The magazine for the staff of the University of Cambridge april/may 2011
A wonder of map-making Admissions: overturning some myths page 6
Stabbed in the back: monarchs who met a sticky end page 10
Festival success: The first weekend of the Cambridge Science Festival saw more than 15,000 people attend a range of events, talks and debates covering topics as diverse as dark energy and the secret life of ice-cream. Top of the bill for many (young and old) was the Dr Who display at the Pitt Building, which included a life-size tardis, awesome monsters and a guest appearance from former Timelord Colin Baker, pictured right.
Cover The University Library is celebrating one of the greatest achievements of British map-making. Turn to page eight to find out more.
of The UniverS
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of map-ma king Admissio overturnins: ng some myth s page 6
6-7 Getting practical The Cambridge Admissions Office has launched an online campaign to engage with prospective students. 8-9 Behind the scenes 10-11 Feature Will and Kate fever is in the air – but for the royals of yesteryear adulation went hand in hand with mortal danger. 12 People 13 Prizes, awards and honours 14 Small ads
Picture perfect: Research associate Alex Driver has won a national cartoon competition with his witty sketches. Alex, who works for the Design Management Group at the Institute for Manufacturing, scooped first prize in the Young Cartoonist of the Year contest. The competition was judged by some of the best-known names in the field, including The Guardian’s Steve Bell and Matt from the Daily Telegraph.
Shining light: This picture by Robinson undergraduate Alexander Johnson was the winning entry in the Cambridge Admissions Office’s 2010/11 photography competition. Entitled Cambridge Round the Clock, the competition invited submissions that illustrated how undergraduates saw Cambridge and different aspects of their life at different times of the day and night. It was judged by former photography critic and Times feature writer Joanna Pitman.
15 Inside the colleges Wolfson’s Culture and Language Society has launched what is thought to be the country’s first class in spoken Sanskrit. 16 Backpage
The Newsletter is published for the staff of the University of Cambridge and is produced by the Office of External Affairs and Communications. Please send in ideas for the content and other ways we can improve the publication. Tel: (3)32300 or email email@example.com. Suggestions for articles for the next edition should reach the Editor by 3 May. Editor: Andrew Aldridge Advertising: Nick Saffell Design: www.creative-warehouse.co.uk Printers: Labute Printers Contributors: Andrew Aldridge, Becky Allen, Alex Buxton, Mandy Garner, Fred Lewsey.
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2-5 News round-up
For art’s sake: Damian Hirst, Antony Gormley and Maggi Hambling are just three artists to have donated works to a major exhibition at Kettle’s Yard – many of which are to be sold as part of a £5m fundraising appeal. ‘Artists for Kettle’s Yard’, which runs until 8 May, has seen an incredible range of artists donate sculpture and paintings to the popular house and gallery. The picture shows Early Spring Wave at Slaughden by Maggi Hambling.
Stabbed monarchsin the back: who met a sticky end page 10
Your comments and contributions are always welcome. Please send them to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org The deadline for the next issue is 3 May.
Staff scholarship for Judge MBA course
Nathalie Walker, last year’s recipient
This is the third year the scholarship has been offered. Investment Analyst Conor Cassidy was the first recipient of the award, followed last year by Head of Alumni Relations Nathalie Walker. Speaking about her time on the course, Nathalie said: “The Executive
MBA is a remarkable experience, both personally and professionally. Every month I take something away from class that I can immediately implement or share at work.” Conor said: “The Executive MBA programme gave me the chance to develop some of the skills needed for a senior role in a large global organisation such as the University of Cambridge, but without having to take a career break to study full time. “The course covers an extraordinary range of subjects. There is also plenty of practical experience, with an international business trip to China and a team consulting project that can take you anywhere in the world.” To find out more about the programme or the scholarship please contact Jennifer Wilson on jennifer. email@example.com.
participants encouraged to consider Cambridge Judge Business how core business principles can School is offering a scholarship to a be applied in their jobs. As well as senior manager at the University on general management education, one of its leading courses. there is also a strong emphasis on The Cambridge Executive MBA is improving soft skills. a part-time programme designed for The programme, which starts in senior executives and professionals September, is taught over a period of who wish to study general business 20 months, and students management while continuing in full-time The successful attend 17 weekend study periods (Friday afternoons employment. The applicant will and all-day Saturday) successful applicant as well as three weekwill be awarded a be awarded long sessions. To be scholarship for 80 per 80 per cent considered, candidates cent of the £48,000 course fees. of the course should have more than seven years relevant work The programme fees experience and be able covers topics such as to demonstrate how the accounting and finance, course would benefit their work. The organisational behaviour, marketing, same admissions criteria will be used strategy, project management to judge Cambridge employees and and corporate governance. There external applicants. is a strong strategic focus, with
Cool museum: The Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute is one of ten museums to have been long-listed for this year’s £100,000 Art Fund Prize. The prize rewards excellence and innovation in museums and galleries in the UK for a project completed or undertaken in 2010. A shortlist of four institutions will be announced on 19 May, with the winner – the newly anointed ‘Museum of the Year’ – being unveiled on 15 June. Home to the last letters of Captain Scott and his companions, the Polar Museum reopened last year to great acclaim and increased visitor figures after a £1.75m redevelopment scheme. april/may 2011 | UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE Newsletter | 3
college news Hughes Hall celebrates founding with plaque Residents of Newnham and members of Hughes Hall gathered for a special street party last term as part of the college’s 125th anniversary celebrations. Those present witnessed the college’s original building – numbers one and three Merton Street – marked with a blue plaque, while Hughes Hall President Sarah Squire and those from the surrounding neighbourhood gathered to commemorate the founding of the college. Home owners Chrissie Eaves-Walton and Fiona and Martin Sakol opened their doors and provided a tour of the first living quarters. Hughes Hall began in 1885 as the
Cambridge Training College for Women. At first it admitted only 14 students but it had grand ambitions: to produce highly trained teachers who would go out into the emerging girls schools of Britain to educate a new generation of women. The college flourished, moving in 1895 to its present site overlooking Fenner’s cricket ground. Renamed Hughes Hall in honour of Elizabeth Phillips Hughes, the college’s founding Principal, it is now a full postgraduate college of the University for women and men. Each year it still welcomes a core group of postgraduates whose eyes are set on the teaching profession.
Rhyme and reason
Newnham launches archive Newnham has launched a new literary archive featuring the work of leading female authors – many of whom were students of the college. Biographer Claire Tomalin, novelist Sarah Dunant and founder of Persephone Books Nicola Beauman – all Newnham alumnae – spoke at the launch event in February, with Beauman leading a discussion on why women write so well. Ali Smith, Eleanor Bron and Katharine Whitehorn also attended. The new literary archive has been established to celebrate Newnham
authors and inspire the next generation of women writers. Around 30 authors have donated material to the archive, including manuscripts, memoirs, letters and photographs. Newnham Principal Dame Patricia Hodgson said: “Newnham wants to celebrate the achievements of its writers by inviting them to contribute something of their creative work towards the archive. “As the archive grows, we hope it will inspire current and future students, and encourage an interest in writing.”
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Performance poet Benjamin Zephaniah is supporting a new poetry prize for Cambridge students organised by St Edmund’s College Political Forum. The award, entitled the Benjamin Zephaniah Poetry Prize, will be announced and presented by the poet himself at an event in June, where the best entries will be read aloud. The competition is open to all Cambridge students, both undergraduate and graduate, with the organisers especially keen to encourage writing that propels social change. Talking about his decision to lend his name to the prize, Mr Zephaniah said: “I am normally suspicious of poetry competitions, but this is a competition with a conscience. It’s not promoting a brand or a trend – it’s encouraging entrants to open up and explore their imaginations.” Entries are not restricted to any particular style, subject or theme, and there is no word limit. A maximum
Zephaniah: “competition with a conscience”
of two poems per author can be submitted. The prize will be a single award of £400. Submissions should be sent with the author’s name and address to Charis Charalampous, St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, CB3 0BN or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is 10 May 2011.
Cambridge makes Hay – again University of Cambridge alumnus India is one of the focuses for this and Hay Festival Director Peter year’s festival and Dr Kevin Greenbank Florence has invited the University and Dr Annamaria Motrescu will to contribute a third annual speaker lead a session entitled ‘The Reel Raj: series to the world-renowned festival. Cinefilm and Audio Archive from Held between 27 May the Centre of South Asian and 5 June, the Cambridge Up to 5,000 Studies’. This includes Hay series is a spin-off remarkable footage from people are nearly 300 home movies in from the University’s Festival of Ideas, and their collection that offer a expected features outstanding glimpse of life in India and to attend communicators from the other parts of South Asia academic community. during the final days of the the talks Up to 5,000 people are British Empire. expected to attend the talks in the Hay audiences can also look Cambridge series. forward to Dr Ha-Joon Chang on 23 Highlights this year include myths of capitalism, and Professor philosopher and former Principal Tony Wrigley in conversation with of Newnham Baroness Onora George Monbiot, discussing a new O’Neill, who will debate the limits of look at the industrial revolution and toleration in today’s society, and Dr its links with our current energy crisis. Amrita Narlikar on the rise of new Professor Nicky Clayton will talk about powers Brazil, India and China and her research on crow behaviour. their impact on global governance. In an event that should appeal to Dr Narlikar is Director of Cambridge’s adults and children alike, Cambridge new Centre for Rising Powers. University Press Chief Executive
Professor Nicky Clayton and Professor Colin Humphreys will be speaking at the festival
Stephen Bourne will speak about the company’s decision to adopt a giant panda in China to build closer working links with the country and to help protect the endangered species. Other speakers from the University include Dr Simon Mitton, on the books that have changed our view of the universe, Professor Michael Lamb on children in the legal system, and Professor Gerry Gilmore on whether science claims to know the unknowable. Professor Rosamond McKitterick will speak on history, memory
and ideas about the past, Dr Ulinka Rublack on dress codes in Renaissance Europe and Dr Clive Oppenheimer on eruptions that shook the world. Professor Simon Blackburn will tackle the relationship between language and action, pragmatism and practical reasoning, Dr Rachel Polonsky takes a look at Vyacheslav Molotov, one of Stalin’s fiercest henchmen, and Professor Colin Humphreys considers the mystery of the Last Supper. ➔ For more information, visit www. hayfestival.com.
Two exhibitions about the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, who died in Cambridge 60 years ago on 29 April, open this month. ‘Wittgenstein and Cambridge/ Family Resemblances’, which is currently showing at Clare Hall and runs until 4 May, deals with the relationship between the philosopher and four of his closest friends: Bertrand Russell, GE Moore, John Maynard Keynes and Frank Ramsey. It also considers two of Wittgenstein’s philosophical ideas – language game and family resemblance, which he had developed through experiments in composite photography. The artist Eduardo Paolozzi took up these ideas
Copyright of the Wittgenstein Archive
Different views: Wittgenstein exhibitions open and produced a series of portraits, merging the philosopher’s face with images of other well-known figures. Meanwhile, ‘Wittgenstein and Photography’, which opens at PandIS on 26 April, examines the role and importance of photography in the Wittgenstein family, and in his philosophical work. The exhibition at Clare Hall is open daily, from 9am to 6pm. Call 01223 332360 for further information. For more details on the PandIS exhibition, visit http://www.cam. ac.uk/cs/media/pandis/. The picture on the left shows Wittgenstein photographed by his friend Ben Richards in 1947. It can be seen in the PandIS exhibition. april/may 2011 | UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE Newsletter | 5
making a difference
In search of the brightest Thousands of the brightest students from across the country arrive in Cambridge every year to begin their degrees. But while there are undergraduates from every background and corner of the UK, certain misperceptions of Cambridge still prevent some of the best state-educated pupils from applying to study at the University and other selective universities. One of the ways the Cambridge Admissions Office is rising to meet this challenge is through an online campaign called ‘Be Cambridge’, which targets prospective students who have the ability to study at the University but perhaps need encouragement to explore their potential. ‘Be Cambridge’ uses new media to inspire young people and convey real-life experiences of being an undergraduate at the University. At the heart of the campaign are a number of short films and a group of eager student bloggers
who are contributing their personal perspectives on life at Cambridge. “This place doesn’t just want people who can learn; it wants people who can think,” says George, a blogger from Harlesden, north London. The campaign website focuses on the journey that most students go through when applying to Cambridge, breaking this down into three distinct stages. ‘Back yourself’ is centred around a short film, starring current students from UK state schools, which aims to inspire similar students to make a Cambridge application. ‘Apply yourself’ provides a step-bystep approach to the application process, from researching a course to receiving A Level results. Here, visitors will also find films about what is involved in a variety of outreach events run by the Cambridge Admissions Office, from Year 12 summer schools to events for mature and ethnic minority students.
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Cambridge is committed to providing an education to the best and most promising pupils whatever their background and wherever they are from. Below we report on a new digital campaign to engage with prospective applicants while, on the opposite page, former undergraduate Ruth Shaw explains how life at Lucy Cavendish provided her with support, drive and ambition to follow an academic career
Cambridge is a diverse community where individuals can reach their potential – something that a recent online campaign (inset) is communicating to prospective applicants
Finally, ‘Be yourself’ demonstrates through student profiles and blogs that Cambridge is a diverse place to which anyone can belong. Visitors can engage directly with the experiences of current undergraduates. By combining social media with student experiences, the Cambridge Admissions Office hopes that the campaign will not only reach young people in a manner that they will respond to, but that it will also go some way to dispelling certain myths about the University and collegiate system. As Dara, a first-year student from Northern Ireland puts it: “The thing that makes Cambridge such a fantastic place to study is that everyone is in the same boat with work. I have never felt that I’m the odd one out: there are always people to support you when you have a problem. From good friends who bring you a hot
From horses to courses
chocolate as you burn the midnight oil, to your Director of Studies, who will guide you through any major problems in your academic work, there is always someone to pick you up and help you reach your goals.” Sarah Hannaford, Head of Student Recruitment and Information at the Cambridge Admissions Office, says ‘Be Cambridge’ is not simply about increasing state school applicants – it’s about changing perceptions as well. “We want to show students that there are people like them at Cambridge, and that if you have the passion and ability the opportunities are fantastic.” > To see the campaign site and read the blogs go to www.BeCambridge.com.
Cambridge is a fantastic place to be “I was born in Huddersfield but we surprised and have your assumptions moved to Leeds when I was a baby. My about people overturned. It was childhood was typical of many children inspiring to hear about the various who grew up where I did – we were winding paths to the University that extremely poor and my father was other students had taken, which made violent towards us. My parents split the whole experience precious. up when I was five, which was made I remember on the first evening a bearable by having sisters and brothers group of us sitting around, chatting and to play and fight with. I had wanted to be around horses from a young age, but didn’t know it was possible – it seemed to be the province of posh kids in stories. However, I found a leaflet advertising a racing school in Doncaster that trained stable staff. I went for an interview the next day and quit my job at McDonald’s to go and live in the country. I loved it at first, the jingle of tack and the clop of hooves in the glimmer of dawn. It’s so exhilarating to stand in the stirrups, counting the seconds as you pass the furlong markers, praying the horse doesn’t bolt. Galloping takes you a step closer to heaven – it’s like Ruth Shaw: “It was inspiring to hear about flying. If you get it right, the satisfaction the various winding paths that students had is intense. If you get it wrong, it’s painful taken to the University” and possibly even lethal. finding out about each other. There was I had to leave my job as a stable a former sergeant in the Met, an artist, a lass when I became pregnant. Royal Opera House usherette, a solicitor, I worked in factories and pubs, then a Nigerian housewife. a supermarket checkout. I would get so bored “Cambridge is a That was a magical evening! working on the till, but I fantastic place The lectures were couldn’t see a way out. By then I was a single to be surprised great, working with my supervision buddies, mum and struggling to and have your foaming at the mouth make ends meet, but I’d assumptions from trying to keep always been fascinated a straight face. I was by environmental issues, about people endlessly impressed and my desire to overturned” by the other students, learn wouldn’t not just with their fade. I enrolled at brilliance, but also their humour, Cambridge Regional College and humility and their grasp of, and studied A Levels in Geography, concern for, social issues. Geology and Biology. I remember the first moment I felt I was desperate to study for a special, walking across the Bridge of degree at Cambridge. I had seen the Sighs in St John’s College, sighing like vistas you glimpse as you pass college doorways – so beautiful, like something everyone does, and then realising: ‘I’m not a tourist, I’m a part of this’. from a fantasy novel. I remember Now I’m doing a PhD in freshwater sitting on the bus, having grabbed carbon fluxes at Oxford Brookes my post before dashing to the nursery. University. I love my research and, if I I opened the acceptance letter and can keep doing it, that would be ideal, felt very quiet. but I always have one eye on new Many of the students at Lucy opportunities, as ever.” Cavendish were refreshingly different Ruth Shaw from anyone I had come across before.
april/may 2011 | UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE Newsletter | 7
behind the scenes
As John Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine – the first atlas of the British Isles – approaches its 400th anniversary, we visit the University Library to take a look at a proof copy of one of the world’s great cartographic treasures
This land, his stage Variously described as “charming”, “decorative” and “a supreme achievement in British map-making”, John Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine is more than a map – it is a slice of Tudor and Jacobean life in miniature. The atlas contains a single sheet for each county of England and Wales, plus a map of Scotland and each of the four Irish provinces, and paints a rich picture of the countryside at the turn of the 17th century. Rivers wriggle through the landscape, towns are shown as huddles of miniature buildings, woods and parks are marked by tiny trees and – with contour lines yet to be invented – small scatterings of molehills denote higher ground. The countryside bursts with human life: a ploughman and his two-horse team are at work in fields outside Worcester, a
Right: Graduate student Samuel Wilberforce at Girton College
group of bathers enjoy the Roman spa at Bath, ducks paddle in the River Ouse at York, and the seas around Britain teem with sea monsters and ships. Inset into the corner of each county map is a plan of its county town and each spare inch of space is used to illustrate famous battles, local coats of arms, as well as Roman and pre-historic sites. All that is missing are the roads because, bar certain bridges and a stretch of the Romans’ Watling Street, none are marked. Anne Taylor, Head of the Map Department at the University Library, often brings out Speed’s Theatre for visitors. But although the department holds several copies of the printed atlas, it is the hand-coloured set of proofs produced between 1603 and 1611 that is one of its greatest treasures.
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Bought by the University Library in 1968 after the government refused an export licence for the proofs to be sold abroad, and known as the Gardner copy after its previous owner, Anne describes it as “a rare and delightful item”.
Vivid picture The Cambridgeshire sheet includes portraits of robed academics, a pair of them holding the map’s scale bar, 24 coats of arms of the University, colleges and local nobility, and the inset town plan is bordered by beautiful scroll work. The Cambridge town plan, wrote the late Nigel Nicolson, author of The Counties of Britain: a Tudor Atlas, “gives a vivid miniature picture of the university and town compressed within an area which in those days extended no further than
Left: John Speed’s proof map of Cambridgeshire, with Cambridge inset, top left
his greatest contribution to British cartography. Together, they formed the first printed collection of town plans of the British Isles and, for at least 50 of the 73 included in the Theatre, it was the first time these towns had been mapped. Best described as “map views”, the town plans are a combination of groundplan with bird’s-eye perspective. “The views set out deliberately to charm,” Nicolson wrote. “They represent the towns and cities as havens of peace and industry, neat and speckless.” Although we know little about Speed’s life, some detective work by Emmanuel College’s Development Director and Fellow Librarian Dr Sarah Bendall – who discovered drafts of Speed’s town plans at Merton College, Oxford – uncovered clues about how he worked during the summers of 1606 to 1608. According to Dr Bendall: “Initials on four of the sheets suggest that Speed was helped by his son John in 1606. The draft maps also show that his surveying technique was probably a compass traverse using a plane table, and that he worked quickly – he was in Ely on 5 July 1607, Huntingdon on 7 July and Peterborough a day later.”
Castle Hill in the north and Peterhouse in the south”. Accompanying each map is a description of the county. Derived largely from William Camden’s Britannia, a topographical and historical survey of Great Britain and Ireland, the text offers an affectionate portrait of the city and its university, but a rather less appealing description of the Cambridgeshire countryside. “This province is not large, nor the air greatly to be liked, having the Fenns so spread upon her North, that they infect the air far into the rest. The soil doth differ both in air and commodities; the Fenny surcharged with waters: the South is Champion, and yieldeth Corn in abundance, with Meadowing-pastures upon both the sides of the River Came,”
he notes. Enchanting it may be, but how important a map-maker was John Speed and what was his cartographic legacy? Born in Farndon, Cheshire in 1551 or 1552, John Speed was a historian as well as a cartographer. Nicolson describes him as “an ambitious, energetic man, no great scholar, more a compiler who drew together, both in his histories and his maps, the researches and surveys of others”. Speed himself paid tribute to earlier map-makers whose work he drew on, especially the county maps of the great Elizabethan surveyor Christopher Saxton. The county maps were the first consistent attempt to show territorial divisions, such as boundaries of hundreds, but it was Speed’s town plans that were a major innovation and probably
From 1607 to 1611 the gifted Flemish engraver and map-maker Jodocus Hondius Sr produced the copper plates from which the Theatre was printed, plates that passed between publishers for the next 150 years. When published – as an accompaniment to Speed’s Historie of Great Britaine – in 1611-12 the Theatre was an immediate success: the first print run of around 500 copies must have sold quickly because many editions followed and, by the time of the 1627 edition, the atlas cost 40 shillings. Both the price and the absence of roads suggest the Theatre would have been bought by local landowners as a status symbol and tool of administrative control. Nicolson imagined too that they might have served the same purpose as today’s coffee table volumes. The Theatre was a supreme achievement in British cartography. It made John Speed into one of the most famous of all our map-makers and became the blueprint for folio atlases until the mid-18th century.
Find out more ➔ C ambridge staff and
members of the public can order printed versions of county maps from the proof copy of John Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine through the University Library. For more information visit http://www.lib. cam.ac.uk/deptserv/ maps/speed.html.
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illustration: felix bennett
Blood on the Rex
A recent study by Cambridge University criminologist Professor Manuel Eisner has revealed statistically just how dangerous it was to be a king or queen between 600 and 1800 AD
Few roles are as high profile as being a royal, something that Prince William and Kate Middleton know all too well. In the past, however, ruling members of royal families found themselves not only attracting a huge amount of attention but also quite literally in the firing line, with their lives in danger from rivals and revenge-seekers, rebels and revolutionaries. The astonishing number of European kings who met a violent end has been documented and analysed by a Cambridge University criminologist. Professor Manuel Eisner’s study Killing Kings reveals just how risky it was to be a
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Killing Kings is the first statistical study of the demise of 1,513 monarchs
monarch in an era when murdering those who stood in your way was a fast lane to power. Killing Kings is the first statistical study of the demise of 1,513 monarchs in 45 European monarchies, covering the period 600 to 1800 AD. It reveals that almost a quarter (22 per cent) of all royal deaths were bloody – accidents, battle deaths and killings – and that 15 per cent of all deaths were outright murder. “The toll of 15 per cent corresponds to an average rate of ten murders for every 1,000 years of life as a monarch – far higher than the homicide rate for even the most troubled areas of the world
today,” says Professor Eisner. “This rate is higher than the threshold for ‘major combat’ among soldiers engaged in a contemporary war. It demonstrates the intense violent rivalry for domination among historical European political elites.” Manuel Eisner is Professor of Comparative and Developmental Criminology and Deputy Director of the Institute of Criminology. His research interests revolve around two main areas: macro-level historical patterns of violence; and individual development and the causes and prevention of aggressive behaviour. As a criminologist, he divides his statistics for kingly killings into four broad scenarios. Top of the list is murder as a means of succession: at a stroke the reigning monarch is removed from power and a rival enthroned. An example of this came in 969, when the Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros II was slain in his bedroom by his wife Theophano and his chief general, John Tzimiskes. John was crowned emperor after agreeing to do penance for murder and to separate from his lover.
Personal grievance Next up is murder by a neighbouring ruler and competitor, attempting to gain territory or seal a military victory. In 1362, the Sultan of Granada, Muhammed VI, was invited to attend peace talks with the King of Castile and murdered treacherously near Seville on the orders of Peter I of Castile. Personal grievance and revenge, fuelled by rape, murder or insult committed by the ruler, rank third as scenarios. Such a fate befell Albert I of Germany, who was assassinated in 1308 by his nephew Johann of Swabia and others while riding home from a banquet at which he had publicly insulted Johann. Bringing up the rear is the outsider killing. In 1172 the Venetian Doge Vitale Michiel II was stabbed to death by a member of an angry mob. In 1354 Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada, was killed by a maniac while praying in the mosque. Young monarchs – whose grip on the reins of power were tenuous – were especially liable to having their lives cut brutally short. Most poignant are the presumed murders of young Prince Edward V and his younger brother Richard in the Tower of London. In some cases, murder begat murder in relentless waves of killings. Murder hot spots cropped up
Three grisly royal deaths l A ndronikos I Komnenos,
“The murder rate is higher than the threshold for major combat among soldiers engaged in a contemporary war”
Byzantine emperor from 1183 to 1185, was embroiled in conflict with the aristocracy, whose influence he tried to curb. During an absence from Constantinople, he was deposed and Isaac Angelos proclaimed himself emperor. Andronikos was captured and handed over to the mob. In a three day public torture his beard was torn out, his head shaved, teeth pulled out, his eyes gouged out, and right hand cut off with an axe. At the end he was probably suspended by his feet, stabbed with swords and torn into pieces. l I n 955, John XII became probably the youngest pope at the age of 16 or 18. A synod held in 963 accused him of sacrilege, simony, perjury, murder, adultery and incest. It is not clear exactly how he died. The contemporary bishop and historian Liutprand of Cremona reports that the devil dealt John a stroke on the temple when he was having sex with his mistress, but more earthly rumours held that he had been slain in bed by the cuckolded husband. l H enry IV of France was murdered on 13 May 1610. There had been 18 previous assassination attempts. On the day of his assassination Henry was on the way to meet one of his ministers, when his coach was halted by carts in the narrow streets of Paris. His murderer was Francois Ravaillac, a radicalised Catholic, who stabbed him several times. Ravaillac was publicly executed by being pulled apart by horses, after enduring public torture watched by a large audience. in some unlikely cold climates – among them Norway and Northumbria. Professor Eisner suggests that the murder of monarchs provides a window into the dynamics of elite violence across more than a thousand years of European history. If removing a monarch promised important benefits, and opportunities arose, assassination was seen by political elites as a swift route to regime change. European regicides were most frequent in the early Middle Ages and became gradually less common over the centuries. Professor Eisner suggests that, as legislative systems strengthened their hold on the division and transfer of power, murder lost its appeal as a
strategic tool. On top of this, the doctrine of the divine right of kings, which gathered credence from James I onwards, meant that kings enjoyed almost godly status and an act of deposition was deemed sacrilegious. “After the 16th century it became very uncommon to organise power transfer through the murder of a monarch. If it did occur, it required extensive legal justification, such as in the criminal trial of Charles I in 1649, which eventually led to his execution,” he says. “As for regicides motivated by ideology and radicalism, they have continued right into the early 20th century.”
Murder hot spots in cold places l I n Scotland, 15 out of 17 monarchs recorded between 889 and 1094 died in
battle or were victims of regicide. Many of the deaths were the result of fierce dynastic feuds. l I n Norway, all seven kings between 1103 and 1162 were murdered or killed in battle. All royal sons – including illegitimate children – were heirs and at one time there were up to four warring kings. l I n Northumbria, which was a kingdom until the 10th century, 14 out of 15 eighth-century monarchs were killed, expelled, forced into abdication or deposed. The last independent Northumbrian monarch was Erik Bloodaxe, who died in 954.
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Honorary Degree Congregation 2011 The Honorary Degree Congregation will be held on 23 June. Those approved to receive Honorary Doctorates this year are:
➔ Professor John Toland has been appointed
new Director of Cambridge Judge Business School. Professor Loch, who will take up the appointment on 1 September this year, is Professor of Corporate Innovation and Professor of Technology and Operations Management at INSEAD, where he is also Director of the Israel Research Centre. His research is concerned with the management of research and development, and the product innovation process. He is Associate Editor of Management Science, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Engineering and Technology Management and Research Technology Management. He also teaches MBA courses and executive seminars at INSEAD, consults European corporations on technology management, and serves on the supervisory board of an educational software start-up company. Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz said: “I am delighted at the appointment of someone of Professor Loch’s calibre and experience. “He steps into the role of Director at a challenging and exciting time in the world of business. Cambridge Judge Business School’s position at the heart of the University, renowned for its excellence, will enable it to develop new and innovative business solutions in response to today’s complex issues.”
the next Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences and NM Rothschild & Sons Professor of Mathematical Sciences. He will succeed Professor Sir David Wallace. Professor Toland has been Professor of Mathematics at the University of Bath since 1982 and, between 2002 and 2010, was also scientific director of the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences in Edinburgh. He held an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Senior Research Fellowship from 1997 to 2002. His research interests include mathematical analysis and nonlinear partial differential equations, and he has made substantial contributions to the rigorous theory of steady water waves. In 1978, he proved Stokes’ conjecture on the existence of gravity waves of maximum height on deep water, a previously open problem in mathematical hydrodynamics that dated back to the 19th century. The recipient of many awards, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1999, and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2003. In 2010, he was appointed Chair of the Mathematical Sciences panel for the Research Excellence Framework by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Professor Toland said: “The Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences is one of the world’s leading research centres in its field, and I feel fortunate to be joining it as Director.”
➔ Professor James Stirling CBE FRS has been
appointed Head of Department at the Cavendish Laboratory, the University’s Department of Physics. Currently Jacksonian Professor of Natural
Philosophy, Professor Stirling joined the University in 2008 following a 22-year career at Durham University, where he was Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research. He was formerly an undergraduate and graduate student at Cambridge, obtaining his PhD in 1979 in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. His research area is theoretical particle physics, particularly ‘phenomenology’ – the interface between theory and experiment, with special emphasis on the physics of high-energy particle colliders. Professor Stirling becomes the Cavendish Laboratory’s 13th Head of Department, succeeding Professor Peter Littlewood. The laboratory was founded in 1874.
12 | April/May 2011 | UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE Newsletter
All staff of both the University and Colleges, serving and retired, are welcome to apply for tickets. Further details of the occasion and how to apply for a ticket will be published in the University Reporter on 20 April.
➔ Christopher H Loch has been announced as the
➔ Mrs Anita Lasker Wallfisch, survivor of and writer on the Holocaust, visiting lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity, and co-founder of the English Chamber Orchestra; ➔ Dr Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Laureate, lawyer and former President of Tehran City Court; ➔ Sir Martin Evans, Nobel Laureate and Professor of Mammalian Genetics and Director of Cardiff School of Biosciences at the University of Cardiff; ➔ Dame Alison Richard, anthropologist and former Vice-Chancellor of the University; ➔ Dr Mildred Dresselhaus, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; ➔ Sir Peter Mansfield, Nobel Laureate, medical physicist and developer of Magnetic Resonance Imaging; ➔ Sir Trevor Nunn, theatre director, former Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company and Artistic Director of the Royal National Theatre; ➔ Sir Colin Davis, conductor who was formerly Musical Director of the Royal Opera House, and is President and formerly Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Dame Alison: one of eight distinguished people nominated for an honorary degree
prizes, awards and honours ➔ Dr Tim Bussey has been appointed a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science for sustained and outstanding distinguished contributions to psychological science. ➔ Professor Paul Cartledge will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Economics by the University of Thessaly, Greece in May. ➔ Dr Mark Gales, Reader in Information Engineering in the Machine Intelligence Laboratory and Fellow of Emmanuel, has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for “contributions to acoustic modelling for speech recognition”. ➔ Geoffrey Khan, Professor of Semitic Philology in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and a Fellow of Wolfson, has been elected Honorary Fellow of the Academy of the Hebrew Language (Jerusalem). ➔ Dr Catherine MacKenzie, University Lecturer in Law and a Fellow of Selwyn, has been appointed an Academic Fellow of Inner Temple (one of the four Inns of Court for barristers). The Academic Fellowship Scheme aims to recognise the outstanding contribution of legal teaching and research of early to mid-career academics to the Bar of England and Wales. It also aims to support their research and build
stronger ties between barristers and legal academics. ➔ Dr Tom Sanders, Research Fellow at Christ’s, and Professor Harald Helfgott of the University of Bristol are the winners of the 2011 Adams Prize. The prize is given jointly each year by the Faculty of Mathematics and St John’s College to a young, UK-based researcher doing first-class international research in the mathematical sciences. This year’s topic was ‘Discrete Mathematics or Number Theory’. ➔ Alison Sinclair, Professor of Modern Spanish Literature and Intellectual History in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and a Fellow of Clare, has been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant for a three-year project on ‘Wrongdoing in Spain 1800-1936: Realities, Representations, Reactions’. This will include the digitisation and cataloguing of some 4,500 items of ephemeral popular material held in the University Library and British Library. ➔ Dr Akhilesh Reddy, a Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, who is based at the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories, has won the Biochemical Society’s Colworth Medal. The award is
Dr Catherine MacKenzie
Dr Akhilesh Reddy
Dr Tom Sanders
given annually for outstanding research by a young biochemist of any nationality who has carried out his or her research mainly in the UK. ➔ Professor Trevor Robbins and Professor Barry Everitt have been selected as the joint recipients of the 2011 American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. The award recognises distinguished theoretical or empirical contributions to basic research in psychology. ➔ Three Cambridge academics have been awarded major research fellowships by the Leverhulme Trust. They are: Professor Paul Binski, of the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art; Dr Marina Frolova-Walker, of the Faculty of Music; and Dr Mary Laven, of the Faculty of History.
Charlotte A Panofré, a PhD student at St Edmund’s, has been awarded the Sir John Neale Prize in Tudor History by the Royal Historical Society and the Institute of Historical Research. The prize is awarded annually to a historian in the early stages of her career for an essay on a theme related to Tudor history and is published in the journal Historical Research.
april/may 2011 | UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE Newsletter | 13
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14 | april/may 2011 | UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE Newsletter
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inside the colleges
Gained in translation The Wolfson Language and Culture Society has grown from an idea among friends to a popular service offering classes to members of the college, the University and wider community A Cambridge Gates scholar has set up a language service that offers the first classes in the UK in spoken Sanskrit. Gitte Marianne Hansen, who is doing a PhD in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, set up the Wolfson Language and Culture Society with three friends at the end of last year. She got the idea for it after her husband and a friend said they wanted to learn Japanese. Gitte, who is studying internally and externally directed violence among women in Japan, is fluent in Japanese. The society has grown quickly and now offers beginner and intermediate classes in Sanskrit and Chinese, as well as beginner classes in Japanese, Pali (an ancient Indian language), German,
Italian and Arabic. Although spoken Sanskrit has been taught at occasional short workshops in the UK, this is the first dedicated course on the subject. Sanskrit is one of the world’s oldest languages in existence, and is grouped with Indo-European languages, including English, with which it may share a common ancestor language. It is thought to have originated in the Indus Valley, and has been used primarily by people of the upper classes, including religious scholars. It is still a language of higher education, but is not commonly spoken – much like classical Latin and Greek. Fewer than 50,000 people are thought to speak it in India. Gitte originally planned to give classes
Attendees of the Pali class range from those who are interested in yoga to students who are interested in ancient Buddhist texts
in Japanese to just a few friends, but then thought other Wolfson students might be interested. She spoke to the Senior Tutor and Librarian at Wolfson, who suggested setting up a student society, putting her in touch with a Chinese student who was also interested in giving classes. Two other friends in her department who were at Wolfson also expressed an interest in teaching. From there the society advertised through the college mailing list and, by word of mouth, has found enthusiastic participants. The classes are free for Wolfson members, but are also open to the wider community, including people outside the University. Demand for the classes has grown, and the student teachers have to balance teaching with their research. They receive a small amount of funding from the Wolfson College Students Union. Those attending do so for a variety of different reasons. The Japanese class has a PhD student who wants to do a post doc in Japan, someone who lived in the country as a child, and people who have never learned a foreign language before. Attendees of the Pali class range from those who are interested in yoga, people who know other ancient Indian languages, and some who are interested in ancient Buddhist texts. A number come from outside the University. Pali is best known as the language of many of the earliest Buddhist scriptures. Today it is studied mainly to gain access to Buddhist scriptures and is frequently chanted. “It has been great to start something like this and feel that we are supporting people around us. It has also taught me a lot about team work and time management,” says Gitte. The society is interested in capitalising on the international nature of Cambridge University, and would like to hear from anyone who wants to share their travel experiences or talk about growing up in a different culture.
Find out more ➔ For more information, visit the
Wolfson Language and Culture Society website at https://sites.google. com/site/wolfsonlcs/ ➔ To learn more about Gates Cambridge Scholarships at the University, visit http://www.gatesscholar.org/.
april/may 2011 | UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE Newsletter | 15
Divine and devilish Religions and religious figures are constantly reinvented, as separate research projects – see below and right – at Cambridge have recently shown Cow-lending, sewing and aerobics classes are just some of the ways in which Indian religious organisations are diversifying their ‘business model’ to maintain the loyalty of their followers and attract new devotees. A University of Cambridge team from the Faculty of Economics and the Cambridge Judge Business School has spent two years surveying 568 Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and Jain religious organisations across seven Indian states to examine their innovations in offering religious and non-religious service provision. The survey is believed to be one of the first of its kind in India, with researchers finding that, although India is becoming more powerful and wealthy, rising social inequality, especially in the poorer states, means religious groups often fill the breach left by the lack of social welfare, notably in education and healthcare. This inter-disciplinary research was conducted by Dr Sriya Iyer of the
Faculty of Economics, Dr Chander Velu of the Cambridge Judge Business School, Dr Jun Xue and Tirthankar Chakravarty. “We have found that the resilience of religion draws from the ability of groups to undertake innovation and innovative behaviour, similar to the behaviour observed in business firms,” Dr Iyer says. “In the same way a business tries to stay ahead of its competitors, religious groups are showing the same rational economic responses to changes in the political, ecological and economic environments in which they operate.” Examples of religious and nonreligious offerings include weddings and other religious ceremonies telecast over the internet for overseas friends and family to witness, blood donation, eye camps, drug rehabilitation, old-age homes, widow welfare programmes and organised mass marriages for the poor.
16 | april/may 2011 | UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE Newsletter
A new book by Dr Fred Parker, Parker argues Senior Lecturer in English and Fellow that some of the of Clare, focuses on how some of finest literature the greatest writers down the ages stems from the have drawn inspiration from dangerous the disturbing and sinister figure encounter with who tempts and connives, corrupts this tempter, and destroys. and with the In The Devil as Muse, Dr Parker otherness explores not only how the Devil that, is portrayed, and how this has transgressing and changed over the centuries, but also threatening the culture we are how writers have engaged with the rooted in, forces a newly creative daemonic or diabolical as source response. “What’s intriguing is that of their own creativity, the Devil has a secret drawing on evil for their The Devil history all of his own, to inspiration. has a secret which the writers I deal “Honest readers will with are attuned. We history all of think of him as a figure admit that they enjoy the villains best – and of absolute evil and the his own the Devil is the most enemy of God and man. enduring villain of all. He crops up in But this account comes largely from literature throughout history – from post-Biblical theology which quite the Satan who afflicts Job in the literally demonised him,” he says. Bible right through to the mysterious “In the Bible Satan has shadowy stranger in the latest Philip Pullman links with the divine administration; novel,” he says. he functions as the dark side of “The great appeal of the Devil for God. According to Genesis, there the artist is his disregard for morality was no Devil in the Garden of Eden and convention. This both attracts plotting man’s downfall, but only a and repels us, challenging the very intelligent snake, a bringer of dividing line between good and bad. valuable if forbidden knowledge.” He is the rebel, stranger, tempter, The Devil as Muse gives modern outsider – someone who offers to readers a way of taking the Devil liberate us from the fetters of what seriously, without theological is acceptable.” dogma or superstition.