Renaissance Man becomes Essex Man
Some subtle changes have been made to this site’s homepage, updating my life. For, after years when my only affiliation has been the Univeristy of Oxford, I have taken up a post as Lecturer in History at the University of Essex. Quite a change, you might be thinking, but it is an opportunity I am relishing. Did he want the job (you may be asking) because the 1960s architects of the new campus claimed it was inspired by the hill-top towers of San Gimignano? No, and I suspect you can only recognise the resemblance after the third bottle of Vernaccia. But doesn’t Essex believe that history starts in 1500? It is true that that is the cut-off point which was decided upon when the department in the university was established — an interesting reflection on the traditions of historiographical periodisation — but the department is welcome to my teasing away at those edges. And, in addition, they have established a Centre for Bibliographical History and I am very much looking forward to using what organisational skills I have to help that develop.
This new life will mean I need to shed some other responsibilities, with regret. Specifically, I am standing down as Executive Officer to the Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, a role I have much enjoyed fulfilling in the past five years. It is sad to move on but I can look back at a time of real success and development for the Society, from its growing membership to its increased number of events and grant-giving.
Not all is change, however. I continue to be based in Oxford for a whole host of reasons, not least among them because I have my special lectures on English Humanist Scripts, up to c. 1509 coming up this autumn. Have I not told you about those? Another post to come then. But, as you can tell, it is going to be a very, very busy time. And that’s how I like it.