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Dr Matthew Sperling's Astroturf longlisted for Wellcome Book Prize

Dr Matthew Sperling's recent novel has been longlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 

Nuffield Foundation Funding for English Grammar Research Project

Researchers at UCL Department of English Language and Literature and UCL Institute of Education (IOE) are set to examine whether a new approach to teaching six- and seven-year-olds about grammar can help their writing.

‘Before the Deluge’ art exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art

UCL English Language and Literature PhD student Eva Mebius, has curated an exhibition at the Yale Centre for British Art based on her research into the imagery of floods in British art since the romantic era. Read: Boston Globe

2018 Eli Karlin Essay Prize awarded

The 2018 Eli Karlin Essay Prize has been awarded to postgraduate UCL Philosophy student Naomi Alderson for her essay 'Conflict caused by 'the Look' (and how to overcome it): Mrs DallowayTo the Lighthouse and The Waves'. This prize, established by Professor Daniel Karlin in memory of his father, is for an essay linking literature to the study of philosophy or the history of ideas.

2018-19 Visiting Fellow

Amit Chaudhuri, Novelist, poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, singer and music composer, Professsor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia and an inaugural fellow at the Columbia Institute of Ideas and Imagination in Paris, has been appointed the 2018-19 Visiting Fellow in the English Department.

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)