The British Comparative Literature Association has organised the biennial Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture Series since 2008 in memory of Malcolm Bowie (1943–2007), who served as President of the BCLA from 1998 to 2004. Malcolm Bowie was Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature at the University of Oxford from 1992 to 2002 and Master of Christ’s College at the University of Cambridge from 2002 to 2007. He was a pioneer in literary criticism and comparative literature.

The Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture, “How to Become a Comparatist” will be held at 6.00 pm – 8.00 pm, 11 November 2022, at the Great Hall, King’s Building, Kings’ College, Strand, London. Directions to the venue are given in the link. This event is open and free to all – no need to register. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception, with a choice of wines, again free for all to attend.

The event is in-person and also live-streamed on Microsoft Teams, and so may be viewed remotely by those unable to attend. To join, please go to this link. The meeting ID: 368 139 892 425 and the passcode is: tiuXkQ

The invited speaker will be Professor William Marx, who has held the position of Chair of Comparative Literatures at the Collège de France, Paris. since 2019; he is also an Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Berlin, Germany.  Professor Marx is the recipient of many awards,  including the Montyon Prize of the Académie Française. His books include The Hatred of Literature (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018) which examines the evolving idea of literature as seen through the eyes of its adversaries: philosophers, theologians, scientists and pedagogues. Professor Marx’ latest work, The Tomb of Oedipus: Why Greek Tragedies Were Not Tragic, is published by Verso. 

A Tribute to Malcolm Bowie’s life and work

For a complete tribute to Malcolm Bowie’s life and work, read Professor Malcolm Bowie (1943 – 2007): A Tribute by Valerie Minogue, Professor Emeritus of the University of Wales.

Previous lectures in this series

10 November 2018, Alumni Lecture Theatre, SOAS University of London – ‘Awkward Encounters: Lewis Carroll, Parody and Wordsworth’ by Professor Dame Gillian Beer.

30 January 2016, Birkbeck School of Arts – ‘Proust and music, politics and flesh’, by Jacqueline Rose.

25 January 2014, Deptford Town Hall, Goldsmiths, University of London – ‘Memory: A Musician’s Perspective’ by Susan Tomes, Pianist and Writer.

21 January 2012, Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, University of London – ‘The Balloon of the Mind: Literature and Cognition’ by Terence Cave, Emeritus Professor of French Literature, University of Oxford.

16 January 2010, Wilkins Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College London – ‘Balzac: The Animal, the Human, and the Form of the Novel’ by Antonia S. Byatt, Novelist (in collaboration with the Centre for Intercultural Studies, University College London)

12 January 2008, Senate House, University of London – ‘Travelling through Translation’ by Professor Susan Bassnett,  the current President of the British Comparative Literature Association.

Photo credit: The British Academy

Scroll to Top