Staff and Teaching in Sociology at LSE: The First Half-Century

  • Christopher T. HusbandsEmail author


This quotation is just one of the many acerbic references in literature to university academics or to their relations with their students. Other examples of academics’ bad press, some reflecting their dismissive attitude towards their students, are manifold: C. P. Snow’s novel The Affair; Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim and his later Jake’s Thing; Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse Blue and his Wilt novels; the Master of Biblioll College, who delivered the brush-off to Jude Fawley in Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, advising him to ‘remain in his own sphere and to stick to his trade’; and even the ambiguities of David Lodge’s several ‘university novels’. Malcolm Bradbury is a further rich source with novels like Eating People is Wrong and his special sociology villain in the philandering Howard Kirk in The History Man. Philip Roth’s 1998 novel The Human Stain is an American example, giving a jaundiced picture – controversially so to many of its readers – of both staff and students. These are besides the many unflattering portraits in plays and films: Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Simon Gray’s Butley; or Willy Russell’s Educating Rita. Oleana, David Mamet’s play and film about sexual harassment in a university, is famous for its moral ambiguity of the respective responsibilities of the professor and the student for the relationship that developed between them; the feminist interpretation puts the blame on the professor.

Supplementary material

462218_1_En_2_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Table W2.1 Sociology teaching staff at the London School of Economics and Political Science, by decade of start year, 1904–49 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emeritus Reader in SociologyLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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