The Clarendon Lecture series is run across the University.
The 2016 series was given by Professor Daniel Karlin, Winterstoke Professor of English at the University of Bristol on the topic of Street Songs.
These lectures were about the use made by writers in the ‘long nineteenth century’ of songs that were sung on the streets of cities. They included ballads, folk songs, and popular songs from opera to music-hall, but also the cries of street vendors and, by metaphorical license, the ‘song’ of a tramway or a knife-grinder’s wheel. Such songs formed part of the urban ‘soundscape’, and offered many writers a rich expressive and symbolic resource; writers also responded to the challenge of a rival art, one that could claim to ‘voice’ the city more potently than writing. In this sense the presence of street songs in novels and poems belongs to a larger cultural history, that of the perpetually difficult, unstable, unbreakable marriage of voice and text.
The lectures were given on the following days:
8 November 2016 The Engrag'd Musician, and Other Street Scenes. Listen to this lecture here.
10 November 2016 Proust's enchantment: the cris de Paris. Listen to this lecture here.
The 2015 series was given by Professor Amanda Anderson, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities and English, and Director of the Cogut Center for the Humanities at Brown University. The lecture series was given in November 2015 and the theme was 'Psyche and Ethos'. The individual lectures were entitled:
10 November: Psychology Contra Morality
12 November: In the Middle of Life
17 November: Psychic Life and the Claims of Others
19 November: A Human Science
Recent Clarendon Lecturers in English include:
Professor Thomas Keymer, Chancellor Jackman Professor of English at the University of Toronto, on 'Poetics of the Pillory: English Literature and Seditious Libel, 1660-1820' (November 2014)
Professor David Bromwich, Sterling Professor of English at Yale University on 'How Words Make Things Happen' (October 2013)
Professor Brian Cummings, Professor of English, University of Sussex, on 'Bibliophobia' (October/November 2012)
Professor Terry Castle, Walter A Haas Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University, on 'Rococophilia' (November 2011)
Professor Quentin Skinner, Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London on 'Shakespeare and Rhetorical Invention' (February 2011)
Professor James Simpson, Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English, Harvard University on 'The Iniquity of the Fathers: Iconoclasm in the Anglo-American Tradition' (May 2009)
Professor Michael Wood, University of Princeton on 'Yeats and Violence' (February 2008)
David Wallace (2007)
Helen Vendler (2004)
Marina Warner (2001)
Mary Jacobus (1997)
Nguigi we Thiong'O (1996)
Seamus Deane (1995)
Jacqueline Rose (1994)
Stanley Fish (1993)
Henry Louis Gates (1992)
Margaret Atwood (1991)
Christopher Ricks (1990)
Elaine Showalter (1989)
Stephen Greenblatt (1988)
Frank Kermode (1987)