UCL Faculty of Arts & Humanities


Quirk Symposium Wednesday 5th June 2024

12 June 2024

The Lord Randolph Quirk Endowment to UCL supports a growing community of scholars and researchers. The Quirk Symposium, on Wednesday 5th June 2024, brought together the current recipients of Quirk funds and others closely affiliated with Lord Quirk’s legacy.

Image of people sat in groups discussing the Quirk symposium

The afternoon began with introductions from Stella Bruzzi, Executive Dean of UCL Arts & Humanities and chair of the Quirk Advisory Board and Geraldine Brodie, Vice-Dean Advancement for the Faculty. Stella and Geraldine welcomed the group of academics within the Quirk community and brought the group together to thank Lord Quirk for his forethought and generosity in supporting humanistic scholarship.

Professor John Mullan, Head of UCL English, gave the group an overview of Lord Quirk’s accomplishments, describing him as an ‘intellectually impressive figure’ who dedicated most of his life to UCL and higher education. Lord Quirk was responsible for two important projects in English linguistics. One is the Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, which is a seminal book on the subject, and the other is the creation of the Survey of English Usage in 1959.

Stella Bruzzi and Geraldine Brodie speaking to a group of academics
John Mullan speaking to academics

The symposium was a great way for recipients to hear about each other's funded projects and research focuses. There were opportunities to network in groups and hear from nine of the current projects funded by the Quirk Endowment. 

These projects included:  

Lara Choksey, Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures: My work focuses on intersections of literature and science, with a particular interest in the relationship between biological and political theories of sovereignty and autonomy, and literature’s actualisation of hidden disturbances. I have written on genomics and narrative, precision medicine and poetry, epidemiological plots and ethnonationalism, feminist decolonial speculative fiction, and environmental racialisation. 

Amy Faulkner, Associate Lecturer (Teaching): I teach Old and Middle English Literature to undergraduates on the BA English degree, in addition to other teaching and administrative duties, such as cross-period tutorials. In terms of research, I specialise in Old English literature, in particular the group of Old English prose translations historically associated with King Alfred the Great (d. 899). 

Guyanne Wilson, Quirk Lecturer in Linguistics: My research focuses on the sociolinguistics of World Englishes, and I am particularly interested how World Englishes are used to perform identity, particularly in diaspora settings and online.  

Abigail Bleach, IAS Quirk Postdoctoral Fellow: I work on Old English literature and ecocritical theory. My research focuses on the temporality of ecological crisis (and of the epistemological and existential crises that accompany it).  

Ben Chennells, Wolfson-Quirk Doctoral Scholar: My project uses a combination of performance theory and literary analysis to examine audiences of Old Norse skaldic poetry and how they have been conceptualised across time. 

Chloe Franklin, Wolfson-Quirk Doctoral Scholar: My research investigates and examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing persons in England, both through existing issues which were exacerbated by the response to the outbreak, and through new issues which arose, in order to provide recommendations for improved accessibility for this group in England.   

Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen, Professor of Scandinavian and Comparative Literature and Vice-Dean Education, UCL Centre for Humanities Education: The UCL Centre for Humanities Education serves as a laboratory for developing, innovating, researching, and sharing practices and approaches to education across the multi-disciplinary Faculty of Arts and Humanities. 

Bas Aarts, Professor of English Linguistics, UCL Survey of English Usage: The Survey of English Usage carries out research in English Linguistics. It was the first Corpus Linguistics research centre established in Europe (and the second in the world). We have been building corpora and analysing grammar for more than 60 years, and our parsed corpora and software remain world-leading. 

Groups speaking
Groups speaking
Groups speaking

UCL Arts & Humanities are grateful for the Lord Randolph Quirk Endowment. This symposium is one of a series of events that honour and celebrate Lord Quirk’s life and accomplishments. The projects and research funded by the endowment are testament to Lord Quirk’s dedication to humanistic scholarship across disciplines, involving a wide range of scholars with far-reaching impact. 

Find out more about Lord Quirk and the Quirk PhD Scholarships

UCL Arts & Humanities Research and Alumni 

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