Students Staff

11 October 2013

Be inspired by leading global thinkers at the University of Essex’s Professorial Inaugural Lecture

A new series of free lectures is being launched at the University of Essex to give the public the chance to hear from its outstanding academics.

The Professorial Inaugural Lecture series features leading academics who have recently been appointed as professors and each talk in the year-long programme will be held at the Lakeside Theatre at the University’s Colchester Campus.

Lectures will cover a broad range of subjects including the nature of modern warfare, the transformation of advertising in the 1950s and 1960s, the management of data and environmental protection.

  • Admission is free to book contact Holly Ward, email: or telephone: 01206 873270.

The series starts on Monday 21 October with anthropologist Professor Andrew Canessa from the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, who will be talking about his work in Bolivia.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “We are ranked ninth in the UK for the quality of our research and we are an internationally oriented university, committed to excellence in education and research, and to producing research that really matters.

“It is a privilege to have leading global thinkers at the University and through this lecture series we are keen to share our very best research, to exchange ideas and inspire people.”

Professor Canessa’s lecture, titled ‘Being indigenous in the 21st century: A Bolivian case study’, will explore what “indigenous” means in the modern world and discuss his extensive field research on the people of Wila Kjarka, which he has undertaken for more than two decades. He will look at many issues including what being indigenous means to them and how this concept has changed over time and what the future might hold for indigenous people across the world.

Latin American Studies: Professor Andrew Canessa from University of Essex on Vimeo.

  • To watch the video on our Vimeo channel go to:

The Professorial Inaugural Lecture series continues on Monday 18 November with Professor Noam Lubell from the School of Law giving a speech titled ‘Robot Warriors, Terrorists, and Private Contractors: What future for the laws of war?’.

Professor Lubell will talk about how the modern battlefield is being transformed due to the ‘war on terror’, the rising use of private contractors and dramatic technological advances. He explores how these developments are challenging our ability to regulate armed conflicts, and examines whether the “laws of war” are capable of fulfilling their purpose.

Professor Sean Nixon will give the Professorial Inaugural Lecture lecture on Monday 2 December. His talk titled ‘Trading on Human Weakness: Advertising and its Critics in the 1950s and 60s’, will explore the reactions to advertising during this period including criticisms of the industry and responses from its more articulate spokesmen. He will look at the social changes associated with post-war affluence and the booming consumer economy, the competing ideas of human motivations and desires, with puritan principles of self-control and self-improvement rubbing up against self-expression and hedonism promoted by advertising. Finally he will examine how these tensions remain within contemporary society as we seek to balance the ‘will to want’ and consumerist definitions of the good life with the social and environmental costs of unbridled consumerism.

The series continues into 2014:

Monday 13 January - Professor Karen Hulme in the School of Law who will speak about ‘Nature in War: Towards more comprehensive protection of the environment in armed conflict’.

Monday 10 February - Professor Matthew Woollard, Director of the UK Data Archive who will speak about ‘A journey through data’.

Monday 3 March - Professor Philip Terry from the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies will speak on ‘Reflections on tapestry’.

Monday 17 March - Professor Nick Allum, Department of Sociology.

Monday 19 May - Professor Tom Scotto, Department of Government.

Monday 2 June - Professor Pete Fussey, Department of Sociology

Admission is free but booking is advised. Please contact Holly Ward, e-mail or telephone 01206 873270 for further information or to book a place.

The lectures start at 6pm in the Lakeside Theatre, the Colchester Campus, followed by a drinks reception open to all at 7.15pm.

For further information please visit the webpage:

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