British Scholar to Lecture on Novelists

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Professor Miles Leeson of the University of Chichester, UK will present a lecture, “Flesh/Flash: Novels, Navels, and Encoding Friendship” on Tuesday, February 20 at 4:00 p.m. in the Folklife Center, according to Dr. Angela Schwer, Chair of the Department of Language and Literature.

Leeson’s lecture will explore the relationship between two twentieth-century British novelists, Iris Murdoch and Brigid Brophy.  The two met at the Cheltenham Literary Festival in 1954.  Leeson demonstrates that the relationship of the two writers grew over the following twelve years.  Using Murdoch’s journals and her letters to Brophy, Leeson argues that both novelists encoded their sometimes stormy relationship into their novels.

Leeson directs the Iris Murdoch Research Centre at the University of Chichester, UK. He is the Lead Editor of the Iris Murdoch Review and published Iris Murdoch: Philosophical Novelist in 2010. His latest work is Incest in Contemporary Literature (MUP, 2018).

His lecture is sponsored by the Department of Language and Literature, the West Virginia Folklife Center, and the Honors Program.

Schwer said, "Professor Leeson's talk about the development of an important twentieth-century British writer will be an opportunity for the faculty and students of Language and Literature to consider how writers' lives intersect with their work.  We are fortunate to be able to host such an eminent scholar."

Professor Pat Musick, Director of the Folklife Center added, “The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center welcomes another presentation by an international scholar in our Great Room of Cultures. By making use of personal material culture artifacts--letters and journals—Dr. Leeson was able to explore these authors' transformation of their life experiences into literature.”