Waugh News from Oxford

Oxford University has issued two announcements relating to Old Oxonian Evelyn Waugh. The first is from the Ashmolean Museum which has scheduled a lecture in its After Hours talk series. This is entitled “Beyond Brideshead: Queer Oxford, 1919-1945” and will be given by Ross Brooks, a Historian at the Oxford Brookes University:

On the eve of the Oxford Pride parade and event, Ross Brooks shares his research on the extraordinary queer culture of interwar Oxford. Immortalised in Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel Brideshead Revisited (1945), the 1920s saw the flourishing of some of the twentieth-century’s queerest writers and artists at Oxford including John Betjeman, Robert Byron, and Emlyn Williams. Long-since styled the “Brideshead generation” by Humphrey Carpenter, Ross will reconstruct what we know of the flamboyant fashions and same-sex affairs of the set and revisit some of their favourite places including the ill-fated Hypocrites Club and the cruisy St. George’s café.

The talk will also explore the increasing presence of female undergraduates at Oxford through the period and recover the experiences of trans students such as Michael Dillon and Jan Morris. Finally, Ross will chart the nosedive in attitudes towards queer people through the 1930s as a changing socio-political scene swept away the last remnants of Oxford’s earlier queer chic and drove the University’s queer aesthetes ever further into the shadows.

The talk will be given on Friday 31 May in the museum’s Lecture Theatre. Tickets are required and booking details are available here.

Worcester College, Oxford, and the Complete Works of Waugh project have announced the selection of the first David Bradshaw Creative Writing Residency. The recipient is Dr Robert M Francis. According to the Worcester College notice:

Robert is undertaking a full-time residency and dividing his time between writing studios at Worcester College and the Weston Library, Oxford. Robert will also be delivering a series of Evelyn Waugh-inspired creative writing workshops to members of Crisis Skylight Oxford.

Robert is a writer from Dudley, who recently completed his PhD at the University of Wolverhampton, where he is a lecturer on the Creative and Professional Writing degree course. He has written four poetry chapbooks: Transitions (The Black Light Engine Room Press, 2015); Orpheus (Lapwing Publications, 2016); Corvus’ Burnt-Wing Love Balm and Cure-All (Black Light Engine Room, 2018); and Lamella (Original Plus Press, 2019). Next year promises to be even busier for Robert as Smokestack Press is due to publish his first full collection and his debut novel will be released with Wild Pressed Books.

Read more about Robert and his work through his website

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