Waugh in Academia: Shanghai and Oxford

A paper relating to Waugh will be presented later this week at an academic conference in China. This is entitled “Hearing Voices: The Extended Mind in Evelyn Waugh’s The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold“. It will be offered on Saturday, 21 September at Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China near Shanghai in a conference on the subject “Future of the Humanities: The Gender/Sex Turn”. The presenter is Dr Yuexi Liu who teaches at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, also near Shanghai. Dr Liu is also co-editor of Evelyn Waugh Studies and a member of the Evelyn Waugh Society. More information on the conference is available at this link.

In other news, the Daily Mail has reported that Hertford College, Oxford, is considering the appointment of TV presenter Jeremy Paxman as its next Principal. According to Sebastian Shakespeare, writing in the Mail:

Hertford College [is] alma mater of Question Time host Fiona Bruce and Brideshead Revisited author Evelyn Waugh, who fictionalised Hertford as ‘Scone College’ [in his novel Decline and Fall] and made it the scene of an episode of Bullingdon Club depravity.

Jeremy Paxman, who for the past 25 years has been ‘master’ of University Challenge has, I can disclose, been interviewed for the role of Principal of Hertford College. […] Paxo is all too aware his TV bosses may wield the axe at University Challenge before long, acknowledging eight years ago that the BBC would one day say: ‘let’s get rid of this old person’. Oxford is more tolerant, allowing colleges to determine the age at which their heads retire. A number are in their seventies, including Sir Ivor Crewe, 73. Hertford is offering an ‘initial term’ of five years, which would take Paxo to 75.

But his politics may be a problem. Though a Labour supporter during his own university days at Cambridge, Paxo is now bracingly independent and has little sympathy for political correctness. Hertford, by contrast, proudly proclaims its ‘progressive social agenda’. …

Hertford also featured as Charles Ryder’s thinly disguised but un-named college in Brideshead.

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