Students Staff

10 December 2010

40 years of History at Essex marked by historic debate

Colchester Campus

Professor Geoffrey Hosking

Three of the founders of the Department of History at the University of Essex will be taking part in a special event on Wednesday December 15 to mark the launch of the build-up to its 40th anniversary celebrations.

The Department of History is recognised as one of the top departments in the country and will celebrate its 40th anniversary as an independent department within the University of Essex in summer 2012.

The first event will be a round-table debate titled 40 years of History @ Essex: Then and Now. The discussion will cover the development of the Department and the changing nature of history teaching and research over the past 40 years.

The round-table panel will include:

Professor Geoffrey Hosking (pictured) – co-founder of the Department and Emeritus Professor of Russian History at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies;
Professor Steve Smith – currently seconded to the European University Institute in Florence;
Professor Stuart Woolf - the Department’s first professorial appointment as chair of Modern History and now Emeritus Professor at the University of Venice;
Dr Nadine Rossol - the Department’s most recent appointment.

Professor Hosking’s fellow Department founders, Dr Harry Lubasz and Gerry Lynn, are also expected to attend. The fourth founding member of the Department, Professor Simon Collier, died in 2003.

Also attending will be the first female appointment Dr Joan Davies, the first PhD student Malene Djursaa and the first female professor Ludmilla Jordanova, now Professor of Modern History at King’s College London.

Head of Department Professor Rainer Schulze said: “This seems a good moment in time to reflect on the history of the Department and discuss where we started, how we developed and in what direction we might progress in the years ahead.

“The first round-table panel will have a unique perspective on this as it will comprise one of our ‘founding fathers’, a colleague connected with the Department for most of the 40 years of its existence, and a young appointee who joined the Department earlier this year.”

“We hope this will provide an opportunity to discuss the changing nature of history teaching and research within Essex and the wider world and offer a chance to enjoy and share recollections, renew old friendships, make new acquaintances and keep up with what is happening in the Department. “

The Department is keen to hear from former students and staff who have recollections, photos or film from the past 40 years. Material may be included in a booklet being prepared to mark the 40th anniversary in 2012.
The round table discussion starts at 4.30pm at the Senate Room on Colchester Campus and is followed by a reception in the Department of History Common Room.

Places are limited and must be booked in advance by emailing: or calling: (+44) (0)1206 872303.

Notes to editors

In the last Research Assessment Exercise the Department of History at the University of Essex was ranked second nationally for the quality of its research.
National Student Surveys (NSS) have consistently shown high satisfaction levels within the Department. The 2010 NSS results showed a satisfaction rating of 95% - well above the national average.

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