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Belinda Jack appointed to London’s Oldest Professorship

Four Century Old Tradition continued through The Mysteries of Reading and Writing:
Belinda Jack appointed to London’s Oldest Professorship

Professor Belinda Jack

Gresham College, London’s oldest Higher Education Institution, is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Belinda Jack as the new Professor of Rhetoric. Her free public lectures on The Mysteries of Reading and Writing will continue the College’s tradition of offering free education for all, which began with the College’s founding in 1597.

The Appointment

Belinda Jack (also Fellow and Tutor in French at Christ Church, University of Oxford) will be the 47th Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham College. She follows most recently Sir Richard J. Evans (Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge), and Lord (Peter) Hennessey (Professor of Contemporary British History, Queen Mary, University of London) and many others before him.

This unusual chair was created at the foundation of the College in 1597, when it was considered to be one of the seven subjects essential to a well-rounded gentleman’s education (alongside Astronomy, Divinity, Geometry, Law, Music and Physic). Although initial lectures were restricted to the subject of public speaking and argumentation, the Professorship is today freely interpreted to cover any of the Arts or Humanities. (The Professor is also no longer required to deliver the lectures in Latin as well as English!) Prior incumbents of the Gresham Rhetoric Professorship have spoken on history, politics, philosophy and education amongst other varied fields.

Professor Belinda Jack

Belinda Jack is Fellow and Tutor in French at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She features regularly in the press and media thanks to the popularity and insight of her published works, including books such as The Woman Reader, George Sand: A Woman’s Life Writ Large and Negritude and Literary Criticism: The History and Theory of “Negro-African” Literature in French.

Dr Jack obtained her D.Phil. in Negritude and Literary Criticism at St John’s College, University of Oxford in 1989, having earlier obtained a degree in French with African and Caribbean Studies from the University of Kent. Her academic career over the past twenty years has been at Christ Church, University of Oxford, where she is an ‘Official Student’ (Fellow and Member of the Governing Body) and Tutor in French. Her main interest lies in French literature of the 19th and 20th centuries.

As well as her five books, she is widely published through her many articles, essays, chapters and reviews. Her recent articles and reviews have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Literary Review, Times Literary Supplement, Times Higher Education Supplement, BBC History Magazine and Littérature. She is a regular on the BBC and international radio and television, as well as a frequent speaker at literary festivals throughout the British Isles and beyond.

For more information go to the Gresham College Website: here

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