Latest Alumni Publications

Victor Chen (1966, Social Studies)

Existing: Selected Archives (Xlibris, 2021)

Like a beachcomber searching for some lost article of value, Victor Chen has browsed the internet, surfed TV news channels, and whiled away hours in the public library. This volume brings together on paper – arranged chronologically and with an index – a variety of findings from the decade 2010-2021. They have been selected from his Facebook and Twitter platforms. Like his most recent previous volumes, they include a few items that might make a satisfactory newspaper column, if only a newspaper would print them. There are also small titbits that might give to some newsmakers the pleasure of having been noticed. In the daily information wash of life, there can be stuff to occupy the mind.

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Laura Coryton (2017, Women’s Studies)

Speak Up! (HarperCollins, 2019)

Written by Laura Coryton, who led the international campaign against tampon tax, Speak Up! is a vital and timely book exploring what it means to stand up for what you believe in on both a public and personal level. Laura explores how to make sure your voice is heard as well as what happens when your voice is challenged by others. She tackles tricky subjects like feminism, consent, online bullying and self-confidence in a meaningful but accessible and entertaining way.

A French language version was published in 2020.

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Rick Harmes (1968, Modern Languages)

Localism and the Design of Political Systems (Routledge, 2020)

This book examines localism as a political idea and policy approach and explains what localism is about, why it is growing in importance and how it relates to other themes in politics.

Illustrated with case studies from the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and the Indian sub-continent, the book analyses localism in conceptual and theoretical terms and locates it within the overall landscape of political thought. Key themes covered in the book include place, space and scale; decentralization and devolution; multi-level governance; public value; democracy and empowerment; and political design. With the focus on the bottom-up, constructivist aspects of localism, the book argues that localism is most likely to work successfully in a political order where sovereignty is ‘distributed’ across various social spheres and levels of government.

It offers a comprehensive view of localism by synthesizing its various strands and creating a distinctive framework for design and evaluation.

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Tom Hicks (1998, Modern Languages)

Bowler’s Name? (Pitch Publishing, 2021)

Tom Hicks (Catz 1998-2002) won four Blues for cricket and was captain of OUCC in 2000 in the last first-class Varsity Match at Lord’s. In his debut book, Bowler’s Name?, he recounts tales from his own cricket career, taking readers from the village green in Dorset to the Parks and onto the Home of Cricket itself. On the way, we are offered an insight into the inner sanctum of the dressing room and given a warts-and-all look at life on and off the pitch through the eyes of someone who rubbed shoulders with cricketing royalty.

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Peter Neville (1965, Metallurgy)

The Second Cello (Lulu, 2017)

A string chamber music novella, recounting the making of a quartet of instruments and their dispersal. The action moves forward to the present, and recounts the formation, player by player, of a string duo, then a string trio, then a string quartet. So what about the second cello? You’ll have to read it.

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David Taplin (1961, Engineering)

Christ’s Hospital (Grosvenor House Publishing, 2020)

This book celebrates nearly five centuries of a unique independent school founded in 1552 to educate and support disadvantaged children. Through an interwoven collection of poetry and essays, contributors focus on the positive impact, ethos, tradition and vision that Christ’s Hospital represents. Reviewing history and anticipating the school’s quincentenary in 2052, this book poses key questions about the challenges of coming decades in secondary education and society generally, considering as it does so some of the contributions Christ’s Hospital might make to a changing world. All proceeds of the book support the Benevolent Society of Blues.

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Carl Tomlinson (1986, Modern Languages)

Changing Places (Fair Acre Press, 2021)

The place I was born is not in Lancashire any more. I grew up in what wasn’t the New Forest then. I now live in a house which owes its existence to the Enclosure Acts. Sometimes the place you belong isn’t on the map. These ideas were playing on my mind as I put the pamphlet together. The poems explore the landscapes we cherish and visit, protest to maintain, and summon in pathetic fallacy. We view these landscapes as an essential part of what many of us take to be England. The truth is more complicated and has little to do with a pastoral idyll. Most of what we see from our car window, or fell-top vantage point, or weekly dose of Countryfile is there on sufferance, and in the service of our bellies rather than our souls.

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Michael Vatikiotis (1980, Anthropology and Geography)

Lives Between the Lines (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2021)

Lives Between the Lines tells the story of the author’s Greek, British and Italian family who arrived in Egypt and Palestine in the mid-nineteenth century as migrants armed with talents and skills that were much in demand as Ottoman rulers sought to modernise their lands. They worked for the post office and the railways, but also included charismatic monks and successful entrepreneurs who built things and left their mark on society.

This engaging and very personal narrative history captures a lost era in the Middle East, seen through the lens of a Levantine family. Born as foreigners in a land they loved, they were nonetheless citizens of European states which brought strife and turmoil to the societies they were tethered to. The book captures the essence of this Levantine milieu, people with fluid identities speaking many languages: each serving their own interests rather than a greater whole in a sprawling empire without boundaries. It was a profoundly privileged and unequal social order. Life was rich, secure and commonly described as cosmopolitan.

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