Corrine Fowler has joined the University of Leicester's School of English as a lecturer in 20th-century postcolonial literature. She said Leicester was the perfect base for her as it was "Britain's foremost migrant city". Before joining the university, Dr Fowler worked as a postdoctoral researcher on a project to create an online catalogue of creative writing in her field. "The aim was to create an understanding of how creative writing has been informed by the experience of migration," she explained. There is "an assumption that migration and immigration is predominantly a London experience", she said, adding that a writer who was, for example, black, working class and regional would often struggle to be seen as "anything other than parochial". Dr Fowler is also a specialist on travel writing about Afghanistan and has been looking into feminist readings of journalism about the ongoing war in the country. She said she had found that although journalists of both sexes were concerned with women's rights there, this had done nothing to halt the marginalisation of Afghan women's voices in news reports.
An alumnus of Teesside University has been appointed dean of its School of Social Sciences and Law. Mark Simpson studied politics as an undergraduate at Teesside before going on to do a PhD in criminology, exploring the link between drug use and crime. He said that his research topic was decided in a rather unlikely way: "I decided to stay in one night and watch a television debate on drug legalisation. If I had not seen that programme, I wouldn't have gone down the route of research that I did." While he was studying for his doctorate, he joined the university's teaching staff as a criminology lecturer, progressing to become learning and teaching coordinator at the school, and then subject group leader for criminology. He was appointed assistant dean for marketing and recruitment in 2007. "I may be a permanent fixture, but the university has changed so much around me that often it's like coming to work at a completely different institution," he said. Dr Simpson added that Teesside had also had a profound effect on his sporting preferences. Formerly a rugby player and fan, he was converted to the joys of football during his undergraduate days when he was dragged to watch a Middlesbrough Football Club fixture. "My housemate talked me into going to a game, and I just caught the bug," he said.
Andrew Oswald has been made pro-dean for research and professor of behavioural science at Warwick Business School. As part of his remit, he will set up a group for the study of behavioural science and its applications in business, the economy and finance. Professor Oswald said that he was looking forward to defying conventional views on the financial system in the wake of the recession. "It is an interesting challenge to figure out why and where conventional economics went wrong," he said. "We have to change. Burying our heads in the intellectual sand and not budging" would end in disaster. He is noted for his work on the economics of happiness. "What else would you focus on, if you just had one target?" he asked. "We all want a society with an overall level of psychological wellbeing." Professor Oswald also enjoys the distinction of being one of the very few non-scientists on the editorial board of the leading American journal, Science.
John D. Brewer
An academic expert on peace processes is to join a United Nations register that aims to inform international discourse on complex political, cultural and religious issues. John D. Brewer, sixth-century professor of sociology at the University of Aberdeen, will join the UN's Global Expert Finder service, which connects journalists, editors and policymakers with experts and opinion leaders to provide accurate analysis. He said his appointment followed a decade and a half of academic work in the area. "I've been working on comparative peace processes for the past 15 years," he said. "This has involved extensive research within the field and I have worked with local people in civil society, including churches, women's groups, peasant collectives, trade unions and human-rights groups." Professor Brewer said that this track record meant that he had "become associated with new approaches to peace processes, which address different issues such as forgiveness, hope and compromise". Before joining Aberdeen, Professor Brewer held positions at Queen's University Belfast, the University of East Anglia and the University of Natal, Durban, as well as a host of visiting positions, including at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Yale. He was born and raised in Shropshire and said that he retained "a deep affection for the Shropshire countryside, the poetry of A.E. Housman and the music of Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams". He is also president of the British Sociological Association.
Other changes ...
Andy Penaluna has been made professor of creative entrepreneurship at Swansea Metropolitan University. He is an expert in higher education entrepreneurship.
The University of Hull's Business School has appointed Risto Talas as a management and business development fellow. His work will focus on research into European transportation and logistics.
The University of Bath has named Paul Salkovskis programme director for its new professional doctorate in clinical psychology. He is currently professor of clinical psychology and applied science at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, and clinical director of the Maudsley Hospital's Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma.
Ian Snowley has been appointed university librarian at the University of Lincoln. His previous roles include serving as head of higher education at the British Library.
The University of Wales has announced that Kate Sullivan will assume the role of pro vice-chancellor for quality. She is a professor emeritus at Glyndwr University.
A professor at the University of Central Lancashire is taking his act to the Glastonbury Festival this year. Will Kaufman will present his "live musical documentary" multimedia show, Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin', on the festival's Field of Avalon stage in June.
The University of Birmingham has appointed Sue White professor of social work (children and families) and head of social work at its Institute of Applied Social Studies. She joins from Lancaster University.