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The 2018 Celia Phillips Memorial Lecture

The 2018 Celia Phillips Memorial Lecture ‘Frank O’Hara’s Poetries of Surface’, given by Postgraduate student Tymek Woodham, took place on the 4th October 2018 in the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre. Members of Celia’s family and friends attended the lecture and reception that followed in the English Department. As this year was the 40th anniversary of Celia’s death, her former PhD supervisor Professor John Sutherland gave a brief address before the lecture, and has written the following memorial.           

Celia Phillips

Celia Phillips (1943 - 1978) was a graduate student at UCL who died 40 years ago while near the end of her studies here. I was her supervisor and am, I think, the sole surviving member of the department who had direct personal contact with Celia. It was my good fortune.

She was a mature student - ten years older than the usual run of those embarking on graduate studies. She had worked in educational publishing before coming to UCL. Her book-trade background had inspired a fascination with the way ideas become publication and publication becomes influence.

Her other, private, impulse for undertaking research was interest in the Victorian novelist ‘Ouida’ - pen-name of Marie Louise de la Ramée - admired in her time (by Henry James among others), now sadly forgotten. This, the 1970s, was when the rediscovery of women writers, spear-headed by the publishing firm Virago, was in full swing. Celia was part of that rediscovery, which has changed our whole frame of literary history.

 I shared Celia’s interest in publishing history but was less acquainted with Ouida. As often happens in a fulfilling supervisor-graduate relationship, I received as much as I gave. Precociously, Celia published articles in top-rank learned journals such as the Bulletin of the New York Public Library and Publishing History. Had she been spared the cruel affliction which prematurely killed her, she would have written the authoritative biography which her author still lacks.

Celia was a wonderfully warm and outgoing person who made friends in the Department at staff and student level. The Department felt bereaved on her death. Her family generously endowed an annual lecture, by a postgraduate, in her memory. It stands as a yearly tribute to the scholarly vitality and fresh thinking which characterizes graduate research UCL’s English Department. In that sense, she lives. (John Sutherland)

Launch of Englicious

The Survey of English Usage, a research unit within UCL's department of English, is pleased to announce the official public launch of the Englicious website aimed at improving the teaching of English grammar and literacy. The website contains a complete library of English teaching and learning resources, including background material for teachers; lesson plans, starters, and projects for use with students in the classroom; interactive smart board activities; a thorough and authoritative glossary of terms; and even short informational videos on English grammar for teachers, students, and parents. The project was conceived as a means of making the rich linguistics research of the Survey of English Usage available to teachers and students. In addition, the project rigorously connects the new UK National Curriculum for English to the most recent linguistic research into the English language, offering teachers a consistent, authoritative source of information and classroom materials. Partners have included primary and secondary schools in Camden and Haringey, as well as the National Association for the Teaching of English. The development of the site was funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council knowledge transfer funding and by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council via a UCL Enterprise Award.