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Queen Mary’s Professor Donald Sassoon appointed to prestigious Visiting Chair

An eminent historian at Queen Mary, University of London has been appointed the 2009 Samuel Wood Brooks Visiting Professor in English Literature at the University of Queensland.

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Professor Donald Sassoon
Professor Donald Sassoon

Donald Sassoon, Professor of Comparative European History, has been appointed the 2009 Samuel Wood Brooks Visiting Professor in English Literature at the University of Queensland.  He will visit the Australian institution, which is based in Brisbane, as a Brooks Fellow in autumn this year.

"I am delighted to spend some time with colleagues and students at the University of Queensland. It will enhance the ties between our two institutions since, and quite coincidentally, the head of the host Department will be Professor Joanne Tomkins who was a Distinguished Fellow in the Department of Drama at Queen Mary in 2008," says Professor Sassoon.

The appointment was made on the basis of Professor Sassoon’s magisterial book The Culture of the Europeans: from 1800 to the Present. A central component to this story is the rapid development of print and literary markets in both England and France in the 19th and early 20th century.

Professor Sassoon will give a public lecture among other engagements on the emergence of an insatiable demand for fiction and non-fiction in Britain and beyond, and how publishers and publishing shaped literature in those two hundred years.

He has also connected these literary advancements with adjacent ones in theatre and performance, rewriting the history of commercial theatre over the period and its connection with book publishing.

Professor Sassoon’s study of cultural history in the arts will feed neatly into a new project on the ‘history of cultural expression’ being undertaken by the University of Queensland’s School of English.

Professor Tom O'Regan, Head of School of English, Media Studies and Art History at the University of Queensland, who promoted the appointment of Professor Sassoon, said: “The visit will be of great value to the School and Faculty, which covers many of the fields examined by Donald Sassoon - literature, publishing, theatre, film and television - but it is only now that the spaces between these are being explored with real intellectual rigour. Sassoon puts all of these, our different solitudes, “on the same page” and in doing so illuminates each in a new way.”

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