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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Shaun Barton, BA 2001

Shaun Barton, BA 2001

Shaun (left), with family.

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.

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THE ROLL CALL: 20 More names for the New Year 2015

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…..

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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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Leonore Davidoff: An Obituary by Paul Thompson

Leonore Davidoff: An ObituaryLeonore3

by her life long colleague Paul Thompson 

Leonore Davidoff, who died on 19 October 2014 at the age of 82, is internationally recognised as a key pioneer of gender studies in history and sociology. Her book Family Fortunes (1987), written jointly with Catherine Hall, is a brilliant demonstration of the new insights which gender perspectives can yield.

Leonore was born in New York in 1932, but her later childhood was in New Canaan, a small Connecticut community of white Protestants in which a family of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe stood out, despite having become believers in science rather than religion. This was an early lesson in marginality.

Leonorre’s family were striking professional achievers. Her father became a New York surgeon, her brother and her older sister were also doctors, and her younger sister a museum director married to a psychologist. Leonore was the exception, seen in the family as a rebel because she did not want to become a doctor.

Leonore’s father’s father had been a Latvian shoemaker and ritual butcher and the family then lived in an earth-floored hut behind the butchery; and in New York he again set up a tiny cobbler’s shop. Leonore’s father himself started as a factory worker, but won the support of a manager who paid for him to go to medical school at Harvard – where he met Leonore’s mother. He went on to become a distinguished surgeon. However, as a child, Leonore never found him easy to talk to.

By contrast, her mother was a powerful model, touch and energetic, `a towering presence’ as Leonore put it, who had run the Hillel Society at college and hence met her father. She subsequently took motherhood very seriously, insisting that in 1939 they move the family home from New York to the small rural town of New Canaan in Connecticut. She joined the Child Study Association and its Book Committees, so she would get unpublished books, bring them home, and she write reviews on the basis of what the children said. She also became politically active, and worked for the League of Women Voters. Much later, having become increasingly frustrated by being defined simply as a wife, and did eventually break out, becoming a feminist as soon as the Women’s Movement started in around 1970. She started a programme for older women, and founded “Woman’s Place” in Connecticut. But even earlier, she passed on a form of feminist consciousness to Leonore, above all in her belief in the need for women to be well educated.

Music was part of the family culture and was one of Leonore’s lifelong enthusiasms. Rather than learning the piano, she took up the flute. At 17 she broke with the family’s scientific tradition by going to Oberlin College to read music. This proved an important step. She found herself part of a radical culture, living in co-operative housing. She soon switched from music to sociology and carried out her first research project, a community study of Greenbelt, Maryland. She met and became close to the future radical historian of slavery George Rawick. She said, ‘It was a very good experience, getting that far away from the family’.

At 21, partly to keep that family distance and partly because she then saw England as ‘the white hope of socialism’, she decided to go still further away for her graduate studies, to England. She went to LSE to take an MA. She found the social atmosphere ‘intimidating’, and there were few other women there. With David Glass as supervisor, she wrote a substantial thesis on married women’s employment. It was never published. At that time it was hard to related to mainstream sociological or historical thinking, to solve the theoretical issues, or to see where to take it. There was no Feminist Movement to relate to, and she could not see any future in it.

Meanwhile she had met David Lockwood, and in September 1954 they married and set up house together. Leonore worked briefly for Charles Madge on the very male culture of redundant car workers. But then with the births of their three sons from 1956, for some years she lost any research institutional basis and her life revolved almost wholly around her new family.

Theirs was a remarkable marriage. Unlike with so many sociological couples of the following generation, they remained together lifelong, for almost 60 years, with David dying only months before her. More surprisingly, they never took up the sharing of gender roles which became so common with younger colleagues. Except for an American element in Leonore’s cooking, they operated much more in the style of the traditional working class Yorkshire families of David’s childhood, with the mother seeing to the house, cleaning and cooking, and also providing emotional backing for her males. Leonore was a loyal wife and a devoted mother, raising sons who each became an educated professional: Ben an economist, Matthew in development studies and Harold in water management. Later she became close to her partners, Michaela, Sue and Kishti, and developed special relationships with her grandchildren.

Leonore cared deeply for David, handling his sadnesses, providing food for him – even later when she went away travelling. She admired him especially as a celebrated intellectual. But unlike several couples they knew – such as Joe and Olive Banks, or David and Ruth Glass – as a couple they did not form an intellectual partnership. David never found space for gender in his theoretical view of the world – as he put it, ‘That’s not something that’s been a central interest’ So Leonore once again had to create a space for herself as a researcher and intellectual independent of the family.

For several years this seemed a daunting task. They moved to Cambridge in 1961 when David was appointed to a Lectureship. The atmosphere was then hostile to sociology and Leonore was further marginalised as a faculty wife. She describes this as ‘a very difficult time’ in which ‘I was very very isolated’. Nevertheless, at this time she made some important friends – Jean and Frank Bechhofer, and the anthropologist Esther Goody – and through developing a connection with Lucy Cavendish College met some of the older generation of British academic women.

It was only in 1968, when David was appointed a professor in the booming new Department of Sociology at Essex, that she was able to find an understanding circle of colleagues and re-launch her academic career. Essex has always been a wonderful base’. The department from the start had included women staff (including briefly Diana Leonard) and was very quick to respond to the new interest in sexual divisions at the end of the 1960s. Leonore had devised a project on domestic servants and I was able to help her secure a Nuffield Foundation grant for this, so that she became a part-time research officer. She was to remain at Essex for the rest of her career, from 1975 as a lecturer and from 1991 as a Research Professor, and finally after retirement as Professor Emerita.

Leonore was interested in domestic service because it provided a link between work and the family, which was to be one of her continuing research teams. At the same time she was increasingly attracted by historical perspectives. Her enthusiasm fed by reading novels and visiting David’s Yorkshire. Initially while she was writing it was still difficult to find an understanding audience for her work, so she talks of explaining it to the dog on her walks. In her monograph from the project that became The Best Circles: Society, Etiquette and the Season (1973), she wrote to explain why the irrationalities of domestic service proved so long-lasting, and she came to see the explanation as symbolic – in that sense, `quite sociological’: a bridge between sociology and history.

However, by the early 1970s the situation was changing rapidly: partly through the History Workshops, the Women’s Movement had become translated into Women’s History, and from this point onwards there was always a keen audience for her work. Leonore became a feminist activist herself, running a Feminist History Group in London and helping to set up the Women’s Research and Resources Centre which became the Feminist Library – ‘That was a very exciting time’.

The change brought new opportunities at the university too. In 1973-4 she began teaching a course on `Sex Divisions in Society’ in the new MA in Social History, which soon evolved into a course on gender and social history. She and I taught the MA together for some twenty years. Leonore was a wonderful colleague, not only intellectually stimulating but also very caring of the students, a rigorous but generous commentator on their work, with a shrewd understanding of their difficulties. The MA proved particularly successful in attracting talented women students – including Catherine Hall. With many of them, Leonore remained a lasting inspiration, and with several she developed joint projects, helping their careers through co-editing and co-authoring. These include two books, Our Work, Our Lives, Our Words: Women’s History and Women’s Work (1986) with Belinda Westover, and The Family Story: Blood, Contract and Intimacy (1999) with Megan Doolittle, Janet Fink and Katherine Holden.

Her research at this time, mostly published in articles, included work on Arthur Munby relating to the servant theme, and a new perspective on the family, lodgers – again both inside and outside. Then in the late 1970s with Catherine Hall she launched into the fieldwork for Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class 1780-1850 (1987). It is founded on looking at the family relationships and businesses of middle class entrepreneurs in Birmingham and East Anglia, Catherine researching Birmingham and Leonore East Anglia. The outcome is a masterpiece, highly readable, interweaving gender and class perspectives, bridging public and private worlds, and alternating theoretical insights with fascinating local family detail. The book transformed understanding of 19th century Britain, showing how the gendered division of labour within families was the basis on which early capitalist enterprise was built. It is a classic which has received worldwide acclaim.

In her retirement years Leonore had time to run a local women’s book group and also a music group. But she continued to research and wrote wrote one last original book, published when she was almost 80. Once again, she looks at the family through a fresh lens, this time brothers and sisters. There is very little historical research on siblings. In Thicker than Water: Siblings and their Relations, 1780-1920 (2012) demonstrates how well-known 19th century families – with complex and subtle analyses of, for example, the Freuds and the Gladstones – used sibling relationships to build networks and so provide the capital and skills essential for the booming commercial expansion of the 19th century. \She also explores sibling intimacy and incest, and some famous brother-sister relationships, with both social and psychological insight. This is yet another pioneering book, whose significance is also likely to be recognised in time.

Leonore’s international influence came not only through her own writings but especially as an editor. She was founding editor of the international journal Gender and History for ten years from 1987. In contrast to rival women’s history journals, she encouraged male authors and articles on masculinity. She built an international network around the journal. She also played a key role in setting up the International Federation for Research in Women’s History, and herself held a series of international visiting professorships, especially in the United States, Scandinavia and Australia.

In short, Leonore Davidoff made an immense contribution to gender history and social history internationally, and a fundamental reshaping of how we think about the past. Many of those she inspired as students or colleagues or friends have become eminent in their turn. Throughout her life Leonore was a woman of imagination, courage – and beauty. But she remained herself personally very modest. We shall deeply miss her presence in our lives – her companionship, her shrewd observation, her subtle originality. At the same time we are thankful for a truly original intellectual life – which she herself greatly enjoyed: ‘So I’ve been, again, been in the right place at the right time, was very very lucky to be in touch with these people who were getting it off the ground. Very very exciting – difficult, hairy, but tremendously rewarding!’

 

Please also look at obituaries

 

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Leonore Davidoff (1932-2014)

 

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Leonore Davidoff

1932 -2014

It is with very great sadness  we have learnt of the death of Lee Davidoff.

Leonore Davidoff died on 19th October at the age of 82. She came to Essex with David Lockwood in 1968, was appointed a research officer in 1969, became a lecturer in social history in 1975 and retired in the mid 1990’s. She maintained a long, continuous association with the sociology department through her retirement as a research professor. A few weeks before she died, she was made a Professor Emerita. Her contribution to the study and teaching of gender history was pathbreaking and pioneering; and her work has been recognised across the world. She was also a most loved and appreciated teacher and tutor, and her work has inspired  generations of students from around the world.

A funeral took place on November 3rd  and opened with this poem (which Lee had requested).

The Road Not Taken
BY ROBERT FROST

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

 

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The university held a celebration of Leonore’s  life at Wivenhoe House on November 3rd.

MIriam Glucksmann has written an obituary…..

Leonore was born in New York to Jewish immigrant parents from Eastern Europe, and originally studied music at Oberlin College (breaking with the family tradition of studying medicine) before switching to sociology. At 21 she left the United States to pursue graduate studies at the London School of Economics, writing her MA on `The Employment of Married Women’, a substantial 300 page dissertation by research. Her topic had not previously been studied, nor indeed been considered a serious field for research, but this prescient work broke new ground, signalling a first step in founding the new research field of women’s history.

At LSE also she met her husband, the sociologist David Lockwood (who died earlier this year), and moved with him first to Cambridge and then to Essex, while bringing up their three sons. Leonore was acutely aware of the marginalisation of ‘faculty wives’ at this time and the lack of seriousness accorded to the work of women academics, especially if they were wives or mothers. She greatly valued her membership, as Senior Fellow, of Lucy Cavendish College in Cambridge which had been expressly established by marginal women for mature women scholars who were otherwise ignored and isolated….

You can go to the SoES obituary page for more of this obituary and for links to this and the comments from friends.

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See also: http://blogs.essex.ac.uk/essexdaily/2014/10/23/tributes-to-leonore-davidoff/ 

 

 

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