Dr Benjamin Fincham, or just Ben to those of us who regularly make the painfully steep ascent to Friston, has an ace office.

I am trying to focus on the content of my interview with Ben whilst being constantly impressed by my surroundings.

With walls covered in ‘The Ramones’ posters, the slight scent of a cheese and onion pasty wafting through, books and CDs tumbling off an already crammed bookshelf and Mumford and Sons playing mildly in the background, who could fail to feel at ease here?

Ben Fincham has been at Sussex since 2009 after previously lecturing at Brighton University (we salute your move, good sir).

He has always had a very personal connection with the university, he explains.

In addition to his brother doing his masters degree at Sussex, his mother was a secretary of American Studies here and therefore much of his youth was spent in the Common Rooms of Arts B & C where he was raised by academics and students, ‘like a wolf’.

We’re sorry Ben, but one person you do not remind us of, is Mowgli.

He is currently working on a book called the ‘Sociology of Fun’ which is not as entertaining as he had hoped it would be.

Strangely, researching and writing his previous publication on suicide was much more enjoyable and interesting.

This one is ‘f**cking miserable’.

Ben’s favourite place on campus apart from the haven of his office is the pond by the Woodland Walk.

He was saddened to discover recently however, that a plastic bag is currently swimming about on the surface.

Apparently, attempts to retrieve the bag with a large stick have been unsuccessful.

We shall not dwell.

Ben’s favourite book has to be Asterix in Britain (a personal favourite of which I definitely approve) and On Broadway is his favourite film for being at once, uncompromisingly  clever and hysterically funny.

If Ben’s choice of films is anything like his choice of décor, I will be the first to check this out of the library this afternoon.

Amy Bracewell

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