The Institute runs an extensive annual programme of lectures and readings on a wide range of subjects, both general and specialised, within the broad area of English studies.

Forthcoming Lectures and Readings

31 May 2017, 6:00pm - 8:00pm (Senate Room, Senate House)

Fleming, Ian Fleming: The Author as Collector: Presented by Jon Gilbert (Ian Fleming Biography). Registration TBC.

Previous Lectures

English Studies Lectures

Hilda Hulme Memorial Lectures

2014: Professor Dayton Haskin (Boston College): 'The Jesuits and English Literature - John Donne and Ignatian Spirituality' (available here as a PDF file)

2013: Professor Martin Mueller (Professor emeritus of English and Classics, Northwestern University Illinois): '"Shakespeare His Contemporaries": Exploring Early Modern Drama in a Digital Environment' (2 July 2013)

2012: Professor James Shapiro (Columbia University): 'Unravelling Shakespeare's Life' (23 April 2012)

2011: Professor Henry Woudhuysen (University College London): '"Ha-ha-ha. Hi-hi-hi. Ho-ho-ho. Ha-hi-ho": Representing sounds in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature' (2 June 2011)

2010: Michael Slater: 'Dicken's Shakespeare' (7 July 2010)

2009: Denis Donoghue: 'Eliot's Shakespeare' (29 June 2009)

2008: Professor Annabel Patterson: 'Milton and the D-Word' (9 July 2008)

2007: Claire Tomalin: 'Thomas Hardy: Poet and Novelist' (4 October 2007)

2006: Professor Jonathan Bate, FBA: 'Shakespeare: The Man from the Greenwood' (26 September 2006)

2005: Professor David Crystal: 'Johnson and the Internet' (21 April 2005)

2004: Professor Germaine Greer: 'The Shakespearean Boy' (14 January 2004)

2003: Professor Hilary Fraser (Birkbeck College, London): 'Possession and Dispossession: Owning the Story of Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill' (28 May 2003)

2002: Dr Ato Quayson (Pembroke College, University of Cambridge): 'Thunder in the Index: A Preface to a Post-Colonial Shakespeare' (17 January 2002)

2001: Professor Gillian Fellows-Jensen: 'English Place-Names and Settlement History Seen with the Wisdom of Handsight' (22 February 2001))

2000: Professor Marjorie Garber (Harvard University): 'Historical Correctness' (11 May 2000)

1998: Professor Jerome J. McGann (University of Virginia): 'Dante and Rossetti: Translation, Pastiche, Ritual, Fate' (8 December 1998)

1997: Sir Frank Kermode: 'Explorations in Shakespeare's Language' (18 December 1997)

1996: Dr Elizabeth M. Brennan (Emeritus Reader in English, University of London): 'The Dull Duty of an Editor: Working with Webster and Dickens'

1995: Barbara Everett (Somerville College, Oxford): 'Jane Austen: Hard Romance' (18 December 1995)

1992: Professor Isobel Armstrong (Birkbeck College, London): 'Charlotte Brontë's City of Glass' (2 December 1992)

1991: Professor Rosemary Ashton: 'Dickens, George Eliot and George Henry Lewes' (3 December 1991)

1990: Professor Helen Vendler: 'Ways into Shakespeare's Sonnets' (3 December 1990)

1988: Gillian Beer: 'Can the Native Return?' (8 December 1988)

1987: Professor Stanley Wells: 'Shakespeare and Revision' (3 December 1987)

1986: Professor Barbara Hardy: 'The Narrators in Macbeth' (11 December 1986)

John Coffin Memorial Lectures

2016 John Coffin Memorial Lecture: Iain Sinclair FRSL, '"James Joyce, Our Dad, Alas": a late modernist autobiography of Bloom fugues in simultaneous cities, London and Dublin'. 16 June 2016.

2016 John Coffin Memorial Annual Palaeography Lecture: Daniel Wakelin (Jeremy Griffiths Professor of Palaeography, University of Oxford): '"Let me slip into something less comfortable": Gothic textualis by accident and by design'. 11 May 2016.

2016 John Coffin Memorial Annual Irish Studies Lecture: Professor Clair Wills (Louis Milberg Chair of Irish Letters, Princeton University) on 'Digs and Lodging Houses: Literature, ruins and survival in post-war Britain'. 21 April 2016

2015 John Coffin Memorial Annual Palaeography Lecture: Professor Nicholas Vincent FBA: 'Who Wrote Magna Carta?'. 13 May 2015

2014 John Coffin Memorial Annual Irish Studies Lecture: Joanna Bourke (Birkbeck College): 'Desire and Dishonour: Heterosexuality in Nineteenth-Century Ireland'. 5 June 2014 

John Coffin Memorial Annual Palaeography Lecture: James Willoughby (New College, Oxford): 'The Hand of Ralph of Coggeshall. Chronicle-Making in the Reign of King John'. 7 May 2014

2010 John Coffin Memorial Lecture: Teresa Webber: 'Reading in the Refectory: monastic practice in England, c.1000-c.1300' (18 February 2010)

2005 John Coffin Memorial Lecture in the History of the Book: William St Clair: 'The Political Economy of Reading'

Virginia Woolf Birthday Lecture

2016: Professor Frances Spalding CBE (Newcastle): 'Virginia Woolf and Tristram Shandy'. 23 January 2016

2015: Professor Dame Hermione Lee (Wolfson College, Oxford): 'To pin down the moment with date and season'. 25 January 2014

Wordsworth Trust Annual Lecture

2016: Professor Michael Rossington (Newcastle University): 'Romantic Poetry and "the Existing State of Things'". 15 November 2016

2015: Professor Simon Bainbridge (Lancaster University): A 'closing deed magnificent?' Wordsworth, War and Waterloo. 15 October 2015

2014: Professor Fiona Stafford (University of Oxford): 'Wordsworth and the Meaning of Trees'. 16 October 2014

2013: Annual Wordsworth Lecture.  Professor Stephen Gill (Lincoln College, Oxford): '"A Sea Rolling High": Wordsworth in 1804'. 8 October 2013