Main items in this issue:

Theatre and Gallery visits Publications of 2011 Obituaries

June - Theatre visit

Euripides’ Medea, in the translation by Tom Paulin, is on at the New Venture Theatre, Brighton, in the week ending 23 June. If you would like to be part of a possible Suss-Ex group going on Wednesday 20 June, or Friday 22 June, please let Adrian Peasgood know (; 01273 508620; 14 Harrington Villas, Brighton BN1 6RG) by 18 May, indicating any preference for date. The cost will be £9 per seat (Wednesday) or £10 (Friday), with £1 off for any NVT members; please note that the production will be in NVT’s studio theatre, a fringe style venue. The show starts at 7.45 p.m.

The theatre describes the production as follows:

You are invited to the wedding of the year. The war hero Jason, keen to capitalise on his popularity and advance his political career after bringing the Golden Fleece to Corinth, has abandoned his wife Medea to marry a young and beautiful princess. Medea is now scorned: both as a woman and as a foreigner. Those that fear her describe her as a caged animal, but none truly comprehend that like any caged animal – she will draw blood.

This muscular and accessible translation radically transforms the studio of the New Venture Theatre into an innovative and exciting performance space like you've never seen before, to bring this most timeless of texts a fresh, relevant and visceral voice.

July - Theatre visit

Here is another suggestion for a possible Suss-Ex theatre trip. The play, written in Brighton, is Dandy Dick, a classic nineteenth-century comedy by Pinero, in its first major revival since the 1970s, starring Patricia Hodge and Nicholas Le Prevost; an unusual opportunity and a jolly night out!

We can get a group reduction on the price of tickets for the performances listed on p.10 of the Newsletter if at least ten people want to go. With the group discount, tickets cost £25.50. Dinner together beforehand will be booked at Carluccio’s or Strada for those who want it; tea is suggested after a matinee.

If you are interested, please let Jennifer Platt know by 30 May (preferably by email to - or phone 01273 555025, internal post to Freeman Centre, or 98 Beaconsfield Villas, Brighton BN1 6HE). A booking needs to be made promptly to ensure that tickets are available, and your money then has to be sent in time for the total bill to be paid in advance. Please use the slip on p.10: just mark all days/times which would be OK, number those when you are free in order of preference, and indicate the number of tickets wanted and whether you would like to join dinner before (evening) or tea after (matinee). You will be notified of the outcome very soon after June 1.

July – Gallery visit

The newly-built Jerwood Gallery opened earlier this year and houses the Jerwood Collection, whose core areas are figurative and abstract works from between the First World War and the 1960s, and contemporary works by artists associated with Jerwood, such as Craigie Aitchison, Maggi Hambling and Prunella Clough. The Collection also includes works by Stanley Spencer, L S Lowry, Ben Nicholson, Walter Sickert and Augustus John.

The Gallery is located on the Stade, between Hastings Old Town and the sea, next to the tall wooden net shops on the beach.

We are offered a private guided tour of the building and the permanent collection, lasting about an hour, which we can follow with afternoon tea in their cafe overlooking the fishing beach. No detailed plans have been made, but a mid-week afternoon in July is suggested, at a cost of around £15 each for admission, tour and tea.

Please let Sue Bullock know ( ), or phone 01273 682133, by 16 May if you would be interested in an exclusive Suss-Ex Club visit. Members will be expected to make their own travel arrangements, but there are likely to be lifts available for those who need them.

Future programme

Several destinations have been suggested for future visits. The steering group would be helped if members indicated those in which they might be interested. Possibilities include:

Pallant Gallery, Chichester

Towner Gallery, Eastbourne

Amex stadium, Falmer

Recent campus buildings, academic and social

Suggestions for other visits, or, indeed, other kinds of events would be welcomed by the steering group.

Recent events

A small group of Suss-Ex members saw David Hare’s ‘The permanent way’ at the New Venture Theatre on 22 February. It recalls the accidents in the early years of the privatised railway system and includes verbatim extracts from evidence at the formal enquiries which followed. A powerful production produced many strong emotions in the audience.

On 13 April over 50 people attended a showing of the film ‘A golden opportunity’, on the first 50 years of the University. The presentation was followed by afternoon tea, and a viewing of work by Barbara Shields, widow of the University’s founding Registrar. Her sketches of Falmer House in its very early stages were vivid reminders of the first construction site on campus.

2011 publications and other academic activities

There follows the annual report of 2011 activities submitted by members of Suss-Ex. There are certainly more which have not been reported to us, and if this inspires more submissions (to room will probably be found for them in a future newsletter.

Christopher J. Arthur

Arbeit, Zeit und Negativität’ in Kapital & Kritik. Nach der “neuen” Marx-Lektuere, Werner Bonefeld/Michael Heinrich (Hrsg.), VSA Verlag, Hamburg: 2011

Maggie Boden

"Against Constructivism", Constructivist Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

"Anonymity and evolutionary art", in M. Bishop (ed.), Computation and Philosophy (Proceedings of AISB-2011, York), 11-15.

"If it feels good, perhaps it is", Times Higher Education (London: 5th May 2011): pp. 48f.

"The philosophies of cognitive science", in J. Garvey (ed.), The Continuum Companion to Philosophy of Mind (London: Continuum), pp. 151-170.

Paper given

Opening address on "Creativity and art", Symposium on the Philosophy of Computation, AISB-11, York (April).

Other activities/honours:

Participant in Consultation workshop on creativity and IT for the European Commission, Brussels (November).

"Outstanding Paper Award" for "The Turing test and artistic creativity", published in Kybernetes; Emerald Literati Network 2011 Awards for Excellence.

Terry J. Diffey

The Powys Society, meeting at Friends Centre, Brighton. Afternoon meeting: in conversation with Timothy Hyman (chairman of the Powys Society). For a report see The Powys Society Newsletter No 73 July 2011, Brighton Meeting pp 7-9

Tony Fielding

Inter-provincial migration in a transition economy: the case of China’, Ritsumeikan Economic Review 59(6): 3-24.

The impacts of environmental change on UK internal migration’, Global Environmental Change 21S: S121-S130.

Migration in a time of crisis: a simple conceptual framework applied to East Asian migrations’, University of Sussex, Sussex Centre for Migration Research, Working Paper 63.

Conference papers:

The impact of environmental change on internal migration in the UK’, Umea, Sweden: International Population Geography Conference.

Social segregation in Japanese cities: gentrification, obsolescence, and dilapidation’, Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference, Imperial College London.

Migration in a time of crisis: a simple conceptual framework applied to East Asian migrations’, Sussex Centre for Migration Research: Migration Research Seminar.

Doctoral examining;

Okamoto, H., 2011, PhD on Japanese community in London, King's College London.

James Hanson

James R Hanson, The Organic Chemistry of Isotope Labelling, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2011, i-xv, 1-184pp.

James R Hanson, Chemistry in the Kitchen Garden, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2011, i-xiv, 1-210pp.

Cavit Uyanik and James R Hanson, 'The chemistry of beta-norsteroidal 6-ketones and their relatives,' Journal of Chemical Research, 2011, 35, 495-499.

James R Hanson, 'Diterpenoids of terrestrial origin', Natural Product Reports, 2011, 28, 1755-1772.

Willie Lamont

An article on Norman Cohn ( Director of the Columbus Centre at Sussex, 1963 - 1980 ), Proceedings of the British Academy, 161, 2009, pp.87 -108.

M. F. Lappert

P.B.Hitchcock, M.F. Lappert and A.V. Protchenko, "Synthesis and structure of the Silylated benzene radical anion salts [K([18]-crown-6){C6H4(SiMe3)2-1,4}] and [K([18]-crown-6)(thf)2][ C6H2(SiMe3)4-1,2,4,5]", J. Organomet. Chem., 2011, 656, 2161 - 2164.

M. P. Coles, P.B. Hitchcock, A.V. Khvostov, M.F. Lappert and L. Maron, "Synthesis and structures of the [benzamidinato]3- complexes [Li3(tmeda)(L')]2 and Li(thf)4][Li5(Li")(OEt2)2] [L' = N(SiMe3)C(Ph)n(SiMe3) and L" = N(SiMe3)C(C6H4)NPh]", Dalton Trans., 2011, 40, 3047 - 3052.

C.F. Caro, M.P. Coles, P.B. Hitchcock, M.F. Lappert and X.-H. Wei, "Crystalline metal (Li, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba,Sn, Pb) complexes of the new chelating N',N'-dianionic [1,2-N(R)C6H4(CH2NR)]2- ligand (R = SiMe3, CH2But)", Dalton Trans., 2011, 40, 9821 - 9830.

X.-H. Wei, M.P. Coles, P.B. Hitchcock and M.F, Lappert, " Synthesis and structures of five crystalline organometallic (Li/Y, Mg/Mg) or coordination (Mg, CrII, Y/Y) complexes", Z. Anorg. Allg. Chem., 2011, 1633 - 1643.

Ladislaus Löb

Invited tal Paper, 3rd International Conference on Holocaust Research, Federal Agency for Civic Education with the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, Essen and the German Resistance Memorial Center, Berlin, Holocaust Memorial Day.

Israelitic Community and Jewish Liberal Community, Zürich.

Migwan Cultural Association and University of Basel, Basel.

Winter Teacher Training Seminar, Holocaust Educational Trust, Bristol.

Books reviewed in East European Jewish Studies and Einsicht. Bulletin des Fritz Bauer Instituts.

Margaret M. McGowan

"Primaticcio & Ronsard at Fontainebleau", in Primaticcio, ed. Carmelo Occhipinti, Pisa, 2011 "Costumes pour la Danse", in La Revue de l'art, no. 174/2011-4, pp. 43-9.

Lecture at the Warburg Institute, University of London, ‘Montaigne and Amyot’

Lecture at University College London, September 2011, ‘Classical Forms Reborn in the European Renaissance’

Lecture at Paris conference on Henri IV, November 2011, ‘Les stratégies politiques dans la fabrication de l'image du roi’

Ulrike Meinhof

Kiwan, Nadia and Ulrike H. Meinhof (2011). Cultural Globalisation and Music. Palgrave Macmillan.

Jennifer Platt

Joint editor of a special section of Sociological Research Online, ‘60 Years of Impact’, reflecting on 60 years of the British Sociological Association (BSA) and British Sociology.

A ‘History Corner’ in each issue of the International Sociological Association’s newsletter Global Dialogue.

Book reviewed: Peter Berger, Adventures of an Accidental Sociologist, in Journal for the History of the Behavioral Sciences;

Papers given:

Invited contribution, panel on ‘Sixty years of theorising social class’, BSA conference, London 2011.

Where is the boundary between sociology and not-sociology?’, American Sociological Association conference, Las Vegas 2011.

Two lectures at Teheran University, one to the Student Sociological Association and one to the faculty, on aspects of the history of sociology.

Other activities

Organised a conference of the small international Network on the History of Empirical Social Research.

Met with the Board of the Iranian Sociological Association to discuss relations with the International Sociological Association.

Papers were refereed for Social Studies of Science, Sociological Review, and International Review of Social Science Methodology

Robert Smith

Books reviewed:

"The Rotation of Sun and Stars", edited by J.-P. Rozelot & C. Neiner (Lecture Notes in Physics No. 765, Springer 2009) _AND_ "Physics, Formation and Evolution of Rotating Stars'', by A. Maeder (Springer 2009) /Contemporary Physics/ *52*:1 89-91 2011

"The Life of Stars: The Controversial Inception and Emergence of the Theory of Stellar Structure'', by G. Shaviv (Springer 2009) /Observatory/ *131* 34-35 2011

"Apocalypse When? Calculating How Long the Human Race will Survive'', by W. Wells (Springer/Praxis 2009) /Observatory/ *131* 166-167 2011

"Highlights of Astronomy as presented at the XXVII IAU General Assembly'', edited by I. F. Corbett (CUP 2010) /Observatory/ *131* 170-171 2011

"The Lives of Stars'', by Ken Crosswell (Boyds Mills Press, Honesdale, PA, 2009) /Observatory/ *131* 259-260 2011

Donald Winch

Uses and Abuses of the History of Economics’ in On Capitalism, ed. Kurt Almqvist and Alexander Linklater, Axel and Margaret Axson Johnson Foundation, Stockholm, 2011, pp. 25-38.

Politics and Political Economy after Smith’, Journal of the History of Economics, 33, 1, March, 2011, pp. 119-129.

Lecture on ‘Wealth and Wellbeing’ at UCL; lecture on ‘Before and After Toynbee’ to Victorian Studies Society, Cambridge; lecture on ‘John Maynard Keynes: Economist as Biographer and Intellectual Historian’ at Oxford, Institute for Historical Research, and Sussex.

Elected to Honorary Membership of European Society for the History of Economics, award to be made in St Petersburg, May, 2012


Ken Smith’s death on 30 March 2012 was reported in the University Bulletin dated 20 April. He was the founding Professor of experimental physics at Sussex.

Two deaths of current physics staff were reported in the same issue of the Bulletin: Wolfgang Lange, Professor of atomic, molecular and optical physics, and David Axon, Head of the School of Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

Dennis Cox, who died on 28 February 2012 at the age of 91, was Sussex’s first Librarian, taking up his post in September 1960. Like Asa Briggs, the University’s first professor of history, and later Vice-chancellor, he came from the University of Leeds, where he was Deputy Librarian.

He brought from Leeds not only his colleague Alec Blamire, the Sussex library’s first sub-librarian, but also a clear sense of what he saw as weaknesses of the library system there. One was the fragmentation of provision arising from the existence of numerous departmental libraries, another the scattering of related material even within the Brotherton library itself, thanks to the existence of separate collections, separate sometimes by virtue of location, sometimes by dictate of donor, sometimes by awkwardness of format. Perhaps the most important conclusion Cox had reached at Leeds, however, was that the library needs of undergraduates were poorly served by the arrangements then in place. The early years of the library he created here at Sussex were much influenced by these three critical views of the system at Leeds.

His ability to create a different kind of university library was facilitated in many ways by the nature of the early Sussex ethos, in others by the spirit of the time. The Sussex commitment to interdisciplinarity militated strongly against the existence of departmental libraries – indeed, the very term ‘department’ was then unacceptable in developing or describing the academic structure. The fact that the library building was to be among the very first to be built meant that temporary accommodations could be firmly seen as just that, temporary, and the stock arrangements enforced by them were known to be ephemeral, to be superseded by integration into a single sequence in the dedicated library building. The rebalancing of library priorities so that undergraduates would find the library an essential and frequent part of their week, rather than an occasional backup to a favoured textbook or two, was in tune with the national strategy which was being reflected in, and eventually defined by, the Robbins committee on higher education, which began its deliberations early in 1961, and reported in 1963.

It proved easier to implement the vision of a single library in the arts and humanities than in the sciences. Far more courses in the former required students to work in more than one area of the subject classification by which books and periodicals were arranged on the shelves, and academic staff, too, often needed to read out of what some still felt to be their core discipline. The science courses never seemed to require so much student exploration of subjects not traditionally found in them. But the major and successful challenge to the vision of a single source of library materials came not from the exigencies of provision for students, but from the relatively unplanned rapid growth of research activity, and the demands of researchers, particularly in the sciences, and particularly for easy access to journals. Separate library rooms were established from the start in Mols and in Physics, and later in Biols, though the precise scope of their contents varied from building to building.

But it also proved necessary to modify the vision within the library building itself. For a short while, all stock was classified and shelved in a single sequence, including pamphlets and government publications, however slight in format, but this was quickly found to be utterly impractical, and separate sequences of material not handily presented in ‘book’ form developed.

The undoubted success of Cox’s vision was with regard to provision for students. The absence of textbooks covering the innovative new courses meant that there was little challenge outside the library to levels of spending on multiple copies far higher than usually found, and, with no alternative source of material, students flocked to the library, reading in it, and borrowing from it, on a scale not anticipated, and for some years not approached elsewhere. (When Cox returned to Leeds in 1968 he was to create the Edward Boyle undergraduate library there, and we may suppose that this Sussex experience fed his ambition to do so.)

At the time, some of the above was far less clear than it appears now. The senior staff were, like their counterparts elsewhere on campus, trying to keep up with the hectic growth of the University, and with hindsight Cox gave us remarkable freedom to choose how to do so (even if it sometimes did not seem like it at the time). In the early 1960s Sussex was a vauntingly ambitious place to be, ready to rethink any aspect of its role, practice, or style. In the library we dismissed as inadequate the classification schemes in place for decades elsewhere, and wrote our own; we criticised the standard cataloguing code as outdated, and wrote our own, we rubbished the established mechanisms for recording book borrowing, and invented our own. And Cox let all this happen. None of us foresaw how ineluctable would be the pressures to standardization, and that almost all these local practices would disappear, some within a decade, some over a longer period. Did he perhaps think some of our innovations would become ‘best practice’ across the profession? The insistence of Sir Basil Spence’s team on designing not only the library building but also most of the furniture, including specialised units such as shelving and card catalogue cabinets, soon showed what could result when the lessons implicit in established practice were ignored. Such disregard -‘not invented here!’ - seldom led to improved furniture and equipment: with hindsight Cox might well have disallowed some of his staff’s innovations in professional practice in the light of his experience of dealing with the architect. The waste and inefficiency which resulted could have been a warning to us all.

So in terms of breaks with both his own recent past, and that of other academic libraries, Cox’s years at Sussex provided plenty of experience of what might work, and what would not. It’s worth recalling that he had a particular chance to use this experience to influence the development of university libraries in this country: he was one of the two university librarians on the committee on university libraries chaired by Sir Thomas Parry, which deliberated from 1963 to 1967, finally publishing an important report in the latter year (a report which, among other things, was prominent in the pressures leading to the formation of the British Library). Small wonder, then, that in 1968, with its librarianship vacant, Leeds invited Cox to return to fill it, an invitation which was accepted. Was his return to Leeds surprising? Perhaps not: at Sussex the University’s initial ebullience was waning, expansion was slowing, and the first funding reductions were being experienced – the appeal of working in a much larger, but familiar, institution must have been considerable. On his last day at Sussex, Cox offered me a position at Leeds, but the attractions which worked for him were not powerful enough to persuade me to follow suit. I hope that we both made the choice which was right for us and for our respective institutions.

It is harder to write about the man than about the librarian: the personal relationships of Cox with his early professional team were not close – hence, I suppose, my referring throughout this appreciation to ‘Cox’ rather than ‘Dennis’ – and we knew nothing, for instance, of his varied service with the navy during the war, service which earned him both the Croix de guerre and, later, the Légion d’honneur. (He worked as liaison officer not only in French submarines but also in the Dutch navy.) I don’t think we knew he had a daughter; I certainly didn’t know he was a regular (Anglican) churchgoer. It may have been due to an inherent shyness, or to a cautious keeping of distance by someone in his first post as a chief librarian, but his manner certainly discouraged personal conversation. This may have been misleading. He appeared at ease with members of the non-professional staff, seeming particularly to enjoy chats with the Senior Porter, and occasionally he would surprise one of the seniors with a gesture such as sending a gift when my wife (another of his appointments) and I had our first child.

Adrian Peasgood

Civilised and convivial, a twinkle heralding the arrival of yet another humorous anecdote from his seemingly endless collection, a consummate professional musician admired everywhere including by generations of Sussex students, Dr John Birch, who died aged 82 on 28 April following a severe stroke at his home in Chichester, was University Organist from 1967 until 1994. He was also Visiting Lecturer in Music teaching keyboard harmony (in a variety of cubby holes in Arts B, Sussex House and even the Mantell building) from 1971 to 1983.

Appointed Organist & Master of the Choristers of Chichester Cathedral at the young age of 29 in 1958, where he stayed until 1980, he was commissioned to design the organ in the new Meeting House at Sussex in 1966. At Chichester alongside Dean Walter Hussey, he commissioned popular new works by Walton, Howells, Bernstein the 'Chichester' Psalms and many others. He also built up an impressive private collection of art, already on public show at Pallant House Gallery, of works by John Piper, Duncan Grant and many others.

At Sussex he conducted both the Meeting House Choir (with, then, a full complement of organ scholars and choral scholars) and the University Chamber Choir. He directed the annual Messiah from Scratch (for students, faculty and on occasion inmates from Lewes Prison, for whose sensitivities he tended to refer to'measures' rather than 'bars', and to omit "Let us break their bonds asunder" altogether). With the late Stephen Medcalf he devised the annual Christmas Carol Services (once broadcast live on BBC Radio Brighton) and he gave regular brilliant lunchtime organ recitals every term. An honorary MA was conferred on him by Sussex in 1971 and he was later awarded an Honorary Lambeth Doctorate of Music by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

John relished his recent Presidency of the Burgon Society, founded to promote the study of Academical Dress. He played the organ for degree ceremonies until his many other roles at the Royal College of Music or the Royal Albert Hall, playing, recording and touring with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as Organist of Temple Church from 1982 for fifteen years (later becoming an Honorary Bencher) or as President of the Royal College of Organists - meant he had to record the music for use in absentia. John also played the organ for a Canadian television recording of Yehudi Menuhin conducting Brighton Festival Chorus in excerpts from 'Messiah' in the Meeting House in 1978. He was appointed when Dr Daniel Jenkins (father of Sir Simon) was University Chaplain, served under three more and as many Vice-Chancellors, and, such was his continued interest in the university, John attended the first major social event of the Suss-Ex Club for former staff, a dinner at the House of Lords, a few years ago. Still Organist to the RPO (having clocked up over 90 performances of the Saint-Saens 'Organ' Symphony with them and other orchestras all over the world in his long and distinguished career) and Curator-Organist at the Royal Albert Hall, he played for a number of concerts in the Albert Hall earlier this year and maintained his bonhomie and joie de vivre almost to the end.

Roger Walkinton


Suss-Ex activities are organised by a steering committee, which currently comprises:

Gordon Conway, Chair

Robert Benewick

Sue Bullock

Jackie Fuller

Charles Goldie

Arnold Goldman

Jennifer Platt

Steve Pavey

Adrian Peasgood

David Smith

Ken Wheeler

We are always seeking ideas for social occasions when we can meet former colleagues. Please let us have your suggestions or volunteer to join the committee. We meet once a term, when practicable immediately before a Suss-Ex event.

Expression of interest in a visit to Dandy Dick at the Theatre Royal – for return to Jennifer Platt as specified in the announcement above under ‘Theatre visit – July’

Dandy Dick

Mon. Jul. 2, 7.45

Tues. Jul 3, 2.30

Weds. Jul 4, 2.30

Thurs. Jul. 5, 2.30

Thurs. Jul. 6, 7.45

Sat. Jul. 7, 2.30

Date & time OK?


How many?


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