Distinguished Professor Bob Jessop celebration event

Bob Jessop

A virtual Festschrift featuring 6 internationally acclaimed academics recognising and celebrating the work of Distinguished Professor Bob Jessop will be held virtually on Thursday 29th October.

Distinguished Professor Bob Jessop is as much a Lancaster University institution as the spires of the Chaplaincy. Since arriving as a Professor in Sociology in 1990, he has contributed immeasurably to the intellectual, organisational, and cultural life of the University. The virtual event on 29 October goes some way towards recognising the contributions he has made across his career on the occasion of his retirement.

Intellectually, Bob is a recognised academic authority in social sciences and social theory. He has made significant contributions to no less than three separate fields. First, in state theory and forms of capitalism shaped by Marxist debates. Second, with Dr Ngai-Ling Sum, now an Honorary Researcher in the Sociology Department, in defining and developing critiques of the cultural political economy inflected with the ideas of Gramsci and Foucault. Third, on governance and political economy in post-war Britain. As a result of these endeavours, he has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers, more than ten books and presented papers at conferences across the globe. Bob has H-index score of 102 on Google Scholar, where anything over 60 is considered ‘truly exceptional’.

Organisationally, Bob has shaped the Sociology Department to be the force which it is today. Serving as Head of Department from 1992 to 1996, between deregulation in higher education and the university’s financial crisis, he oversaw a period of considerable expansion. This was captured in the 5* rating awarded in sociology for the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise; one of two to obtain the rating. Later he was the Founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies from 2003-09 which developed a global reputation as pushing the frontiers of inter- trans- and multi-disciplinary research. He then became the Founding Director of the Cultural Political Economy Research Centre which he oversaw with Dr Ngai-Ling Sum for ten years.

Culturally, Bob continues to teach and research creatively with individuals across the University and is at the heart of the strong and flexible research culture which he forged with the late Professor John Urry. He has worked collaboratively with both Emeritus Professor of Linguistics Norman Fairclough and Emeritus Professor of Social Theory Andrew Sayer at Lancaster University, as well as engaging critically in the scholarship of others. This reputation for stimulating and robust debate has earned him widespread recognition. However, his role as a supportive mentor and colleague has also led to him oversee scores of undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral students throughout his 30 years at Lancaster University.

The Festschrift for Distinguished Professor Bob Jessop is organised and chaired by Distinguished Professor Beverley Skeggs and will be held online from 1pm to 5pm on Thursday 29th October. It will feature three panels, each comprising two speakers and a reply from Bob, and conclude with Bob’s own reflections and summary of his scholarly legacies. Tickets are free and available via Eventbrite.

If you wish to share your own reflections about the personal or intellectual contribution of Distinguished Professor Bob Jessop, or for other enquiries relating to the event, pleased contact Dr Michael Lambert: m.lambert3@lancaster.ac.uk.

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