Prof Stuart Hall 1932-2014


“A giant of cultural theory and sociology, former Director of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham (where he was between 1964-1979), Professor of Sociology at the Open University (1979 – 1997, Professor Emeritus since 1997), President of the British Sociological Association (1995-7). He was author, of course, of many influential works,  and someone whom all scholars in media, cultural and communications studies will recognise as a seminal figure in our field who will be deeply missed.”  Professor Peter Golding, Pro Vice Chancellor, Northumbria University.
“The first time I met Stuart Hall was when he was on an interview panel for a post I’d applied for at The Open University. Although I didn’t get to work with him directly, as he semi-retired not long after I started, I was always struck by how supportive and encouraging he was to younger scholars entering the field – including those of us in other disciplines. And a very humble person for someone of his intellectual stature. I was very saddened to hear of his death and will be watching John Akomfrah’s documentary this evening as a sort of tribute.” Professor James Chapman, Professor of Film Studies, University of Leicester
“More profoundly than any other academic, Stuart Hall taught me to think. He introduced me to the concept of “Black British.” His ideas do what Foucault says an author’s ideas should do: they initiate a discourse. Encoding/decoding, Marxism without guarantees, public intellectualism, anti-Thatcherite resistance – he brought together theory, politics, textuality and history, in all their messiness, and turned them into beautiful ideas. The world is a poorer place for his loss, but he made it a better place with his gorgeous mind and his kind manners.” Professor Heather Zwicker, University of Alberta, Canada
“Thank you for your committed academic work throughout the decades. Generations of us now working within the field have been deeply touched and formed by your generous engagement with key social and cultural issues, your intellectual rigour, wisdom, and sustained, uncompromised critique. I only had one opportunity to hear you speak live, which was at Southbank in London in 2007, and I was fascinated by the overall humbleness of your great intellectual and public persona. The coming generations of scholars will certainly share the responsibility to continuing your legacy.” Krajina Zlatan, Lecturer in Media & Cultural Studies, University of Zagreb
“Stuart Hall slashed through virgin forest to carve out a trail for many scholars to follow. He defined a field that has produced new frameworks of understanding of race, identity and culture. It is always a joy to introduce him to my students. Last week it was his Representation and the Media that occupied our attention. He is gone but his works will keep him alive for a very long time.” Mercy Ette, Lecturer, University of Huddersfield
“Thanks Stuart, for all you taught us.” Professor Michelle Sorice, LUISS University, Rome
“Stuart’s passing reminds us all that the pursuit of building and leaving a legacy is critical. One of the first ever black people I used to encounter on BBC 2 when I would watch him doing his open university presentations, laid the foundation for my academic career. A big loss. R. I. P. Stuart Hall.” Dr Martin Glynn, Criminologist & Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Wolverhampton
“Professor Stuart Hall is the grand patriarch of Black intellectual studies in the UK. His. Intellectual grasp amazing and the depth of his work was without parallel. His legacy will cast a long shadow & we are all in his debt.” Dr Anthony Reddie, Editor of ‘Black Theology: An International Jounal & Visitng Research Fellow at Aston University
“What an intellect, what a legacy. A giant of the post-colonial world.” Iqbal Karamat, Education and Diversity Consultant, Forward Partnership
“I never met Professor Hall personally but I know from post graduate research and also from a number of very eminent people that I have met and have spoken about him or referred to his work, what a profound impact he has had on many people. His legacy will live on.” Rob Worrall, Principal Lecturer, External Engagement, University of Sunderland
“The author and scholar who defined fundamental things in cultural theory and sociology. His impact on human thought is invaluable.” Prof Mishel Pavlovski, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Macedonia
“Truly an inspirational academic whose self effacing demeanour made one think you could reach for the stars. Saddened that such a beautiful light has gone out. His wisdom and academic brilliance will be missed by many.” Marcia Bryan, Psychotherpist, University of Salford
“It is the responsibility of us all to ensure his legacy lives on.” Malcolm Richards, Director and Community Educator, The Road School
“My memories of Stuart Hall date back to the 1980s, when as an undergraduate student in the Department of English Literature at the Orientale University in Naples I had the privilege of listening to one of his lectures. Stuart Hall knew personally most of the staff working in English at the Orientale at the time, since they had been visiting scholars at the Birmingham at the Center for Cultural Studies. With the enthusiasm of my twenties I asked him quite a few questions and he replied to them all with his distinctive kindness and grace. Together with Richard Hoggart, also a visitor to the Orientale in those years, no one else had more of an impact on how I think, teach, & write. Any undergraduate student should have the privilege to come across such an inspirational scholar!” Dr Anna Notaro, Lecturer in Media Theory, University of Dundee