07 November 2012

Podcasts launched to mark 50th anniversary

50th anniversary podcast series launched

 A new oral history podcast series is being launched this month as part of celebrations to mark the University’s 50th anniversary in 2014.

The series, Creating a University, tells the story of Essex from its earliest days – with interviews from the people who were there, including students, staff from all levels and Wivenhoe residents.

Essex pioneered oral history in Britain – and this commitment to research is now allowing the University to explore its own five-decade history. The series is being launched as part of the Festival of Social Sciences.

One podcast will be released every month, starting from November 2012 until August 2013. Each one looks at a different aspect of the University – from the heady days of student protests in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to the impact of the University on the surrounding area.

In the first podcast the series director, Professor Paul Thompson of the Department of Sociology, talks about the series, how it came about and some of the surprising stories that were recorded.

The University’s founding Vice-Chancellor, Sir Albert Sloman, and his vision for Essex is the subject of the second podcast. Some of the early staff, attracted by Sir Albert’s new University, talk about his “experimental” focus on interdisciplinary study, on creating an international community, and about the “bright, imaginative, adventurous” undergraduates that signed up to study at Essex.

The podcasts are based on archive interviews carried out by volunteers for the Wivenhoe Oral History Project, established by Professor Paul Thompson in the 1990s. To find out more about the 50th anniversary, visit: wwww.essex.ac.uk/fifty.

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