Celebrated author and academic Marina Warner joins Birkbeck

Marina Warner – known for her writings about feminism and myth – has expressed delight at joining Birkbeck

Professor Marina Warner, photo credit: Dan Welldon

Award-winning writer Marina Warner CBE (pictured, right) – best known for her writings about feminism and myth – has expressed delight at being appointed Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck. She will lecture on literature and teach creative writing in her new role in the Department of English and Humanities in Birkbeck’s School of Arts.

Joining Birkbeck

Professor Warner said: “I could not have been more pleased when I heard about my appointment. Ever since I first came to London in the 1960s, I have admired Birkbeck, its principles, aims and ideals. Many of my mentors and friends have taught at Birkbeck, including the historian Eric Hobsbawm. I have been a feminist all my life and the flexibility of evening teaching makes a huge difference to women coming back to education. There is also a huge attraction to working in Bloomsbury as it is saturated with literary and political history.”

Professor Hilary Fraser, Dean of Birkbeck’s School of Arts, said: “We are delighted to welcome Marina Warner to Birkbeck. She has a rare breadth of intelligence and cultural reach, and brings together the creative and the critical, the literary and the visual, in ways that speak to the particular character of the School of Arts. Staff and students alike are excited by the opportunity to work with a writer and public intellectual of such eminence, one who is sympathetic to Birkbeck’s distinctive ethos and shares our values.”

Literary accomplishments

Professor Warner’s most celebrated works include her non-fiction work Alone of all her sex: the myth and cult of the Virgin Mary (1976) and her novel The lost father, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1988. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2005, and was made a CBE for services to literature in 2008. Professor Warner has also sat on the judging panels for the Booker Prize and Turner Prize.

Her most recent work of non-fiction, published this year, is called Once upon a time: a short history of fairy tale (Oxford University Press). She is currently chairing the judging panel for the Man Booker International Prize 2015, and is working on a novel inspired by her father’s bookshop in Egypt in the Fifties entitled Inventory of a life mislaid.

Her academic career has included teaching and research posts at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford and Princeton.

Photo credit: Dan Welldon