A Cambridge Department: Some preliminary notes towards an
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A Cambridge Department: some ethnographic notes 1 Alan Macfarlane (Summer 2009) For the first seven hundred of its eight hundred year history, the important collective entity in Cambridge was the College. In the later nineteenth century, science laboratories grew rapidly and provided an alternative magnet for students and staff. They have increased in strength and now Cambridge is in effect in three parts – the old centre with its Colleges and laboratories, mainly inhabited by arts and social sciences, a new set of buildings across the river where various other arts and social science departments and faculties have moved, and a ring of science laboratories and science parks round the edges of the city, especially near Madingley. During the last hundred years, the balance of attraction has not only moved towards laboratory science, but also towards Faculties, Departments and Centres outside the College. They now conduct much of the teaching, all of the examining and much of the research. Yet they have received little formal attention from analysts. There have been many accounts of life in Cambridge Colleges, from the serious to the satirical. As far as I know, no one has described in detail how the Departments and Faculties evolve and work. This is partly because many of these institutions have a pale and largely uninteresting bureaucratic existence, with little sense of communal identity or culture. I am told this is true of a number of the large arts and social science institutions, such as the Faculties of History or Economics. Some of the smaller departments, for example History and Philosophy of Science or Archaeology, do have both a strong history and a corporate personality. Just as certain science laboratories, most famously the Old Cavendish, have developed customs and culture, so these small departments attract commitment and loyalty and give their members a sense of belonging to some kind of intellectual community – perhaps not as strong as a College, and always in tension with the Colleges, yet an important arena for teaching and research. Another reason for the absence of descriptions of Departmental and Faculty organizations is that they are ach so different that, unlike a description of the Colleges, a description of one is not a description of them all. Physically, socially, intellectually and organizationally they are hugely varied, as they are in terms of size and depth of history.
Please note that this is an entirely personal account, written in the few months before I retired from the Department. Others would see the Department differently, and it has already changed very considerably since this account was written, and is indeed no longer a Department at all. 1
* So, in considering how Cambridge works it is helpful to attempt to do what I have tried to do for a couple of Colleges, that is to explain simply how they seem to work and what makes them attractive places to be. My account of one relatively small department is based on being associated with it since I came to Cambridge in 1971 and then, more fully, became a Lecturer in 1975, Reader in 1981 and Professor in 1991. I have been Head of Department on half a dozen occasions and done all the different kinds of jobs in the department at all levels. When I first came to know it in 1971, the Department was already quite old, for it had been in formal existence as part of a larger Faculty for sixty-seven years. I know little bits of the earlier history and culture from talking to and interviewing a number of older colleagues who were either students at the Department or teacher there. This takes back my direct oral historical knowledge to the 1930’s and gives me some kind of direct contact with about 80 years out of the 100 or so years of its existence. The exercise is a rather strange one since I am an anthropologist who is to a large extent a participant in what I describe, a major actor in the drama as well as trying to be an observer. Usually anthropologists are observers first, with some participation added to this. Here it is the other way round. This makes it complex to disentangle one’s observations so this is just a set of preliminary notes on some of the themes that occur to me now. I shall try to become an outsider for a moment and write about the Department as if I were an anthropologist writing fairly objectively about a distant place and group of strangers, rather than about a place where I have spent so much time and invested so much emotion and with whose inhabitants I have long, complex and deep relationships. The difficulties are, I hope, compensated for by the fact that as an insider for nearly forty years I have come to know and experience things which no visiting anthropologist spending a few months or even a year as an observer could possibly see. * In terms of Departments in Cambridge, the Department of Social Anthropology is at the small end of the institutions. In the last twenty years it has had roughly ten permanent university teaching staff, about one hundred undergraduate students and the same number of postgraduates consisting of those doing one year taught Masters courses and doctoral degrees. In terms of its longevity, if we date it from the time when it was part of an undivided Faculty (it only became a separate Department in the early 1970’s), it is roughly in the middle of the range, having been formally set up in 1904. One hundred years is neither particularly long nor short. Compared to mathematics or classics, anthropology is a new subject. Compared to some other social sciences, it is old – sociology, social psychology and politics, for example, are half its age. It may be worth wondering why, apart from its small size, the Department of Social Anthropology seems to have been more than the rather empty bureaucratic machine for organizing teaching and research which is all it really is set up to be.
One reason may be that a number of anthropologists are attracted to the discipline because of their interest in being members of a community and find that their fieldwork helps to give them this sense. It is characteristic of anthropologists to feel again the allure of gemeinschaft in the worlds where they do their fieldwork and then to have a feeling of loneliness, coldness and individualism when they return to their life in western academia. They search for, but cannot find, true community, but both at the level of the staff and those who have been to and returned from fieldwork, the Department can, along with Colleges, become an important imagined community which gives them some shelter and sense of identity in an atomistic world. Anthropologists often speak of their discipline as a calling, a ’vocation’ rather than a profession or a job. It is something which absorbs the heart as well as the mind and spreads outside the working hours. No doubt this is true of mathematics, music and other true vocations, as Lévi-Strauss noted, but it does mean that a group of anthropologists feel that they are members of a ‘tribe’. In fieldwork they have been through a rite of initiation, and in their tribal gatherings at important lectures or conferences there is a sense of being with other people who speak a special language and have a special calling. One manifestation of this is that the separations between the public life of the institution, and semi-private life, are blurred. Not always and not everywhere, but famously in Oxford in the era of Evans-Pritchard, or Manchester with Max Gluckman, or Cambridge with Jack Goody, the social side – the drinks in the Lamb and Flag or King’s Bar, the parties and the joint expeditions were and are important. The sense of fellowship which lies behind trust, collaboration and creative work in the University and most notably found in the Colleges, is also to be found in some Departments. The sense of working with people whom one respects, shares goals with, and feels a sense of identity against outsiders with, is quite marked. A short history; foundations, growth and the core Professorship One source from which the Department arose was Archaeology.2 The founding of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society in 1839 can be seen as one origin of this discipline and in 1851 the Disney Chair of Archaeology was set up. A Readership in Classical Archaeology was inaugurated in 1883. Alongside this was the development of a Museum of Ethnology and Archaeology, to which Baron von Hügel was appointed as Curator in 1883. An Anthropological Club was founded in 1896 and a Grace established a University Lectureship in Physical Anthropology on 8th June 1899. A University Lecturer in Ethnology was established by grace on 24th May 1900 but this was almost immediately
Much of the early history is taken from notes compiled by Colonel F.J.Hayter in 1939 and kept in the Faculty Archives in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, as well as other notes there (Box 53; MM/1/1/5) 3
suppressed on the setting up of a Readership in Ethnology for A.C.Haddon as in the Reporter of 8th June 1900. Alongside these formal activities there were, of course, many others, including the work of distinguished anthropologists in Cambridge from the later nineteenth century, in particular Sir James Frazer and W.H.Rivers, the two expeditions to the Torres Straits in 1888 and 1898 and other work associated with the Museum. On 27 October 1903, the Vice Chancellor and others wrote a memorial to the General Board on ‘The Study of all branches of Anthropology, Archaeology and Ethnology’ and in December of the same year a Syndicate was set up to consider the Memorial. The report of this syndicate early the next year can be seen as the foundational document for the institution of anthropology in Cambridge and is worth reproducing in full.3 After considering the memorial on 27 February 1904 the Syndicate recommended: (1) That a Board of Anthropological Studies be established. (2) That the studies under the direction of the Board shall comprise Prehistoric and Historic Anthropology and Ethnology, including Sociology and Comparative Religion, Physical Anthropology, and Psychological Anthropology. (3) That the Board shall be composed of the Disney Professor Archaeology, the University Lecturer in Ethnology, the University Lecturer in Physical Anthropology and the University Lecturer in Physiological and Experimental Psychology; and four other members of the Senate elected by the Senate on the nomination of the Council of the Senate, each of whom shall serve for a period of four years. (4) That the Chairman of the Board shall have the same powers as the Chairman of a Special Board of Studies, and the Board shall have the same powers as the Degree Committee of a Special Board. The Report was approved on 26th May 1904 and a Board of Anthropological Studies duly set up. In 1907 there was a Report of the Board in relation to ‘A Diploma of Anthropology’, which was started in 1908. Then in 1909 there was a report on a foundation of a University Readership in Ethnology, which was approved by Grace of 3rd June. The Reader was the founding father of the Department, A.C. Haddon, and when he retired in 1926 it was taken up by T.C.Hodson. Almost all the teaching was done by a single individual, and there were only a handful of students within a Tripos in Archaeology and Anthropology set up in 1919. For a long time there was no library, but in 1930 there was a benefaction to the University from the Rockefeller Foundation, including £250,000 towards the founding of the Haddon Library. The William Wyse Professorship, the Department’s first Chair, was set up in May 1932, partly with money bequeathed through Trinity College by a friend of Sir For Oxford’s history, starting a year later, see Peter Rivière (ed), History of Oxford Anthropology (Berg, 2007) 3
J.G.Frazer, William Wyse. In the early stages of a small department, the influence of its often lone Professor can be very significant. A history of the instituted Chair which heads it, in this case the William Wyse Chair, and of those who have held it is a key to much of the character and feeling of such a Department over the years. The succession of the William Wyse Chair was as follows: 1932 Hodson, Thomas Callan 1937 Hutton, John Henry 1950 Fortes, Meyer 1973 Goody, John Rankine 1984 Gellner, Ernest André (retired 1992) 1993 Strathern, Ann Marilyn 2008 Moore, Henrietta Under the first five Professors, the William Wyse Professor was automatically Head of Department for the tenure of the Chair. With Marilyn Strathern the requirement was changed so that the Wyse Professor was expected to be Head of Department for the first five years, and this could be renewed. Now the two roles are separated even further, with the Wyse Professor under some obligation to be Head of Department, but not necessarily straight away. When the Headship and Chair were united it was not an attractive option for another to take on a temporary Headship when the Chair was on leave. I undertook this on half a dozen occasions, the longest being when Marilyn Strathern postponed her arrival at Cambridge for a year because of obligations to her Department at Manchester. I was paid nothing extra and did not earn any extra leave entitlement. This has changed and there have been a succession of longer-term heads of department (usually for three years) who have worked with Marilyn Strathern and been rewarded for this financially and by extra leave – Stephen Hugh-Jones, Caroline Humphrey and now Leo Howe. This change has occurred alongside two other developments which have made the William Wyse Chair less pivotal. Under 1981, apart from Edmund Leach’s ad homimen Professorship, there was one instituted Professor and no Readers (apart from the neighbouring Smuts Reader). The Wyse Chair was a mountain peak above an array of fairly equal University Lecturers. Now there is another instituted Chair (the Rausing Chair in Collaborative Anthropology), an Ad Hominem Chair (myself) and three Readerships. This means that the Wyse Chair is just one among a number of Senior Posts. The authority structure has changed very considerably.
Who are the Department? The tenured staff who have been briefly mentioned in the account above could be described in far greater detail. They are honoured with portraits on the wall of the Departmental lecture room since they are still-living ancestors whose ideas and pupils are
alive. Much could be said of their interests, personalities and careers in a longer account. Because the staff are given strong conditions of employment, they are largely independent of control. Up to the time that I was appointed and for some years afterwards, a University Lecturer was immediately appointed to the retirement age of 67 with no probationary period. Later some bars were included, but the expectation that a person would be there ‘for life’. This may help to account for the fact that over my nearly 40 years in the Department only two Lecturers have left for jobs in other departments. Once in the Department people stay. Nor can the relatively easy hiring and firing, and the insecurities of ‘tenure track’, which plagues many American departments, I am told, undermine independence of thought or self-confidence. Though there are now ‘appraisals’ and certain initial probationary periods, it is still very difficult for a Head of Department or Professor to do anything to undermine a colleague’s position. The fact that people do not need references to go elsewhere, that they often have a strong independent position in a College, and that they foresee staying in Cambridge for their whole life within a web of friends and colleagues, means that there is a great deal of devolved power and responsibility and little effective hierarchy. All this applies to a central core of up to ten posts, but not to a number of untenured temporary appointments. All of these latter contributed enormously to the Department and usually held some kind of College post as well. Another ring which has greatly enriched the Department are the Junior, and occasionally Senior, Research Fellows at the Colleges. Some of them hardly came to the Department, others taught many students and gave lectures. [It would be worthwhile gathering all their names together and seeing how the number has increased so greatly]. When I first came it was very unusual for an anthropologist to get such a JRF against the massive competition of all the subjects in Cambridge. I have heard that Andrew Strathern (and Marilyn?) were really the only ones in the 1960’s and in the 1970’s there were only one or two, sometimes in special competitions as with Nicholas Thomas and Pacal Boyer at King’s College. But from the 1980’s and particularly in the twenty-first century the Department, given its size, has been amazingly successful in these competitions. Another ring round the Department are those who have taken their degrees in the Department, and have remained connected to it over long periods of twenty or more years, helping in various ways with teaching, running the music library, being editors of Cambridge Anthropology, attending seminars, and generally giving the Department another thread of continuity. Moving outside the Department itself, the Department has had long and complex relations with its two sister Departments in the Faculty, Archaeology and Biological Anthropology (known until the 1980’s as ‘Physical Anthropology’). The three Departments teach a joint first year – Part I, and share a number of resources. The three Departments had been undivided in one Faculty until the later 1960’s and I have heard that this led to a good deal of tension. When they separated, with separate examining boards, finances and space, the situation eased. Yet competition for appointments and
money for equipment and other issues continued to create tension for another twenty years. But as they grew further apart and demarcations became established, this has declined. They still share the Haddon Library, the Archaeology and Anthropology Museum and a Degree Committee and Faculty Board. And there are times of intellectual collaboration. But they are largely autonomous. When I first came to the Department there was also a complex political relation with the Social and Political Sciences group. They were an undivided entity and there was a good deal of shared teaching, not only in the first year, but throughout the courses in Social Anthropology and SPS (Social and Political Sciences). There was a good deal of talk of a merger between Archeology and Anthropology, or at least Social Anthropology, and SPS into a Faculty of Social Sciences. After the anthropologist John Barnes was succeeded by Anthony Giddens as Chairman of SPS, in the early 1980’s, the two teaching courses were severed and the relations became less close, though there is still some co-teaching. Alongside these are people primarily attached to other parts of the Faculty, or to neighbouring departments and institutions with overlapping institutions who put a great deal into the life of the Department. There are those who have been based in the Museum, in the early days Marilyn Strathern, Malcolm McCleod, Deborah Swallow and Paul Sant Cassia, and more recently Anita Herle and Ami Salmond. There have been a number of courses, both at the undergraduate and taught M.Phil. level in which the main teaching has been done by the Museum. There are those who work in the Haddon Library, Faculty Office, Workshop and elsewhere. Others in some of the University service and research institutions, in particular when it existed the Audio Visual Aids Unit (Martin Gienke and David Hurworth) and the Computing Service and now CRASSH (Centre for Research in Arts Social Sciences and Humanities) all play important parts in making the work of the Department more effective. There are often anthropologists in the area studies centres or their equivalents– African, South Asian, Scott Polar, Oriental Studies and others. In particular, MIASU (the Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies Unit) has a very strong overlap with the Department. Built up principally through the energy of Caroline Humphrey, it has currently half a dozen anthropologists in the form of visitors and attached staff whose interests overlap with the Department. Alongside all of these networks is the assistant staff within the Faculty (Administrators, Secretaries, Accountants) and in the Department. Without them, the whole enterprise would collapse. Here I have seen a very great increase. While the number of graduate students has perhaps doubled during my time, while the undergraduate numbers have not increased much, and while the research budgets being administered by the Department have increased dramatically, the assistant staff has increased by a factor of about four. When I first came there was a Department Secretary, and quite soon a half-time assistant and then a second. The fact that the core secretaries
have usually stayed for a very long time is another sign, and contributor, to the stability of the Department. Now one of the half-time assistant posts has been made a full-time graduate secretary, and a second half-time communications secretary has been added. There was also a post of technical assistant set up in the 1970s. This became an increasingly important post, combining the jobs of dealing with computing, audio-visual aids, accountancy and general maintenance in the department. Much of the efficiency and coherence of the Department was given by the two holders of this post who spanned the 1980’s up to about 2006 – both outstanding individuals with a highly skilled background. On the retirement of the second of these meant that the post has been split effectively into two full-time posts (an accountant, a nearly full time computer officer, maintenance partly hived off and a part-time research grants administrator) indicates how the job has grown with the development of computing, filming and large research grants. The ‘office’ is now the hub of the Department in a new way. Finally, there are more temporary members. Because Cambridge is an exciting and lovely place to visit, there are constant visitors from other Universities in Britain and abroad who add fresh thoughts and cross-fertilization. Many distinguished visitors from India, China, Japan, America and elsewhere have been attached to the Department from time to time. The fact that there are often enjoyable College attachments for such visitors, particularly at Clare Hall, has meant that we have had the good fortune to be stimulated by many outsiders, who have added to the guest lecturers for the honorary lectures set up in memory of Frazer and Rivers. * Of course, at the heart of the Department are the undergraduate students and, especially, the graduates who have a primary focus on the Department. In relation to the graduates, for the time being all I can say is that they have been particularly central to the Department. They have come from all over the world and having been few in numbers until about 1970, with perhaps two or three a year coming to the Department in the two decades after the Second World War, the numbers exploded from the late 1960’s so that over my time the number coming to do a Ph.D. each year has fluctuated at between ten and twenty each year. This means that characteristically each tenured member of staff has one or two new students starting on a Ph.D. each year, and with an average four year cycle for a degree, would probably have between six and ten at any one time, working on very diverse subjects. The problems of supervising these students are considerable. To start with, because there are only a little over a dozen supervisors who are expected to cover all aspects of social anthropology in all parts of the world, one can find oneself supervising students on continents or topics which one hardly knows. For example, when I supervised two students on South America, or on Sarawak or Malaysia, which I have never visited, or on face whitening in Japan, or industrial management systems in France, I was largely dependent on the initiative and skills of the student to make the supervision profitable.
A second difficulty which has increased over time has been the background of the students. In the period until the mid 1980’s, almost all the students were from the United Kingdom, or at least from Europe, so that their cultural knowledge and background of European life, the traditions of scholarship, the meaning of a University and a degree were roughly in line with what they encountered in Cambridge. Increasingly in the last twenty years the students have come from entirely different civilizations, in particular from Japan, China and other parts of the Far East. They have to learn simultaneously how to operate in western, European, British, Cambridge and Anthropological culture – and to do a doctoral degree. It is hard for the supervisor, and much harder for the student. The presence of several dozen students either preparing to go to their fieldwork, or ‘writing up’ is one of the reasons why the Department, where they meet other student in similar predicaments and where, because more than in most departments in Cambridge, there is a strong and supportive set of seminars and courses for them, and, almost uniquely, desk space for a while those ‘writing up’, is both particularly important and has an energy and a life which would be missing if they were not around. They often run the departmental journal Cambridge Anthropology, the Anthropology Society which periodically springs into life, and act as a bridge to the undergraduates. In relation to the undergraduates, a great deal could be written about the changes in their backgrounds, numbers, future careers etc. Again at the gross level, their numbers suddenly rocketed in the second half of the 1960’s. Before then, there were often only a handful in each year and the atmosphere of that period after the war and the 1950’s is well evoked by the interviews of Jack Goody, Jean La Fontaine, Jonathan Benthall, James Woodburn and Nur Yalman. Nowadays, the Department takes about two fifths of the 60-70 first year Archaeology and Anthropology on into the Part II as well as a number of students who have moved from the part I of the Social and Political Sciences Tripos, thus giving about 30-40 undergraduates each year. One of the main differences from the postgraduates is that they are mainly from the United Kingdom. It has also been a marked characteristic that while the postgraduates are roughly equally men and women, almost three quarters of the undergraduates usually are female. Why this is, I do not know, but it is also partly reflected in the teaching staff. If we take into account all the major teachers, both those with tenured posts (about half women) and those in College and ancillary posts, probably two thirds of the senior anthropologists teaching them are women. Undergraduate teaching The contents and structure of the teaching will be worth explaining elsewhere in a preliminary way to show how a Tripos works. The ways in which the emphasis and theoretical content has changed over the years, as a result of changing national and international conditions and paradigm shifts at a more general level, is partially addressed in later sections. Despite its boundaries, a subject like anthropology, in particular, is very much affected by what happens in the wider world which it tries to understand and work
in. Changing students; origins and expectations One is the destination of students – at first students probably thought either of academic jobs or of doing something ‘in the Third World’ – development etc. Later, as anthropology and multi-culturalism changed, the destinations changed. Nowadays, students can get jobs in almost any sphere – Shell, BT, big business all feel they need an ‘anthropologist’ who understands ‘culture’. Social services, governments and even the American army are discovering how useful some ‘cultural understanding’ might be. So anthropology has become not something associated with ‘over there’, ‘primitive’, ‘archaic’ etc, but a smart, ‘useful’, subject for training people in ‘transferable skills’ – language, cultural competence, empathy. It is useful in the media, arts, government and teaching. This is a big change. How a Department works; the growth of bureaucracy. Some idea of the way in which a Department actually works is well shown by the various committees and groups which exist and have to operate collectively through the years. There are Faculty Committees – the Faculty Board, Degree, Museum, Library, Appointments, Part I and SPS. There are Departmental Committees alongside the Teaching and General Purposes Committee (which meets most weeks in term); the PhD, MPhil, Department Awards, Wyse Field Grants, Website, IT committees. There are ten committees to administer funds after named persons, including Fortes, Richards, Ling Roth, Williamson and others. There are the Frazer and Rivers lecture committees. There are also a number of outreach responsibilities and membership of outside bodies such as the South Asian Studies, Development Studies and Mongolian and Inner Asian Studies Unit. So on average during term I guess I have two or three Department related committees a week to attend. Another index is the various Departmental responsibilities which people take on. [INSERT THE RESPONSIBILITIES PAGE LATER] I have in my career done almost all of these jobs a number of times. It is worth noting that almost all the administration is overseen by academics, who characteristically spend several hours a week keeping the system going – assessing students, attending committees etc. through term. Although it is often a strain, the fact that the work is done in this way rather than by professional administrators has two advantages. Academics want to get on with other things, and therefore try to keep business as efficient and minimal as possible. They do not want to set up paperwork empires. Secondly they have to learn the system properly by personally doing the different jobs and this gives them the knowledge and the incentive to take on the responsibilities and to run the operation in the way in which they think best.
In a small Department a great deal relies on personal relations. This is largely an oral culture. When I first came to the Department, minutes or agendas of most meetings were either non-existent or very minimal, though they have grown in length and complexity. Most decisions are face to face and a great deal relies on trust, memory, precedent. It has the feeling of a village where people sit down and sort things out and then move on.
Where is the Department? When the Department was part of one undivided Faculty it shared rooms on the Downing site between the current Library and Museum. Edmund Leach, for example, had a room, which is now the entrance room to the Library, while Reo Fortune lived in the room below. Then, in the 1960’s, as the Department became separated, it moved across the road to a temporary location off Downing Street which is where the Department of Biological Anthropology now functions. This is where it was as I arrived. But it had already been decided to move it to its present location in the Old Cavendish Building in Free School Lane and Jack Goody oversaw this move in the later 1970’s. The first part to become free was the second floor which is where I moved in January 1975. This had been vacated two years earlier by the Department of Radio Astronomy. In my and adjoining rooms down the corridor and up into the attic of SPS were the group which, under Antony Hewish and Martin Ryle, discovered pulsars and the year before I moved in they won the Nobel Prize for this discovery. On this floor there were six rooms. One of them was for some years the place where a few writing-up students worked, but is now a seminar room. At the end was a kitchen and for many years the Common Room, until that was moved at the end of the twentieth century to the ground floor. The rest are staff offices The ground and first floors, as well as a large basement, belonged to Colloid Science. This only became vacant in the later 1970’s and an enormous amount of work had to be done to clean out various poisonous substances, including mercury – a recurring presence up into the 1980’s. The basement, with a sheep bath out of which water pouring in from Free School Lane was periodically pumped out again, was so foul that the University wanted to seal it up and forget it. But Jack Goody insisted it be kept. It is indeed historic, since it seems almost certain that this was where Rutherford and his team were working up to the last few months in their finally successful attempts to split the atom. This basement became a space for various research projects, the M.Phil. students and their library, the technician and now for a number of desks for ‘writing up students’. The ground floor was originally staff offices and a small seminar room. The seminar room was extended, the coffee room moved downstairs, and the departmental administration was moved down to this level under Caroline Humphrey. It also had some rooms for an ethno-musicology collection, the journal Cambridge Anthropology, and photocopying. It is currently changing again. The first floor was for long where the secretaries worked, originally at the end next to
the William Wyse Professor’s large office, later moving down the corridor. There was also a darkroom in the days when fieldworkers might still develop their own black and white negatives, though this was seldom used and disappeared. The floor is now teaching offices for staff and a room for visitors. The Department has always been very cramped for space. It can manage by shoehorning people into rooms, allowing visitors to use rooms when people are away, multi-occupancy etc. It has had outposts for visitors and graduate students in neighbouring buildings, particularly in parts of the Computer laboratory. It also holds its larger lectures in University lecture rooms. When I first arrived and for some years, almost all lectures were held in the North and South Lecture rooms on the Downing Site, next to the Museum. The Graduate (Friday) seminars, (which had once been held in Meyer Fortes’ rooms in King’s when only a handful of people were coming) had moved by 1971 to the seminar room in the Research Centre in that College. This was convenient for the King’s Bar, and built up the tradition of moving there after the seminar. But the room itself was long and rather over-lit as I remember. In the later 1970’s, after the seminar room was expanded by knocking down a wall, the seminar was moved into the Department. In my early days there was talk of moving the Department from its present building to a green-field site on West Road, to which Classical Archaeology, English, Law and other faculties have moved. There would, no doubt, have been more space, but people would have been strung along corridors and the feeling of community probably diminished. The fact that everyone is crowded together, with graduate students, staff and assistant staff constantly meeting, helps form some sense of identity. The closeness to support services like the Audio Visual Aids Unit and the Computing Laboratory, and being wedged between two units with overlapping interests, History and Philosophy of Science and Social and Political Sciences, was all felt appropriate. And it would have meant being distant from the Museum, the Haddon Library and perhaps the two sister departments. So the move was not pursued. The rituals, ceremonies and social life of a Department. At the start of the year there is a drinks reception for all graduates, visitors and staff. For some years this was held in the Pythagoras Building in St. John’s where Jack Goody was a Fellow. Later it was in the South Lecture Room, and then moved across the hallway to be held in the amazing ambience of the Museum. In the same week there is a small party to welcome the new M.Phil. students and to assign them supervisors. At the end of the year there was for long a Faculty garden party though this has become more sporadic recently and has been taken over by parties run Departmentally, for example by the Anthropology Society. There are also sometimes parties at the end of term for those attending the graduate seminars. At the level of the teachers, there are usually two or three occasions each year when colleagues will meet to dine and drink together – a distinguished guest lecture, the party for a leaving colleague, to meet an applicant for a departmental post. These are not as
ornate as College feasts, but in the speeches and warmth they resemble the periodic meetings of the tribe which suggests that a small group, usually of fewer than twenty people, see themselves as more than co-teachers. There was more of this kind of Departmental party-giving in the time of Jack Goody, but subsequent Professors and Heads of Department, with smaller houses and gardens and more pressure of work, have found it difficult to keep this up. A tradition of meeting once a term for a talk by an outsider or insider over wine to just the core members of the Department, which I remember from Jack Goody’s time, has continued however, as has a drinks party with the external and internal examiner’s at the end of the examining – replacing what used to be a sit-down lunch. The culture and style of a Department. Clothing Anthropologists, as described in Bernard Cohn’s article on ‘An Anthropologist Among the Historians’, tend to dress more casually than many other academics. This may be because in the hot climates and remote places in which traditionally tended to work they often dressed in informal cool clothes and grew to like it. It may be that a historian or philosopher is less likely to question the dress codes of those around them than an anthropologist who knows about the variability of culture. I became particularly aware of this when I went to lunch in the Randolph Hotel in Oxford with Evans-Pritchard and Godfrey Lienhardt in the mid 1960’s. The staff would not let us into the dining room unless were wore a tie, to which E-P expostulated in a variant of the famous defence ‘Does the man not realize that we are the people whom the tourists come to see – and then visit this hotel?’ Of course, the attitudes varied. I remember an incident at SOAS when a friend in anthropology was reprimanded by his Head of Department, a very formal dresser when in England though casual when abroad, for not wearing a tie to the SOAS restaurant. There has been a great change over the last forty years. Up to the end of the 1960’s the lectures were often given wearing a gown and I wore a gown to my Part I lectures even in 1975. But soon after I gave this up – only occasionally wearing it to give the students a memory of the old days. Gowns were also annually worn to the meeting of the Faculty where elections to the Faculty Board and reports were made. This custom more or less clings on. We also wear gowns when starting an examination – now largely to indicate to both the staff and students that we are not just rather elderly students wandering around. Cohn notes that anthropologists often wear an object from their tribe or people to indicate their exotic connections. I have only noticed this on formal occasions – an important presentation at a seminar or conference. Or at a party they might wear an ethnic skirt or jacket. But the only common feature I have observed is the Hungarian postman’s bag that was sported by two or three members of our Department. Capacious and sturdy, they carried a small library around with them.
Conversation Another thing that Cohn notices is the conversational strategy employed by historians and anthropologists when they encounter their colleagues. A historian will try to place his colleague in country, time and approach – a social historian of eighteenth century France, for example. If there is a potential overlap with the other, then they mutually try to find out something further – special sources the other is using and their pedigree – oh, you were a pupil of X at Y University etc. In anthropology, the obvious opening gambit is area - ‘So you work on India, like me – which part?’ – and then sub-theme. ‘Ah, ritual in Rajasthan’ or whatever. Again the pedigree and network are ascertained – who was your teacher, who are your friends and influences. As with all such conversations, there is a tension. There is a mixed feeling of pleasure and apprehension at discovering overlap of attention. It is good to have people to talk to and compare notes, but always a danger of trampling the same ground and having to share the spoils or argue about the results. Another feature of anthropological conversation is that because anthropologists were such a small group, and often led a rather dramatic professional life, there was a lot of gossip. This drew the attention of anthropologists to the subject, as with Gluckman’s well-known articles on gossip. I have spent more time gossiping about anthropologists than historians, partly no doubt because I have been a professional anthropologist for longer, but also because the inter-relations of the network are stronger. There is something of an extended family about it. Many are children or grandchildren of the same ‘founding fathers’, often Malinowski or Radcliffe-Brown. So ‘cousins’ and ‘second cousins’ tend to gossip happily. Likewise, it has been noticed that there are a great number of in-jokes, jargon, specialist cross-references. Those who marry an anthropologist, for example Rosemary Firth, noted that when they join the group they at first feel total outsiders, on the edge of a strange tribe. The group talks about odd things – witchcraft, incest and rites of passage. The conversation is sprinkled with analogies to the doing of remote groups with strange habits. One function of such talk is to preserve the boundaries. The learning of the jargon and the proper adjectives and their meaning – Durkheimian, Gesellschaft, parallel cousin, prescriptive systems, is part of the initiation. It can be quite confusing, especially for students. Which is why I put on my website a list of special terms and ‘jargon’ of the anthropological tribe. No doubt a similar set of technical jargon, which facilitates rapid communication, occurs in many sciences. But it is not nearly as strong in subjects like English or History. It is perhaps closer to a subject like law or some of the social sciences, where terms of art, concise words with special meanings, have been established.
This can have a serious effect on the ways in which anthropologists communicate in their writing. The journalist Robert Fisk complained recently about the jargon-littered books which spoilt anthropology for him. Yet of course, it is possible to write elegantly without jargon, as Evans-Pritchard and Clifford Geertz, amongst others, show. The core of anthropology is the task of the translation of cultures. It is impossible because semantic domains do not match each other. Thus the meaning of the word which we might translate as ‘marriage’ is totally different in England, China, India or many tribal groups. Or again, the word for ‘truth’ may be split into several words in an African society – referential, factual and so on. So a meta-vocabulary has been built up by anthropologists to try to create a culture-free way of comparison. Furthermore there are many features of culture which are not to be found everywhere in their full sense – for example totemism, taboo, shamanism, and exogamy. The words are imported into European languages to fill holes in our conceptual world. When this is done, they often become stripped of much of their real meaning and are used in a popular way, while for anthropologists they have a very specific set of meanings. So some jargon is necessary and there is a great delight when, as with any language, one becomes a fluent speaker. It took me perhaps ten years to ‘speak anthropologise’ like a native, but it is never stable as new words and concepts keep being introduced and one can quickly become out of date – not sensitive to the ‘in’ words. How decisions are made; micro-politics and meetings I have attended thousands of meetings in Cambridge. Some are informal meetings with two or three colleagues to discuss teaching strategy or admission to a course, up to formal meetings of Faculties, Schools and my College. It took me a long time to understand a little of how they worked and for many year I used to worry inordinately about them – reading through past minutes and current agendas and supplementary papers in order to try to fathom out what was going on. Gradually, however, I got the hang of them and by the time I became Chair of the Faculty Board in 1983, I roughly understood the rough shape of the dynamics. Both there and as Head of the Department on several occasions, the art was to try to foresee that there are two are three subjects which are likely to be divisive and to explode into fierce debate. If one can foresee these, it is worth talking to those with strong views before the meeting and see if a compromise can be worked out. In most matters, the business, which is often quite routine and repetitive, is easily despatched. I found that if, as Chairman, I seemed self-confident, in control and quite decisive and fair-minded, then my colleagues would appreciate the rapid transaction of business. As one moved up the levels of meetings, of course, the hierarchy became more pronounced. The presence of a professional administrator at one’s side often helped to
bolster authority, but always there was a fairly democratic spirit. The meetings I have attended have always largely been based on consensus and during my time in the Faculty there have been very few votes. Nearly always, if it were a complex issue, the Chair would encourage discussion, search for a consensus or majority, state the opinion and, if accepted, move on. The terms of address become more formal as one moves upwards – ‘Professor X’ or ‘Dr Y’, ‘Chair’ etc at Faulty level and above, Christian names at the Departmental level and below. A great deal of courtesy is usually shown in waiting to contribute and timing is all. Both the ability to move business along at neither too leisurely, but also not too hurried a pace, and the ability to time one’s question or comment at the right moment counts for a great deal and are arts which some never master. Age and experience often helps, since much is based on precedent and previous experience, but people are prepared to listen to good argument by junior colleagues. The economics of a Department Research Bodies Another set of people with whom a Department has set up relations is Research Boards and other grant giving bodies. This is the source of finances for graduate students and research projects and many academics have spent months of their lives working on administration in relation to such bodies as the S.S.R.C. (later E.S.R.C), the A.H.R.B. and various foundations. The funding regimes are constantly changing and my main experience of them was during the 1970s and 1980s when I was simultaneously on several ESRC boards and in receipt of major grants from that body. At its height, the ESRC was very supportive of anthropology, giving up to 55 post-graduate awards to the discipline and funding much research. But the costs of this for me were long meetings, each of which produced almost half a filing drawer of papers. One meeting would produce as much paper as twenty years of the Faculty Board. The whole process was fairly comprehensible and simple. This was the pre-computer age and everything was done on paper. When applying for grants, one wrote a proposal, worked out the finances on paper, and sent it through a very small research grants support office for official approval. If it was large, it had to be approved by the Faculty Board. Nowadays it has all been computerized. The sums of money are often much larger, but professional in-house administrators are needed to submit and administer them. Once one has mastered the skills of applying, I am told, it is not difficult to obtain a grant. But it requires some months of learning the art. Because I have had the good fortune to meet several individuals since 1990 (especially Gerry Martin and George Appell) who have directly supported my projects, I have been
able to avoid the enormous time sink of grant hunting and reporting which seems both to stimulate and enervate my colleagues. In fact, in anthropology until the later 1980’s, apart from money for fieldwork research trips, there was not much interest in big collaborative research grants. This is one of the respects in which Marilyn Strathern’s arrival in the 1990’s seems to have changed the situation. Whether this has had anything to do with the fact that the Research Assessment Exercise and other University measures increasingly lay an emphasis on the Department’s ability to attract large research grants, or whether it was primarily because there were an increasing number of extremely good post-doctoral students in the Department who could form teams of researchers it is difficult to say. But, for whatever reason, big research grants have blossomed. The Department has also had success in relation to another potential source of income – big external donors. Our neighbouring Departments have had two large coups in which the archaeologists set up the McDonald Institute and the Pitt-Rivers Chair, and Biological Anthropology the Leverhulme Centre for Evolutionary Biology. Our equivalent was Caroline Humphreys’ success in attracting substantial funding both for MIASU and to endow a Rausing Chair in Anthropology. Since making grand appeals and receiving outside donations is now such a central way in which the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and their constituent Colleges, seem to construct their identity and measure their success, it seems likely that in the future, large donations from rich outsiders will be given higher priority. Personally I have been ambivalent about extra funding. Social anthropology is ultimately a rather individualistic business with relatively modest expenses. A lone researcher with money for travel and local expenses is often the best model and this is not heavy laboratory science. Yet I have also enjoyed working in small interdisciplinary teams and well before this was common, from 1975 onwards for some fifteen years, I worked in such teams of three or four on projects which lay on the boundaries of anthropology, history, computing and visual media. I deliberately avoided institutionalizing these into permanent centres once the project was finished and enjoyed doing things as simply and quickly as possible. But small extra amounts of funding can make a great difference and obviously it is the case that because many Colleges have annual funds for computers, conferences etc, has been enormously helpful to many in Cambridge, as has the generosity of the University in terms of travel funds. Furthermore, the reputation of Cambridge attracts funds and though it can take effort, the networks and trust have made it a good place in which to pursue research.
Beneath the surface of a Department; the social drama of examinations4
Anthropologists have long discussed how difficult it is to get below the surface of a society – to see into the eddying currents which lie beneath the ripples. They have devised a number of techniques to reveal the normally hidden, including the ‘social drama’ approach. This uses a sudden eruption to probe deeper; a fight, a quarrel and other moments of stress and the discussion which often accompanies or follows them. Where are the revealing social dramas that take one to the depths of the social structure at Cambridge? In terms of the Colleges, it is in the election to the Headship of a House – as C.P.Snow showed in his novel The Masters. In relation to Departments, the election to an important Chair can be revealing. But, as explained elsewhere, until recently the members of the Department of Social Anthropology in Cambridge were only slightly, and informally, involved in the election. So this is not equivalent. Parties and social events sometimes give clues, as do the discussions (and expressions) in departmental seminars, in the weekly administrative department meetings, in gossip with one’s friends. They can be seen in the annual process of working out the following year’s teaching syllabus– lecture list planning meetings. In the past, certainly, at these meetings there was obvious jockeying for power, quarrels over territory, hurt feelings of exclusion, the exercise of patronage. Yet all of these produce only hints and tantalizing clues. Having thought more about the examining process, I have begun to realize that perhaps this central and protracted annual cycle provides a repeated ‘social drama’ where some of the deeper alignments, tensions and battles momentarily come to the surface. None of the other meetings is as dramatic and extended as the two days (or half-days) spent on setting and then classing the exams, along with the many smaller meetings that go on around this. The amount of emotion here is far higher than in any other event in the calendar. If there is a Cambridge cockfight to be analysed, it is the metaphorical bloodletting of the examining process – the blood is partly that of colleagues wounded in the minor intellectual battles. Other ‘blood’ is that of students who, having been treated with equality are suddenly chopped into separate classes. Very quickly after the meeting, the finals students are ejected from a place which they have probably come to love and feel part of, with a label (“II:1” “Third”) stuck around their necks for the rest of their lives. No wonder I always feel a mixture of a sense of relief and guilt after the final meeting. I feel as if I have been involved in an exciting chase. But when it is over, I am faced with the carcases of the pheasants or hares I have slain lined up on a bench in front of me.
This is just a small part of a much longer account of the examination process as I observed it, which is also available on ‘Dspace’ at Cambridge University. 18
* Perhaps I can start with my memories of the first ten years (1974-1983) with Jack Goody. The system was one which had survived from an earlier era when there were few undergraduates and fewer staff and everything could be done quite informally and more or less orally (and at the last minute). Looking back from more bureaucratic times, the meetings were rather extraordinary. When I first attended the exam-setting meetings the procedure was that paper setters would come with a single copy of a question paper, often hand-written, which they would proceed to read out aloud to the others. As a person spoke, one had to try to remember all the other questions, to reconstruct the punctuation, to pay attention to coverage, overlap, phrasing, all in the passing words. It was difficult to pick out any but the most obvious errors. Possibly with half a dozen students a year and a relatively small teaching staff and a limited set of readings, this worked. But it became less satisfactory over time. A few years later, perhaps in the early 1980’s, it became required to have duplicates made of a typed draft of the paper. This was then read aloud and people would express dissent, amazement, make humorous comments, or whatever as each question was read aloud. The exam-setting meeting was often the one time when your knowledge of anthropology was brought out publicly in the sight of your colleagues. Since I was really still just converting from being an historian, I found it very intimidating. For example, I might be setting questions for a paper on kinship in the presence of the long experienced world experts on the subject, Jack Goody, Edmund Leach, Esther Goody and Ray Abrahams, all of whom knew far more than I did on the anthropology of kinship and marriage. At first sight it seemed helpful that one could ask one’s colleagues to supply two or three questions related to a course of lectures they were giving, and these could be woven into a paper. But there were traps here. For example, Edmund Leach would send you a question which you did not really understand and were pretty sure that the students would not either. Perhaps he had mis-typed it (as once delightfully happened when ‘hunter gatherers’ was typed as ‘hunter caterers’ by one of Ernest Gellner’s typists from his not too easy hand-writing). Gingerly I might try to adjust my colleague’s questions – but this might lead to an eruption and fierce interrogation on what I knew about prescriptive alliance systems among the Kachin. The questions I set myself, earnest and careful, could be dismissed as trivial, banal, ethnocentric and muddled and completely re-written in a way which took them away from what I thought I was getting at. In the spotlight of the meeting I would try to think of improvements, but the more I talked, the more it appeared I revealed my ignorance. Later I learnt the strategy, which I have tried to spread to all such meetings, that if after two or three minutes, a better formulation has not been agreed (drafting questions by committee is a very inefficient method), the paper setter would take away the question and work on it in peace after the meeting.
What was obvious at the time, and now strikes me as interesting, is that underneath many of these discussions about wording lay a world of theoretical and methodological debate: structural-functionalism versus structuralism, methodological individualism versus methodological holism, Marxism versus Hegelianism, the pupils of Malinowski against those of Radcliffe-Brown, and more recently modernism versus post-modernism, or German versus French epistemology. And then there were the confrontations of Africa versus Asia, the young Turks against the Old Warhorses, and, occasionally the feminists against the male chauvinists, or the class system of England in its various disguises. So the meeting would become a cockfight in the Geertzian sense – with many issues piled layer upon layer onto the apparently innocent and simple changing of one letter or one word in one question. I began to realize that an empire could fall or a philosophy triumph depending on the difference between State and state, Nation or nation, God or god. Yet the meetings were not entirely grim affairs. Often a humorous alternative exam paper (in the style of 1066 and All That) would be devised during the meeting – Ray Abrahams was particularly good at this. ‘If the Nuer think that twins are birds, do they eat them?’ ‘Consider the twenty-five uses of a Cassowary in New Guinea culture’, ‘Analyze and dissect the physical anthropology of the soul’, ‘What has anthropology learnt from the social organization of earwigs’ or whatever. It would be fun if one or more examples of such humour (much wittier than the examples above) still exist. In these bureaucratic Changes in a Department I have been told that all the teaching anthropologists in Britain could be photographed on the steps of the RAI until the middle of the twentieth century. Now those studying just one sub-discipline or part of the world would have difficulty fitting on a set of steps, except perhaps those of the British Museum. When I was on the Social Science Research Council Board in the late 1970’s I knew, or thought I knew, almost everyone in the main teaching departments in Britain. I recognized almost all the authors in the leading journals. It may partly be age, but now I seem only to know a small proportion of these two sets – perhaps less than a quarter. We can see this in microcosm in the Department at Cambridge. Anecdotally, Susan Drucker Brown tells me that when she started her doctoral research in 1961 she remembers only five tenured staff – Meyer Fortes, Edmund Leach, G.I.Jones, Reo Fortune and Jack Goody. There are now more than twice that number. There were four PhD. students returned from the field – now there would characteristically be at least twenty to thirty writing up. And she was the only pre-fieldwork PhD student – now there would be between ten and twenty. In her biography of Meyer Fortes she describes the Departmental seminar which was the occasion when postgraduates and staff would meet, as follows:
‘The seminar took place after dinner in Meyer’s “rooms” at Kings. Two large upholstered chairs with pillowed backs and ample arms stood facing one another on either side of the gas fire. Meyer occupied one and the speaker sat in the other. Staff arranged themselves on the sofa or in chairs facing the fire, and we research students fitted in where we could. Meyer would ask one of us to serve wine in a sociable interval between the paper and the discussion… The departmental atmosphere certainly had a family quality to it. Meyer, the patriarch, presided.’ 5 In the film interviews of those who were present in the 1950’s and a little later, we hear of much greater social mixing, with the gaps between undergraduates and postgraduates reduced and students and staff going off to pubs and tea shops together. I still sensed this at Oxford in the early 1960’s, though there were only postgraduates at the Institute in those days which made the situation somewhat different. The huge expansion of the Universities in the 1970s has made such social mingling impossible. With sixty or more first-year Archaeology and Anthropology students and thirty or more in each of the subsequent years, there are at any time over a hundred undergraduates doing anthropology. So it has become impossible to get to know more than a few of them. Likewise if a supervisor had one or two graduate students at the most, it was possible to become personal friends. But if one has a dozen or so, including a couple of M.Phil. students then this is much more difficult. The environment within which Departments work was also changing rapidly with the new accountancy culture of the Research Assessment Exercises, with a rapidly increasing flow of questions and instructions from the central administration (often under pressure from the government) and from other pressures. From the middle 1980’s it became important to leave ‘paper trails’ so that the Department not only taught and examined efficiently, but also was seen to be doing so. The changes affected many aspects of life in the Department. They illustrate themes central to the work of Jack Goody on the contrasts between oral and literate cultures, and to Marilyn Strathern in her work on accountancy culture. Here I will just give a few impressionistic examples of a few of the changes. Some effects: department meetings and lecture planning and outlines One example of the changes is in the amount of paper that surrounds Departmental business. As Jack Goody reminds us, before he became Head of Department there were no real Department Meetings. I was told that Meyer used to invite his colleagues to lunch occasionally and discuss issues with them. It was extremely informal, with no written agendas, minutes, papers. Jack Goody inaugurated formal Departmental meetings, held over a sandwich on Thursdays. These were still fairly informal, with no pre-circulated agendas or written minutes. I cannot recall when the change from orality to literacy Susan Drucker-Brown, ‘Notes toward a biography of Meyer Fortes’, American Ethnologist 16(2) 1989, 377-8 5
occurred, but suspect it was in the late 1980’s. At first the minutes were taken by the Academic Secretary and were often very short summaries. Over time the agendas have become fuller, accompanying papers have been sent round or been circulated at meetings, and the minutes, now taken by the Department administrative officer, are fairly full records of the meetings. Along with the increasing keeping of papers of smaller meetings, for example core groups which meet to discuss the teaching of various parts of the syllabus, this provides grist for the visitation mills. One of the important functions of the Department was to plan and give lectures. When I first arrived the lecture list was just moving from simplicity to complexity. In the 1960’s there had only been four or five lecturers, each giving thirty or so lectures and a few seminars – a total of some 150 lectures to organize. Many of these were repeated from year to year. So I remember that Jack Goody used to come to the meeting with a copy of the previous year’s lecture list with some amendments – someone was away and needed to be replaced, a new option was on offer, an obvious gap should be filled. The meeting might last for an hour and that was the last we heard of it. The Wyse Professor was in effect responsible for all the papers and for their content and teaching. As the Department grew bigger there was the inevitable division of labour and formalization of responsibilities. A system of making two individuals responsible for the planning of the lectures for each paper and an over-all responsibility for each year was instituted towards the end of Jack’s tenure. During the Lent term the paper co-ordinators would work out a draft set of lectures, approaching individuals and thinking about gaps and overlaps. These would be presented to a preliminary meeting and obvious clashes, absences and other difficulties highlighted. Further negotiations would take place through to the middle of the summer term when another meeting would look at the lectures again. And there might be a third meeting to confirm the almost final list. It would take the whole Department several meetings, and the Academic Secretary and Administrative Secretary a week or more, to finalize the lecture list. And it was a far larger and complex lecture list. There were now roughly ten full-time and a number of ancillary lecturers, perhaps adding up to twelve people giving an average of 40 lecture-equivalents – an average load for students going through the course moving up from 150 to roughly 500 lecture equivalents, even though constant attempts were made to keep the load down to a reasonable level. The additional number was partly also caused by the increased load of teaching for the newly introduced Master’s courses, and by greater attention to the doctoral students who now had much fuller preparation before fieldwork and more support after they returned. As for the presentation of the lecture courses themselves, a further example of the move from oral to written occurred precisely with the arrival of Marilyn Strathern. Before she came students were able to see the broad contours of a particular paper in the Department and Faculty handbooks, but there was little else. We used to give out a reading list for the course of lectures at the first lecture, and this meant that it could be adjusted easily up to the last minute. Presumably basing herself on the experience in
Manchester, Marilyn introduced an efficient system of paperwork which would give the syllabus, all the lectures for a course, and the reading lists. These were available before the lectures started and are now on the Department website. It meant more forward planning and paperwork but gives a sense of purpose and planning to the taught causes.