The Haughton Lecture Theater; a profile of Prof. Joe Haughton

In an event that took place earlier this year, the newly refurbished Geography Lecture Theatre was renamed the Haughton Lecture Theatre, after Emeritus Professor Joe Haughton.

Source: Andrews 1985
Source: Andrews 1985

Professor Haughton spent almost his whole academic career, from 1942 to 1985 in Trinity. While his early work explored geomorphology and vegetation studies, he soon proved to be equally adept at human geography. When looking at papers written by Professor Haughton, it is seen that they are influenced by the techniques of his former lecture T. W. Freeman. However, they also diverge from Freeman, as his former colleague John Andrews (1985) stated, in showing a ‘sharper awareness of the landscape as a source of direct geographical inspiration’. As head of department from 1954, Professor Haughton saw the expansion of Geography in Trinity, ‘more than anyone can have expected when he first agreed to take charge of it.’

The influence of Professor Haughton was also felt outside of Trinity, where his work concerned housing, public health, and education overseas. This was evident as he had just arrived back to the renaming event from India where he had a ward in a hospital names after him.

Dr. James Killen discussing the contribution of Prof. Haughton

On the night of the event there were excellent speeches on the contribution of Professor Haughton to academia in Ireland and his vital role in the development of the Geography Department in TCD. Chaired by Dr. Mark Hennessy, speeches were given by Dr. James Killen, Professor Pete Coxon, and an emotional speech by Professor Haughton himself. The Haughton Lecture Theatre was packed with staff and postgraduates from the School of Natural Science and the alumni of Geography. Perhaps the most telling influence of Professor Haughton was seen in the warmth shown to him be former students and colleague alike.

Prof. Haughton addressing the newly named HLT


Andrews, A. (1985) Joe Haughton: An Appreciation. Irish Geography 18 (1): 2–4.


Authored by Kevin Lougheed, Teaching Fellow, TCD Geography


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