Posted in Master's blog

It was a week-end of wonderful concerts in Fitzwilliam. It started with an extraordinary (professional) staged performance of Handel’s ‘Acis & Galatea’ by Mid-Wales Opera. The versatility of the small orchestra, directed by Nicholas Cleobury, provided a glorious ‘duet’ with the singers.

Then on Saturday 22 February Fitzwilliam’s Hannah Roper (Music 2013) organized a performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius. This professionally-led performance is reviewed here by Giverny McAndry (Music 2012).

Two more musical treats on Sunday 23 February. Our Organ Scholar, Charles Gurnham (Natural Sciences 2012) showed what he could do with Mussorgsky’s virtuoso ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ and works by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. Sadly, I couldn’t attend that – we were on a wonderful tandem discovery of local villages with an enthusiastic group of postgraduate and undergraduate cyclists (pictured). Finally on Sunday, Cambridge University Baroque Ensemble presented a rare chance to hear both versions of Bach’s fourth Brandenburg Concerto, with violin and harpsichord solos.  We are truly spoiled.

Bike ride

 

Today and tomorrow, Fitzwilliam Chamber Opera (the only permanent college-based opera group in Cambridge) is putting on a new production of ‘Spirit Harbour’, composed by Fitz alumnus Lliam Paterson (Music 2010). ‘Spirit Harbour’ explores the emotional and physical dislocation caused by the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. It’s an amazing opportunity to experience contemporary opera with elements of Japanese Noh and kabuki-style theatre here at Fitz. And look out for the Fitzwilliam Quartet who return to College in March…

Nicola Padfield

About Nicola Padfield

Nicola Padfield MA, Dip Crim, DES became Master of Fitzwilliam College in October 2013. She is a Reader in Criminal and Penal Justice at the Law Faculty, University of Cambridge, and has been a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College since 1991.

Posted in Master's blog

I am pleased to be one of the signatories to today’s letter in the THES which argues for a broader definition of “success” if we are to promote gender equality.

Fifty senior members of staff at the University of Cambridge have called for a rethink on how success is valued and measured in academia so that women are not disadvantaged in academic appointments and promotions.

Nicola Padfield

About Nicola Padfield

Nicola Padfield MA, Dip Crim, DES became Master of Fitzwilliam College in October 2013. She is a Reader in Criminal and Penal Justice at the Law Faculty, University of Cambridge, and has been a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College since 1991.

Posted in Master's blog

I had two great opportunities to explore ideas this week – giving a paper in Durham (splendid new Faculty building) and a few days later a very different paper in Oxford (Old Library, All Soul’s – contrasting venues!). In Durham, I chose to explore my thoughts on the meaning of ‘sentencing‘. Sentencing is often thought of simply as that which judges and magistrates do when they ‘send someone down’ (front-door sentencing). But the sentence pronounced in court bears little relation to the time actually served. Many prisoners will be out at half time (or even sooner on Home Detention Curfew – electronically monitored curfew). A few years ago the expression ’back door sentencing’ emerged as a loaded way to think about parole and recall decisions. Those who come out ‘early’ are often ‘recalled’ to serve the remaining part inside, after all.

The term seemed to make sense. (See Padfield, N. (2013) Understanding recall 2011). But now I’m no longer sure that the front door/back door distinction is really helpful because it masks a lot of other important stages in the process of a sentence. For example, since the Parole Board won’t direct the release (or re-release) of a lifer until they have been ‘tested’ in an open prison for a couple of years, the decision whether or not to move a prisoner through the various security categories of the prison system to an open prison is quite as important as the final decision of the Parole Board. Sentencing in practice is a string of decisions taken by very many different players, often over a number of years, and according to very different criteria and forms of accountability.

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Nicola Padfield

About Nicola Padfield

Nicola Padfield MA, Dip Crim, DES became Master of Fitzwilliam College in October 2013. She is a Reader in Criminal and Penal Justice at the Law Faculty, University of Cambridge, and has been a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College since 1991.

Posted in Guest posts · Master's blog

This week’s guest post comes from Dr David Nally, who explains why he is excited by the publication of the book he has co-authored on Key Concepts in Historical Geography:

On 21 February, Fitzwilliam College will mark the publication of Key Concepts in Historical Geography (Sage 2014) with a formal book launch in The Grove. The book is co-authored by Dr John Morrissey (NUI Galway and presently a Visiting Fellow at Fitzwilliam), Dr David Nally (Fellow, Fitzwilliam College), Professor Ulf Strohmayer (NUI Galway) and Dr Yvonne Whelan (University of Bristol). Professor Felix Driver (Royal Holloway, University of London) will make some introductory remarks at the launch.

Our book began as a series of questions posed between the authors about what a historical-geographical perspective brings to research in the humanities and social sciences. Do anchor concepts within those fields of enquiry look different when studied from a geographical perspective, we wondered?

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Nicola Padfield

About Nicola Padfield

Nicola Padfield MA, Dip Crim, DES became Master of Fitzwilliam College in October 2013. She is a Reader in Criminal and Penal Justice at the Law Faculty, University of Cambridge, and has been a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College since 1991.

Posted in Master's blog

This question was provoked (on this occasion, anyway!) by the production of Jessica Swale’s Blue Stockings at the ADC Theatre in Cambridge this week (it premièred at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2013).

It was an excellent, gutsy, production, and although it may be invidious to single out the roles of Fitzwilliam students, heh, this is a Fitzwilliam blog. Sam Grabiner (English 2013) was a convincing Holmes – he wanted to support the women, and knew he should, but wasn’t brave enough, in the face of the astonishingly loathsome opposition of most of his friends; Sarah Livingstone (Arch & Anth 2011) shone as poor Maeve Sullivan, the talented working class student sent home against her wishes to look after the family after her mother died. The family comes first, after all.

Rachel Hunter (English 2011) as co-producer was largely responsible for the fascinating discussion before Thursday’s performance, the most striking part of which for me was the keen acknowledgment by the senior women there (the current Mistress of Girton, and Philomena Guillebaud (Girton 1944) for example) of their own good fortune. They were keenly conscious of the privileged lives they have enjoyed. And with that privilege comes an obvious duty to speak up for those less privileged. Gender equality should not be our only concern – we should surely be shouting for ‘equality of opportunity’ not only for women, but for all those from less privileged backgrounds. Cambridge still has a long way to go.

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Nicola Padfield

About Nicola Padfield

Nicola Padfield MA, Dip Crim, DES became Master of Fitzwilliam College in October 2013. She is a Reader in Criminal and Penal Justice at the Law Faculty, University of Cambridge, and has been a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College since 1991.

Posted in Master's blog
Just a quick link that might be of interest: Fitzwilliam alumnus Sidharth Luthra (Law 1990) – now Additional Solicitor General of India – makes a plea in today’s Times of India on behalf of the presumption of innocence and the right to silence >>
Nicola Padfield

About Nicola Padfield

Nicola Padfield MA, Dip Crim, DES became Master of Fitzwilliam College in October 2013. She is a Reader in Criminal and Penal Justice at the Law Faculty, University of Cambridge, and has been a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College since 1991.