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Cambridge Alumni Magazine Issue 69 Easter 2013

In this issue:

Crush Medieval renaissance Straight talk Culture war Summer books



CAM Cambridge Alumni Magazine Issue 69 Easter Term 2013


Regulars Letters Don’s diary Update Diary My room, your room The best... Secret Cambridge Debate

Extracurricular 02 University matters 03 Summer reading 04 Cambridge 08 soundtrack A sporting life 10 Prize crossword 11 12 18

39 40 45 47 48

Charlie Troman

Features Ian Wright




The screaming teenage fan has become an essential part of modern pop. Lucy Jolin examines the phenomenon.

Matters of substance


What is the universe really made of? Katharine Sanderson investigates dark matter and dark energy.

Rian Hughes

A Medieval renaissance

Professor Helen Cooper argues that the full stop placed by scholars between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance obscures our understanding of what it means to be modern.

20 CAM is published three times a year, in the Lent, Easter and Michaelmas terms and is sent free to Cambridge alumni. It is available to non-alumni on subscription. For further information contact the Alumni Relations Office. The opinions expressed in CAM are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the University of Cambridge.

This publication contains paper manufactured by Chain-of-Custody certified suppliers operating within internationally recognised environmental standards in order to ensure sustainable sourcing and production.


Editor Mira Katbamna Managing Editor Morven Knowles Design and Art Direction Smith Print Pindar Publisher The University of Cambridge Development Office 1 Quayside Bridge Street Cambridge CB5 8AB Tel +44 (0)1223 332288 Editorial enquiries Tel +44 (0)1223 760149

Alumni enquiries Tel +44 (0)1223 760149 cambridgealumni @CARO1209 #cammag

Straight talking Plain speech has its virtues, but for real precision you need style. Dr Michael Hurley explores why sometimes only “literary” language will do.

Advertising enquiries Tel +44 (0)20 7520 9474 Services offered by advertisers are not specifically endorsed by the editor or the University of Cambridge. The publisher reserves the right to decline or withdraw advertisements. Cover photograph by Marcus Ginns. Copyright © 2013 The University of Cambridge.


Award Winner 2013

Culture war


Did anthropologist Margaret Mead help to win the second world war? Professor Peter Mandler examines the evidence.

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Your letters

Substance matters


elcome to the Easter edition of CAM. As the days lengthen and post-exam students bask in the much-anticipated summer sun, CAM has been pondering a matter of substance: of what is the universe – students, sun, space, time, the lot – comprised? On page 20 we try to get a better understanding. Of course, for a definitive answer to this, as to many as yet unanswered academic questions, the University looks to the future: its post-docs. On page 39, Professor Jeremy Sanders, Pro-ViceChancellor for Institutional Affairs, examines the role of the post-doc and how the North West Cambridge development will help meet their needs. Elsewhere, on page 14, in light of One Direction mania, we examine just why teenagers scream at pop groups and, on page 28, discover why straight talking is sometimes less useful than often thought. On page 24, Professor Helen Cooper explains why decrepit plumbing should never be described as ‘medieval’, and on page 32 Professor Peter Mandler explores the role anthropologist Margaret Mead played in the second world war. Finally, we are very sad to report the death, in May, of James Leonard, the man behind the fiendish CAM crossword. James was held in enormous – and affectionate – regard by his team of compilers, and by all at CAM. He will be greatly missed.

Mira Katbamna

appeared, with photos (and on the front page, I think), under the headline “Uxbridge places for Whitwell neighbours”. I found this very amusing, but I think my Mum got a biro and joined up the U to make an O in our family copy of the paper. And to make it even better, somebody came up to my Mum while she was shopping and said: “I see your Sue’s got into Uxbridge. Hasn’t she done well.” Sue Fairhurst (Newnham 1982)

Camford Your article on Oxbridge (CAM 68) does have one possibly relevant omission: Oxbridge really is a place, a hamlet in West Dorset midway between Beaminster and Bridport. This certainly is not in the home counties as suspected by Robert Lethbridge. Camford really is more insubstantial. Nigel Hensman (Christ's 1954) You raise many fascinating questions about why one meme beats out another. Maybe the name Camford was less successful than Oxbridge because the syllable Cam- (presumably pronounced like ham) does not immediately recall the sound of Cambridge. Charles Heller (Trinity Hall 1965)

(Caius 1995)

Every year, one or two people got into Oxford or Cambridge from my north Derbyshire grammar school. In my year, it was two: I got a place at Newnham and the boy who lived next door got into Oxford. This was quite a coincidence, but (in my opinion) was unlikely to be of any interest. Nevertheless, to my huge embarrassment, the local paper sent a reporter around to interview me and my neighbour. The article 02 CAM 69

Good neighbours I enjoyed very much the article The Good Neighbour (CAM 68). It brought back some happy memories and reminded me of my first day as a fresher at Fitzwilliam in 1974. I came up to read Economics, as did my College next-door neighbour. It was the custom of the College to ‘pair’ new undergraduates reading the same course next to each other so they could be ‘study buddies’. Unfortunately, my neighbour did not like the reading list we had been sent during the summer and immediately elected to change course to History – thus leaving me somewhat in the lurch! Nevertheless, despite having polar opposite political and economic views, we became firm friends – a friendship that has endured to the present day. Steven Faull (Fitzwilliam 1974)

Secret Cambridge In the article Murder Most Foul (CAM 68), it is rightly said that the Johnian Henry Moule patented the first mechanical earth closet, but it is added that he became the vicar of Fordington, Devon. Never! I worked for many years in Dorset, and I can assure you that

We are always delighted to receive your emails and letters. Email your letters to:

Don’s diary

Write to us at: CAM, Cambridge Alumni Relations Office, 1 Quayside, Bridge Street, Cambridge, CB5 8AB. Please mark your letter ‘for publication’. You can read more CAM letters at Letters may be edited for length.

he was the famous vicar of Fordington, which is part of Dorchester. His heroism during the cholera epidemics of 1849 and 1854 was the inspiration for Thomas Hardy’s story “A Changed Man”. In my day as a Johnian undergraduate, I always used the latrines described in the article (the only ones available) and our ghosts no doubt still flit across Third Court in the middle of the night! John N Spencer (St John’s 1955)

Rugby Fives It is nearly 60 years since I played fives, but I thought I recognised the sport from the picture on the first page of the Lent issue of CAM. How delightful to find an article on this minor but invigorating sport. With the late Trevor Matthews we made a strong College team, and I played on occasion for the University. No fives in the USA, but my experience with smacking a ball around four walls with both hands (and gloves) has led to many healthful hours of handball, a somewhat similar activity. Now the hands bruise too easily so racquetball substitutes – same court and the same geometric trajectories so the ancient neurons still play their part. Michael Riley (Caius 1952)

Letters It was amusing to read (Letters, CAM 68) that Sir William Ramsey named Argon after the pupils of his old school as it is translated to mean ‘lazy’. An anagram of Argon is ‘groan’ which might also be appropriate to describe a teacherpupil relationship. William MF Leat (Trinity 1959)

Dr Sam Barrett is Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of College Music at Pembroke.

There were points last term when I felt more like a marathon runner than an academic. There was the evening I spent reducing my inbox from 6,000 emails to 300. Then there was the moment I realised that my administrative load was beginning to affect my teaching. And the week I found myself scraping frost off my windscreen before sunrise and again about midnight. But through it all, the music of the medieval Latin lyric and Miles Davis were my companions and consolation. The start of term was spent putting the final touches to my book on early medieval song. The Research Excellence Framework has its critics, but it certainly helped bring to an end a year-long conversation with my copy editor and typesetter. Camera-ready pdfs were duly delivered and I walked more lightly for a couple of weeks. Whether, as a result, the melodies of Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy will catch on again, more than 1000 years after they were first written, remains to be seen – although Benjamin Bagby, of the group Sequentia, would be just the singer and harpist for the job. Not that there are many historically-informed bards to choose from, you understand. All the while, Miles Davis continued as my academic alter ego. Unpicking the strands of his changing sound and image over half a century provided rich material for a Part II course. Twelve two-hour seminars later, his music continued to prove elusive, refusing to be captured by our bestlaid theoretical nets. Listening night after night to his music, while racing through a critical oeuvre broader than it is deep, also proved unsettling. “Tootling up and down scales”, as one of my colleagues put it; but it’s everything that goes with it, as Davis might have replied. And that included us as we laboured through transcriptions, deciphered biographies, surfed Spotify and wrestled with the lingering cultural guilt of engaging with it all. My own need to get on with a long-promised book on Davis’s 1959 album Kind of Blue came into focus when leafing through a GCSE Music textbook on a day spent in outreach. There, on an equal footing with Classical Music I and II, and just before World Music, was Popular Music, featuring a potted summary of Davis’s All Blues from Kind of Blue. After the surprise came the questions. It’s certainly a triumph for jazz to feature in the curriculum, but at what cost to a music developed outside the academy? (Davis,

after all, left Juilliard to learn from Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker.) And what new approaches might be needed to study a fragile, highly contingent music that flows across our carefully erected musical and social barriers? These were problems for another day. I was there, in a far-flung grammar school on a rainy mid-term Monday, to spread the word. Developing, with colleagues, a 10-week course to encourage sixth formers to consider reading Music at university had been the work of countless negotiations. Putting it into practice was the reward – my part was to steer an eager group through the music of the middle ages using a single plainchant melody. The course went well in both pilot schools, provoking unexpected conversations between sixth-form students, teachers and academics as we wrestled afresh with the subject we love beyond all usual patterns of assessment. Back on home turf it was time for graduate admissions. Being the degree committee secretary for Music brought with it the angst of completing interviews in a condensed six week or so period alongside all the usual activities. Somehow we managed it all, and as co-interviewer for most MPhil interviews, I felt privileged to get a glimpse of the research that will be shaping the field in a few years’ time. After this came the inevitable chasing of reports, the checks and balances of emerging judgments, and finally, the recording of bare marks for others to make final decisions about funding. The disappointment came in the following weeks as candidates outside the top one or two in each competition began to withdraw due to lack of funds. The range of other duties undertaken this term do not fit satisfactorily even into this column: supervisions for multiple courses; directing the Pembroke College Chapel Choir; co-editing a quarterly journal; running the Instrumental Award Scheme; and being director of studies at three Colleges and tutor at one. The first pile of examining arrived on the last day of term, as did an email asking about an overdue article. It was time to focus my efforts, certainly, but which part of this luxurious web of activity to excise? It may be just tootling up and down scales, but it’s everything that goes with it that makes the performance endlessly fascinating.

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UPDATE EASTERTERM Vice-Chancellor calls for action on poverty


he Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, has challenged global research universities to play their part in the alleviation of poverty, disease and malnutrition. Delivering Monash University’s annual Richard Larkins Oration last term to a distinguished audience at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, the Vice-Chancellor said that the academic world has much to contribute. He argued that the academic world’s inherent multidisciplinarity and internationalism, and the perception of universities as honest and independent brokers, were key tools in the fight against poverty. The Vice-Chancellor also discussed the role of partnerships, such as the programme between Cambridge, the University of Ghana and Makerere University in Uganda, which is supported by the Carnegie Corporation and other philanthropists. “In every historical and geographical incarnation of a university, ‘making a difference in the world’ has been a recognisable aim,” he said. “Academics do not withdraw into universities, despite their monastic roots, to think deep thoughts – they deepen those thoughts by constant engagement with others and the challenge of real world problems such as poverty.”

Caroline Mardon

To read the speech in full, visit offices/v-c/biography/speeches

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Pictures courtesy of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory/Science Museum & Science & Society Picture Library


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75 years of pioneering computing


n 1938, two men from the newlyapproved Mathematical Laboratory set about attempting to provide a resource that could solve complex mathematical problems by “numerical methods”. This year the Cambridge Computer Lab, as it is now called, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. In that time it has become a world leader in computing research, and arguably has changed the world out of all recognition. Indeed, the list of advances the Lab has had a hand in reads like a guide to 21st century technology. It is where EDSAC, one of the first practical programmable computers, was built. It is where micro-programming was pioneered by Maurice Wilkes, and where some of the first steps towards networked computers – and thus the internet – were made.

It was home to the first webcam and provided a training ground for searchengine whiz Michael Burrows. Bjarne Stroustrup, inventor of the computer language C++, also undertook his PhD there. The Lab also played a role in the development of early home computers such as the BBC Micro, and low-power chip technology of the kind used in iPads and mobile phones. Almost 200 spin-out technology firms can trace their origins back to the Lab – and there’s no sign of any slowdown in its influence. Deep inside the Lab’s current home in the William Gates Building, staff and students are busy designing the future.

Eight honorary graduands This year eight people will be granted honorary doctorates, the highest award the University can confer. They are: John Elliott, historian of Spain; Daniel Kahneman, psychologist; Hilary Mantel, writer; Jonathan Spence, historian of China; Joseph Stiglitz, economist; Mario Vargas Llosa, writer; Harold Varmus, molecular biologist; and Ada Yonath, crystallographer.



Origins of the afro-comb


n exhibition on the history of African hair combs will open in July at the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The exhibition, which traces the origins of the afro-comb, will examine the striking diversity in design and scale of combs over the last 6000 years. Material culture on display will include many historically significant objects, including combs dating from pre-Dynastic Egypt to modern-day “black fist” combs referencing the Black Power movement. Many of the combs have been used to symbolise status, group affiliation and religious belief, and are encoded with ritual properties.


New development and alumni head Cambridge has appointed a new Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations. Alison Traub, currently campaign director for the University of Virginia, said: "I am excited to join Cambridge and be able to partner with our alumni in advancing Collegiate Cambridge at this important time for the University."

By looking at archaeological records of burials, and through recording oral histories in modern societies, it is hoped the exhibition and associated project will provide a much better understanding of the status of this iconic object and the spiritual and societal status it can hold. Sally-Ann Ashton, Senior Assistant Keeper of Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam, and curator of the exhibition at both museums, said: “This exhibition will not just express the unity of archaeology and anthropology in observing patterns of change and continuity of this vital cultural tradition. It is hoped that it will also impact the tradition itself, because much of the work here will involve a very lively community of people today.”

Conservation initiative launched Last term, Sir David Attenborough and former Chancellor of the University, HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh came together to launch the Cambridge Conservation Campus. The campus will become the hub for the world’s largest conservation cluster, the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI). CCI is a new and pioneering partnership formed between the University and leading conservation organisations. These include the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Tropical Biology Association, and Fauna and Flora International. Its aim is to create an international centre of interdisciplinary collaboration and outreach that will transform conservation research, policy and practice for the benefit of biodiversity and humanity. The Conservation Campus will bring together more than 500 professional conservationists from eight conservation organisations, with plans being considered by the City Council for a £56 million refurbishment of the Arup Building on the University’s New Museums Site. David Attenborough said: “The world’s biodiversity urgently needs research-driven, innovative and practical solutions for its conservation. By coming together on the Conservation Campus, CCI partners will be better able to integrate their distinct and complementary strengths to tackle the complex challenges facing the natural world in exciting new ways.”

Cambridge sports centre topped out Work is well underway on the University of Cambridge Sports Centre, which is located on the West Cambridge site and topped out at the end of March. The centre, which will house a fitness suite, sports hall and two full-size sports courts (indoor and outdoor tennis courts and a swimming pool are also planned) will be used by the University and the local community. The first phase of the centre is due to be opened this summer. CAM 69 05

06 CAM 67


CARO E: T: +44 (0)1223 332288 W:


Keys to the research kingdom

T Ring leaders wanted Just graduated or moved to a new area? Want to meet other alumni but can’t find a local group? If you’d like to set up a new group, we can help. Groups don’t have to be formal – in fact, many of the most successful aren’t. All you need is enthusiasm and a willingness to be the contact with Cambridge. Inspired? Find out more at:

Do you have a CAMCard? All alumni are eligible to have a CAMCard. Issued by the Alumni Office free of charge, your card carries your unique alumni ID number and gives you access to a range of offers when you are back in Cambridge, including entry to the Colleges. The card is also a way of carrying a little bit of Cambridge with you wherever you are. If you already have a CAMCard but it has seen better days, we are happy to issue you with a new one. To get your CAMCard, update your details at, call the Alumni Office on +44 (0)1223 332 288 or drop in to see us.

he University Library is delighted to announce increased alumni access to academic research. In addition to the longstanding right of MAs to borrow books from the Library, alumni will now be able to access a huge range of academic work online and free of charge. Access is via JSTOR, a high-quality, interdisciplinary archive of scholarship that includes leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences, as well as primary sources. Alumni will have access to the same set of JSTOR archive collections as students and faculty at Cambridge. There are currently over 1000 e-journals available, with collections including Arts & Sciences I-VIII, Life Sciences, the Ireland collection and 19th-century British pamphlets, as well as a number of individual journal titles. Over the coming months more academic works will be added to this list.

For further information on the content available and on how to gain access to a range of JSTOR journals, visit

d Irelan n ctio Colle


New heads of house +

David Semple

Downing, Fitzwilliam, Murray Edwards and Sidney Sussex have all appointed new heads. At Downing, Professor Geoffrey Grimmett has been elected Master, following the retirement of Professor Barry Everitt. Nicola Padfield will become the first woman to be Master at Fitzwilliam, succeeding Professor Robert Lethbridge. Murray Edwards has announced that its fifth President will be Dame Barbara Stocking DBE, formerly Chief Executive of Oxfam, succeeding Dr Jennifer Barnes. Professor Richard Penty has been elected Master of Sidney Sussex, succeeding Profesor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill.

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EASTER TERM Global Cambridge

Alumni Festival 27–29 September 2013, Cambridge Get an exclusive insight into what is making top academics tick this autumn at the Alumni Festival, our flagship alumni event. Speakers, drawn from all six Schools and featuring the University’s leading thinkers, will include Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor Alan Mycroft, Dame Barbara Stocking and Dame Carol Black. Visiting speakers will include Joan Bakewell and Chris Blackhurst of The Independent. You can book for one event, one day or the entire festival. There will also be opportunities to get your hands dirty stripping and rebuilding a single cylinder engine, see the development work at North West Cambridge and explore the hidden secrets of the University Library. The Alumni Festival will include over 30 lectures – with top academics discussing some of the hot topics of the day – exclusive tours of Colleges and the city and even the chance to sing in King’s College Chapel. Booking opens on 15 July and closes on 16 September. Look out for updates on the website, or sign up for regular festival bulletin email updates or to receive the printed brochure at

Ben Hawkes

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CARO events E: T: +44 (0)1223 332288 W: 3

Other events Global Cambridge




6–7 December 2013, Canada Can’t get to Cambridge? Never fear, because in a new series of events, Cambridge is coming to you. The Global Cambridge series brings a slice of Cambridge academic life to alumni around the world, giving you the chance to take part in big-picture discussions with the leading experts in their field and network with other alumni. This December, Global Cambridge will be in Toronto. Held over two days, the event will include a drinks reception hosted by the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Toronto and a programme of lectures and panel discussions. Whether you are from Toronto, across the border, or just visiting, we hope you will join us. Look out for more information in the e-bulletin and on the website; if you would like to sign up for email updates then please contact us at Getty Images


Christopher Wood at Kettle’s Yard


July – September Cambridge

Christopher Wood’s dramatic and tragically short life has long been almost as well-known as his work. This exhibition will bring together favourite, familiar and unfamiliar works from the Kettle’s Yard collection, alongside a few key loans, to bring fresh focus to this influential artist.

Intoxication of Power: Leadership and Hubris Summit 19 September 2013 Cambridge This one-day joint conference organised by the Cambridge Judge Business School and the Daedalus Trust will examine managerial hubris and its consequences. Speakers include Professor Nicola Clayton, Clive Wilkins, Christoph Loch and Lord David Owen. To register your interest, email

Rifle Varsity Match, 2013


11 and 19 July Bisley Camp, Surrey

Come and watch the Light Blues defeat Oxford – again. The University’s Rifle Association has won most of the Varsity Target Rifle matches since 1862, at one point enjoying a 24-year-long winning streak. The club includes a huge number of international level marksmen and women among alumni and current members. Match shooting will take place at the National Shooting Centre on 11 July and target shooting on 19 July.

Save the date! Winter Wordfest 2013 27 – 29 September Festival of Ideas 2013 23 October – 3 November Cambridge

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Words Stephen Wilson Photograph Charlie Troman Michael Portillo (Peterhouse 1972) is a journalist, broadcaster, and former Conservative Party politician and cabinet minister.

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Philip McDonald is a second-year law student who says he doesn’t mind that Noah’s Ark 1 looks out on to the graveyard. “It’s so peaceful — you’re tucked up out of sight of College here.”


hared sets may be a rarity in the rest of Cambridge, but at Peterhouse, Noah’s Ark 1 still requires a position near the top of the ballot. “It’s got light on three sides, it’s at roof level, it’s a great space for entertaining, and it’s quite centrally located,” Michael Portillo explains. “It’s not Mayfair, it’s not Belgravia, but it’s Piccadilly, it’s Leicester Square.” Philip McDonald, the double set’s current occupant, nods his agreement. “And because room rents are calculated on square footage, with any given budget you get more space for the rent.” While McDonald and fellow second year Rhys James take a rather minimalist approach to furniture, little else has changed in 40 years. Portillo remembers a gas fire, no posters – “we thought posters were a bit naff. In my first years I had a few reproductions of Renoir, but I don’t think they survived to my third year”– and a table groaning with bottles (something he blames on his setmate). Was it a very sociable room? “It wasn’t that we had parties – if you were going to hold a serious party you’d probably hire one of the gardens. It was more that every day was fun because people knew they could come in, knew there’d be a drink,” Portillo says. “We did occasionally get very drunk and go on to the roof. Of course, even 40 years ago that was forbidden.

Even 40 years ago it was forbidden, but I’m afraid one sometimes took drink and then took to the parapet

The best...street in Cambridge Frances Docx is reading English Literature at Newnham Forget King’s Parade, Trinity Street or Granta Place. For me, unassuming Orchard Street is the most charming street in Cambridge. Situated a few residential rows behind Emmanuel and tucked away from the bustle of town, Orchard Street at first appears uniform. The first few cottages are fresh and polished as if decorated for an Ideal Home feature. But continue to walk and the wooden window frames begin to sag, the paint splinters and overgrown greenery obstructs progress to a porch. Orchard Street is where postcardidealism and real life meet. The street demands attention to its detail: from the sweet dog-shaped knocker on one varnished door to the can of Strongbow nestled in the shrubbery a few houses along. As I walk along I am reminded that while architecture is not exempt from the ageing process, some buildings retain an enduring and indelible grace through upkeep, but also through neglect. Built in 1825, the terrace was designed by the architect Charles Humfrey, who later became mayor of Cambridge. The cottages were designed to house his servants and mark the threshold between the town

and his private gardens. The lowhanging roofs of the continuous row of cottages have no upper windows; this is said to be because Humfrey did not want residents having a view into his gardens. Those gardens have since been replaced by a more modern terrace; windows on the top floors of Orchard Street have yet to make an appearance. Now Grade II-listed buildings, the cottages emit a subdued, lived-in quality. Possibly the most striking feature of the terraces, the low mansard roof, gestures regally towards France, yet the small doors and scant windows reinforce the humility inherent in this overlooked and underrated street. Walking along the street recently, I could see smoke percolating through the terracotta chimneys and the faint sound of a fiddle seeped through the brickwork on to the street. The experience of walking along Orchard Street varies on every occasion, with new contrasts and different details asserting themselves each time. But the inviting hum of the Elm Tree pub at the far end of the street – your reward for making the time to visit – remains constant. Marcus Ginns

But I’m afraid one sometimes took drink and then took to the parapet.” McDonald confesses that while he too has been known to clamber on to the roof, he has not yet made a full circuit. “Is it allowed nowadays?” asks Portillo. “No, of course not,” McDonald replies. Portillo also recalls the practice of “removing rooms”. “The best time to do it was if a man was out on a date with a girl. You’d take his carpet out and put it in the middle of Old Court. And then you’d arrange the sofa, the chairs, the bed, everything, on the carpet outside. If the man was very stylish, he would come back, half-cut, and simply get into bed in the middle of Old Court.” Is there a modern equivalent? McDonald thinks there might be. “Certainly nothing quite as imaginative as that – although I might propose it. But something that some people do is to turn everything in a room upside down.” Away from College, Portillo says that he, on the whole, worked hard. “I came up as a scholar, but got a 2:1 in Part I and was demoted to exhibitioner. It was humiliating, so I worked quite hard in my last year and was delighted to get a First,” he says. “I came from a grammar school, so in some ways I was a bit worried about whether I would keep up with the public school boys. I was also very twitchy about making the most of my time, thinking ‘I’m halfway through my first term, I’m one-eighteenth through’.” Nonetheless, perhaps surprisingly, Portillo did not speak at the Union or get involved in student politics. “I joined the Union Society but never made use of my membership.” Though he had spoken at the Union on the day of this interview, he says it was “probably only the second or third time I’ve been inside the building”. McDonald, as a serious debater, understands this position. “I’m a member, but I’ve never taken part in a Union debate,” he says. “I debate competitively, which is a whole different strand.” As Portillo and McDonald reflect on the naming of Noah’s Ark (McDonald suspects it may be because the sitting room resembles the inside of a ship’s cabin) there remains one last question: what happens if you squabble with your set partner? “I can’t say we ever fell out,” says Portillo. “I shared with a very good friend who was a wastrel, and so I used to get very upset about how much trouble he was getting into, but nothing to do with the room, no.” McDonald, too, denies much argument, saying he and James have learned from the undignified spats of contemporaries. “In fact it’s been rather peaceful to share,” he says, “and rather fun.”

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ike other Victorian graveyards, the Ascension Parish Burial Ground is a place of marble, granite and slate. Its Celtic crosses, carved angels and simple slabs are spotted with lichen, crept over by ivy, and shaded by yew and pine. Tucked away down a lane off Huntingdon Road, it attracts few visitors compared with King’s College Chapel or Trinity’s Great Court, yet Ascension is a key part of the University’s heritage and it is one of Cambridge’s most extraordinary acres. “I love the atmosphere of the place,” says Dr Mark Goldie, Fellow of Churchill, Reader in British Intellectual History and a member of the Friends of the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground. “It’s like a museum or art gallery – there are the physical artefacts that when you start to think about and investigate tell you so much about this city and the University over a century and a half.” Since it opened in 1869 more than 2,500 people have been buried at Ascension, among them physicist Sir John Cockcroft, who split the atom, biochemist Sir Frederick Hopkins, who discovered vitamins, and astronomer John Adams, who discovered Neptune. “There is more IQ buried here than any other acre you’re likely to find,” Goldie reckons.

Visitors leave coins and ladders on the stone marking Wittgenstein’s grave


LADDERS TO HEAVEN Words Becky Allen Photograph Steve Bond

There are Darwins and Cornfords – members of Cambridge’s intellectual aristocracy – as well as Alfred Newton, zoologist and founding member of the British Ornithologists’ Union, mathematician Henry Martyn, who on losing his sight adapted braille so it could be used for maths, and one of the founders of economics, Alfred Marshall. “He’s buried in an overgrown corner,” says Goldie. “There used to be an annual pilgrimage of the librarians from the Marshall Library to clean up his grave. That no longer occurs, but maybe in this time of economic meltdown it’s appropriate that Marshall’s grave is more or less disappearing beneath the undergrowth.” And alongside the Nobel prizewinners, College masters and fellows of the Royal Society lie Cambridge townsfolk, old and young, such as four-year-old Jessica Ann Buttimore and her two-month-old baby brother Gabriel Robert, whose tiny headstone bears the simple inscription: “Who we love so much”. As well as individual stories, Ascension contains the collective history of the University since the revolution of the dons in the mid-19th century. “When I show people round I like not only to take them to individual graves, but also to show there’s a wider story there of what I see as three great aspects of that revolution,” Goldie says. These three major changes – the coming of the sciences, the secularisation of the University, and the recognition of women at Cambridge – are all writ large in Ascension’s headstones. “Many of those buried there were founders – pioneers – of wholly new disciplines,” Goldie explains. “One can trace the history of new subjects emerging as research topics and undergraduate courses, whether it’s Economics or Anthropology or the laboratory sciences.” “The second aspect of that revolution is the secularisation of the University. Ascension is a Church of England burial ground but it’s full of people of many faiths and none,” he adds. “And then there’s the revolution that brings women to Cambridge. Suddenly the University begins to realise half the human race is female. One of the people buried there was one of the great pioneers of women’s education, Charlotte Scott, who stunned the University by coming nearly top of the Mathematics Tripos in the 1880s but wasn’t able to get her degree officially until decades later. Her grave disappears every year under the grass and undergrowth, and each year I clear it.” While Scott’s headstone goes largely unnoticed, most visitors come to Ascension searching for one particular plot – that of Ludwig Wittgenstein. But, Goldie says, his grave is hard to find. “Unless you know where it is, you’re unlikely to stumble upon it, it’s a very simple flat stone and people leave mementoes there. I’m not expert enough to tell you the significance of what’s left there – usually coins and ladders.” Today, beneath the British pennies, Euro cents and Chinese yuan, the inscription is hard to discern but, says, Goldie: “I have a law of inverse inscriptions. You get these amazingly long Victorian CVs – praelector, bursar, tutor, etc – of people who are completely forgotten and yet the grave of the most famous person of all buried there, Ludwig Wittgenstein, has simply his name and dates and nothing more because he famously said that you should not utter more than you can verify.”

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New York Times, photographer unknown.


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Central Press/Stringer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The screaming teenage fan has become an essential part of modern pop. Lucy Jolin examines the phenomenon.

Left: Buckingham Palace, 1965. Police keep back a crowd of young fans as the Beatles receive MBEs.

Left: Beatlemaniacs on the Loose, New York City, 28 August 1964. A group of fans wait outside the hotel where the Beatles are staying.


exual intercourse, according to Philip Larkin, famously began 50 years ago, in 1963. “Which was rather late for me,” he sighed. It was also possibly too late for the hapless soul who reviewed the Beatles at Cambridge’s Regal Cinema that same year. “The Beatles, a four-man ‘rock’ group with weird hairstyles as a gimmick, sang and played their current hits,” he wrote, with palpable disapproval. “The show was not the best Cambridge audiences have ever seen.” To be fair, the Beatles were bottom of the bill under bubblegum idols Chris Montez and Tommy Roe. But according to contemporary accounts, fans screaming for the Mop Tops were already ignoring the American idols. (The Regal had form on this. As an earlier review of Adam Faith at the Regal noted: “The show was deplorably uninteresting, but the audience gave a magnificent performance.”) A few months later, Beatlemania proper would take off – not the first example of crazed fan behaviour, but certainly one of the most notorious. Sexual intercourse had indeed begun and, with it, the rise of the uninhibited, screaming fan. Hysterical fan behaviour has a long history, going back to the crazed behaviour that accompanied Franz Liszt’s performances, starting in Berlin in 1841, and dubbed “Lisztomania” by writer Heinrich Heine. For his part, Heine kicked off an equally long and honourable tradition of being unaffected by the mania, and therefore bemused by the pandemonium. Seeking enlightenment, he approached a physician specialising in “female diseases” to explain the phenomenon, who mused on “magnetism, galvanism, electricity, of the contagion of the close hall filled with countless wax lights and several hundred perfumed and perspiring human beings, of historical epilepsy, of the phenomenon of tickling”. Heine remained unconvinced. Screaming at your idols is not a solely Western phenomenon – South Korea, for example, has a longstanding tradition of “K-pop” idols. “The rise of ‘idols’ in Korea in the late 1960s was not very different from that in the West: crowds of young girls cheered at and followed after pop singers,” says Dr Hyun-Gwi Park, affiliated researcher in Korean Studies at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. “It coincided with the spread of romantic marriages and the expansion of education among girls.” Dr Terri Apter, psychologist, writer and Senior Tutor at Newnham , observes that this kind of mass hysteria, although not confined to girls, is certainly commonest among pre-teen and teenage girls. “Why is fan mania CAM 69 15

just about sex appeal. The workings of the brain are mysterious, and few things are more mysterious than the reason why teen girls down the ages have screamed at such unlikely idols as Dave Hill, the guitarist from Slade. “By any standards of pulchritude, he was a very strange-looking man,” observes Petridis. Nicola Morgan (Newnham 1982) is the author of Blame My Brain, a guide to the teenage brain written for teenagers but widely read by adults. The emotional parts of the brain, known as the limbic system, are well developed from babyhood, she says. But the prefrontal cortex – which controls emotions, makes decisions and modifies our behaviour – does not fully develop until a person is in his or her 20s. “So teenagers may find it harder to control their emotions,” she says. “The phrase that adults use is ‘what were you thinking?’ That’s the point – they weren’t thinking, as much as feeling. The emotional present is much more powerful than any notion of what might happen in the future.” It’s this very unpredictability that makes it impossible to predict just who will get screamed at, and who won’t. The road to teen idoldom is littered with the sad carcasses of those who simply didn’t make it, who didn’t have – what? The chemistry? The talent? The style? Yet none of these things seemed to be present in the Bay City Rollers, one of the most screamed-at bands of the 1970s. Petridis recalls the unhappy fate of V, a boyband launched by the people behind successful acts such as Busted and McFly. “They spent loads of money on it. They supported Busted. They had the best start they could get. And it died on its arse. It just wasn’t happening. “There’s a cyclical thing about why it works and why it doesn’t. At the moment there’s a glut of boybands: The Wanted, One Direction. It seems the time is right for that again. But even at the height of boyband

Below: Swooning American fans at a Beatles concert at Madison Square, 1964.

Below: Beatles fans watching their heroes perform on the American television programme The Ed Sullivan Show, 1964.

Pictorial Press/Getty Images/Ian Wright

more dramatic – and loud – among girls? It’s fostered by the songs themselves, the romantic fantasies, and sometimes by the boyishness of the singers. Then, together, girls share fantasies that are new and scary. They enjoy sharing the emotion – when emotions are shared they seem more real but also safer – and they enjoy releasing the excitement together.” Liszt’s fans were both male and female, and obsessive fan behaviour is certainly not confined to girls. But it’s expressed in different ways, says Alexis Petridis (St John’s 1991), head rock and pop critic at The Guardian. “Boys don’t do the mad screaming thing, do they? I think that’s largely a sexual reaction. And with men, music tends to bring out this statistical, recordcollecting sort of reaction. That being said, yes, there are female artists whose appeal is predicated on their looks. But you never see [screaming] at a gig by, say, Katy Perry, which is full of lustful young men. I’ve never experienced that. Men do like artists because they fancy them but they’re very circumspect about it.” There’s also, Petridis points out, the kind of artist who appeals to the outsider of both genders. Watch that classic clip of David Bowie performing Starman on Top of the Pops in 1972, he says, and there’s a moment when Bowie – spindly, pale, truly alien in a Britain where homosexuality had only been legal for five years – points directly towards the camera as he sings the line “I had to phone someone, so I picked on you”. “Every single confused gay teenager who saw him pointing heard him saying, directly to them, ‘I’m here for you’,” Petridis says. “That’s what Lady Gaga does. She has truly obsessive fans and she is probably one of the first pop stars for a very long time to speak directly to people who don’t feel part of the mainstream. Her appeal isn’t sexual, for all that she flashes a lot of flesh.” So there is clearly something else going on that isn’t

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mania you can launch a teen idol and it won’t work. You look at some of the people teenage girls have screamed at over the years – such as Dave Hill – and it is just baffling. I don’t know what the formula is, and if I did know I would launch one myself. You could make a lot of money in the short term.”


n South Korea, being a fan of a particular idol is taken extremely seriously. “Usually, there is one fan club, officially recognised by the idols and management agency of the idols,” says Park. “So they collaborate with each other to promote the idols and their music and the internet provides a very effective platform for the fan clubs.” Many fan clubs elect their own board members and have regional and local branches. They share information about the idols such as schedules and events, or collect money in order to buy a big present for the idols. Regular fan meetings are also organised, co-ordinated by the fan club and the agency. In return for this loyalty, idols are expected to show interest in fan clubs and to respond to the fan clubs’ requests. This fandom culture has now expanded to other areas: artists, novelists and, perhaps surprisingly, politicians are now copying these very effective promotional activities. And then there’s the music, often seen as rather a secondary part of a teen band’s appeal. The Beatles may have endured but Justin Bieber’s canon is rather less likely to be revered many years from now. However, the tunes could play a more powerful part than we think. Apter points to studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans that show that music has a powerful effect on the brain. “During the teen years in particular, favoured music makes its mark on internal neural wiring – so here is one of many examples of fMRI scans telling us in a different way what we already know,” she says. “The powerful mental effect might

Screaming at your idols is not just a Western phenomenon – South Korea also has a long tradition

Below: Beatlemania, Stockton on Tees, England 1963. A St John Ambulance nurse is on hand to administer smelling salts to fainting fans.

explain Freud’s antithesis to music: he disliked being moved by something when he did not understand why.” Dr Jason Rentfrow, Senior Lecturer and Director of Studies in Politics, Psychology and Sociology at Fitzwilliam College, says that musical preferences serve to reflect and reinforce psychological needs. Along with PhD student Arielle Bonneville-Roussy, he is currently working on a study, as yet unpublished, which tracks the musical preferences of more than 250,000 people aged from 12 to 65. The results suggest that that our preferences for music continue to evolve and develop throughout our lifespan. In other words, we listen to music that meets our social, cognitive and emotional needs of the moment. When Rentfrow was 18, he says he became obsessed with the alternative rock band Phish. “There was a period where I just couldn’t imagine listening to any music apart from that. I mean, why would you want to listen to any band other than Phish? I got out of that phase after a couple of years but I suppose that was my closest to the fanaticism that girls have with boy bands. We weren’t screaming hysterically but there was a real, strong passion for that music. There was also a whole culture that grew up around the band, which added to the whole scene and to the experience.” He cites the work of psychologist Erik Erikson, who identified different challenges or crises that individuals face at the various phases of life. From adolescence to early adulthood, he says, the main crisis that individuals face is one of identity and trying to establish independence from authority. “What we find in our data is the music that is the most popular among people in their adolescence is heavy metal, rock and punk music – music that parents don’t like. If we go back years to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and even before that with Elvis, that was the style of music that parents didn’t like. So when individuals are going through this stage, they may find such music psychologically appealing, as it’s music that is disliked by authority that facilitates self-discovery.” The preference trajectory is the same for both men and women. A few years later, musical preferences change and the emphasis shifts to dance music, the kind played in places where one might meet a partner. Later, settling down ushers in the singer-songwriter phase. In a few short years, most have gone from fighting the power to cuddling on the sofa. So perhaps fan hysteria is as simple as that: people do it because their parents hate it and, as such, it’s a good and healthy thing. “You’re identifying with a group, and it’s a group that is not your parents. It’s about moving away from the security of the family, from the familiarity where you can take things for granted and you know where you stand – which you must do, otherwise you can’t ever become independent,” says Morgan. “Parents need to remember that of all the things we want for our young people, that has to be the core of it – that we want them, one day, to be independent of us.” Or it could be that Heine had it right three centuries ago. For him, the origins of Lisztomania were a little more prosaic, and could apply just as well to today’s rock groups, the boyband. “It seems to me at times,” he wrote, “that all this sorcery may be explained by the fact that no one on earth knows so well how to organise his successes, or rather their mise en scene, as our Franz Liszt.” Perhaps that also explains the Bay City Rollers. CAM 69 17


BORDER PATROL Professor David Reynolds argues that our mental borders have far more power than their geographic representatives. Illustration Celyn David Reynolds is Professor of International History and a Fellow of Christ’s. His latest book, The Long Shadow: The Great War and the Twentieth Century, is to be published in November by Simon & Schuster. He will be exploring border crossings with Joya Chatterji and other members of the History Faculty at the Festival of Ideas in Cambridge this November.

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orders are edgy places. Even just a brief face-off at the Eurostar check-in can be disquieting, let alone the fingerprinting and retinal scan that welcome “aliens” into the United States. Standing in what feels like an international no man’s land, for a moment even your own identity seems uncertain. Alongside the benign borders (FranceGermany; US-Canada) are the crossings closer to battle lines. The strip between the two Koreas comes to mind, or the wall between Israel and the West Bank. But I would argue that all these borders, far from being fixed, are in fact mutable. Indeed, for historians it is clear that national identity is a changing cultural construct rather than an innate essence. Our sense of identity is not hardwired, no matter what politicians, peddling their own definitions of what it means to be British, or Scottish, or European or American, might suggest. A striking example is the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Some pundits interpreted those murderous wars as evidence that “Balkan ghosts” were emerging from the historical closet, that we were witnessing a “rebirth of history” at the end of the Cold War as ancient ethnic hatreds thawed out. But this was history being constructed, not reborn – narratives developed by politicians for their own ends. Most of all by Slobodan

Milosevic, the communist president of Serbia in the late 1980s, a man desperately seeking new legitimacy amid the crumbling of his country and its ideology. He revived old Serbian folk memories of the 1389 battle of Kosovo Polje (the “Field of Black Birds”), where the Serbs were annihilated by the Muslim Turks and their bodies left to the crows. Milosevic paraded the coffin of the defeated hero, Prince Lazar, through every town and village of Serbia to whip up ethnic feeling ahead of the battle’s 600th anniversary in 1989. Politicians in other parts of Yugoslavia followed suit, building new borders of the imagination. In Britain, our sense of “us and them”– and particularly our sense of who constitutes “them” – is closely entangled with the two world wars. Had the conflict of 1939 turned out like that of 1914, with a long attritional struggle on the Western Front, Britain would probably have consolidated a permanent alliance with France to win the war and shape the peace. But by the summer of 1940, after the dramatic French collapse in the face of Hitler’s Panzers, Britain’s only hope of victory lay in what was already being called a “special association” with America. Alienation from the continentals – feeble friends or brutal foes – was a lasting legacy of 1940. For many today, the English Channel continues to seem

much wider than the Atlantic Ocean. On the continent, events were read very differently. For France and Germany the two world wars were the latest in a succession of border wars that went back centuries, to the days of Napoleon and Louis XIV. In 1871, after Bismarck had routed the French, he proclaimed the new German Reich in the Sun King’s palace of Versailles. In 1919, to get their own back, the French forced the Germans to sign the peace treaty in the same Hall of Mirrors. In 1940 Hitler imposed an armistice on the French in the railway carriage at Compiègne where the Germans had capitulated in 1918. This bloody game of tit for tat might have continued indefinitely, but in 1945 the cycle was finally broken. Not just because the Allies occupied and divided Germany, but also because the new leaders of France and West Germany fostered a revolution in policies, attitudes and borders. For them, European integration wasn’t about trade and markets; it was, above all, a matter of changing hearts and minds. A huge Franco-German programme of school exchanges helped new generations to transcend the old borders, both physically and mentally. The construction and deconstruction of borders is ongoing. Since India and Pakistan gained independence, some 20 million people

have left the Bengal delta region – either driven out by the wars of 1947 and 1971, or through voluntary migration. Dr Joya Chatterji of Trinity has compiled nearly 200 life history interviews with first generation migrants (especially those now living in the UK) for her Bangla Stories project. She examines how these migrants distinguish between “home” and “foreign places” – two rather similar words in Bengali (desh and bidesh). Some children, for instance, told interviewers that desh is Bangladesh and “home” is London. This research has been adapted for use in schools, stimulating classroom discussion about what it means to be British in an increasingly borderless world. After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, Germans noted a lingering east-west divide in their newly unified country, which they dubbed “the wall in the head” (Die Mauer im Kopf). We need to probe behind the world’s national borders to explore the borders of the mind. And one of the tools for doing so is what we might call applied history.

Matters of substance What is the universe really made of? Katharine Sanderson contemplates dark matter, dark energy and the nature of everything. Illustrations Rian Hughes

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T I S S O M E T H I N G O F A W O N D E R that astronomers and physicists don’t wander around in a state of permanent existential crisis. Why? They spend their working lives looking out into the vastness of the universe, trying to understand how and why it came into being, delving into the very substance of matter to discover what it, and consequently what humans, are made of at the most fundamental level. When facing these questions, the scientist has to routinely grapple with concepts about time, space and matter that make the head spin. It doesn’t seem to trouble them that all the matter that we can see, all the planets and stars, make up only a tiny 5% of the universe. Or that the rest is made up of one thing that is slightly understood, and another that is barely understood. Those things are dark matter, making up around 25%, and dark energy, making up the remaining roughly 70% of the universe. Neither has been directly detected. Scientists appear happy with the idea that the universe is flat and constantly expanding. But where is it expanding to, given that the universe is, well, everything? And if it’s expanding, does that mean it started out as nothing? Was it a singularity of infinite energy and density? Despite fine minds pondering this question, no answer has been found. So what is the universe made of? What is the answer to everything? There is a strong contender for an explanation about what triggered the universe’s expansion, from whatever it was: a huge burst of energy known as the big bang, which happened 13.8 billion years ago. This event produced the debris that became the matter we are made of today. It led, by chance, to our sun, our planet, our atmosphere, our plants, our animals. Us.

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The signature of the big bang is still written on the sky and is known as the cosmic microwave background, first discovered in 1964. And sitting at a point 1.5 million kilometres from earth, shaded from the sun, the Planck observatory has been staring into space to try and decipher this signature. “It’s fossil radiation,” says Anthony Lasenby, the Kavli Institute’s acting director and part of the team analysing Planck data. “Just like fossils, it was laid down a long time ago but imprinted within it are details of what existed at the time.” These fossils come from a period 380,000 years after the big bang, when the universe was about the same temperature as the surface of our sun. Today, those remnants are incredibly cold. Planck has done five full surveys of the sky, and crunching through all that data is going to take a couple of years yet. In March 2013, results from the first 21⁄2 surveys were released. George Efstathiou, one of Planck’s project leaders, and director of the Kavli Institute, says the data is “exquisitely beautiful”. Planck’s detectors are incredibly sensitive, and until their coolants ran out in March 2013, they were very, very cold. “While we had the cryogens, Planck was the coldest thing in the universe,” says Efstathiou. The sensors were chilled to 0.1 degree above absolute zero so that they could spot temperature changes from those very cold, ancient photons. To do this, an entire year’s supply of the world’s helium-3 was used. With the accumulated sky surveys, Planck has produced the most detailed map yet of the cosmic microwave background, and put some stronger numbers on how much dark matter and dark energy the universe contains. Dark matter is now 26%, slightly more than thought, and dark energy 68%, slightly less than previously thought. Planck also found that the universe is expanding more slowly than previously calculated, a measurement called the Hubble constant. This means the universe is slightly older than had been thought, by about 50 million years. Directly after the big bang, the universe expanded quickly. This process was known as inflation. In the first tiny fraction of a second (10-35 seconds) after the big bang, random quantum fluctuations in whatever energy field was rapidly emanating caused tiny changes in the density of the growing universe. During inflation, these dense areas started to pull in other matter, and as the universe cooled, eventually matter similar to that we know today emerged, followed by the first elements, hydrogen and helium, which gathered into these dense areas. From here the first galaxies began to grow. The puzzle that remains to be solved is just what those first constituents of known matter were and exactly how those early processes worked. Here on earth, particle physicists are tackling this, using as much brute force as possible. At the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva in Switzerland, the fundamentals of what makes all matter are being investigated. Andy Parker, Professor of High Energy Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, helped to design and run one of the detectors at the LHC, the ATLAS experiment. But how does a 27km-long ring road for atomic particles, sitting deep underground in Switzerland, help us know where we came from? At the LHC, protons, the positively charged ions in atomic nuclei, are smashed together at high energy. 22 CAM 69

Dark energy is even weirder than dark matter. If it interacted with gravity like all other matter, that interaction would slow things down. But the universe is accelerating

Hit them together hard enough, and they will split into quarks – the most fundamental sub-atomic particles. How do we know they are the most basic particle? If you turn up the energy, you should be able to see the scattering pattern that quarks hitting quarks make. If quarks were themselves made of other particles, the scattering would fit a familiar pattern. Parker says this doesn’t happen. “They scatter exactly as if they were points, as if they have no size and no internal structure at all,” he explains. “That means that as far as we can tell today, the heavy bits of the universe are made of quarks and that is the fundamental constituent.” The rest of the atoms are made of electrons. There’s another fundamental: energy. Einstein told us that energy is intrinsically linked to mass. Here’s where those furiously fast high-energy beams at the LHC start to give us some more mindblowing information. “If you pour a lot of energy into one place, you can make heavier stuff that isn’t in your beam to start with,” Parker explains. That’s right. Just by upping the energy, new forms of matter can be made, particles which don’t exist in the universe today, because they decayed long ago. “But we can recreate them and watch them decay again,” Parker says. When the energy in the particle accelerator is increased, you might expect the resulting new particles to be a random mixture. But nature’s obsession with order and patterns is exposed even in these, the most fundamental, massless, structureless entities. These new particles all follow a pattern. They exist in families – each a slightly different copy of the one we know today. That family includes two quarks, an electron and a neutrino. Neutrinos are electrically neutral and aren’t bound into the atom, they just swim around the universe in great numbers. What particle physicists have found is that as they increase the energy in these particle accelerators, rather than breaking up the quarks into smaller constituents, they make new families that contain two different quarks, an electron-like particle and a neutrino-like particle. Today’s family is preceded by one made up of the charm and strange quarks, a heavy electron called a muon and a corresponding muon neutrino. As you go up in energy again, the third family appears, made of a top and bottom quark, a tau lepton which goes with the electron, and another neutrino. The bottom quarks that would be made soon after the big bang all disappeared within a picosecond, Parker says. This is an incredible phenomenon to contemplate. Not only does our universe seem to be restricted, ordered, into these strict families of atomic constituents, with no real explanation, but humankind has built a machine capable of making them here on Earth, albeit at much lower energies than in the big bang. Of course the LHC is most famous for the Higgs boson, which existed 10-12 seconds or so after the big bang. The Higgs boson is really a ripple of energy in the Higgs field, an energy field that gives the earliest matter its substance. The discovery of the Higgs boson is crucial evidence for the existence of the Higgs field. How does a quark, which Parker says behaves like a substanceless point, get its mass? The answer is that the Higgs field, which interacts with the weak force, is one of four forces that influence matter: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces.

As the Higgs field interacts with other particles, they become massive. “Once they get their mass from the Higgs field, the strong force can do its work and let things come together,” says Parker. Matter is born. That’s matter as we know it, but Andrew Pontzen (St John’s 2001), a cosmologist from the University of Oxford runs computer simulations of the early universe to try and unpick one of the other mysterious components of our universe: dark matter, which may or may not interact with the Higgs field. Dark matter is affected by just one of the four forces: gravity. When Pontzen runs his computer simulation of a universe that contains only dark matter, the results show that small differences in gravity pull the dark matter into a spider’s web shape called the cosmic web. “This happens in all our simulations,” Pontzen says. “If you take the results from Planck that tell you how much dark matter there is, and then run these simulations, you get the shape of the universe.” Matter accumulates at the intersections of the cosmic web, and from here galaxies spring up. “Dark matter gets things going,” says Pontzen. This mysterious dark matter might be related to the matter we know already. “People are wondering whether dark matter could be a new type of neutrino that only interacts gravitationally,” says the Kavli Institute’s Lasenby. A dark matter particle, if such a thing exists, will be very hard to detect as “it’s at the very limit of our experimental reach”, says Parker. Harder yet to fathom is dark energy, the greatest constituent of our universe. “The simplest explanation is that it’s the cosmological constant,” says Lasenby. This is a mathematical constant introduced by Einstein when he still thought the universe was static, to make his sums work. Once he realised the universe was expanding, he called this error the biggest blunder of his life. Yet his constant still holds a useful place in making sense of the universe. “Dark energy is even weirder than dark matter,” says Pontzen. “It’s why the universe is flying apart at an increasing rate.” If dark energy interacted with gravity like all other matter, that interaction would slow things down. But the universe is accelerating. Things are about to get weirder. “There are peculiar things in the data,” Efstathiou says of his Planck results. Efstathiou, while delighted with the first tranche of Planck data, is itching to get some answers from the full set. “If we discover anything more it will be revolutionary,” he says. He’s not kidding. Candidates for discovery from Planck include evidence for more than three dimensions in space, or evidence for what happened before the big bang. Dealing with these concepts requires a particular focus. “It’s very hard to make progress while you are holding in your head an appreciation of how enormous the problem is,” says Pontzen. We can’t help ourselves, Parker says, in wanting to know what is out there, no matter how insignificant it might make us feel. “Ever since cavemen looked at the stars, we’ve wondered how it all started, where we come from, is there anything else out there,” he says. “Humanity has this built-in curiosity that wants to know,” he says. “I don’t have any sense of terror, I have a sense of wonder.” CAM 69 23

Professor Helen Cooper argues that the full stop placed by scholars between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance obscures our understanding of what it means to be modern.

A Medieval renaissance H

ELEN COOPER, Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English, will have no truck with the notion of describing inadequate plumbing as “medieval”. She’ll grant that they “weren’t brilliant” at it and “definitely not as good as the Romans”. But hopeless enough for “medieval” to be the insult of choice when faced with an ancient boiler? It’s not on. Indeed, the use of the word “medieval” for all that is old and useless – and by contrast, “renaissance” or “modern” for all that is marvellous – has, Cooper argues, obscured our understanding of both the medieval and the Renaissance (or “early modern”, as it is more properly labelled). “No historical period simply finishes at one given moment,” she says. “The influence of the medieval is pervasive and shaping right through to the middle of the 17th century and beyond. What I want to do is consciousness raising – so that people see what’s too close up to them to notice.”

Words Stephen Wilson Photograph Marcus Ginns

CV 1968 BA in English at New Hall (Murray Edwards); PhD 1972 1971 Junior Research Fellow at New Hall 1978 Publication of Pastoral: Mediaeval into Renaissance 1978 Elected to a tutorial fellowship and university lectureship in English at University College, Oxford, as its first woman fellow

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2004 Elected Professor of Middle and Renaissance English at Cambridge, and Fellow at Magdalene 2004 Publication of The English Romance in Time 2010 Publication of Shakespeare and the Medieval World 2010-12 Chair of the Cambridge English Faculty

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Some of those things too close to notice include the invention of the first mechanical clock; the establishment of the first universities (and with them, the notion of dons, students and lectures); the emergence of tailoring and of iconic fashion; and a representative democracy with a parliament at its heart. Add doubleentry bookkeeping and the alphabetical index system and it’s clear that the Middle Ages were a time of great political, social, cultural and technological advances. “If you look at a Saxon church and compare it with King’s College, one is built of stone almost entirely and the other gives the impression of being built almost entirely of glass. How you support those hundreds of tonnes of stone vaulting on walls largely made of glass is an extraordinary engineering achievement of the Middle Ages,” she says. “And of course, the English language itself takes the form pretty much as we know it between 1100 and 1500.” It’s not just factually wrong to attribute these things (and many others) to the Renaissance – it also has profound consequences for our understanding of the literature of both periods. Indeed, once you embrace the idea of a medieval “afterlife”, it quickly becomes apparent that many elements of literature and drama traditionally claimed as modern have strong medieval roots. Plays from the 16th century, for example, are sprinkled liberally with classical references, plots and ideas – but also medieval ones. “None of the [medieval] mystery plays, for example, were printed and so you don’t get the kind of intense verbal allusion that you get for the classics,” Cooper says. “But there’s often a deep substructure of the medieval, in plays and stories and romances, and they give just a glimpse into a world of much more popular culture.” That influence is not limited to language – the idea of a play (rather than a tragedy or comedy) also follows the medieval model. “In the 16th century, critics repeat again and again that a ‘tragedy’ should contain only aristocratic characters, ‘comedies’ should have only the middle classes, that each should speak in appropriate language and they should never be mixed,” Cooper explains. “But the playwrights didn’t take much notice. And in 1612 Thomas Heywood writes the Apology for Actors, a riposte to Aristotle’s Poetics, that mounts a defence of the public theatre based on the idea that the theatre was, and should, represent the world.” The idea that a play can encompass a wide range of time and space, multiple genres, characters of all classes, both earthly and heavenly activity – a scope of action Cooper dubs “total theatre” – is so commonplace in theatre today that it seems astonishing to consider it was ever challenged. And yet Cooper points out that Shakespeare and his contemporaries would have had to actively choose this medieval format – best exemplified by the mystery plays –

rather than a classical model. So is it possible that Shakespeare might have seen a performance of a mystery play cycle – the outdoor, often processional, often large-scale performances of Bible stories? Usually viewed as quintessentially medieval, mystery plays continued to be performed well into the 16th century. “I’m convinced Shakespeare would have seen the Coventry cycle of mystery plays, which was probably a New Testament cycle, and which was last acted in 1579, when he was 15,” Cooper says. “There are a number of points in his plays where he seems to be recollecting a version of biblical history that comes from the plays rather than from the Bible, although of course they are very closely linked.” Cooper herself remembers seeing her first set of mystery plays at Coventry in her early teens, but says by that time she already knew that the Middle Ages would be her passion. “I was a fairly determined medievalist by the age of four – they had all the best stories, all those dragons!” she says. A focused student, Cooper won places at Oxford and Cambridge, and went on to read English at New Hall, now Murray Edwards, doing all the medieval papers, and acting and playgoing herself. “I remember going to see a group called The Medieval Players, run by Carl Heap,” she says. “They were travelling players – with a van rather than a cart – and played in College gardens with virtually no props. But they were just so theatrically effective. It was an eyeopener to realise how massively, dramatically impressive theatre could be even though it was completely unsupported by lighting, props, scenery or any sort of auditorium.” Cooper says Cambridge in the late 1960s was still a relatively misogynistic place, even for students. “Almost all the new or supposedly revolutionary things that were going on, just like the traditional ones, were run by men who still took women’s subordination for granted: that was how things were and had always been, and I knew I didn’t like it,” she says. “Back then, men would interrupt a woman, in a seminar or in conversation, as a matter of course – something they really had to be trained out of in the 1980s – but at the time it was a case of gritting your teeth and carrying on with what I loved, which was the literature.” Her determination to push on regardless proved effective and in 1978 she moved to Oxford to become the first female fellow at University College. “I had two small children so we needed evening babysitters, as well as regular childcare. We didn’t know anyone, so we would ask selected students,” she remembers. “They would get some money and a meal, and the opportunity to play hide and seek and discover that the most important thing in the world was a wobbly tooth. Some

of those first generations of students have stayed lifelong friends.” In 2004, she returned to Cambridge to take up the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English, the professorship created for CS Lewis, and one which consciously spans the traditional academic divide. “The big attraction for me was that it combined both periods,” Cooper says. “Apart from a few years when I got sidetracked into working solely on Chaucer, my work has always straddled both periods. Most people jump straight from Virgil to Spenser or Milton, missing out what happens in between, but it turns out that what happens in between is absolutely fascinating and very important. You just can’t make sense of Spenser or Shakespeare without it.” Indeed, Cooper says she has always felt that the medieval and the early modern were part of the same continuum. “I saw the mystery plays and studied Shakespeare and it never really occurred to me to build any walls between them,” she says. “And it’s become a question of historical understanding. Shakespeare, and indeed, early modern writers generally are credited with so much by way of originality that you want to give credit where it’s due.” Does she think the consensus is changing? “Where Shakespeare is concerned, I think the ground is beginning to shift a bit, though it still tends to be rather narrowly focused,” she says. “And while I am not unique, and other people across the world are now moving in the same direction, you sometimes get the feeling that we are all just shouting individually into the wind. And when some distinguished medievalists are quite prepared to say that Chaucer was dead and forgotten by 1600, it does make your jaw drop.” As to whether the word medieval can ever be permanently disassociated from poor plumbing, Cooper is doubtful. “Whether we’ll ever be able to persuade people that medieval is a compliment rather than an insult I don’t know. Because it’s so automatic, anything you don’t like is medieval,” she says. “Things that are perniciously wrong – like the idea that the Middle Ages was all about witch hunting, something which barely happened in this period – one wants to put right. But it’s important to remember that even during the Middle Ages the odd king had hot and cold running water in his bathroom. Not many, but it did happen!”

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eople who don’t give straight answers can seem shifty, and they often are. But dishonesty is not the only reason for lapsing into verbal vagueness. Lack of mental discipline is another; and in Cambridge, which cherishes the tidy mind, being earnestly slow-witted can sometimes seem like a worse crime than brilliant insincerity. But whatever the virtues of straight talking (or the vices associated with its absence), Orwellian directness is not always possible. When it comes to matters of intense love or loss, most of us stutter into unmeaning. “I don’t know what to say” is a common admission, and confronted with life’s most dizzying triumphs and disasters, it might well be the only honest thing that can be said. Weddings and funerals are often marked by such spikes of inarticulate intensity, where weeping or hugging takes over from speech as the more eloquent mode. Curiously, though, at the very point where straight talk withers, an alternative kind of language thrives, a language not merely different to, but – in its creative emphasis on ambiguity, implication and irony – the very opposite of, straight. I am referring to the art of evocative writing known as “literature”. If weddings and funerals are occasions where we often find ourselves lost for words, they also happen to be the occasions where we often find poems and purple prose. Ceremonial readings no doubt satisfy a range of needs, from the ornamental to the pretentious. A reading is given because a reading is expected; and if tastefully done, it might lend a bit of gravitas or beauty, like fresh flowers or nice lighting. But literature may also be chosen to perform a more specialised and strenuous task. It is asked to speak for us, and to us, when straight talking can’t.

The power of literature is felt at the other extreme from public pomp too, in private – which is, of course, how most reading gets done. After the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria recorded in her diary how much Alfred Tennyson’s great verse elegy helped to sustain her: “Next to The Bible, In Memoriam is my comfort.” Countless similar testimonies could be given – and not only of literature’s “comfort”, but also of its capacity to delight, inspire, instruct, divert, beguile, disturb, excite, across the gamut of the human condition. Each reader has his or her own account. From an academic’s point of view, there are myriad ways to catalogue and explore the subject of literature’s affective power: psychological, historical, philosophical, linguistic, sociological, and so on. In my own work, I am especially interested in how literature can express a unique kind of thinking. Eyebrows may reasonably be raised here: a unique kind of expression, maybe; but thinking? Whatever solace Queen Victoria took from In Memoriam, it is not clear it had anything to do with the poem’s intellectual credentials. WH Auden famously suggested Tennyson was “undoubtedly the stupidest” of all the English poets, and even those who take a more generous view typically praise his verse for its sensuous style rather than its cerebral substance. But the distinction between style and substance is not so cleanly cut. “People do not understand the music of words,” Tennyson complained. Like the tone of voice in speaking, only more so, it is the rhythms and sounds of verse that lend colour, energy and purpose to expression. Poems are not made up of nuggets of paraphrasable meaning, they generate meanings on the move, inflected and refracted in each unfolding

Straight talking Plain speech has its virtues, but for real precision you need style. Dr Michael Hurley explores why sometimes only “literary” language will do.

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The idea that the toby jug jester should be taken seriously as a philosopher sounds like an unwitting bad joke

utterance. Tennyson’s most pervasive habit is repetition. In straight talk that means redundancy; in his verse, which is not made up of thoughts but of thinking, it means recall, renegotiation, repletion. If Tennyson takes the laurels as the premier verse stylist of the late 19th century, John Henry Newman wins the vote for master of prose, and his conviction that “style is a thinking out into language” may be applied to both their writings. Reading Newman nonetheless involves a rather different challenge. For notwithstanding Thomas Carlyle’s carping that Newman hadn’t the brains of a moderately-sized rabbit, it has never seriously been doubted that he was a razorsharp thinker. The question, then, is not – as with Tennyson – whether attention to his style redeems him from the charge of stupidity, but whether his already recognised achievements as a thinker and as a stylist are vitally connected. Newman’s writings also interestingly open up the inquiry beyond “literature” (fiction, poetry, plays) to the wider field of language that might, in its reliance on suggestion over proposition, be called “literary”. His Grammar of Assent provides an astonishingly elegant illustration of what such thinking out into “literary” language might look like. The book is concerned with how we come to believe what we do. It took him more than 20 years, and he was forced to begin again from scratch at least 19 times. “I felt I had something to say upon it, yet, whenever I attempted, the sight I saw vanished, plunged into a thicket, curled itself up like a hedgehog, or changed colours like a chameleon.” In this inspired flourish, Newman dramatises the sheer slipperiness of his task: the “sight” he is pursuing is so fugitive that it won’t even stay still for him as a metaphor. No wonder he found the book so difficult to write: at the heart of his thesis is the idea that we reach many of our most important (including religious) beliefs not through logic, but intuitively, out of “the cumulation of probabilities” – probabilities that are themselves “too fine to avail separately, too subtle and circuitous to be convertible into syllogisms”. Such a fine, subtle and circuitous subject can itself only be approached in a suggestive style. And so he forsakes the stringency of deductive argument in favour of “literary” gesture and immediacy, making abstract notions concrete and vivid. Two decades of hard-won experience would leave him impatient with critics who wished for a more formal treatise. “Let those, who think I ought to be answered,” he countered, “first master the great difficulty, the great problem, and then, if they don't like my way of meeting it, find another. Syllogising won’t meet it.” GK Chesterton’s writing is an intriguingly different case again. On the one hand, those who enjoy his verse or his fiction typically revel in its lush quirkiness and epigrammatic swagger as an end in itself. To such devotees of his madcap decadence, the idea that the toby jug jester should be taken seriously as a philosopher sounds like an unwitting bad joke. On the other hand, those who would make the case for him as a thinker generally cannot bring themselves to admire his talent as a stylist. “To judge Chesterton on his ‘contributions to literature’,” wrote TS Eliot, “would be to apply the wrong standard of measurement.” But the dilemma is a false one. The choice between measuring him either as a thinker or as a writer is itself “the wrong standard”.

At least, that’s how I see it now. I have enjoyed Chesterton’s writing for many years – but as a guilty pleasure, an indulgent holiday away from intellectual labour. It is only recently, following up a hunch with a thoroughgoing study of his stylistic repertoire, that I have grasped the extent to which his silly riffing with language takes trenchant form. For Chesterton, “thinking means connecting things”, and he makes these connections not according to the clean logic of idealised thought but within the serendipity of “literary” language. Paradox is his signature stylistic feature and as such offers a glimpse of his whole method, teasingly poised as a kind of earnest play. Henri de Lubac described the affront paradox offers to right reasoning, in making “sport of the usual and reasonable rule of not being allowed to be against as well as for”. The purpose of such “sport” varies, however. Paradoxes may be rhetorical, registering a contradiction in words only, in which case the outcome is pure froth and fun; and Chesterton’s writing is full of that. But the sport of paradox is also, as theologians have always acknowledged and Chesterton himself well understood, the only language we have for some of the deepest mysteries in metaphysics (from the unmoved mover and an incarnate God, to free will). Playfulness in language may thus speak to profundity; or rather, playful language may speak profoundly. And not only through paradox: potentially, through all the available “literary” devices, from metaphor to metonymy. To ground this claim in one of Chesterton’s (more than 80) books, it is bracing to notice Étienne Gilson’s judgment on St Thomas Aquinas. Gilson called it “without possible comparison the best book ever written on St Thomas”, and suggested it shows Chesterton to be “one of the deepest thinkers who ever existed”. This is a remarkable verdict coming from such a distinguished philosopher and historian of philosophy. Yet more remarkable, and directly relevant here, is the basis for his praise. “Everybody will no doubt admit that it is a ‘clever’ book,” Gilson explained, “but the few readers who have spent 20 or 30 years in studying St Thomas...cannot fail to perceive that the so-called ‘wit’ of Chesterton has put their scholarship to shame.” Straight talk can be a prophylactic against mendacious or muddled thought, but as our greatest writers amply attest, the suggestive messiness of language may also provide new and rigorous ways for thinking, through style.

Dr Michael D Hurley is Lecturer in English and Fellow of St Catharine’s. He has recently published two books: G. K. Chesterton (Plymouth: Northcote House/The British Council) and Poetic Form: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press), co-authored with Michael O’Neill.

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American soldiers take tea at the home of Mrs Weller (left) in Winchester, Hampshire, 1944.

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Did anthropologist Margaret Mead help to win the second world war? Professor Peter Mandler examines the evidence.


ost people, when they think about anthropology (if they think about it at all), still think of it in connection with marginalised, “primitive”, possibly even “undiscovered” peoples – and for good reason. The founding fathers and mothers of modern anthropology thought about it that way too: Bronislaw Malinowski among the Trobriand Islanders; Margaret Mead in Samoa or in the interior of New Guinea. Early in the 20th century they took it as anthropology’s mission to champion these peoples under pressure from Christianity and capitalism – to learn the lessons of human diversity, of the many ways it had once been possible to be human, before it was too late. Today, when we assume there are no more “undiscovered” peoples, most of us still associate anthropology with “lost tribes” in the jungle. And that may help to explain the much lower profile of anthropology today in comparison with its mid-20th century heyday. But another, in some ways more hopeful explanation, may be found in Mead’s failed attempt to put anthropology at the top table of the human sciences, alongside economics, as a source of expertise on all cultures – modern as well as primitive – during and after the second world war.

In her lifetime (1901-78) Mead was the most famous anthropologist in the world – for most people, the person who made anthropology visible to them for the first time. A Washington Post survey of 1943 named her one of eight “outstanding women in the modern world”, alongside the Queen and Eleanor Roosevelt. Her fame had come early, with the publication of Coming of Age in Samoa in 1928. This idea of a firsthand report from an anthropologist actually living among the people she was studying was still very new, but what captured popular attention was the beguilingly literary style in which Mead composed her report and the explicit efforts she made to connect her findings about the lack of neurosis (even about sex) among gently-reared Samoan adolescents to the generational problems of more conflicted Western societies. Not everyone loved Mead. The Cambridge anthropologist AC Haddon grumbled about the substitution of the “lady novelist” for the serious ethnographer. But this “lady novelist” was really what we would now call a “public intellectual”, someone who successfully connects the world of scholarship to a mass audience. Along with her mentor, and sometime lover, Ruth Benedict, she practically invented the serious non-fiction bestseller – the works of Mead and Benedict sold millions of copies to eager readers around the world who were seeking both the romance of the exotic, and practical suggestions for “designs for living” for themselves. But Mead was not content to bring anthropology into ordinary people’s lives; she had higher ambitions for her burgeoning discipline as a policy science. These ambitions were fuelled by her third husband, Gregory Bateson, whom she married in 1936. He was a scion of a great Cambridge academic dynasty, who with the confidence of his class (and his First in Natural Sciences) naturally assumed that his findings would be useful to social and political elites. When the second world war broke out in Europe, Mead and Bateson, marooned in New York, immediately set their minds to applying their analyses of so-called “primitive” cultures to the task of plumbing the psychological depths of the “modern” cultures of the principal

Peter Mandler is Professor of Modern Cultural History and Bailey Fellow in History at Caius. Return from the Natives: How Margaret Mead Won the Second World War and Lost the Cold War is published by Yale University Press.

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When America entered the war after Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Mead and Bateson were ready with a set of techniques drawn from anthropology to offer to the government and the military

combatants – Britain, the US, Germany and Japan. Marrying Mead’s insights into the family dynamics of different cultures to Bateson’s interest in “systems” and “feedback” (his work here would contribute to the early development of cybernetics), they developed a way of characterising all cultures by reference to their distinctive patterns of forming relationships – both internally, giving cultures their unique flavour and coherence, and externally, showing how different cultures related to each other in equally distinctive ways. Thus in America, an immigrant society, children often understood their culture better than their parents and learned from an early age an ebullient exhibitionism; in Britain, a traditional society, children were inducted gently but firmly by their parents and learned to cultivate a quiet, confident reserve. If the anthropologist wished to improve AngloAmerican relations – as this Anglo-American couple did, with a future wartime alliance in mind as well – then they needed to teach the two nations to understand and respect these different styles of interaction. But if they might want to disrupt relations between two nations, that could be done too, with a little jiu-jitsu flick. Such techniques were clearly equally potent for allies and enemies. So when America entered the war after Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Mead and Bateson were ready with a set of techniques to offer to the government and the military, propaganda that served multiple purposes: “white” to build morale at home and cement alliances with friendly nations; and “black” to undermine morale abroad and disrupt connections between enemy nations. In this war it was not only armies, but whole peoples who were in play, so an approach that saw international relations also as intercultural relations was in hot demand. And in a truly world war, where not just a few but dozens of peoples were at stake, techniques that could be quickly applied to relatively unknown cultures as well as to the great powers would be especially useful. All this helps to explain why Mead, Bateson and their circle infiltrated the propaganda world so quickly after 1941. Benedict ran a special “cultural analysis” unit at the Office of War Information in Washington, where she prepared white propaganda briefs on the huge array of European and Asian cultures that the Allies were hoping to sway and, eventually, to occupy, from Holland and Norway to Romania, Burma and Thailand. Bateson was also scooped up into the US propaganda effort, first doing cultural analysis of Asian peoples in Ceylon and then smuggled into the jungles of Burma by the Office of Strategic Services to inflict psychological dirty tricks on the Japanese occupiers. Mead, with an eye on the postwar future, chose to stick firmly to white propaganda and to cementing the Anglo-American alliance. In 1943 she was chosen as one of the principal cultural ambassadors from the US to Britain, touring factories, women’s institutes, cinemas, canteens and housing estates to educate the British about the half-million American troops who were about to descend in anticipation of D-Day. She wrote one of those handy guides to cultural relations, of the type that are still reprinted today as stocking-stuffer curiosities, explaining the Americans to the British; her brother-inlaw Leo Rosten wrote another on the French for the GIs who crossed after D-Day itself. In nearly all her wartime efforts, Mead’s goal was to show that intercultural relations could be a tool as much for peace as for war –

partly in response to Bateson’s despairing question, as he grappled with the contradictions of applied anthropology in the Burmese jungles: “How in hell are we ever going to get anybody except the bastards to use our stuff?” For a time after the war, Mead’s high expectations for the continuing usefulness of her techniques for a peaceful world of many cultures seemed to be coming to fruition. The United Nations incorporated many of her colleagues and students into the new international structures for development aid, conflict resolution and the promotion of human rights. Even the US State Department called upon Mead’s anthropologists to train foreign service personnel in the art of intercultural relations. By the early 1950s, however, the Cold War had stymied these efforts. It was not that “the bastards” had got hold of her stuff – quite the contrary. The ideological camps of the Cold War had no time for “many cultures”. Neither the Soviets nor the Americans thought of the world’s peoples as fundamentally different – rather, they saw them as fundamentally the same, persuadable of the virtues of one or the other of two ideological world systems: communism or capitalism. The UN lost its momentum entirely. And after Eisenhower’s Republicans came to power in the US in 1953, the word came down to the State Department: “Clean out the anthropologists.” Mead saw the writing on the wall and made her “return to the natives” in 1953, resuming fieldwork in New Guinea. Henceforward her reputation – which continued to soar in the US, especially during the 1960s and 1970s – would be built not on anthropology’s claim to international relations, but on the kind of psychological insights she had deployed in her early work on Samoa, as she became a trusted commentator on the full gamut of domestic issues from marriage and divorce to race, gender and permissiveness. With her retreat, the rest of her discipline too “returned to the natives”, with some relief, as most anthropologists had not relished the brief, vexed skirmish with power politics. When, in the 1960s, the US government again tried to recruit experts on cultural difference to support its international adventures in south-east Asia, the anthropologists proved to be the section of academia most hostile to government service. That hostility has, if anything, built in subsequent decades, so that when the US military sought expertise on Iraq and Afghanistan to support its “counterinsurgency” measures, they were able to draw in a handful of economists and political scientists, but hardly a single anthropologist. Mead would have recognised the dilemma. She had understood well the dangers of rooting intercultural work in the bloody terrain of war. By focusing on friendly relations between allies, she had tried to create a space, even in wartime, where a truly reciprocal, unmanipulative idea of intercultural relations could be fostered, and where anthropologists could develop their intercultural tools in forms that, as she had written to Bateson, “will make them unacceptable to the bastards”. The mistakes she made and the lessons she learned, especially when she was working with relative success in that brief interval of peace between hot war and cold, are very much worth pondering at a time when anthropologists must consider again how they can contribute to peacemaking in a world that needs their powers of intercultural “translation” even more than it did in the 1940s. CAM 69 35

Jill Calder

University matters Summer reading Cambridge soundtrack A sporting life Prize crossword

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University matters More support for post-docs

Jim Spencer

Jeremy Sanders is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Affairs

or most of its first 800 years, the University’s members were either dons or undergraduates. They were all members of a College, which provided not only a home but also a community and pastoral support, generally in a distinctly Christian environment. However, in recent decades, the number of graduate students has increased steadily – they now stand at about 7000 – and Cambridge has responded by creating new graduate Colleges and by providing accommodation and facilities within undergraduate Colleges. Postdoctoral research staff (post-docs) represent the next wave of demographic change for the University. A rare breed 50 years ago, post-doc numbers have doubled in the last 15 years: the University employs 3400 post-docs directly and there are another several hundred externally paid research fellows. Indeed, post-docs are now the largest staff group among the University’s employees – there are just 1600 academic staff – yet most post-docs have little or no access to many of the social, networking or housing benefits that have traditionally characterised academic life in collegiate Cambridge. We give them training and professional development opportunities, but little presence in the management or governance of the University. Post-docs are important creative and intellectual drivers of much of the daily research success of Cambridge, and there is intense international competition to attract the best. Usually they come to Cambridge having obtained their first degrees and PhDs elsewhere. They are mostly from other countries, mostly transient, and mostly not native English speakers. They bring skills, knowledge, expertise and contacts that are vital to our research enterprise, and they also represent the cultures and religions of the world, giving Cambridge a wonderfully international feel. Many also bring partners, spouses and small children. The continuing rapid growth in the number of postdoctoral research staff at


Post-docs are creative and intellectual drivers of much of the daily research success of Cambridge, and there is intense international competition to attract the best

Cambridge has provided the stimulus for a fresh look at their place in the life and structure of the University. The challenge is to ensure that the University recognises, rewards and benefits from the contribution of all of our postdoctoral research staff. It is vital that we provide post-docs with an attractive environment and facilities so that they leave Cambridge having had a great experience, and having contributed academically, socially and economically to the local and national environment. We recruit some of our post-docs into permanent posts, but most will pursue successful careers elsewhere in academia, industry or public service: they are the

world’s future leaders, and the networks and relationships that we build with them while they are here will be hugely important for Cambridge nationally and internationally in decades to come. The North West Cambridge (NWC) development is, in part, a response to the housing needs of post-docs; anyone who works with post-docs will know how shocked they are to discover the high rents they have to pay for low-quality housing in and around Cambridge. In the first phase, from 2016, NWC will provide low-cost, highquality accommodation for around 500 key workers, most of whom will be post-docs. Eventually, there will be around 1500 key worker homes. As Roger Taylor, project director for North West Cambridge, described in CAM 68, we are progressing well with the design of the buildings and the surrounding cityscape, and we now need to embark on creating the social and intellectual framework that will provide the equally important support mechanisms for post-docs and their families. Many Colleges are beginning to provide ways of involving post-docs in their social and academic life, and this is very welcome, but the scale of provision in conventional Colleges will not be able to satisfy the demand. NWC cannot provide homes for all of our post-docs. Indeed, not all would wish to be accommodated in that way, but it is clear that there is much to be done to understand the needs of the postdoctoral community and then to provide the appropriate structures. We expect to make a part-time appointment of a director of postdoctoral affairs very soon to take a strategic lead in this area. He or she will be a senior figure, probably an academic with extensive experience of post-docs and of fundraising, who will lead a small team and consult widely, with a view to creating a strategic vision of what we should aspire to achieve. It is time for the University’s structures to embrace our postdoctoral colleagues wholeheartedly – and that includes giving them the same access to alumni privileges that our graduates have traditionally enjoyed. CAM 69 39


Books Summer reading What will you be packing in your suitcase (or downloading onto your e-reader) this summer? CAM gathers recommendations from our panel of alumni and academics Words Anne Wollenberg Illustrations Satoshi Hashimoto

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Dame Barbara Stocking (New Hall 1972) President of Murray Edwards College I loved Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Harper Perennial) and I’m really looking forward to reading her latest novel, Americanah (Fourth Estate). It’s about what it feels like to be an immigrant and to live in a country without feeling like you completely belong. I met so many people in that position in the course of my travels with Oxfam. Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo (PublicAffairs) is the best book I’ve read on international development. People don’t behave as you might expect, and they’ve looked at a lot of the evidence about why. Poor people aren’t stupid. They do things that make sense to them, so you have to listen and find out why. I’m trying to improve my French and am on the lookout for things to read. Françoise Bourdin writes lovely light novels – the latest one I’ve bought is Nom de Jeune Fille (Belfond). They’re just really good stories about people’s lives.

Dr Abigail Brundin Senior Lecturer in Italian I read very fast and like to have four or five books piled up so I always have something to move onto. I like the element of surprise – my husband has a wonderful habit of just dropping a book on to my pillow after reading a review or hearing about it on the radio. I’ve just finished South Riding by Winifred Holtby (Virago Modern Classics), which he bought for me. It was beautifully written and epic in its scope, yet so detailed, humorous and evocative in its depiction of 1930s Yorkshire. It made me really want to read Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (Virago), who was a friend of Holtby’s, so that’s going to be my next big novel. I also love short stories. Two collections I’ve enjoyed recently are Black Vodka: Ten Stories by Deborah Levy (And Other Stories) and Hitting Trees with Sticks by Jane Rogers (Comma Press). Short stories are a real distillation of an author’s skill. I do a lot of work on sonnets, which are the poetic equivalent in a way as they’re a very condensed, tightly -circumscribed literary form that demands

Extracurricular a huge amount of technical skill. If you’re someone who enjoys language, short stories really indulge that. Abigail Brundin is curator of the exhibition The Brownlows in Italy: Books and Continental Travel, on until November at Belton House, Lincolnshire, in collaboration with the National Trust.

William Dalrymple (Trinity 1984) Writer and historian Robert Macfarlane has surpassed himself with The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (Hamish Hamilton). At its heart, it’s about old routes, from pilgrimage roads like the Camino de Santiago to the ancient tracks which criss-cross the chalk downs. He’s the greatest travel writer in my generation and just gets better with each book. I hugely enjoyed Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure, the biography by Artemis Cooper (John Murray). Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala (Virago), who lost her entire family in the 2004 tsunami, is an extraordinarily moving book about grief, love and loss. It’s mostly set in Sri Lanka, but there’s a charming account of meeting her husband at Girton. I tend to save novels for holidays. I’ve been saving up Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi (Viking), who is my Delhi neighbour for part of the year and wrote a lot of the book here, and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton). My wife was blown away by his previous novels and she says this is the best so far, so it’s going to be my next holiday read. William Dalrymple's latest book is Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan (Bloomsbury).

Boomsday is the first satirical anything that’s made me laugh out loud. Usually the most I can muster is a rueful “Ha!”

Peter Ackroyd CBE (Clare 1968) Novelist, biographer and critic I often read several books at once and I tend to alternate between them, reading one chapter of each at a time. I’m currently writing a history of 18th-century England and it’s very useful to contemplate the fiction of the period as well as everything else, so I’m reading lots of 18th century novels. I’ve recently been reading Clarissa by Samuel Richardson (Signet Classics) and The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle by Tobias Smollett (Echo Library), which I’ve enjoyed very much. I have also just finished reading the six Palliser books, Anthony Trollope’s series of political novels (Oxford World’s Classics), which I would very much recommend. Peter Ackroyd has recently published Tudors: A History of England, Volume II (Macmillan). His new novel Three Brothers (Chatto and Windus) will be published in October.

Dr Helen Czerski (Churchill 2007) Physicist, oceanographer and broadcaster Extremes by Kevin Fong (Hodder and Stoughton) is a really interesting book about the human body and how it copes in extreme situations. This book says a lot of fundamental things about how the body functions, from a novel and sometimes personal perspective, and it’s the best book I’ve read this year by miles. I loved The Earth: An Intimate History by Richard Fortey (Harper Perennial). The final chapter is one of the best bits of science writing I’ve ever read. Having visited a different site in each of the previous chapters, Richard flies over the earth as it is now and connects everything to how it was in the past. Lots of people have recommended to me Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (Vintage Classics). I’m also looking forward to reading Creation: The Origin of Life/The Future of Life by Adam Rutherford (Viking) . People talk about the development of life, but not so much about the stages before and afterwards. Adam is pretty entertaining, so I’m sure it’ll be a good read.

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Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin has a fabulous ending and really makes you think

Dr Robin Hesketh Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry Creole Son: A Novel of Degas in New Orleans by Michael Llewellyn (Water Street Press) is a very enjoyable read. Notionally it’s a biography that centres on the two years of Degas’s life when he left Paris and stayed with his family in New Orleans, but it’s written in the present tense with a lot of dialogue. It’s largely fictionalised, but very much based on the facts, and it gives you a terrific feel for that period in American history. The Sorcerer of Bayreuth: Richard Wagner, His Work and His World by Barry Millington (Thames and Hudson) is well worth reading if you’re a music enthusiast. It’s a very balanced portrait of one of history’s more controversial artists, with a lot of reproductions of photographs, paintings and drawings. I loved The Following Game by Jonathan Smith (Peridot Press), father of cricketer and Cambridge alumnus Ed Smith. He wrote it shortly after being diagnosed with cancer and it’s about coming to terms with that, his relationship with his son and his passion for literature. Robin Hesketh’s latest book is Betrayed by Nature: The War on Cancer (Macmillan Science).

Francis Spufford (Trinity 1985) Author and lecturer James Buchan’s Days of God: The Revolution in Iran and its Consequences (John Murray) is really good. It’s a narrative history of the Iranian revolution by a very wonderful and underrated British novelist. He has the rare combination of both an economist’s and a foreign correspondent’s understanding of the world, along with a glorious ambition that history should be elegant no matter how untidy and bloody the events. I’d also recommend the poetry collection Memorial by Alice Oswald (Faber and Faber), which takes all the deaths in The Iliad and lays them end to end. It’s extraordinarily striking and belongs next to reimaginings of Homer by the likes of Derek Walcott and Christopher Logue.

I’m looking forward to reading The Tyrant’s Law by Daniel Abraham (Orbit), which is the third in his The Dagger and the Coin series. This is a fantasy series about the relative power of violence and money, by a writer who has worked out that fantasy is much better when it features plausible medieval banking – ie the Medici Bank. I’ve been reading these very happily and passing them on to my father, the medieval monetary historian Professor Peter Spufford, who has given them his definite seal of approval. Francis Spufford’s latest book is Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense (Faber and Faber).

Professor Beverley Glover Director of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden I’m currently reading The Way to Paradise by Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa (Faber and Faber), an entertaining alternate chapter study of artist Paul Gauguin and his feminist grandmother, Flora Tristan. It’s an interesting contrast to read about them side by side. The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer (Bloomsbury) has been sitting by my bed for ages and I very much want to get it finished this summer. I picked it up in a secondhand bookshop — the cover caught my eye with its portrayal of a tree against a South African dry landscape. The areas in which I work are winter rainfall deserts, and it reminds me of that habitat. I’m also reading Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air by Professor David MacKay (UIT), which is very well written and clear. Another excellent book by a Cambridge scholar is The Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food by Lizzie Collingham (Allen Lane), which, with all the current worries about future food security, is a real eye-opener.

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CAMCard discount at Heffers The Heffers’ Cambridge alumni discount is 15%. Shop in person with your CAMCard at Trinity Street or online at: camcard/bookshops.


Cambridgesoundtrack Stephen Cleobury

Interview Richard Wigmore

Author, journalist and columnist I’m reading a lot of non-fiction for work at the moment, so any free time I have in the summer will be devoted entirely to reading for pleasure. At the moment, that’s mainly historical fiction – HFM Prescott’s The Man on a Donkey: A Powerful Novel of England in the Reign of Henry VIII (Phoenix), Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin (Virago) and Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies (Fouth Estate). Obviously I’m hoping it’s one of those year-long summers. I also want to devour the rest of Jim Crace after loving Harvest (Picador) so much, earlier in the year, and I’m looking forward to Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life (Doubleday); the rest of Tana French’s books as I’ve just finished her impossibly elegant and precision-cut debut, In The Woods (Hodder); and some more Christopher Buckley, as Boomsday (Corsair) is the first satirical anything that’s made me laugh out loud. Usually the most I can muster is a rueful “Ha!” Hmm. Better make that one of those five-year summers. Lucy Mangan’s books include My Family and Other Disasters (Guardian Books).

Katharine Whitehorn (Newnham 1947) Journalist and columnist for The Observer and Saga Magazine The books I read fall into two categories: ones I read for fun, which often turn out to be quite valuable anyway, and the ones I read because I think I’m going to learn something. I take those on holiday because, if there’s nothing else there to read, I might actually get around to it. One of the best books I’ve read in the latter category was Guns, Germs and Steel: A Short History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years by Jared Diamond (Vintage), and I want to read his The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee (Vintage) as well. I love Donna Leon’s s thrillers, which are set in Venice – the latest is The Golden Egg (William Heinemann). Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman (Ebury Press) was terrific, and I also loved Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin (Penguin), which I read for my book group – it has a fabulous ending and really makes you think. Katharine Whitehorn’s books include Selective Memory and Cooking in a Bedsitter (Virago).

B Ealovega

Lucy Mangan (Trinity 1993)

Stephen Cleobury (St John’s 1967)

Missa de angelis Music that evokes my first year at St John’s As an 11-year-old I heard this ancient Gregorian plainsong mass at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. When I went up to St John’s as organ scholar in 1967, the Kyrie and Credo were always sung in plainsong for the eucharist on Sunday mornings. Encountering it again after several years, this music struck me as extraordinarily beautiful. For me, Gregorian chant came around big time when I became master of music at Westminster Cathedral, and since then I’ve often performed it with the choir at King’s. Messiaen: Turangalîla Symphony Reminds me of afternoons of music in Jesus I chose this because it’s a thrilling work, and brings back hours spent listening to music over afternoon tea with a friend from Jesus, Terry Albright. As an organist I’d started to learn some Messiaen pieces — he’s the greatest 20th-century composer for organ. But when Terry put on the Turangalîla Symphony, which I didn’t know, I was overwhelmed, both by the wild, viscerally exciting movements like the Joy of the Blood of the Stars, and by the lusciously beautiful love songs. Bach: Mass in B minor My baptism as rehearsal accompanist for CUMS When I turned up to accompany the Mass in B minor at my first CUMS rehearsal, David Willcocks began not with the Kyrie, but the Gloria. I had to play the whole long, tricky introduction before the chorus came in. It was a baptism by fire. After the introduction David stopped me and said to the choir with one of his wicked smiles: “I’m now going to introduce you to our new accompanist, Stephen Cleobury. I wanted to wait until we knew he could play.” Nowadays the Mass in B minor is rarely done with such large forces. But David’s conducting had such vitality of rhythm that it never seemed leaden or overblown.

Beethoven: the last three sonatas A revelatory concert in the Old Music School Among many Thursday evening concerts in the Old Music School in Downing Place, I vividly remember John Ogdon playing the last three Beethoven sonatas magnificently, from memory. I didn’t know this music very well at the time. Hearing those three fathomless works one after the other was an unforgettable experience. I particularly remember being struck by Beethoven’s extraordinary, original fugal writing, and how it grew organically out of what came before. Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius Tying the threads I met Benjamin Britten fleetingly when I asked for his autograph as a chorister at Worcester. Much later, as an undergraduate, I got to know Peter Pears because of his involvement in bringing CUMS to Aldeburgh. At Worcester I had been brought up on The Dream of Gerontius. All the threads came together in the thrilling CUMS performance conducted by Britten in King’s College Chapel in 1971, with Pears as Gerontius and Alfreda Hodgson as the Angel. I have stronger emotional ties with this work than any other.

Stephen Cleobury is Director of Music at King’s.

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Marcus Ginns


A sporting life Ultimate frisbee

Interview Becky Allen

hen it comes to sporting success, Cambridge owes much to its natural environment: the River Cam has nurtured generations of world-class rowers; Parker’s Piece gave Association Football its modern rules; and now the city’s green spaces are fostering a newer sport: frisbee. Except during winter, ultimate frisbee (as the competitive sport is officially known) is an outdoors sport in Cambridge, played on Parker’s Piece and Jesus Green.


“Hundreds of people play here, but they don’t all get involved with Strange Blue,” says second-year engineering student Dominic Dathan. Strange Blue, of course, is the name of the University’s student squad. “I’m not sure why it’s called that,” Dathan admits, “but lots of frisbee teams have unconventional names, they don’t tend to be named after towns, like football teams.” And the differences between ultimate frisbee and football don’t end there.

Unusually for competitive sport, there are no referees in frisbee. Instead, players police themselves, calling their own fouls and settling their own disputes. Known as the “spirit of the game”, for Dathan it’s one of the defining aspects of the sport. “What I like best about frisbee is how combative it can be. But because there’s no referee, it’s all done on fair play. The ‘spirit of the game’ is unique. If you think you’ve been fouled – if you’re jumping for a disc and someone knocks your arm – you just call a foul. You discuss it with the other player; if they agree then you get the throw, if it’s contested it goes back to the previous thrower. Usually it’s sorted out really quickly.” Indeed, the contrast with football, which Dathan also plays, could not be more fundamental. “The mindset is very different. I’m not a cheat at football – I don’t dive – but I will put my hand up to claim a ball that’s gone out of play. If there’s a referee there you bend the rules, but without one you’re responsible for yourself so you stick to the rules.” Good frisbee players need physical as well as moral qualities. “Even though it’s a non-contact sport, you need speed and agility. Like American football you can sub on and off between points so you don’t need lots of running stamina, but you definitely need speed and agility,” he says. “And good throwing. You have to practise that by doing it, I spend six or seven hours a week on it.” He’s not certain why frisbee attracts particular types of students at Cambridge: “Lots of maths, engineering and science students play, and teachers. We don’t get many arts students, I’m not sure why.” Dathan himself has an enthusiastic teacher and a dash of sibling rivalry to thank for his success in the sport. “My school had a teacher who was keen on frisbee,” he says. “I've been playing since I was 15. My brother played. He was quite good, and got to go to great places like Prague, Sweden and Finland, so that’s why I started.” The team’s recent track record is impressive: they won the regional qualifiers last term and this term go to the nationals, where they expect to finish in the top eight. And after losing for the last three years, Cambridge won this year’s Varsity game. But while women can get a Half Blue for Varsity frisbee, the team has been less successful in persuading the University to recognise the men’s sport with a Blue or Half Blue. “It’s hard to get over the view of it as a beach game, to prove it’s competitive and requires a lot of fitness,” he says. It is this type of recognition that Dathan believes the sport deserves and that would help it expand further in Cambridge. “It would help get new people into the sport – show that it’s credible – and other sports would recognise it as an equal.”

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CAM 69 Prize Crossword

Eccles by Schadenfreude

All entries to be received by 6 September 2013 Send completed crosswords: • by post to CAM 69 Prize Crossword, CARO, 1 Quayside, Bridge Street, Cambridge CB5 8AB • by email to • or enter online at The first correct entry drawn will receive a copy of Red Joan (Vintage, £12.99 ) by Jennie Rooney (St John’s 1998), a moving tale inspired by real events that confronts the tricky nature of loyalty; and £30 to spend on CUP publications Two runners-up will also receive £35 to spend on CUP publications. Solutions and winners will be printed in CAM 70 and posted online at on 20 September 2013.

* Romeo stopping in English city dated in a heated way (7) * Engineers stop working on special repairs (8) * Seal of black emblem (6) * Most young women inside work locally (8) * A breathing hole furnished by crawling lice (8) * Having sacrificed love for acting, Carol's performing outside a Zulu palace (7) * One interrupting part near the beginning every six months? (8) * On each side sow flax plant (7) * Stop doctor cutting into organ (5) * Vicar distributed a source of fuel and manure (5) * Curved stone encountered by Goddess (6) * Evil-doer once took a pew outside church by extremely large river (8) * Other sons eating just a snack (9) * Being sick, invincible opponent doesn't start (6) DOWN * Small crab moves stealthily tail first (6) * Turk united with Zambia's head governor (5) * Cars perhaps display in front of showroom (7) * I turn up in Chicago round the back of bar (6) * Eccentric knock by cricketer (7) * Quiet calm local voice (6) * Manuscript belonging to a passage reflecting a preChristian religion (8) * Go back, take for example oldfashioned advice (7) * Layabout, wastrel, dipso? Somewhat, looking back (5)

* Cross retiring priest put in drawer (5) * Satellite TV turned over your inside (6) * Pithy part in food-grain (4) * Star, not forgotten in plot, standing up (5) * Leather worker's after 75% of tax (6) * Money of account cheers the Spanish (4) * Long for old bird (4) * Alienation disturbed all but one eccentric European (7) * Make the feet sore on difficult beat (7) * Ghosts see in God a beginning of eternity (6) * Ice dance performed without one falling (7) * One of the percussion caps (6) * Yankee Republican enthralled by nurse and southern women of fascination (6) * Cylinder left in ash-pit under furnace (5) * Country with a road for English farm workers (7) * Axis supporting a plant with pods (7) * Poet’s deportees direct from territory taken from Northern Ireland (5) * This'll help you to sleep to four (before noon) (6)

Solution to CAM 68 Crossword One or Other by Wan Winner: Roderick Forman (Trinity 1957) Runners up: Henry Blanco White (King’s 1974) and Christian Skene (Girton 1940) Special mention: Chris de Boer (Trinity 1963) for his postal entry all the way from New Zealand.



Clues are presented in normal across/down order. Shortage of space, leading to crowding in twelve symmetrically disposed cells, must be overcome numerically according to the title. Solvers must add the 180 degree symmetrical bar pattern. Grid numbers are not required to be entered. Chambers (2011) is recommended.

* Subtle master's overcoming my speech defects (8) * I believe in animism, I sit back in jet (9) * Convivial socialist that's bombastic, not liberal (8) * Report on the ballot-box (6) * Tag seabird having lost height (5) * A northern path on the way (5) * Gander and rook flying with knots (7) * Was the red prepared for the dividing line? (9)

48 CAM 69

Pairs were symmetrically opposite lights in the grid.

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