These men span a range of backgrounds including politics, sociology, education, maths and more and have helpedto shape the world we live in today.
Cyril Bentham Falls (1888-1971) – Military Historian
The History Team have nominated Dubliner Cyril Falls who served on the western front with the 11th battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers from 1915 until the end of the Great War. Twice mentioned in dispatches and twice cited for the Croix de Guerre, Falls rose to the rank of captain.
Following the war, Falls was employed to write a history of the 36th (Ulster) division – the formation in which the 11th battalion were part. In 1923 he joined the team of writers penning the official history of the war and contributed with volumes on the Egyptian and Palestine campaigns, Macedonian campaign, and the volume covering the western front in 1917. He went on to be the military correspondent for The Times and was elected Chichele chair of the history of war in Oxford, positions he held until 1953.
Throughout his writing, Falls emphasised the importance of conveying the realities of war and the experiences of those who fought. At a time when subject was often criticised as ‘drum-and-trumpet history’, Falls urged us to remember that ‘we are, all of us […] the heirs of many wars’.
Find out more about Military History at BGU at: www.bgu.ac.uk/milihis
Professor Terry Eagleton – Distinguished Professor of English Literature
The English Team have nominated Professor Terry Eagleton who is a Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University, whose impact as a literary scholar and theorist is enduring and international. His Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983) remains a seminal text today and it is still in the ones shaped for our current undergraduate and postgraduate students at BGU.
Professor Eagleton is the author of more than forty books: Humour in 2019 and Tragedy in 2020 are his latest publications. He has also published plays, a screen play for Derek Jarman’s film entitled Wittgenstein (1993), a novel and a memoir. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and the English Association.
Find out more about English Literature at BGU at: www.bgu.ac.uk/engs
Stuart Hall (1932 – 2014) – Sociologist
The Sociology Team have nominated Stuart Hall who was a Jamaican born, British sociologist, cultural theorist and activist. Born in Kingston, Jamaica he came to the UK in the 1950s, part of the Windrush generation. He was one of the founding figures of the British Cultural Studies school of thought, and in 1964, he co-founded the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham. Through the centre, Stuart Hall was responsible for the first ever Cultural Studies course in the UK. Cultural studies and Sociology explore how cultural practices relate to wider systems of power by examining social phenomena such as ideology, class structures, race, gender, disability and religion, to understand everyday life in contemporary society.
Stuart Hall was one of the leading figures behind sociology beginning to take mass culture, or popular culture (pop music, television, films, and fashion) seriously as a means of understanding and representing social phenomena and how they relate to wider systems of power. Through his pioneering work, Stuart Hall shaped the way people view and understand contemporary society. His theories turned previously held ideas of culture upside down, and opened up conversations about the relationship between culture and power at all levels of society, particularly in relation to race and gender.
Stuart Hall taught us that “culture is about 'shared meaning'. Culture involves the practices of giving meaning to people, objects and events. They carry meanings and values that need to be interpreted by others.”
Find out more about Sociology at BGU at: www.bgu.ac.uk/socs
Professor Gus John – writer, campaigner, lecturer and researcher
The Professional Studies Team have nominated Professor Gus John who was the co-ordinator of the Black Parents Movement in Manchester, founded the Education for Liberation book service and helped to organise the International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books in Manchester, London and Bradford. He was a member of the 1987 Macdonald Inquiry into Racism and Racial Violence in Manchester Schools and subsequently co-authored (with Ian Macdonald, Reena Bhavnani and Lily Khan) Murder in the Playground: the Burnage Report. He was a founder trustee of the George Padmore Institute under the chairmanship of John La Rose. In 1989 John was appointed Director of Education in Hackney and was the first black person to hold such a position. When the two departments were amalgamated he became Hackney's first Director of Education and Leisure Services.
Find out more about Professional Studies at BGU visit https://www.bgu.ac.uk/course-subjects/professional-studies
Booker T Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) - educator, author, orator, and adviser to several presidents of the United States
The Professional Studies Team also nominated Booker Taliaferro Washington who was an American educator, author, orator, and adviser to several presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African American community and of the contemporary black elite. Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. They were newly oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Washington was a key proponent of African-American businesses and one of the founders of the National Negro Business League. His base was the Tuskegee Institute, a normal school, later a historically black college in Tuskegee, Alabama at which he served as principal.
To find out more about Professional Studies at BGU, visit: https://www.bgu.ac.uk/course-subjects/professional-studies
Benoit Mandelbrot (20 November 1924 – 14 October 2010) – Maths
The Maths Team have nominated Benoît B. Mandelbrot who was a maverick mathematician who developed the field of fractal geometry. Dr. Mandelbrot coined the term “fractal” to refer to a new class of mathematical shapes whose uneven contours could mimic the irregularities found in nature. Over nearly seven decades, working with dozens of scientists, Dr. Mandelbrot contributed to the fields of geology, medicine, cosmology and engineering. He used the geometry of fractals to explain how galaxies cluster, how wheat prices change over time and how mammalian brains fold as they grow, among other phenomena. Dr. Mandelbrot said “I decided to go into fields where mathematicians would never go because the problems were badly stated.”
Find out more about Maths at BGU at:www.bgu.ac.uk/courses/maths
Jean Jaurès – French Politician
The History Team have nominated Jean Jaurès who was a french socialist who campaigned for workers' rights (of course) but also for a united European opposition to the outbreak of conflict in the First World War. He was also a historian, writer and politician who was assassinated by a French nationalist on 31 July 1914 shortly before world war broke out.
Find out more about History at BGU at: www.bgu.ac.uk/hiss
Sir Steve Redgrave – Sport
The Sport Team have nominated Sir Steve Redgrave who is widely regarded as Britain's greatest ever Olympian, the length of time that rower spent at the top of his game is almost unprecedented. To win a gold medal at one Olympic Games is an achievement, but to win a gold medal in five consecutive Olympic Games is unheard of, and Redgrave is the only person to have done so in an endurance sport. Maintaining a world-class level of performance for 20 years is an outstanding achievement and has earned Redgrave a knighthood.
Find out more about Sport at BGU at: www.bgu.ac.uk/sport
Marcus Rashford - Footballer
The Professional Studies Team also nominated Marcus Rashford is an English professional football player as well as a campaigner against racism, homelessness and child hunger within the UK. He has been particularly praised for using his status and platform to be a political activist to drive societal change.
Find out more about Professional Studies (Education) at BGU at: www.bgu.ac.uk/fdaprofstuded
Friedrich Froebel – Pro Studies Early Years
The Professional Studies Team finally nominated Friedrich Froebel was a German educator who is know for having invented the kindergarten.
He believed that in play children were able to construct their understanding of the world through direct experience with it. His ideas about learning through nature and the importance of play have spread throughout the world.
Find out more about Professional Studies (Early Years) at: www.bgu.ac.uk/fdaecg