5 july 2010

Worcester College elects new Provost


Jonathan Bate
Professor Jonathan Bate. Photograph by Eamonn McCabe

Professor Jonathan Bate has been elected as the next Provost of Worcester College.  Professor Bate will take up office in the summer of 2011 on the retirement of Mr Richard Smethurst, who has been Provost since 1991.

Jonathan Bate, born in 1958, was educated at Sevenoaks School and St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where he read English Literature. After completing his doctorate, he was a Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was appointed King Alfred Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool in 1990. Since 2003, he has been Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Warwick.

Well known as a critic, biographer and broadcaster, Jonathan Bate has held visiting posts at Harvard, Yale and UCLA. Among his books are a biography of Shakespeare, Soul of the Age, and a history of his fame, The Genius of Shakespeare. He is on the Board of the Royal Shakespeare Company and was chief editor of the RSC edition of Shakespeare’s Complete Works. His biography of the poet John Clare won Britain’s two oldest literary awards, the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Prize. His one-man play for Simon Callow, The Man from Stratford, is currently on national tour. A Fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature, he was made CBE in the Queen’s 80th Birthday Honours.

Professor Bate said ‘I am surprised, honoured and delighted to be asked to lead one of Oxford’s loveliest and friendliest colleges through the challenging years that everyone in higher education is about to face. My top priority will be the preservation of Oxford’s distinctive tutorial system, while ensuring that access to the College is available to students of high potential, whatever their background. To achieve that goal we will need the support of all the College’s Old Members and friends, as we plan a campaign of renewal leading up to Worcester’s tercentenary in 2014.’