Posted in Guest posts
Posted by on 20 March 2014 · · 1 comment
Waiting to board at yet another airport

Waiting to board at yet another airport

I’m writing this on board a flight, my fifth international journey in the last two months – this is unusual for me, as life and work in Cambridge does not normally involve this level of travel. It has been a particularly busy period, with each of the journeys relating to quite independent areas of academic life in which I am involved.

The point of this blog post is not to boast about the increasing numbers of immigration stamps in my passport, or to show off about my international links. It is to raise a very modern-day dilemma, one that I am acutely conscious of because of my own research, which tries to understand how our contemporary global society can live within the constraints of a finite planet.

The consensus within the climate science community seems pretty clear – human activities have a discernible impact on global climate change, and one especially important offender is our continued dependence on fossil fuels. Amongst these activities, international air travel is about the worst, in terms of its carbon emission impacts. It is also one of the activities about which we can make conscious personal choices – and we should. The College Environmental Committee, with which I have been closely involved, suggests that we think about sustainable transport options and promotes cycling to work (which I do). However, all of these attempts to reduce my personal impact on the environment are wiped out by the carbon emission consequences of a single international long haul flight – and, here I am, returning from my fifth such journey!

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Bhaskar Vira

About Bhaskar Vira

Bhaskar Vira is a Fellow in Geography, specialising in Environment and Development, and is Graduate Tutor.

Posted in Master's blog

Last week, we were lucky enough to be transported to a Europe that was in full revolution-fever, at the end of the 18th century. What a treat. Old man (well, mid-60s) Haydn returned to Vienna from his triumphant second visit to London in 1795. His patron Prince Nicolaus II Esterhazy seemed to work him less hard than before, respecting his age and general exhaustion – just birthday masses for his wife, and the odd (utterly fabulous) oratorio (e.g. The Seasons). But there were lots of other commissions and he was kept very busy. Meanwhile, along comes young Beethoven who arrived from Bonn in 1792, a jaw-droppingly accomplished pianist, who increasingly turned his hand to composing. Beethoven was a revolutionary whose influence would eventually change the entire musical landscape of Europe, but he was also in awe of Haydn, whose example he followed quite closely at this time.

The concurrent residence of these two men in wealthy Vienna just at that moment has many resonances. Europe was in the throes of epochal changes. The violence, passion and hope of the French Revolution were fresh in the memory – passions that particularly animated the massively talented Beethoven. Haydn was an acknowledged genius, a towering giant. It was probably the case that few people could imagine that music had anywhere further to go. Musical forms and conventions were well understood and largely fixed. But not for Beethoven: from Haydn’s summit, he saw new mountain ranges forming in his mind, emerging in the next few years.

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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 guest post by Rosie Busiakiewicz, third year art historian, is prompted by the ‘In conversation with the Master’ event with Carlene Firmin, held at Fitzwilliam on 11 March.

Master, Nicky Padfield, with Carlene Firmin.

Master Nicky Padfield, with Carlene Firmin.

Last week, Fitz was lucky enough to host a talk from alumna Carlene Firmin MBE, as part of the new ‘In Conversation with the Master’ series. Only in her late twenties, Carlene’s list of achievements is impressive; featured on the Black Powerlist 2014 and 2013, she has also been named one of Glamour’s ’35 most powerful women under 35’ as well as receiving a nomination for Cosmopolitan’s Ultimate Women of the Years Awards 2013 – not to mention her London Peace award in 2008 and her MBE in 2011, at which time she was the youngest black woman to receive the honour. This recognition is all down to impressive work with vulnerable children: for two years Carlene was the Principal Policy Advisor to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups. Her project Girls Against Gangs and her MsUnderstood Partnership have continued this work into improving responses towards young people’s experiences of gender inequality.

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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

Masters Conversations

 

The education and training of police officers has been of interest to many of us in Fitzwilliam College for many years. Professor Sir Anthony Bottoms (Life Fellow, and formerly Wolfson Professor of Criminology and Director of the Institute of Criminology) was instrumental in the launch in the University of Cambridge of a part-time Masters degree for senior police officers nearly 20 years ago.

The course still plays an important part in the teaching and research agenda of the Institute of Criminology. The teaching for this course happens in three-week blocks, interspersed with private study and essay preparation when ‘back on the job’. These teaching blocks take place during University vacations, because that is when colleges have accommodation to offer; that being the case, it has seemed best to concentrate the students in one or two colleges. From the start, Fitzwilliam has been one of these colleges, which explains why there are so many senior police officers among recent Fitz alumni. It seemed particularly apt, therefore, to launch our new series of “Master’s Conversations” with a police-related topic: what does a police officer need to know?

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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

Picture credit: Tristram Kenton for The GuardianJust a quick note: make sure you see the wonderful production by alumna Adele Thomas (English 2000) of The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Francis Beaumont’s 1607 burlesque of citizen drama and chivalric romance. It’s on until 30 March – there’s a great review on The Guardian, and full details are on the Shakespeare’s Globe website.

(P.S. Adele Thomas previously featured in Optima 18, talking about her work on the Passion in Port Talbot in 2011.)

Photo credit: Tristram Kenton for The Guardian.

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.