bonæ litteræ: occasional writing from David Rundle, Renaissance scholar

Renaissance Man becomes Essex Man

Posted in Offbeat observations, Uncategorized by bonaelitterae on 3 September, 2013

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.

The town of San Gimignano and the University of Essex — may they be in some way related?

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  1. […] in the BNW – the brave new world, in Miranda’s sense, not Aldous’s – I read a phrase that caused an […]

  2. […] second only to the Tower of London in size, is set on the foundations of a Roman temple. I am, as I have explained before, now an Essex man, based at the University whose postal address is Colchester, though its campus is […]

  3. […] my new university, the department has a tradition of interest in public history in which it is justifiably proud. […]


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