he moved back to Cardiff where he continued to be research-active holding an Honorary Professorship at Cardiff University and Emeritus Professorship of Sociological Research Methods, University of Wales.

You can find more obituaries on the Memory page

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Colin Bell (Essex 1968-1975)

Colin was a prominent character in the early Essex days, teaching between 1968 to 1975, the ‘radical period’. He had a lively career afterwards but died young. Here is an obituary from The Herald Scotland. 26th April 2003:

Professor Colin Bell. Socialist and academic powerhouse with a record of excellence and a penchant for jazz

An abiding love of jazz was the appropriate relaxation for a radical sociologist who, despite being at the helm of Scotland’s academic establishment when it came to safeguarding standards, kept a courageous, radical outlook, sharpened at the start of his career when Essex Univers-ity was at the forefront of challenging academic assumptions. Professor Colin Bell never lost his keen sociological authority, displaying it publicly last year on a television programme on poverty. Colin Bell became principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Stirling in September 2001, after holding the same offices at the University of Bradford. He was vice-principal at Edinburgh University from 1993 to 1998, and professor of sociology there from 1988. He was a distinguished sociologist, with particular interests in social mobility, family and marriage, stratification and power and research methodology. His publications included Middle Class Families, in 1968, Community Studies (1971), Power Persistence and Change (1975), Doing Sociological Research (1977), Property, Paternalism and Power (1977), and Social Researching (1984). Colin Bell was born in Kent, graduated with first-class honours from Keele University, and took a postgraduate degree from the University of Wales. He lectured at Essex, then went to the University of New South Wales as professor of sociology and chair of the arts faculty. In 1980, he was appointed foundation professor of sociology and social history at the University of Aston, Birmingham. He also held visiting professor- ships at McMaster, Madison-Wisconsin and La Trobe. He moved to Edinburgh in 1986, where he became professor of sociology in 1988 and vice-principal in 1993. He was a member of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a founding aca-demician in 1999 of the Aca-demy for Learned Societies for the Social Sciences. His later career was much concerned with issues of quality in higher education. He chaired the Scottish Higher Education Principals’ quality assurance committee and quality assurance forum. He had also chaired the quality assessment committee of the Higher Education Funding Council in England and was a member of the Quality Assurance Agency’s degree-awarding powers committee and the mergers’ committee of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council. He convened the Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice. He was principal and vice-chancellor at Bradford for three years, where his achievements included six consecutive excellent scores. He was instrumental in ensuring the university’s collaboration with local institutions, including Bradford College and universities in Leeds. Under his leadership, Bradford became a leading institution in widening participation in and access to higher education. As principal of Stirling University he continued to take a radical approach to post- graduate education. He urged the Scottish Executive to set up independent centres of excellence by forming insti- tutes separate from universities, to encourage co-operation among academics. He saw the proposal as particularly appropriate for business, as no Scottish university business department was graded of international significance. At a time of proposed mergers (and with no obvious partner institution for Stirling), he was keen to think big, saying: ”If there is an issue about too many institutions, one of the solutions might be to say, ‘Let’s do a few things Scotland-wide’.” Colin Bell was married twice: to Jocelyn Mumford, with whom he had a son and daughter, and to Janette Webb, with whom he had two daughters.

Professor Colin Bell, principal and vice-chancellor Stirling University; born March 1, 1942, died April 24, 2003.

View the original here: http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/professor-colin-bell-radical-socialist-and-academic-powerhouse-with-a-record-of-excellence-and-a-penchant-for-jazz-1.120201

For more: see Memories.

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