One of the most important events in the Politics Department’s calendar is the annual Paul Hirst Memorial Lecture, which was delivered this year by Professor Anne Phillips. The Lecture is an opportunity for recent students to meet alumni who faithfully turn up each year to share fond memories with those of our colleagues fortunate enough to have worked with Paul during his long career in the Department. It is also an occasion to renew an enduring friendship with his widow, Penny Woolley. Public intellectual, polymath and always larger than life, Paul Hirst was first appointed to Birkbeck at the tender age of 23 and remained here until his untimely death in 2003, having been promoted to Professor of Social Theory in 1985. Paul’s legacy lives on in the Department’s commitment to a critically engaged approach to politics and in his protean and prescient work on a vast range of topics. Continue reading