7-15 July 2018 

The T.S. Eliot International Summer School welcomes to Bloomsbury all with an interest in the life and work of this Bloomsbury-based poet, dramatist, and man of letters. It is hosted by the Institute of English Studies of the University of London, which has a national research promotion and facilitation mission for advanced study and research across the field of English Studies.

The Summer School brings together some of the most distinguished scholars of T.S. Eliot and Modern Literature. In recent years it has featured lecturers and poets such as: Simon Armitage, Jewel Spears Brooker, Robert Crawford, Denis Donoghue, Mark Ford, Lyndall Gordon, John Haffenden, Barbara Hardy, Seamus Heaney, Alan Jenkins, Hermione Lee, Gail McDonald, Paul Muldoon, Craig Raine, Robin Robertson and Sir Tom Stoppard. (View a fuller list.)

The Institute has an established interest in Modernist literature, the subject of numerous of its conferences and research seminar series, which are open to all, as are its established series of literary readings. It hosts a portfolio of research programmes and provides postgraduate teaching and training in this research environment.

Provisional Summer School Programme

Saturday 7 July - Welcome - Colm Tóibín - Dame Carol Ann Duffy

17.00 - Arrival and registration (Senate House, Grand Lobby, First Floor)

18.00 - Welcome ceremonies (Chancellor's Hall) Andrew Nash (Acting Director of the Institute of English Studies); Ronald Schuchard and Warwick Gould (Co-directors of the Summer School)

Opening address: Colm Tóibín​, Irish novelist, poet, playwright, and critic

Poetry Reading and Signing: Dame Carol Ann Duffy, HonFBA, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom and Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University

19:00 - Drinks reception and buffet generously provided by the T.S. Eliot Foundation (Grand Lobby)

Sunday 8 July - Trip to Little Gidding

Trip to Little Gidding

9.00 - Department for Little Gidding (from International Hall)

11.00-17.00 - Joint programme of the T. S. Eliot Festival of the Friends of Little Gidding and the T. S. Eliot Society of the UK

Monday 9 July - Friday 13 July Lectures & Seminars


From Monday through Friday there will be two short lectures in the morning followed by lunch.

Lecture titles:

John Xiros Cooper, “Leaving Europe: Dunkirk, Brexit, and Eliot’s Four Quartets

Anthony Cuda, “Reasons to be Late: Eliot, Narrative, and Belatedness”

Frances Dickey, “Sensation, Memory, and the Color Line in Eliot’s St. Louis”

Mark Ford, “Eliot’s London”

Lyndall Gordon, “‘What might have been and what has been’: Eliot and Women”

John Haffenden, “‘Literary Dowsing’: Valerie Eliot and the Editing of The Waste Land

Dame Hermione Lee, "That is not what I meant at all: Stoppard and Eliot"

William Marx, “‘My words echo thus’: Eliot at Bergson’s Lectures”

Seamus Perry, “Eliot, Auden, and the Voices of Christianity”

Jahan Ramazani, “T. S. Eliot, (Un)Translatability, and World Poetry”

Ronald Schuchard, “Eliot’s Intellectual Soul: Skeptical Mind, Spiritual Will”

Hannah Sullivan, “Eliot and the Art of Abandonment”


Monday to Friday, 1:00-2:30; students choose one seminar for the week. Most of the prose readings assigned will be freely available to students for the month of July in The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition, online on Project Muse, courtesy of Johns Hopkins University Press

Frances Dickey, Early Poems and Criticism: Inventions of the March Hare to Prufrock and Other Observations

William Marx, Eliot and His French Masters

Anthony Cuda, Middle Poems and Criticism: The Waste Land to ‘Marina’

John Xiros Cooper, Eliot and Europe

Ronald Schuchard, Later Poems and Criticism: Ash-Wednesday to Four Quartets

Jahan Ramazani, Global Eliot

Saturday 14 July - Trip to Burnt Norton

9.00 - Department for Norton (from International Hall)

11.00-17.00 - Joint programme of the T. S. Eliot Festival of the Friends of Little Gidding and the T. S. Eliot Society of the UK

Sunday 15 July - Tour of Eliot's London

10.00 - Sercvice at St. Stephen's Church, Gloucester Road, where Eliot was a warden for thirty yearsl followed by pub lunch. 

13.00 - Walking tour of Eliot's London, led by Mark Storey and Carey Karmel