IES appoints new chair of Advisory Council

Friday 17 January 2020

Keele University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise Professor David Amigoni has been appointed chair of the Advisory Council for the Institute for English Studies (IES), part of the University of London's School of Advanced Study.

Professor Amigoni succeeds Professor Dinah Birch, CBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Cultural Engagement at the University of Liverpool. As Professor of Victorian Literature, David Amigoni has an international research reputation in the field, with particular emphases on life writing, literature and science.

David has held a variety of leadership roles at Keele: Head of Department, Director of the Research Institute of Humanities, then Head of the School of Humanities, and has published extensively in the field of Victorian literature. Since 2009 he has worked on ageing and culture, ran an AHRC-funded network with Professor Gordon McMullan (King's College, London), and co-edited (with McMullan) Creativity in Later Life: Beyond Late Style (2019). He has edited The Journal of Victorian Culture (2005-08) and was editor in chief of Literature Compass (2013-15). He joined the editorial board of The Conversation UK in 2018 and will be a member of the English REF panel in 2021.

Professor Amigoni said: “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed to chair the Advisory Council of the Institute of English Studies. English studies has always been, at heart, an interdisciplinary enterprise. The IES is one of the great flagships for the advanced study of this inter-discipline so this is a particularly exciting time to work with the Advisory Council as, together with the Director of IES and the Dean of the School of Advanced Study, we continue to develop the unique contribution of IES to the HE landscape. Causes that are central to the IES - excellence and innovation in research and education, equality and diversity of opportunity, and sharing the work of IES regionally, internationally and with diverse publics - are vital to me as well. I am very much looking forward to starting work.”

Professor Rick Rylance, Dean of the School of Advanced Study, University of London, said: “I am delighted to welcome David as the new chair of the IES Advisory Council. I have known David for many years both as an excellent scholar and an experienced senior presence in academic life. He is an outstanding appointment to follow another. I would like to take this opportunity not only to welcome David, but also to send my thanks and appreciation to Dinah Birch for her tenure in this role. She has been the most wise and supportive of advisors and IES and SAS are much in her debt.”

Professor Clare Lees, Director of the IES, said: “In David, the Advisory Council of the Institute of English Studies has found a distinguished new Chair with an exceptional record of achievement in research and leadership. His commitment to excellence, innovation and inclusivity in the diverse and varied field of English Studies will guide the Council over the next several years. We are thrilled that he is joining the Council and the Institute, and excited to begin the work. Thank you, David.”