20 july 2009

Seven Oxford academics become Fellows of the British Academy

Arts | University

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The British Academy, the national academy for the humanities and social sciences, has elected seven academics from Oxford University as new Fellows.

A total of 38 new Fellowships were awarded by the Academy for distinguished achievement in the humanities and social sciences. In addition,  Oxford's Professor Sir Adam Roberts took up the position of British Academy President.

Oxford's new Fellows are:

William Beinart is Rhodes Professor of Race Relations and Professorial Fellow, St Antony’s College. His research interests are in South African history, politics and society, including detailed studies of rural African communities, as well as a general history of the country. In recent years, he has focused on environmental history, both in southern Africa and beyond. He is strongly committed to the expansion of African Studies, both in the University and beyond.   

Robin Briggs is Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College. His research interests initially centred on the histoire des mentalités, and the relationship between the Catholic Reform movement and popular religion. This led into the history of witchcraft, plus a general interest in the political, social, and intellectual history of France from the Renaissance to the Revolution. This includes work on the history of applied science, such as the technical aspects of French naval history.

Jean Dunbabin is Senior Research Fellow, St Anne's College. Her research interests include the political history of medieval France, medieval ethical and political thought, and early universities. She has just finished a book on imprisonment in the high middle ages.

Malcolm Godden is Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon. His research interests include the writings of Ælfric, the works traditionally attributed to King Alfred, and Piers Plowman. He is editor of the journal Anglo-Saxon England.  His edition of the Old English Boethius was published earlier this year and he is currently leading a collaborative research project on Boethius and early medieval commentary, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Roger Pearson is Professor of French and Fellow and Praelector, The Queen's College. His research centres on French literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He has worked on the writings of Stendhal, Mallarmé, Voltaire, Zola and Maupassant. A major preoccupation underlying his research has been the relationship between the writer and the reader. He is currently investigating the role and function of the poet in nineteenth-century French literature.    

Christopher Pelling is Regius Professor of Greek at Christ Church. His research interests are in Greek and Latin historiography and biography, especially the literary criticism of these prose texts; in particular, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, and Tacitus. He has also done research focused on Greek tragedy, and the ways in which literary criticism can affect and help the task of the practical historian in reconstructing historical reality.

David Womersley is Thomas Warton Professor of English Literature. His research extends from the early sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries, and he has focused on Burke, Johnson, and Gibbon. He is one of the General Editors of the forthcoming Cambridge edition of the complete writings of Jonathan Swift, for which he is editing the volume devoted to Gulliver's Travels.

In addition, Professor Sir Adam Roberts took up his role as British Academy President. Sir Adam is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for International Studies in Oxford University’s Department of Politics and International Relations and an Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, and is an experienced adviser of public bodies, in the UK and overseas, on policy issues, especially international relations.