Over 4000 free audio and video lectures, seminars and teaching resources from Oxford University.
Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

#greatwriters

# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Creative Commons Why should we study Old English Literature? Dr Francis Leneghan of St Cross College, Oxford, discusses his current research around Beowulf and proposes why we should still study Old English Literature. Francis Leneghan 07 Nov 2013
2 Creative Commons Victorian Realism and the Implied Reader Michael Whitworth, English Faculty, Oxford University, gives a lecture at the English Faculty Open day around Victorian literature. Michael Whitworth 06 Nov 2013
3 Creative Commons Translations as Literature Matthew Reynolds, Fellow and Tutor in English Language and Literature, Oxford, gives a talk for the 2013 Oxford Alumni Weekend. Matthew Reynolds 29 Oct 2013
4 Creative Commons 3. Art and Morality Sos Eltis gives the third lecture in the series on Oscar Wilde, focussing on Wilde's concept of morality shown in his works including the Picture of Dorian Gray, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and The Devoted Friend. Sos Eltis 29 Oct 2013
5 Creative Commons Wolves and Winter: Old Norse Myths and Children's Literature Dr Carolyne Larrington, Supernumerary Fellow and Tutor in English, St John's College, gives a talk to accompany the exhibition 'Magical Books: From The Middle Ages to Middle Earth'. Carolyne Larrington 23 Oct 2013
6 Creative Commons 2. Wilde, Victorian and Modernist Sos Eltis gives the second lecture in her series on Oscar Wilde, focussing on his place in the modernist tradition. Sos Eltis 22 Oct 2013
7 Creative Commons 1. The Art of Biography and the Biography of Art First lecture in the Oscar Wilde series in which Sos Eltis talks about Wilde's life and his work, De Profundis. Sos Eltis 14 Oct 2013
8 Creative Commons What's so great about Austen? Isn't she just bonnets and balls? Some film and tv adaptations of Jane Austen's novels might give the impression that the stories are little more than Mills and Boon-type romances in empire-line frocks. Sandie Byrne 07 Oct 2013
9 Creative Commons Smallpox in poetry Smallpox was rife in the eighteenth century, leaving its mark both on its sufferers, and on the literature of the period. This podcast explores its history in verse. Elizabeth Atkinson 16 Sep 2013
10 Creative Commons The poetry of war Explores the aesthetics and impact of war poetry in the early eighteenth century, focussing on Joseph Addison's poem, The Campaign. Abigail Williams 16 Sep 2013
11 Creative Commons The Ladle: a comic poem Matthew Prior's The Ladle was one of the most popular poems of the eighteenth century. This podcast explores its appeal. Louise Curran 16 Sep 2013
12 Creative Commons Music in miscellanies Much popular music of the eighteenth century is found in poetic miscellanies. But how was it performed? Giles Lewin 16 Sep 2013
13 Creative Commons Pastoral Poetry Introduces the poetry of rural life, and its debt to classical sources. Kathleen Lawton-Trask 16 Sep 2013
14 Creative Commons Politics in poetry This podcast explores the culture of Jacobitism in the eighteenth century, using a popular ballad. John McTague 16 Sep 2013
15 Creative Commons The life of epigrams This podcasts introduces the popular eighteenth century epigram. Dianne Mitchell 16 Sep 2013
16 Creative Commons Petticoats and fashion An introduction to the world of fashion and the politics of the petticoat, seen through the poetry of the time. Elizabeth Atkinson 16 Sep 2013
17 Creative Commons Information about Great Writers Inspire Further information about the educational resource: http://writersinspire.org. Sarah Wilkin 29 Aug 2013
18 Creative Commons Why should we study Elizabethan Theatre? Professor Tiffany Stern of University College, Oxford, discusses her current research and proposes why we should still study Elizabethan Theatre. Tiffany Stern, Ilana Lassman 19 Aug 2013
19 Creative Commons Why should we study medieval romance? Dr Nicholas Perkins of St Hugh's College, Oxford, discusses his current research and proposes why we should still study medieval romance. Nicholas Perkins, Sarah Wilkin 12 Aug 2013
20 Creative Commons 13.Bodleian Ballads Online: engagement for performance, teaching and research. Cultural Connections talk by Giles Bergel. Part of the Digital Humanities @ Oxford Summer School 2013. Giles Bergel 08 Aug 2013
21 Creative Commons 16.To Shakespeare and Beyond: a panel discussion. Cultural Connections discussion panel Casandra Ash, Peter Kirwan, Jose Perez Diaz and Emma Smith. Part of the Digital Humanities @ Oxford Summer School 2013. Cassandra Ash, Peter Kirwan, José Pérez Díez, Emma Smith 07 Aug 2013
22 Creative Commons 06.Writing for New Audiences. Cultural Connections workshop with novelist, screenwriter and Head of Creative Writing at Brunel University, Max Kinnings. Part of the Digital Humanities @ Oxford Summer School 2013. Max Kinnings 07 Aug 2013
23 Creative Commons Why should we study the humanities? For those wanting a further challenge, Professor Helen Small of Pembroke College, Oxford, discusses the difficulties facing the study of the humanities today. Helen Small, Ilana Lassman 31 Jul 2013
24 Creative Commons Why should we study Johnson? Professor Ros Ballaster of Mansfield College, Oxford, discusses her current research and proposes we should still study Samuel Johnson. Ros Ballaster, Sarah Wilkin 31 Jul 2013
25 Creative Commons Why should we study Postcolonial Literature? Professor Elleke Boehmer of Wolfson College, Oxford, discusses her current research and proposes why we should study Postcolonial writers such as Achebe. Elleke Boehmer, Sarah Wilkin 31 Jul 2013
26 Creative Commons Why should we study Chaucer? Dr Laura Ashe of Worcester College, Oxford, discusses her current research and proposes why we should still study Chaucer. Laura Ashe, Ilana Lassman 31 Jul 2013
27 Creative Commons Why should we study Shakespeare? Dr Emma Smith of Hertford College, Oxford, discusses her current research and proposes why we should still study Shakespeare. Emma Smith, Ilana Lassman 31 Jul 2013
28 Creative Commons Why should we study Dickens? Dr Robert Douglas-Fairhurst of Magdalen College, Oxford, discusses his current research and proposes why we should still study Dickens. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Ilana Lassman 31 Jul 2013
29 Creative Commons 03 Lire Sade avec Rousseau This lecture is in French. Third lecture in the Sade, l'inconnu? Nouvelles approaches critiques conference. Mladen Kozul 24 Jul 2013
30 Creative Commons 08 Obscenity off the Scene: Sade's La Philosophie dans le Boudoir This lecture is in English. Eighth lecture in the Sade, l'inconnu? Nouvelles approaches critiques conference. John Phillips 22 Jul 2013
31 Creative Commons 07 Sade, homme de lettres This lecture is in French. Seventh lecture in the Sade, l'inconnu? Nouvelles approaches critiques conference. Stéphanie Genand 22 Jul 2013
32 Creative Commons Acting Masterclass: "Lend me your ears" A second Masterclass on how Shakespeare spins rhetoric for the actor, with Sam Leith, journalist and writer, and author of 'You Talkin' to Me'. Students from Oxford University Drama Society will take part in the masterclass with an audience. Gregory Doran, Sam Leith 07 Jun 2013
33 Creative Commons Acting Masterclass: "Lend me your ears" A practical Masterclass with Greg Doran from the Royal Shakespeare Company on how Shakespeare spins rhetoric for the actor, with Sam Leith, journalist and writer, and author of 'You Talkin' to Me'. Students from Oxford University Drama Society take part. Gregory Doran, Sam Leith 07 Jun 2013
34 Creative Commons Acting Masterclass: 'Pyramus, you begin' A practical Masterclass with Greg Doran from the Royal Shakespeare Company looking at what clues Shakespeare puts into the verse for the actor. Students from Oxford University Drama Society rehearse Romeo and Juliet in front of an audience. Gregory Doran 07 Jun 2013
35 Creative Commons Acting Masterclass: 'Pyramus, you begin' A practical Masterclass looking at what clues Shakespeare puts into the verse for the actor. Students from Oxford University Drama Society will take part in the masterclass with an audience. Gregory Doran 07 Jun 2013
36 Creative Commons Oriental Tales and Their Influence Prof. Warner and Prof. Ballaster begin their conversation with Antoine Galland's translation into French from Arabic of the 'Alf Layla wa-Layla' as the first two volumes of 'Les Mille et Une Nuit' in the first decade of eighteenth century. Ros Ballaster, Marina Warner 26 Mar 2013
37 Creative Commons From Owen's Doomed Youth, to his doomed youth Lecture at the event 'Wilfred Owen: From Doomed Youth to the Battle of the Sambre'. Imperial War Museum, 10th November 2012. Jean Moorcroft Wilson 27 Feb 2013
38 Creative Commons From Mametz Wood to The General Lecture on Siegfried Sassoon given at the Imperial War Museum, London, 12th November 2011. Jean Moorcroft Wilson 27 Feb 2013
39 Creative Commons The Last Phase A discussion on the last phase of the First World War. A talk given at 'Wilfred Owen: From Doomed Youth to Battle of the Sambre', Imperial War Museum, 10th November 2012. Max Egremont 18 Feb 2013
40 Creative Commons "Bright Metal on a Sullen Ground": The idea of true character in English writing and portraiture Historian Stella Tillyard delivers the fourth Weinrebe Lecture in Life-Writing and Portraiture. The talk is introduced by College President Hermione Lee. Stella Tillyard 18 Feb 2013
41 Creative Commons The real Jane Austen: A life in small things Biographer Paula Byrne (Perdita: The Life of Mary Robinson and Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead) delivers the second Weinrebe lecture on Life-Writing and Portraiture. Paula Byrne 01 Feb 2013
42 Creative Commons W.B. Yeats and the Ghost Club Dr Tara Stubbs uses exciting new research findings to discuss the close links between Yeats's attendances at the Ghost Club during the 1910s-1920s, his (sometimes amusing) spiritualist experiments, and his poetic works. Tara Stubbs 19 Dec 2012
43 Creative Commons Shedding light on the dark ages The Dark Ages are traditionally seen as nasty, brutish and short - a cultural and intellectual waste land, with virtually nothing worthy of art historical consideration. But Janina argues this is far from the truth. Janina Ramirez 05 Dec 2012
44 Creative Commons The Merchant of Venice This lecture on The Merchant of Venice discusses the ways the play's personal relationships are shaped by models of financial transaction, using the casket scenes as a central example. Emma Smith 20 Nov 2012
45 Creative Commons Taming of the Shrew Emma Smith uses evidence of early reception and from more recent productions to discuss the question of whether Katherine is tamed at the end of the play. Emma Smith 09 Nov 2012
46 Creative Commons A Midsummer Night's Dream This lecture on A Midsummer Night's Dream uses modern and early modern understandings of dreams to uncover a play less concerned with marriage and more with sexual desire. Emma Smith 05 Nov 2012
47 Creative Commons Language and History Prof. Simon Horobin examines how the English language has changed over time, addressing such vexed questions as whether Jane Austen could spell, the fate of the apostrophe and whether people who 'literally' explode with anger are corrupting the language. Simon Horobin 30 Oct 2012
48 Creative Commons Much Ado About Nothing Emma Smith asks why the characters are so quick to believe the self-proclaimed villain Don John, drawing on gender and performance criticism to think about male bonding, the genre of comedy, and the impulses of modern performance. Emma Smith 30 Oct 2012
49 Creative Commons Dickens' Railways Professor Stphen Gill, Lincoln College, gives a talk about the influence the Railways had on Charles Dickens' literature. Stephen Gill 26 Oct 2012
50 Creative Commons Hamlet The fact that father and son share the same name in Hamlet is used to investigate the play's nostalgia, drawing on biographical criticism and the religious and political history of early modern England. Emma Smith 23 Oct 2012
51 Creative Commons As You Like It Asking 'what happens in As You Like It', this lecture considers the play's dramatic structure and its ambiguous use of pastoral, drawing on performance history, genre theory, and eco-critical approaches. Emma Smith 23 Oct 2012
52 Creative Commons Kipling, the Elton John of his age? Professor Elleke Boehmer discusses why Kipling's writing, and his poetry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in particular, launched him to international fame across the British Empire. Elleke Boehmer, Dominic Davies 08 Oct 2012
53 Creative Commons Postcolonial Women Writers Professor Elleke Boehmer notes the distinct lack of women writers on the Post/Colonial Writing page of the Great Writers website, and explores why this is the case. Elleke Boehmer, Dominic Davies 08 Oct 2012
54 Creative Commons Oscar Wilde's Women Sophie Duncan introduces Oscar Wilde by setting him in an accurate historical context. Sophie Duncan 19 Sep 2012
55 Creative Commons Great Writers Inspire Great Writing Alex Pryce considers how writers are readers, influenced and inspired by the works of other writers. Alex Pryce 19 Sep 2012
56 Creative Commons Julian Thompson on Rudyard Kipling Dr Julian Thompson considers a writer described by Kingsley Amis as 'our greatest writer of short stories'. Julian Thompson 19 Sep 2012
57 Creative Commons DH Lawrence: A Postcolonial Writer? Professor Peter McDonald draws on the work of Indian novelist and literary critic, Amit Chaudhuri, to open up new ways of how we can think about D.H. Lawrence, not only as a Modernist, but also as a Post/Colonial writer. Peter McDonald 28 Aug 2012
58 Creative Commons Joseph Conrad and Postcoloniality - Part 2: Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim Professor Peter McDonald talks to Great Writers Inspire about the Post/Colonial aspects of Joseph Conrad's writing. Peter McDonald 28 Aug 2012
59 Creative Commons Joseph Conrad and Postcoloniality - Part 1: Conrad and Chinua Achebe Professor Peter McDonald talks to Great Writers Inspire about the Post/Colonial aspects of Joseph Conrad's writing. In this first part, Peter takes Chinua Achebe's 1975 critique of Conrad as a starting point. Peter McDonald 28 Aug 2012
60 Creative Commons Aime Cesaire and Derek Walcott Jason Allen offers a comparative discussion of two important Caribbean poets and playwrights, Aime Cesaire and Derek Walcott, to emphasize the impact of Caribbean literature upon the postcolonial world. Jason Allen, Dominic Davies 24 Aug 2012
61 Creative Commons The language of Shakespeare Actors and the director talk about how they have approached and worked with their student production of the Shakespeare play - Two Gentlemen of Verona. They discuss some of the challenges of the text and what they have done to overcome these. Kate O'Connor 23 Aug 2012
62 Creative Commons Understanding Shakespeare The actor Nick Lyons talks about the challenge of the language barrier and how he dealt with it for his role in the student production of the Shakespeare play Two Gentlemen of Verona. Nick Lyons 23 Aug 2012
63 Creative Commons Two Gentlemen of Verona: The view from the Director The director talks about how she adapted the script and directed the student Shakespeare production of Two Gentlemen of Verona. She describes what makes the play great, and discusses issues related to editing and direction. Kate O'Connor 23 Aug 2012
64 Creative Commons The Tempest: For you am I this patient log-man The director and actors talk about the log-scene in The Tempest and how they interpret and perform it. Includes scenes from rehearsals and performance. Archie Cornish, Dylan Townley 23 Aug 2012
65 Creative Commons The Tempest: Our revels now are ended The famous Shakespeare scene from The Tempest, performed by actors from an Oxford student drama society. Dylan Townley 23 Aug 2012
66 Creative Commons The Tempest - Our revels now are ended: Conveying Shakespeare's meaning The actor Dylan Townley talks about the language of Shakespeare. He describes how understanding and using the meter can help an actor or reader to bring out the poetry in a text. Includes a scene from The Tempest. Dylan Townley 23 Aug 2012
67 Creative Commons The Tempest: Prospero Actor Dylan Townley talks with director Archie Cornish about the character Prospero. They describe how they have chosen to portray him in this Oxford student performance of The Tempest, and discuss on what they base their interpretation. Archie Cornish, Dylan Townley 23 Aug 2012
68 Creative Commons The Tempest: Direction and interpretation Director Archie Cornish and actor Dylan Townley - Prospero - talk about adapting, directing and performing a student Shakespeare production of The Tempest. Archie Cornish, Dylan Townley 23 Aug 2012
69 Creative Commons Teaching Shakespeare in Schools A teacher talks about how she teaches Shakespeare in school, using video clips and references from contemporary culture to get the students to understand, relate to, and engage with the text. Joyti Chandegra 23 Aug 2012
70 Creative Commons The Tempest - Our revels now are ended: Bringing a scene to Life The director Archie Cornish, and actor Dylan Townley, introduce the Revel speech in The Tempest. They also discuss the context in which it appears. Archie Cornish, Dylan Townley 22 Aug 2012
71 Creative Commons Julian Thompson on Sir Walter Scott Dr Julian Thompson introduces 'the least read great writer in our literature'. He describes the popularly of Walter Scott in his own time and suggests some highlights of the 'living Scots' of his fiction. Julian Thompson 01 Aug 2012
72 Creative Commons Shakespeare and Voice Linda Gates, Professor of Voice at Northwestern University (USA) discusses how Shakespeare's poetry and plays lend themselves to vocal performance by discussing how breath can be used to 'punctuate the thought'. Linda Gates 01 Aug 2012
73 Creative Commons What is a Classic? English Graduate Conference 2012 Panel Debate, Talk 3 Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, draws on her experience as a trustee of the Booker Prize and as a judge for many other literary prizes to offer a response to the question, 'What is a Classic?'. Helena Kennedy 19 Jul 2012
74 Creative Commons What is a Classic? English Graduate Conference 2012 Panel Debate, Talk 2 Judith Luna, the Senior Commissioning Editor at Oxford World's Classics, draws on her practical involvement in re-launching the Oxford World's Classics series in 2008 to give a publisher's take on the question, 'What is a Classic?'. Judith Luna 19 Jul 2012
75 Creative Commons What is a Classic? English Graduate Conference 2012 Panel Debate, Talk 1 Dr Ankhi Mukherjee, Wadham college, Oxford, speaks to the question 'What is a Classic?' by examining the residual influence of the Eurocentric literary canon in the age of world literature and emergent formations of canons and classics. Ankhi Mukherjee 19 Jul 2012
76 Creative Commons Shackled by Language: The Representation and Self-Representation of English-Speaking Black Voices in Black Atlantic Writing Cecilia Bennett considers the use of the English language in black Atlantic narratives. Cecilia Bennett 18 Jul 2012
77 Creative Commons Rewriting Jane Eyre: The Avenging 'Angel in the House' in Michael Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White Erin Johnson draws parallels between Michael Faber's 2002 novel The Crimson Petal and the White and Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. Erin Johnson 18 Jul 2012
78 Creative Commons Olive Schreiner Dominic Davies talks about Olive Schreiner, the postcolonial South African author, and how her work, The Story of the African Farm, engages with the critical question of European hegemony in literary understanding and expectations of literary works. Dominic Davies 17 Jul 2012
79 Creative Commons A Discussion of Emily Dickinson's 'I started early, took my dog'. Dr Sally Bayley presents an illuminating reading of Emily Dickinson's 'I started early, took my dog'. In her reading, she seeks out allusions to Shakespearean plays including Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice. She then answers questions about the poem. Sally Bayley 16 Jul 2012
80 Creative Commons The Romance of the Middle Ages Dr Nicholas Perkins talks about how romance functions as a genre in the middle ages, especially about how gifts and tokens were exchanged as signs of fidelity, specifically in Sir Orfeo, Sir Gawain, and King Horn. Nicholas Perkins 21 Jun 2012
81 Creative Commons Dickens's Points of View Professor Jon Mee, University of Warwick, discusses how Dickens's fiction can be considered 'cinematic' by drawing attention to the shifting points of view in Oliver Twist, Our Mutual Friend, and other novels. Jon Mee 14 Jun 2012
82 Creative Commons Jane Austen's Manuscripts Explored Professor Kathyrn Sutherland from the University of Oxford talks around the manuscripts of Jane Austen, what we can learn from them about her family life but also her writing style and techniques. Kathryn Sutherland 08 Jun 2012
83 Creative Commons The Watsons: Jane Austen Practising Professor Kathryn Sutherland from the University of Oxford talks about some of Jane Austen's manuscripts from the novel "The Watsons" and what we can learn about her from these. Kathryn Sutherland 08 Jun 2012
84 Creative Commons Great Writers Inspire- An Introduction to the Project A short introductory video to the "Great Writers Inspire project. Joshua Carr 23 May 2012
85 Creative Commons Literature and Form 4: What is "Comparative Literature"? Dr Catherine Brown gives the fourth and final lecture in the Literature and Form lecture series. With a philosophical discussion on what Comparative Literature is and how we can study 'literature in comparison'. Catherine Brown 21 May 2012
86 Creative Commons Literature and Form 3: Multiple Plotting Dr Catherine Brown gives the third lecture in the Literature and Form lecture series. Including the differing ways writers plot their work; from multi-plotted works like Ulysses (Joyce) to double plotted works like Daniel Deronda (George Eliot). Catherine Brown 21 May 2012
87 Creative Commons Literature and Form 2: Chapters Dr. Catherine Brown offers a series of talks introducing different writing forms and their use in great novels: In the second lecture, Brown talks about the ways in which writers choose to break up their works into chapters, parts, and volumes. Catherine Brown 21 May 2012
88 Creative Commons Literature and Form 1: Unreliable Narrators Dr. Catherine Brown offers a series introducing different writing forms and their use in great novels: In the first lecture, Brown discusses the use of the unreliable narrator, particularly in Nabokov's Lolita and McEwan's Atonement. Catherine Brown 21 May 2012
89 Creative Commons What is a Great Writer? An academic panel discusses the question. In this panel discussion from the Great Writers Inspire Engage Event workshop, Dr Seamus Perry, Dr Margaret Kean, Professor Peter McDonald and Dr Ankhi Mukherjee discuss what we mean when we talk about greatness in writing. Seamus Perry, Margaret Kean, Peter McDonald, Ankhi Mukherjee 15 May 2012
90 Creative Commons Dons, Deaths and Detectives: Oxford in Crime Fiction Professor Colin Bundy, University of Oxford, talks at the Crime Fiction Day at St John's College around the history of detective fiction in Oxford. Colin Bundy 15 May 2012
91 Creative Commons Julian Thompson on Wilkie Collins Dr. Julian Thompson considers how Wilkie Collins's fiction was pioneering across a variety of genres, including detective fiction and gothic thrillers. Julian Thompson 15 May 2012
92 Creative Commons Chaucer Professor Daniel Wakelin discusses the work of Chaucer and explains how he was one of the first to use everyday spoken English as a literary language in the 14th Century. Daniel Wakelin 17 Apr 2012
93 Creative Commons Shakespeare and Medieval Romance Professor Helen Cooper, University of Cambridge, speaks about the continuities between the Romance of the middle ages and Shakespeare's plays. She looks at textual features from his plays (including King Lear) which may indicate his influences. Helen Cooper 12 Apr 2012
94 Creative Commons Ezra Pound Dr Rebecca Beasley explains why we should read Pound, someone she considers as the central figure in early 20th Century poetry movements. Rebecca Beasley 10 Apr 2012
95 Creative Commons Mary Leapor Dr Jennifer Batt talks about Mary Leapor, an 18th Century kitchen maid who wrote accomplished verses and won accolades from literary society. Jennifer Batt 27 Mar 2012
96 Creative Commons DH Lawrence 7. Reception History Catherine Brown gives the Seventh and final lecture in the DH Lawrence series. Catherine Brown 19 Mar 2012
97 Creative Commons DH Lawrence 6. Birds, Beasts and Children Catherine Brown gives the sixth lecture in the DH Lawrence series. Catherine Brown 19 Mar 2012
98 Creative Commons John Milton Dr Anna Beer shares a few short extracts of Milton's poem Lycidas and discusses what they show about Milton's very special qualities as a writer. Anna Beer 15 Mar 2012
99 Creative Commons The Lure of the East: the Oriental and Philosophical Tale in Eighteenth-Century England Professor Ros Ballaster discusses the objectives of oriental tales published in the second half of the 18th Century which use the sheer power of storytelling to conjure up alternative worlds. Ros Ballaster 13 Mar 2012
100 Creative Commons Only Collect: An Introduction to the World of the Poetic Miscellany Dr Abigail Williams, Director of the Digital Miscellanies Index, explains how these popular collections of poetry designed to suit contemporary tastes were used in the 18th Century. Abigail Williams 09 Mar 2012