Theme: Semantics and the Resurgence of Populism

Date: 7th March 2017
Podcast: To follow

Dr Timothy Michael (Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford)
Kate Smurthwaite (Stand-up Comedian & Political Activist)
David Rochet (MSt in Modern Langauges)

Chair: Paul Stephens (DPhil in English)
Organiser: Heather Mann (DPhil in History)

Speaker Biographies:

Dr Timothy Michael is a Fellow in English Literature at Lincoln, whose research explores the intersection of literary and intellectual history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His first monograph – British Romanticism and the Critique of Political Reason (2016) – offers a groundbreaking analysis of how writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft and Percy Bysshe Shelley critique the faculty of reason in its political capacities to test the kinds of knowledge available to it. His current project explores the rise of philosophical criticism in the long-eighteenth century, examininghow developments in rhetorical and literary theory gave rise to the institution of criticism itself.

After completing a degree in mathematics at Lincoln, Kate Smurthwaite became a political activist and award-winning stand-up comedian. Kate has performed in comedy venues around the world, and in 2013 her long running Edinburgh Fringe show – ‘The News at Kate’ – won the prestigious Three Weeks Editor’s Choice Award. She has published journalism in The Guardian and Cosmopolitan, and frequently appears on major news shows to discuss her campaign work for groups such as No More Page Three and the National Secular Society. She is also the Vice Chair and Media Spokesperson for Abortion Rights UK, and teaches stand-up comedy through the City Academy in London

David Rochat will be examining the resurgence of populism through the lens of contemporary literary theory. David completed his undergraduate degree at the University in Lausanne, Switzerland, with a year at the University of Canterbury, before working as an academic intern at the Embassy of Switzerland in Qatar. He then came to Oxford to complete his MSt in Modern Languages, and develop his research interests in postcolonialism, life-writing and theories of literature.

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