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.
Had a great time studying Sociology at Essex. Started my degree in 1996, after the first year I took two years out to live and work in Colchester – needed the money! Returned to study in 1999 and completed my degree. Probably didn’t take it as serious as I would have done now, and narrowly missed out on a 2:1 by 2%! That was my own fault and it is of great regret. However the experience as a whole has left a mark on me, there is still a fire burning inside me to keep an eye on all things Sociology related – even though time constraints sometimes limit this to listening to Thinking Allowed once per week!! I am now 41, still live in Colchester, have children and am a Client Relationship Manager and Trainer for a local software company. One day I aim to return to study be it via another undergraduate degree, or a Masters.
My interests include keeping an eye on all things Sociology related, especially research into poverty and social mobility. I am a keen keep fit enthusiast and enjoy doing Duathlons and cycle sportives.
THE ROLL CALL: 20 More names for the New Year 2015
Kaoru AOYAMA (–2005, PhD) worked as a research fellow for Tohuko University ‘Gender Law and Social Policy’ and as a part time lecturer for the School of Area and Cultural Studies at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies from 2006 to 2008. She has been working at the Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University, Japan, since October 2010.
Anne BEAUMONT ( –2007 PhD ) is a part-time Lecturer at the Open University. She is the author of Virtual Women: Ladyboys: Changing Sex in Thailand.
Marc BURKE (1989 -1993 PhD) became a social psychology lecturer at Surrey University before migrating to the USA. Here he became a writer and social worker- before joining the real estate business.
Raymond CHAN (–1966,PhD) is Associate Professor of Social Policy at City University of Hog Kong – and currently Dean of Students.
Valentina CUZZOCREA (–2008 PhD) is a Research Fellow at the University of Cagliari, Italy, where she graduated in Political Science and more recently taught sociology.
Harry COLLINS (MA 1971) has been Professor of Sociology at the University of Bath and is now Professor of Social Sciences at Cardiff University.
Esther DERMOTT (– 2003 PhD) is Reader in Sociology at the University of Bristol. She is the (co) author of Intimate Fatherhood.
Damien SHORT ( — 2004 PhD ) is Director of the Human Rights Consortium in the School of Advanced Studies at University College London. He is the author of
Reconciliation and Colonial Power: Indigenous Rights in Australia
Agnes SKAMBALLIS (1998, BA 2000, MA) has been administrator for the Journals Sexualities and European Societies throughout the new millennium, and is still based at Essex.
Jon STRATTON (– 1978 PhD) moved to Australia in 1980. He is currently Professor of Media, Culture and Creative Arts at Curtin University, Peth, Western Australia
Lolu SOYOMBO (1988-1991 PhD) is Professor Criminology at the University of Lagos, Nigeria
Rebecca TAYLOR ( — 2002, PhD ) Rebecca Taylor worked at the Policy Studies Institute and is now a research fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) School of Social Policy House University of Birmingham. She also teaches on the Third Sector module of the MA Social Policy
Katherine THEODOSIUS (BA- -2003,Ph.D ) is Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Brighton
Andy TUDOR (Staff in the 1960’s) After four years of teaching at the University of Essex in the 1960’s, he joined the Department of Sociology at the University of York in 1970, becoming successively Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor in that department. Head of the Sociology department for six years from 1988 to 1995, he then became Head of the new Department of Theatre, Film and Television in 2006 and retired in 2013.
Jackie TURTON (1992 BA, PhD) is a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex
David TRIESMAN ( ‘68) was suspended from Essex in 1968 after breaking up a meeting addressed by a defence industry scientist; but went on to become the general Secretary of the Association of the University Teachers, a member of the Blair Government, the first independent chairman of the Football Association and is now Shadow Foreign Minister in the House of Lords.
Pingla UDIT (PhD, 1998) Pingla was subsequently Special Advisor, Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions in Post-Apartheid South Africa, and in 2006 served as the Acting Deputy Co-ordinator of the National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee (NICOC). She is currently working for the South African government on peace and development projects in Addis Abbaba at the African Union.
Karen WADDY (2005-8, BA) is a Marketing Administrator at LIFE-FORCE Counselling Service, Colchester
Matthew WAITES (MA, 1995) is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Glasgow University
Sylvia WALBY (1976- Ph.D. 1984 ) became Professor of Sociology and the founding UNESCO Chair of Gender Research at the University of Lancaster…..
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.
In January 2014, it was announced in the Queen’s Honour List that she had been awarded an MBE for her work.
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?
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).