Spotlight – December 2021

Welcome to the Spotlight Newsletter.

It was wonderful to return to a busier Faculty this Michaelmas term, with more in-person teaching taking place, and many inspiring speakers joining us for our special lecture series.

In November, Alice Oswald held her first in-person talk as Professor of Poetry since her inaugural lecture two years ago. The lecture was a sleep-talk on the subject of waking up with Sonnet 87. You will be able to listen to the lecture on our website soon.

We were also delighted to have Zing Tsjeng, Executive Editor of VICE UK author of the Forgotten Women series and our current Visiting Professor of Creative Media, talk at the Faculty on the subject of ’Yellow Peril’ in the UK. The talk examined the way in which East and South East Asian people in the UK have been depicted in the British press and media. The English Faculty also hosted a spectacular set of Wells lectures, by Professor Bill Sherman, on Decoding Shakespeare.

Our Telling Our Stories Better project, which aims to challenge misconceptions about who studies English and the career paths they can take, launched its online gallery which features interviews with a wide range of English alums who have gone on to careers in medicine and healthcare, law, business, tech, the arts, journalism, and more.

We were delighted to see Professor Helen Moore's book Amadis in English: A Study in the Reading of Romance win both the 2021 Bainton Prize for Literature and the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay Prize. Congratulations are also due to Professor Elleke Boehmer who has accepted nomination to the Dutch Society of Letters, De Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde.

Our public engagement activities have also continued: you may have heard Professor Abigail Williams’s three-part Radio 4 series, ‘Pride or Prejudice: How We Read Now’; those of you who have been in Oxford may have seen the major exhibition at the Weston, ‘Melancholy: A New Anatomy,’ co-curated by Dr Katie Murphy.