Students Staff

8 September 2014

Imaginations: fifty sociological insights

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 6:00 pm
Ken Plummer book cover

Fifty contributions from past and present tell the story of Essex Sociology in this new 50th anniversary book

Join Ken Plummer and members of the Department of Sociology for a roundtable discussion about the book on Thursday 30 October from 4pm to 5.30pm in The Hexagon, Colchester Campus.

Fifty contributions from past and present staff and students tell the story of Essex sociology in a new 50th anniversary book edited by Ken Plummer.

For anyone who has worked or studied at Essex, the book is jammed with stories and memories, which tell of the history, creativity and community of the Department of Sociology, one of the University’s founding departments.

Imaginations: fifty years of Essex Sociology also provides an insight into the workings of a UK university department and of the shape of modern British sociology.

Founding academic staff member, contributor and former Head of Department, Professor Paul Thompson, said: “You will treasure this book, not only if you worked or studied at Essex, but also if you care deeply about sociology and its future.

“For those who experienced Essex, it will touch on special memories. But it will also show how much more was going on there than you ever realised at the time.”

The 200-page book was launched in the Tony Rich Teaching Centre during the University’s 50th anniversary celebration event on Saturday 13 September.

Copies can initially be ordered from The Wivenhoe Bookshop, the University Bookshop or direct from Ken Plummer at: plumkessex@gmail.com, priced £25.

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11 April 2014

How Mount Everest was really conquered

Filed under: Latest news, What's on — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 4:11 pm

EverestThe amazing story of Griffith Pugh, the scientific brains behind the first successful ascent of Everest in 1953 will be recalled by his daughter Harriet Tuckey at a special seminar at our Colchester Campus on Thursday 24 April.

She will also be signing copies of her book Everest – The First Ascent, which draws upon previously unseen diaries, rare archive material and interviews, to tell the story of how her father was the unsung hero who designed much of the key kit and also devised the dietary/oxygen systems for the expedition (which he went on himself).

A doctor and physiologist, Pugh revolutionised almost every aspect of British high-altitude mountaineering, transforming the climbers’ attitude to oxygen, the clothes they wore, their equipment, fluid intake and acclimatisation. Yet, far from receiving the acclaim he was due, he was met with suspicion and ridicule.

However, later in his career his impact in helping athletes enhance their performance lasts to this day in the fields of cycling, swimming and running.

Harriet Tuckey, who is also an Essex alumna, will give the talk on Thursday 24 April at 1pm in 1N1.4.1.

  • Places for the talk are limited. If you would like to attend please email Lynsey Dawson at: ldawson@essex.ac.uk

 

 

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17 October 2013

New books by International Academy staff

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 12:42 pm
Dr Clohesy and Dr Boncori with their books

Dr Clohesy and Dr Boncori with their books

Two members of staff in our International Academy have published books recently with one focusing on the ethical significance of empathy and the other on western expatriates living in China.

Dr Tony Clohesy’s book, The Politics of Empathy, argues that empathy is a necessary condition for ethical subjectivity and the emergence of a more compassionate world.

Published by Routledge, The Politics of Empathy explores how empathy allows us to reflect critically on the nature of our own lives and sense of identity, and puts forward the idea that without critical reflection, a more ethical and democratic world cannot emerge. Dr Clohesy, who teaches politics, philosophy and British culture, argues that there are social and political conditions in which empathy can flourish.

Dr Ilaria Boncori, a lecturer in management, marketing and entrepreneurship, has explored the world of western expatriates in the business context in her new book Expatriates in China: Experiences, Opportunities and Challenges, published by Palgrave Macmillan.

The book, aimed a scholars and business professionals, draws on Dr Boncori’s first-hand experience as an expatriate in conjunction with testimonials from interviewees. She analyses numerous factors affecting expatriates and their performance in China including pre-arrival linguistic and cultural training, expatriate recruitment, identity issues, and work practices.

Find out more about The Politics of Empathy and Expatriates in China.

 

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16 October 2013

Wivenhoe launch for Colne book

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Ken Rickwood arriving on the beach at East Mersea

Ken arriving at East Mersea

A new book charting the river Colne through the Essex countryside by an Essex Visiting Fellow is to be launched in Wivenhoe on 9 November.

The Colne by Boat, Bike and Boot is the latest book by Ken Rickwood to follow the path of a local river and follows his publications Stour Secrets (2008) and Stour Odyssey (2010).

Ken, a member of the Physics Centre, has travelled the length of the Colne, beginning with the maritime communities at the estuary, through Colchester and into the countryside all the way to its source. Along the way he discovers historic towns, quaint villages, numerous mills, and the University and Wivenhoe Park.

Picking out the stories of the parishes and people alongside the Colne, the book charts the history of a river that has been an important waterway for thousands of years and was up until the 1980s busy with commercial vessels.

Born in Essex, Ken joined the University’s Department of Physics in 1972 and ran the University’s Industrial Physics Group between 1978 and 1992. He has lived in Colchester for 50 years.

The Colne by Boat, Bike and Boot will be launched at The Nottage Maritime Institute in Wivenhoe on 9 November. Ken will be signing books between 10am and 2pm. Later local launches will take place at The Blacksmiths Tea Rooms in Halstead on 16 November and Red Lion Books in Colchester on 23 November. The book will be available after the launch from the Wivenhoe Bookshop and Red Lion Books.

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16 September 2013

New books by Essex academics

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Front cover of The Blunders of our Governments

Front cover of The Blunders of our Governments

Leading politicians have heaped praise on The Blunders of Our Governments by Professor Anthony King from the Department of Government and former Vice-Chancellor at Essex and now Master of University College, Oxford, Professor Sir Ivor Crewe.

Human Rights and Democracy: The Precarious Triumph of Ideals by Executive Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences Professor Todd Landman, published by Bloomsbury, examines how democracy and human rights were embraced by people across the world during the 20th century − described by some as the bloodiest century in the history of humankind.

Adorno’s Practical Philosophy, Living Less Wrongly Dr Fabian Freyenhagen from the School of Philosophy and Art History, published by Cambridge University Press, seeks to defend Adorno from the common assumption that his philosophy has no practical import or coherent ethics, and that he is too negative, by reconstructing and defending Adorno’s practical philosophy.

Surveying the American Tropics, A Literary Geography from New York to Rio, published by Liverpool University Press, is edited by Professor Peter Hulme, Professor Maria Cristina Fumagalli and Dr Owen Robinson from the the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, along with Dr Leslie Wylie from the University of Leicester, and brings together essays by distinguished scholars, including the late Neil Whitehead, Richard Price, Sally Price, and Susan Gillman

The contributions engage with the idea of a literary geography of the “American Tropics”, a kind of extended Caribbean that includes the southern USA, the Atlantic littoral of Central America, the Caribbean islands, and northern South America.

Palgrave Macmillan has published Expatriates in China: Experiences, Opportunities and Challenges by Dr Ilaria Boncori from the International Academy. Her book explores the world of Western expatriates in the Chinese business context through the author’s first-hand experience as an expatriate in conjunction with testimonials from interviewees. The study looks at all the factors which can affect Western expatriates and their performance including recruitment, culture shock, work practices, and repatriation.

Alfred Russel Wallace: Explorer, Evolutionist, Public Intellectual by Professor Ted Benton has been published by Siri Scientific Press. The book explains how Russell was a fearlessly critical public intellectual who campaigned for land nationalisation, environmental conservation, the rights of colonised peoples and the emancipation of women. He independently developed the theory of evolution by natural selection, but his work has been overshadowed by Darwin.

If you would like to highlight a recently published book in Essex Daily please e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk.

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31 May 2013

Essex book celebrating the “everlasting wonder” of maths scoops Italian prize

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 12:46 pm

A University of Essex mathematician with a commitment to popularising maths has won a top Italian award in recognition of his efforts.

Professor Peter Higgins is the latest in a long list of prestigious winners of the Premio Peano, an annual award celebrating readable books that make maths accessible to all. He will accept the award at a ceremony in Turin this autumn.Professor Peter Higgins

Awarded by the Assoiciazione Subalpina Mathesis, the Premio Peano 2012 will go to Professor Higgins’ book Nets, Puzzles, and Postmen: An Exploration of Mathematical Connections, published in Italy in 2012 as La matematica dei social network: Una introduzione alla teoria dei grafi.

Previous British winners of the prize include Professor Marcus du Sautoy holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford, and Professor Ian Stewart of Warwick University, both of whom have previously given the BBC’s Royal Society Christmas Lectures.

Nets, Puzzles, and Postmen: An Exploration of Mathematical Connections, was published in the UK in 2007 by Oxford University Press. It explores the maths behind networks, from social networks and the internet, to ancient mazes, secret codes, and even the genetic structure of life itself. Rarely using technical language, the book even revealed the instability of banking networks before the 2008 crash.

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12 March 2013

Prestigious win for book

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Stranger Magic by Professor Marina WarnerProfessor Marina Warner from the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies has won the criticism category of the prestigious National Book Critics Circle award for her book Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights.

Judges said Professor Warner’s exploration of The Arabian Nights and their cultural legacy “exhibited impeccable scholarship as it gave extraordinary background to Shahrazad’s beloved tales, creating its own magic.”

NBCC president Eric Banks wrote in an article on Professor Warner’s book: “With Stranger Magic, Warner has written a nimble but daring work of criticism that draws on her work as a novelist and scholar, combining aspects of literary history, formal analysis, personal essay, and cultural forensics.”

Professor Warner, who teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate level at Essex,  is a prolific writer of fiction as well as literary criticism and cultural history. Her studies of fiction, fantasy, fairy tale, narrative, and visual art include Phantasmagoria (2008), Six Myths of Our Time (1996) and Into the Dangerous World (1988); among her novels is The Leto Bundle (2002). Stranger Magic examines the stories commonly called (in English) the Arabian Nights, from their tangle of Near Eastern origins through their tremendous influence in the West, in popular culture, and on such authors as Voltaire, Goethe, and Freud. These wondrous stories, Warner argues, allowed Western readers to imagine mystery – and to enjoy miraculous narrative – as something that could happen, but only elsewhere.

The National Book Critics Circle honours outstanding writing and fosters a conversation about reading, criticism, and literature. It was founded in 1974 to encourage and raise the quality of book criticism in all media and to create a way for critics to communicate with one another about their professional concerns.

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5 March 2013

Essex Book Festival

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Sandi Toksvig, appearing at the Essex Book FestivalEssex academics, leading writers, performers and a celebrity baker are preparing for their inspiring University events as the 2013 Essex Book Festival draws nearer.

Starting on 3 March, the University programme features the story of a multi-million dollar whistleblower, to how to retrain our brains to be more optimistic with a leading neuroscientist and exploring the concept of ‘edgeland’ and how it has influenced one of Britain’s greatest nature writers.

Held throughout March, tickets remain available for University events for literature lovers across the county. The public are also invited to the official festival launch on 1 March at Chelmsford Library.

The University’s events begin on 3 March with a workshop for writers of all levels of experience at the Lakeside Theatre at the Colchester Campus, led by Lakeside Theatre Associate Artist Andrew Burton, and Nicola Werenoskwa, a Colchester-based playwright. On 4 March at Southend Campus, Michael Woodford MBE tells his extraordinary story of how he became the first CEO in history to turn whistleblower and expose a $2 billion dollar accounting fraud within Olympus.

On 5 March at firstsite in Colchester, Dr James Canton will be tracking the paths of literary figures who ventured into wilder parts of Essex, including Shakespeare, John Clare and HG Wells. Writer and performer, Sandi Toksvig will then be talking about her striking new novel about liberty, empire and war at Colchester Campus on 7 March.

One of Britain’s greatest nature writers and Essex Honorary Graduate, Richard Mabey, will discuss the concept of ‘edgeland’, on 13 March, and how it has influenced his writing, for the University’s Annual Burrows Lecture at the Lakeside Theatre. On 16 March, academics from the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies will host a day of talks, readings and presentations on the theme of water with contributions from artist Maggi Hambling at Colchester Campus.

On 18 March, the 2011 winner of the nation’s most watched baking competition, Jo Wheatley, will be showcasing her first book, A Passion for Baking, with over 100 delicious baking recipes and will demonstrate a number of them and give her top tips on baking at home, at Wivenhoe House. Leading psychologist and neuroscientist, Professor Elaine Fox will then discuss her highly popular book, Rainy Brain Sunny Brain, on 19 March at the Lakeside Theatre, and tell us how we can become more optimistic by retraining our brains.

Finally, on 23 March award-winning director Adam Spreadbury-Maher will talk about his adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities and its relevance for contemporary audiences, followed by an evening performance of the play, at Loughton Campus.

University academics are also playing a key role in other Essex Book Festival events including researcher James Scott, who will be joining a panel of other speakers on 15 March to debate opinions of Essex and Professor Ted Benton who will talk about his passion for nature and inspiration behind his work, alongside a panel of other Essex-based natural history writers on 8 March.

Information about all the events taking place during the Festival can be found on the Essex Book Festival website at: www.essexbookfestival.org.uk, or you can pick up a brochure at your local library.

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4 March 2013

New book: Regulating Code

Filed under: Research impact — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 2:57 pm

Regulating CodeProfessor Chris Marsden (School of Law) together with Dr Ian Brown (Oxford) have their new book Regulating Code published by MIT Press in spring 2013.

Internet use has become ubiquitous in the past two decades, but governments, legislators, and their regulatory agencies have struggled to keep up with the rapidly changing Internet technologies and uses. In this groundbreaking collaboration, regulatory lawyer Christopher Marsden and computer scientist Ian Brown analyze the regulatory shaping of “code”—the technological environment of the Internet—to achieve more economically efficient and socially just regulation. They examine five “hard cases” that illustrate the regulatory crisis: privacy and data protection; copyright and creativity incentives; censorship; social networks and user-generated content; and net neutrality.

The authors describe the increasing “multistakeholderization” of Internet governance, in which user groups argue for representation in the closed business-government dialogue, seeking to bring in both rights-based and technologically expert perspectives. Brown and Marsden draw out lessons for better future regulation from the regulatory and interoperability failures illustrated by the five cases. They conclude that governments, users, and better functioning markets need a smarter “prosumer law” approach. Prosumer law would be designed to enhance the competitive production of public goods, including innovation, public safety, and fundamental democratic rights.

Full details available from MIT Press.

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