Posts Tagged gender

The Queer/ Gay/ Sexualities Research Tradition at Essex

 

The cover of the 1981 book

The cover of the 1981 book

One of the many fields of research in the Essex Sociology Department has been ‘sexualities’. In the 1990’s it established the journal Sexualities and in the 00’s it set up the Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship run by Róisín Ryan Flood. To celebrate the 50th anniversary, a seminar was held in March 2015 to look at some of its earliest work that helped to create a new field of study – lesbian and gay studies, queer studies and critical sexualities studies – and to consider just how far it has advanced.

 In the 1970’s there was almost no research in these areas and Essex was one of the pioneers.   Mary McIntosh’s The Homosexual Role – which argued that homosexuality was not a universal condition but a variable social role- is often seen as a foundational text. The seminar was held in her memory, discussed her work and highlighted the earliest collective work produced in the department during the 1970’s and published in 1981 as The Making of the Modern Homosexual. This book brought together students and staff, and suggested new directions for research. Most notably it developed a historical sense of same-sex relations; linked it firmly to power, gender and identity; and developed the debate over constructionism and essentialism. While they were innovative then, many now would take these early paradigm shifts for granted as a new vibrant field of ‘sexualities studies’ has emerged over the past twenty years, moved on and developed new concerns.

The book The Making of the Modern Homosexual was organized into three parts. The first part reprinted the McIntosh article and Mary then discussed its value in an interview with Jeffrey Weeks and Ken Plummer. It suggested key features of new emerging frameworks. The second part took up three key themes: Ken Plummer suggested the fruitfulness of applying stigma theory, labeling theory and ideas of ‘oppression’ to homosexuality; Jeffrey Weeks puzzled the historiography of homosexuality and its latent essentialism; while Annabel Faraday critiqued the apparent males bias of existing ‘male’ ‘gay’ research and suggested new radical feminist baselines. The third part then provided three empirical studies being conducted by graduate students – a first (John Marshall) traced the emergence of the category from the late 19th century to the 50’s; a second (Dave King) looked at the making of ‘trans’ categories; and a third (Gregg Blachford) looked at the growing significance of ‘masculinity’ in the gay culture. Some of these contributors will be returning for the seminar and meeting again for the first time in over thirty years!

 The session was very lively. Gregg Blachford had flown in from Canada to chair the session and John Marshall – who left to become editor of Gay News and gay Times for much of the 1980’a – returned to Essex for the first time in over thirty years. Annabel Faraday sent a message saying she had left academia for the world of ceramics and wished the seminar well. Dave King has now retired to a Welsh village where he participates in the local community shop.

The world has moved on. When Essex was established ‘homosexuality’ was still a crime and firmly defined as sickness. The Gay, Lesbian and Women’s movement had not happened and AIDS had not arrived. Over the years there have been major changes and now the university has strong policies on supporting gay, gender and transgender equality rights. The seminar ended by asking just how much has things really changed? Not as much as it looks on the surface – especially if the global stage is considered.

Here are a few photos taken at a seminar in 1980 as the authors discussed their papers.

ModernHMary&Annabel ModernHKen&Jeff ModernHGregg&John ModernHMgroup1 ModernHMgroup2 ModernHM tea ModernHgroup ModernHMannab&mary2 ModernHgroup5

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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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Emma Milne (BA 2007-2010; PhD continuing)

Emma MilneI first arrived at Essex in 2007 to for an undergraduate degree in history and sociology. The degree inspired me to think about why the world works the way it does and how we can work to make it better. This ignited my passion for gender theory and women’s right.

After successfully completing my masters in history, I left Essex in 2011 in pursuit of the “real world”. Eighteen months later, the novelty of the real world had worn off as I realised that my work neither interest me nor gave me the intellectual stimulation I had so enjoyed whilst studying. So, with my determination to make the world a better place once again instilled in my mind, I polished off my PhD application and headed back to Essex.

Returning to the Sociology department has been everything I hoped it would be, and more. The debate; the conundrums which I am attempting to solve through my research; the encouragement from both staff and my fellow students is wonderful; as is feeling like I, once again, have a purpose in life.

My future exploration of sociology is quite simple: to analyse how women are understood and represented within our society, and try to improve, change, develop and broaden those understandings. For me, the limited concept of “woman”, which all of us who have been assigned that gender live within, is too narrow and confining. For all women to demonstrate their abilities, reach their potential, be equal to men and be treated like individuals, we need to change the image of “woman” and irradiate the limits which that image confines us to.

 

This is an entry from the book: Imaginations- 50 Years of Essex Sociology.

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Kaoru Aoyama, PhD 2001-2005

Kaoru Aoyama, PhD 2001-2005I have been working at the Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University, Japan, since October 2010. This is my first permanent academic job after temporary positions at Tohoku and Kyoto Universities. Now, I have been promoted to professor this April, feeling very old… So, yes, in this climate, I should be really happy about my work situation. But, as you all know very well, it’s hectic and getting worse.

As an Essex sociologist, I sometimes look at STATISTICS and compare them with my own personal experiences: among many notorious figures in Japan (and I have no intention of mentioning any sexist/ultra-right-wing remarks by st*p*d politicians at all here) are the long working hours. There is a warning that beyond 60 hours a week, the rate of karo-shi, or death by work-related exhaustion/stress, increases considerably (surprise, surprise!); and among my colleagues we say, ‘60 hours? We should have died 1.5 times by now’. Yes, I am exaggerating; academics do not work so much during summer and so we don’t exceed the karo-shi line on average, except that summer ‘holidays’ are the only time we can work as researchers.

At the moment, I am very much looking forward to the end of my service as chairperson of the International Exchange Committee this autumn – anyone fancy a teaching, research or student exchange with a Japanese university?

Despite feeling overworked, I’m not giving up this job quite yet, though, because I have a mortgage for the first time in my life, too, and I still think this is the best paid job in which I can follow my research interest. I am still working on global sex work issues, very much built on my Ph.D. project. The difference now is that I do not focus only on migrant workers but also Japanese workers and increasingly leaning towards participatory action research. After coming back from Essex, I keep finding myself in situations which people in academia need to engage in in order to make certain issues, otherwise swept away as personal troubles, social.  But it’s nice, seriously, to find a good use for what I enjoyed so much in the process of learning:

– Ken’s artistic lectures and creative talks, Rob’s crafted lectures and pinpoint supervisions, Paul’s interview methodology, Lucinda’s book launch, Colin’s ‘way of life that does not exist’, Pam’s hands-on ‘how to finish in three years’ class, Yasmin and Maggie O’Neil’s tough viva, departmental seminars, brown bag seminars, our little individually organised seminars and chats in the student offices, teas here and there, expensive but fine campus accommodation, the lake in rain, the smell in the library, Ph.D. conferences at Aldeburgh, mulled wine in the common room, the TESCO junction towards Wivenhoe village, the foot path, estuary, the house on Chaney Road, pints at the Rose and Crown and the list, with deep-felt thanks, never ends.

Besides, I do find the Essex brand of sociology is an excellent tool to keep reminding us that people ‘out there’ are much more knowledgeable than anyone in academia, never mind in national politics, about the issues they should have been at the centre of. It has also equipped us with theories and methodologies that distinguish sociologists from others’ ways of being useful; the awareness is with us that we need to question the theory/practice divide particularly in handling the West/East divide. The pain is that at the moment this type of sociology looks like it is losing funding and so on around the world. Let’s wait and see if our connection to the real will pay off in the end.

To be fair, life in Kobe is not bad overall. It’s a nice city with a working port, beach, mountain, hotspas, lively centre and history of modernising Asia. We will have trouble visiting all the good-looking eating-out places in a lifetime – anyone fancy Japanese dinner around here? I’m from Tokyo originally but I don’t want to go back to live there anymore. Being away from Tokyo overcrowding it’s also good that you don’t have to queue too long to see films and exhibitions (when you have time to visit them at all).

Here, I live with my partner who I met at Essex as my housemates-cum-course-mates’ friend. After struggling with a too-long-distance relationship, we decided to get a civil partnership and live together in Japan. The partnership is not recognised here but we are openly and civilisedly demanding university, municipal, sometimes state offices to give us equal welfare and legal treatment. Of course we fail every time because this is a sovereign state ruled by its own law. But never mind, this can be another participatory action research on migration, gender, sexuality, intimacy, citizenship and nationality combined anyway. Moreover, we are expecting a baby in a week’s time! Ask me about the adventure of bringing up a child in a queer family in Japan next time.

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Rie Debabrata: M.A Social and Economic Development (1998), Ph.D. Sociology (2002)

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I would like to thank Ken Plummer for inviting me to share my memories of Essex. I was Ken’s Teaching Assistant in 1998-1999 and 2000-2001, and to say that I was completely blown away by the vitality and incredible lucidity of his lectures – would be such an understatement. Listening to him (SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology) made me wish that I had learned from him as an undergraduate.

Besides Ken, some of the inspiring professors that I had the privilege to study and interact with, both during my Masters, and later PhD, were — Miriam Glucksmann (my PhD supervisor), Ted Benton, Lydia Morris (PhD examiner), Pam Cox, Jane Hindley, to name a few.

I came to Essex in 1997 to pursue a MA in Social and Economic Development (an inter-disciplinary course between the Departments of Sociology and Economics), which I understand is no longer offered. I had graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economic (Honours) from the University of Delhi, India, but had chosen to pursue the inter-disciplinary course at Essex mainly because I had always been fascinated by Sociology (knew very little about it, though). It was also because at the end of my 3-year bachelor’s degree, I could not visualize myself pursuing a career in Economics. I had found it to be very econometric-centred, something that did not sit well with me. I was interested in Development Economics – or as my late-grandfather used to put it – the kind of economics that Amartya Sen (a fellow-Bengali and an acquaintance of my grandfather’s) teaches. The fact that Essex offered a course that combined both Development Economics and Sociology seemed like a win-win.

The academic environment at Essex was so vibrant – there we so many lectures, seminars and colloquiums to attend, constantly expanding one’s intellectual horizons. Up until then, I had mainly studied within the Indian academic system (except for a brief stint at the University of California, Berkeley, where I took a course on Women’s Studies). The Indian educational system places a premium on learning by rote (it still does, although changes are afoot), and I do not recall being encouraged or trained to critique the material in any way. Lectures were often a one-sided affair, with students memorizing the lectures/notes and readings, and there was very little space for genuine debate or reflection. Learning by rote was something that I was quite good at during my school years, but I simply could not sustain that by the time I entered University for my undergraduate degree. So much of what I was studying either did not make sense to me, or seemed at odds with my politics – and yet there was no avenue for expressing that. As a result, I retreated and did not engage with the material or attempt to genuinely learn from it. By the time I had arrived at Essex, therefore, I was craving an interactive and intellectually stimulating environment. And my, did Essex deliver!

Even though I was new to Sociology, I did not feel like an outsider for too long. I encountered a department full of professors, administrators (Brenda Corti, Helen Hannick, Diane Allison, Mary Girling, Sue Aylott) and peers that were unfailingly warm, accommodating and engaging. As a result, I developed some wonderful friendships, some of which continue till today, despite the distance.

Some snapshots from my time at Essex:

–        Introductory conference for new students, followed by a welcome dinner at Wivenhoe’s Tandoori Hut: a first glimpse into a fiercely talented and charmingly quirky community that was going to be home for the next, almost 4 years.

–        Lecture by George Ritzer on ‘McDonaldization’: a very engaging discourse on a fascinating concept, which was followed by Ted Benton’s equally incisive query along the lines of “where/how does class fit into all of this?” It confirmed Ted’s status as one of my intellectual heroes!

–        Fuller Scholarship: I was grinning like a Cheshire cat (for what felt like days) when I received news of having been awarded the scholarship. This ensured that I would stay on at Essex for my PhD. I can still recall Tony Woodiwiss’ (then HOD) warm smile as he informed me of the Department’s decision and congratulated me.

–        Mentorship and guidance: I was never more convinced that I had chosen the right PhD supervisor in Miriam, than when I would receive very pragmatic and consistently supportive messages from her while in the midst of my field research – this was a challenging year spent travelling to remote villages and towns in India. Miriam also did not hold back on her criticism, as she did when she quite bluntly warned me that I would not complete my PhD if I took a break during my third-year to commence a consultancy with the United Nations. While I was initially taken aback (Miriam later gleefully confided that she had overdone it a bit to ensure that I would listen!), it did force me to refocus my priorities and to persuade my future employers to wait until I had submitted my thesis.

–        ‘Ruth Cavendish’: I have always been terribly impressed by the fact that Miriam, as the pseudonymous Ruth Cavendish, wrote “Women on the Assembly Line” – a groundbreaking ethnographic study. I recall having mentioned this several years later to my husband, Bernard (we were newly dating then), and even though he’s a political scientist, he knew of this study – needless to say, he scored big points.

Before arriving at Essex, I had worked with several civil society organisations and NGOs including the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (which provides micro-credit loans to rural women). I grew up within the ‘NGO-world’ in many ways, owing in a large part to my parents’ political and social activism in India.

After leaving Essex, I worked (very briefly) with the Asian Development Bank (posted in Manila, Philippines), and then with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where I have been since 2002. My work with UNDP has taken me to some exciting destinations – I was in Lao PDR for 2.5 years as the Assistant Country Director (I headed a team that worked on poverty eradication, HIV/AIDS prevention, gender empowerment, private sector development, and UNDP’s flagship ‘Human Development Report’). I also worked with UNDP’s regional programme on HIV/AIDS for South and Northeast Asia, specializing in anti-trafficking and migration issues. I have been posted in New York since 2006, where I am currently working as Donor Relations Adviser with UNDP’s External Relations Bureau. My team works on resource mobilization and maintaining partnerships with a variety of actors, including ‘donors’ to UNDP, such as the Nordic countries, Canada, UK, US, Australia, etc. A career with the UN certainly has its ups and downs. While it is hugely satisfying professionally, the pace of work and constant pressure to travel does take a toll on family life. Bernard and I have a young daughter and we find ourselves, as do many others, constantly trying to find that elusive work-life ‘balance’!

Looking back, I can quite confidently say that being at Essex was in so many ways a life-changing experience. I could not have asked for a better intellectual ‘home’. Even though I have not pursued an academic career since completing my PhD, the training that I have received here has held me in good stead!

Dr. Rie Debabrata Tamas

Donor Relations Adviser, Resources Partnerships Cluster, Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy,
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), One United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017

Photo: Miriam Glucksmann with Rie Debabrata Tamas (6 months pregnant!) and Bernard Debabrata Tamas in New York, October 2009

Rie and Miriam

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Jackie Turton (1992- BA, PhD, Lecturer)

 

Unknown-1I remember that starting a degree in the sociology department as a mature student filled me with a mixture of dread and excitement. A constant buzz of adrenalin that I had been given permission to stop the day job and study. An underlying fear that I would not ‘make the grade’. And while the memory of those early days is fading, the emotions the change in my life provoked remain.

The sociology department at Essex has dominated my working life since the early 1990s – it has been exciting; it has been stimulating and it has been challenging; what more could you ask?

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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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