President-elect

The Governing Body is delighted to announce that the next President of the College is to be Professor Hermione Lee, FBA, FRSL, CBE, currently the Goldsmiths' Chair of English Literature at Oxford and Fellow of New College.

Hermione Lee grew up in London (her father was a GP in central London) where she went to school at the French Lycée, the City of London School for Girls, and Queen's College. She took a first-class degree in English Literature from St Hilda's College Oxford in 1968 and an MPhil from St Cross College in 1970. She has taught at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, at the University of Liverpool (where she was given an Honorary DLitt in 2002) and at the University of York, from 1977 to 1998, where she had a personal Chair in the Department of English and Related Literature, and where she received an Honorary DLitt in 2007. Since 1998 she has been the Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature and the first woman professorial Fellow of New College. She is the literature Delegate to Oxford University Press and serves on the University's Recognition of Distinction Committee.

She is a Fellow of the British Academy, where she is a member of the Publications Committee, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's and St Cross College, Oxford, and a member of the Athenaeum Club. In 2003 she was made a CBE for services to literature and became a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In the USA, she has been a visiting teaching fellow at the Beinecke Library at Yale University, a Whitney J Oates Fellow at the Council for the Humanities at Princeton, an Everett Helm visiting fellow at the Lilly Library at the University of Indiana at Bloomington, and the Mel and Lois Tukman Fellow of the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers in 2004-5.

Hermione Lee has written widely on women writers, American literature, life-writing, and modern fiction. Her books include The Novels of Virginia Woolf (1977), a study of the Anglo-Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen (1981, revised 1999), a short critical book, the first published in Britain, on Philip Roth (1982), a critical biography of the American novelist Willa Cather, Willa Cather: A Life Saved Up (1989, reissued in a revised edition by Virago in 2008), and a major biography of Virginia Woolf (1996), which won the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay prize and was named as one of the New York Times Book Review's best books of 1997. She has also published a collection of essays on biography and autobiography, Body Parts: Essays on Life-Writing (2005), and a biography of Edith Wharton, published to considerable acclaim in 2007 by Chatto & Windus and Knopf. She has edited and introduced numerous editions and anthologies, of Kipling, Trollope, Virginia Woolf, Stevie Smith, Elizabeth Bowen, Willa Cather, Eudora Welty, and Penelope Fitzgerald. She was one of the co-editors of the Oxford Poets Anthologies from 1999 to 2002.

Hermione Lee is also well-known for her reviewing, most recently in the Guardian, and her work in the media. From 1982 to 1986 she presented Channel Four's first books programme, 'Book Four', and she contributes regularly to 'Front Row' and other radio arts programmes. She was Chair of the Judges for the ManBooker Prize for Fiction in 2006, and has judged many other literary prizes. She has served on the literature advisory panels of the Arts Council and the British Council.

She is married to John Barnard, Professor Emeritus of English Literature at the University of Leeds.

Hermione Lee says: 'I am delighted and honoured to have been elected to the Presidency of Wolfson College, an institution which since its foundation by Sir Isaiah Berlin in the 1960s has represented some of the best and most forward-looking aspects of Oxford education. It is a non-hierarchical, friendly, international and lively graduate college, a striking modern building in a beautiful riverside setting. Though I shall be sad to stand down from the Goldsmiths Chair, a post in which I have had ten rewarding and fruitful years, and though I hope to maintain my links with the Oxford English Faculty and to keep up my activities as a writer and critic, I look forward to taking on the new challenge of leading, representing, and working for the College.'

She will take up office on 1 October 2008.

More information can be found on Hermione Lee's website.

Jon Stallworthy
February 11, 2008

[Photo: Jane Bown]

News
Events

The latest from Wolfson College

23 October 2017
Imagining the Divine: Exhibition

Wolfson scholars collaborate on a unique exhibition on the art of major world religions at the Ashmolean Museum.

23 October 2017
The College Record 2017

The Wolfson College Record is a formal account of the past year and includes the final President's Letter from Professor Dame Hermione Lee.

Philomen Probert
9 October 2017
Message from the Acting President

A warm welcome to those new to Wolfson, and a warm welcome back to those who have been travelling during the summer or hiding away in libraries or...

Our upcoming events

Concert and Plays
24 - 24
Oct Oct
Staging the Modernist Life: Auto/biography, performance, and H.D.
Tuesday 24 October -
1:30pm to 2:30pm

In this lecture/performance, Sasha Colby will discuss the process of transforming auto/biographical materials into biographical drama in her recent book project Staging Modernist Lives: H.D., Mina Loy, Nancy Cunard, Three Plays and Criticism (McGill-Queen's UP, 2017). With an emphasis on the poet, novelist, and memoirist H.D.

Networking
24 - 24
Oct Oct
Slanguages exhibition: launch party
Tuesday 24 October -
4:00pm to 7:00pm

Our Creative Multilingualism Languages in the Creative Economy exhibition will feature the work, archives and ephemera related to the work of three Birmingham-based artists who use different languages in their musical and artistic work.

Lectures and Seminars
25 - 25
Oct Oct
Tennyson, Celebrity and Portraiture
Wednesday 25 October -
5:30pm to 7:00pm

This lecture will explore how publishers became responsible for promoting authors through portraiture in the mid-Victorian period. In particular it will focus on Edward Moxon and his role in expanding the readership of both William Wordsworth and Alfred Tennyson. While portraits of Wordsworth were relatively scarce, Tennyson was surrounded by sculptors, painters and photographers, which led to a new and disturbing experience of literary celebrity that had a major impact on his career.