John Urry, a pioneer of the spatial turn and one of Space and Culture‘s first board members, has passed away. The Sociology Department at Lancaster has posted an obituary. This is a true loss. John shifted the direction of British sociological thought more that once – pioneering place-based investigations, the turn to culture and to space with iconic works such as The Tourist Gaze. He was prolific and a generous editor, collaborator and co-author. His later work courageously assesses a future After the Car and pushed social science to move beyond the limits of the nation state in Sociology Beyond the State.
Rob Shields (University of Alberta)
Just after International Womens Day 2016, Doreen Massey passed away suddenly last Friday. I met her at the Open University where she was an exceptional host. In a short obituary (here) for CLASS, The Centre for Labour and Social Studies, Rachel Yates described her legacy in the following terms:
one of the most influential thinkers on the left. Her work on space, place and power has been recognised all over the world – including in the UK with an offer of an OBE, which she declined. She grew up on the Wythenshawe council estate in Manchester following World War II, and later went to the University of Oxford. She served as Emeritus Professor of Geography at the Open University until 2009.
…With Doreen it was easy to forget we were in the presence of greatness, thanks to her warmth, her laughter and her generous spirit. She made an effort to listen to people, to recognise the hard work of others, and never to assume that all of her achievements meant that she knew better (although she usually did).
…Her feminism was not just theory; it was something she did, and something she passed on. We will always be grateful for what she gave us.