Students and staff at King Alfred’s Academy are looking forward to welcoming back one of the school’s most illustrious alumni, Professor Sir Christopher Ricks, at the very first Sir Christopher Ricks lecture to be held on Thursday 22 June, 7pm – 8.30pm, in The Beacon at Wantage, in collaboration with the Wantage (not just) the Betjeman Literary Festival.
Sir Christopher Ricks is an esteemed literary critic and William M and Sara B Warren Professor of Humanities at Boston University. He is a former Professor of English at the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge, and 2004 Oxford Professor of Literature. Famously, Sir Christopher is a world authority on the lyrics of Bob Dylan and will be giving the inaugural talk based on the title “Literature?” with the sub-title of “I would bet that the farthest thing from Shakespeare’s mind was the question “Is this Literature?”. (Bob Dylan, 2016 – The Nobel Prize Ceremony).
The talk will be an exploration of the changes in the understanding of literature that led to a rock star being given the Nobel Prize for Literature for his song lyrics. Sir Christopher could be credited with starting the ball rolling on the series of events and evolution of thought that led to Bob Dylan receiving the award after publishing his book “Dylan’s Vision of Sin” in 2004, prompting considerable reaction in the literary world.
Sir Christopher will also participate in a Q&A session afterwards about his memories of being a pupil at the school during the war years when King Alfred’s was a boarding school for boys.
The new Sir Christopher Ricks Lecture will be the annual flagship lecture for the literary festival, with the remit of encouraging students in the love of literature and the humanities, regardless of their chose academic path.
Pam Stokell, organiser of the event, said “We are delighted that Sir Christopher has kindly lent us his name and support for this lecture, that will be an annual festival event. Coming in to give the inaugural talk is the perfect way to celebrate his connection with King Alfred’s and we also look forward to casting the spotlight on his time spent here”.
“We anticipate that the lecture will draw a large audience”.
Anyone interested in this event should please contact Pam Stokell on firstname.lastname@example.org, tel.01235 225700 Ext 2286.