Spotlight – July 2023

Welcome to the Spotlight Newsletter.

Trinity Term 2023 saw Alice Oswald hold her final lecture as Professor of Poetry on ‘Counterblast! (a manifesto for poetry)’ at the Oxford University Natural History Museum. You can listen to the full lecture on the Oxford University podcast site. We are also delighted to announce that our new Professor of Poetry has been elected. A E Stallings will take up the position from October 2023. She will be giving a public lecture each term for the duration of her tenure – keep an eye on our website and social media channels for details.

We also welcomed Jeanette Winterson to the English Faculty for her final lecture as Visiting Professor of Creative Media. She gave a short talk on the subject of ‘The Word Tardis’ and then answered questions from audience members. The recording of the talk is available on our website. Marion Turner, the newly appointed Tolkien Professor of English Language and Literature, also gave an illuminating inaugural lecture on ‘Holidaying in the Middle Ages’. The lecture included some useful advice about how to politely turn down an invitation to go on a pilgrimage (the excuse involves a possibly gangrenous leg). The recording will be available on our website and YouTube channel soon.

Professor Susan Stewart (Princeton University) held a series of lectures on ‘Poetry’s Nature’ as part of the annual Clarendon Lecture Series. The Clarendon Lectures provide wide-ranging, lively studies from some of the most prestigious writers and thinkers of today. The lectures are published by Oxford University Press.

Professor Emma Smith hosted a new radio show on BBC Radio 4, inviting major figures to discuss Shakespeare and explore whether his works can help resolve tricky contemporary issues such as toxic masculinity, the levelling up agenda, and the challenges of populism. You can listen to all five episodes on BBC Sounds.

We also held a reception to celebrate books by our Faculty members which have been published in the past year. It’s an impressive collection! You can browse the full list on our website.

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