We received the sad news of the passing of Philip R.D. Corrigan. Philip was a professor in the Department of Sociology in Education at OISE from 1983 to 1989, and Department Chair from 1986 to 1988.
Corrigan’s broad intellectual interests encompassed historical sociology, Marxist theory, cultural studies and critical pedagogy, and sociology of education. He was one of the founding Managing Editors of the Journal of Historical Sociology, and his authored and edited publications include The Great Arch: English State Formation as Cultural Revolution (with Derek Sayer, 1985); Social Forms/Human Capacities: Essays in Authority and Difference (1990); and Capitalism, State Formation and Marxist Theory: Historical Investigations (1980), as well as countless articles and book-chapters in scholarly and popular publications.
While his tenure at OISE was short, we understand his impact on students and colleagues endured to the present. He is remembered among his many students for his intense and heady graduate seminars, his encouragement of informal spaces of scholarship and debate, and his generous guidance through thesis research and writing. And, in the age before the internet, he is remembered for his practice of circulating articles and newspaper-clippings, as well as his detailed notations and responses to student work. His approach was collegial and supportive in ways that sought to build confidence, rather than impose his own perspectives. As one of his former students said: “I felt such huge appreciation for the ways he helped me find my voice, and trust my own questions.” Another former student, now herself a professor, wrote: “his generosity of time and friendship taught us important lessons for how to be human with students.”