Academic Armchair – Dr Justin Rosenberg
There’s an almost tangibly electric atmosphere that floods the corridors of Arts building C.
Dr Justin Rosenberg, professor and head of International Relations at the University of Sussex, has agreed to share his life experiences and opinions in a matter of minutes: an exclusive here at ‘The Badger’ that Sir Michael Parkinson himself would envy.
After several games of monopoly Justin first tells us of his own research at the University, brilliantly coined as ‘higher bullshit’ by tutors and students alike.
He explains how the origin of this thought process derived from his time at the London School of Economics, where his inquisitiveness led him to theorise how the roots of society influence the political nature of International Relations, and how it empowers our world today.
“If attacked by an animal on campus, which of the following three would you be most afraid of? A fox, three badgers or a hundred squirrels?”
The interview takes a more serious turn as Dr Rosenberg pauses to reflect on the intensity of the question. “A hundred squirrels, you’d simply be out of control”.
Rosenberg also predicted if he were not a professor at Sussex he would work within literature, publishing literary criticism.
Fascinatingly, this may well have been his very path in life had it not been for his involvement in the peace movement of nuclear disarmament during the cold war, which served as a “Political awakening” for him.
Later he also recollects on his most profound memory of his first year at University, (where he read English Literature at Cambridge); the experience of independent learning, where without structured lectures and seminars, finding one’s own direction, and discovering initiative was far more difficult than perhaps it is today.
Swiftly the conversation escalates to time travel and Dr Rosenberg reveals that given this possibility, he would go to the Globe theatre in the 16th Century to meet Shakespeare, 11th Century China and the steel factories, as well as Baghdad and it’s thousands of manuscripts in the 10th century.
As emotions run high towards the end of the interview, Dr Rosenberg takes several minutes to decide which Doctor he would choose to be.
He deduces he would either be Dr.Doolittle or Dr.Hobbes.
Let’s be frank, who wouldn’t want to be a political philosopher who can talk to animals?