The Institute runs an extensive annual programme of lectures and readings on a wide range of subjects, both general and specialised, within the broad area of English studies.

Previous Lectures

English Studies Lecture

  • The Literary London Society Annual Lecture 2019: 'Words on the Move' with Marina Warner. 11 July 2019.

  • Writing Women: Reviving Kana Shodo (‘Woman-Hand’), a Forgotten Female Script: Lecture & Demonstration by Kaoru Akagawa, Master of Japanese Calligraphy. 26 June 2019.

  • Are Universities Still Laggards about Open Access?: Peter Baldwin. 19 March 2019. 

  • The Central Collecting Point in Munich: A New Beginning for the Restitution and Protection of Art, 29 January 2019. 

  • T.S. Eliot International Summer School Opening Lecture 2018: Colm Toibin 'T.S. Eliot and Four Letter Words'. 7 July 2018. Listen here.
  • Annual Literary London Society Lecture: David Caute, 'The Student Revolt: London and the Wider World in 1968'. 28 June 2018.

  • The Novel as Commodity: Rewiring Book History: Priya Joshi. 28 March 2018.

  • IES Lunchtime Lecture: Dr Peter Mitchell BA MA PhD FRHistS: The Composition of the Text: The Purple Island (1633) and Mimesis of Anatomical Demonstrations and Illustrated Textbooks. 18 January 2018.

  • Fleming, Ian Fleming: The Author as Collector: Jon Gilbert. 31 May 2017.

  • “Gatsby, Trump and the American Dream” - Fitzgerald 100th Anniversary: Professor Sarah Churchwell (UOL). 2 March 2017.

  • The Charles Holden Lecture 2017: Professor Simon Eliot (IES). 2 February 2017.

  • Medieval and Modern Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age: Dr Arianna Ciula (University of Roehampton) on "Material culture and societal resonance in Digital Humanities: Modelling Textuality". 6 May 2016.

  • Roehampton Poetry Prize Ceremony 2016. 3 May 2016 - cancelled

  • The Roehampton Poetry Centre: readings by W.N. Herbert and Carole Satyamurti. 17 November 2015

  • The T. Edward Carpenter Memorial Lecture: Giles Waterfield: The Artist's and Writer's House Preserved. 12 November 2015

  • The Literary London Annual Lecture: Imtiaz Dharker (poet, artist and documentary film-maker), 22 July 2015

  • Professor Simon Eliot: 'Recasting Book History'. 3 July 2015

  • Click here for podcasts of the Heythrop 400th Anniversary Conference lectures

  • Dr Rowan Williams (Magdalene College, Cambridge): 'Liberal Education: the Jesuit Response to a Theological Imperative'. 20 June 2014

  • Professor Ronald Schuchard (Emory University, IES Senior Research Fellow): ' "Into the heartland of the ordinary": Seamus Heaney, Thomas Hardy, and the Divided Traditions of Modern and Contemporary Poetry'. 12 May 2014 

Hilda Hulme Memorial Lecture

2019: The IES Annual Lecture in the History of the Book and Masterclass with Professor David McKitterick (3 July 2019)

2019: Dr Lyndall Gordon: 'The Brontës and Passion' (22 May 2019)

2018: Professor Dame Gillian Beer, '“Off with Her Head”: Lewis Carroll and Violence' (23 May 2018)

2014: Professor Dayton Haskin (Boston College): 'The Jesuits and English Literature - John Donne and Ignatian Spirituality' (available here as a PDF file)

2013: Professor Martin Mueller (Professor emeritus of English and Classics, Northwestern University Illinois): '"Shakespeare His Contemporaries": Exploring Early Modern Drama in a Digital Environment' (2 July 2013)

2012: Professor James Shapiro (Columbia University): 'Unravelling Shakespeare's Life' (23 April 2012)

2011: Professor Henry Woudhuysen (University College London): '"Ha-ha-ha. Hi-hi-hi. Ho-ho-ho. Ha-hi-ho": Representing sounds in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature' (2 June 2011)

2010: Michael Slater: 'Dicken's Shakespeare' (7 July 2010)

2009: Denis Donoghue: 'Eliot's Shakespeare' (29 June 2009)

2008: Professor Annabel Patterson: 'Milton and the D-Word' (9 July 2008)

2007: Claire Tomalin: 'Thomas Hardy: Poet and Novelist' (4 October 2007)

2006: Professor Jonathan Bate, FBA: 'Shakespeare: The Man from the Greenwood' (26 September 2006)

2005: Professor David Crystal: 'Johnson and the Internet' (21 April 2005)

2004: Professor Germaine Greer: 'The Shakespearean Boy' (14 January 2004)

2003: Professor Hilary Fraser (Birkbeck College, London): 'Possession and Dispossession: Owning the Story of Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill' (28 May 2003)

2002: Dr Ato Quayson (Pembroke College, University of Cambridge): 'Thunder in the Index: A Preface to a Post-Colonial Shakespeare' (17 January 2002)

2001: Professor Gillian Fellows-Jensen: 'English Place-Names and Settlement History Seen with the Wisdom of Handsight' (22 February 2001))

2000Professor Marjorie Garber (Harvard University): 'Historical Correctness' (11 May 2000)

1998: Professor Jerome J. McGann (University of Virginia): 'Dante and Rossetti: Translation, Pastiche, Ritual, Fate' (8 December 1998)

1997: Sir Frank Kermode: 'Explorations in Shakespeare's Language' (18 December 1997)

1996: Dr Elizabeth M. Brennan (Emeritus Reader in English, University of London): 'The Dull Duty of an Editor: Working with Webster and Dickens'

1995: Barbara Everett (Somerville College, Oxford): 'Jane Austen: Hard Romance' (18 December 1995)

1992: Professor Isobel Armstrong (Birkbeck College, London): 'Charlotte Brontë's City of Glass' (2 December 1992)

1991: Professor Rosemary Ashton: 'Dickens, George Eliot and George Henry Lewes' (3 December 1991)

1990: Professor Helen Vendler: 'Ways into Shakespeare's Sonnets' (3 December 1990)

1988: Gillian Beer: 'Can the Native Return?' (8 December 1988)

1987: Professor Stanley Wells: 'Shakespeare and Revision' (3 December 1987)

1986: Professor Barbara Hardy: 'The Narrators in Macbeth' (11 December 1986)

International Vernon Lee Society (IVLS) Lecture

2020: Dustin Friedman, “‘Sinister Exile’: Queer Myth and Aesthetic Teleology in Walter Pater and Vernon Lee.”​ 14 October

John Coffin Memorial Lecture

2022 John Coffin Memorial Lecture in Palaeography 2022: Professor Marc Smith (École nationale des chartes): The script palaeographers forgot: Gothic (Lombardic) majuscules. 8 December 2022.

2022 John Coffin Memorial Lecture (postponed from 2020): Professor David D'Avray: 'Mass Production of Books Before Printing'. 8 June 2022.

2019 John Coffin Memorial Annual Irish Studies Lecture: Professor Ruth Padel: ‘This is the Vowel of Earth: on the Katabasis of Seamus Heaney’. 30 May 2019.

2019 John Coffin Memorial Annual Palaeography Lecture: Professor Susan Rankin: Writing Music on Parchment in the Early Middle Ages. 15 May 2019.

2018 John Coffin Memorial Annual Irish Studies Lecture: Professor Ian McBride: The Struggle for Ireland's Soul: Catholics under the Penal Laws. 31 May 2018.

2018 John Coffin Memorial Annual Palaeography Lecture: Professor A.S.G. (Tony) Edwards: What is palaeography for?: the role of palaeography in scholarly research from the nineteenth century onwards. 16 May 2018.

2018 John Coffin Memorial Annual History of the Book Lecture: Alan May and Martin Andrews: Commemorating 550 Years since Gutenberg's Death. 1 February 2018.

2017 John Coffin Memorial Annual Irish Studies Lecture: Eavan Boland: "Shifting Ground: Irish Poetry in a Time of Change". 28 June 2017.

2017 John Coffin Memorial Annual Palaeography Lecture: Professor Judith Olszowy-Schlanger, FBA, École Pratique des Hautes Études, "Crossing palaeographical borders: bi-alphabetical Hebrew scribes and manuscripts in Egypt, Spain and Northern France (11th to 15th centuries)". 24 May 2017.

2016 John Coffin Memorial Lecture: Iain Sinclair FRSL, '"James Joyce, Our Dad, Alas": a late modernist autobiography of Bloom fugues in simultaneous cities, London and Dublin'. 16 June 2016.

2016 John Coffin Memorial Annual Palaeography Lecture: Daniel Wakelin (Jeremy Griffiths Professor of Palaeography, University of Oxford): '"Let me slip into something less comfortable": Gothic textualis by accident and by design'. 11 May 2016.

2016 John Coffin Memorial Annual Irish Studies Lecture: Professor Clair Wills (Louis Milberg Chair of Irish Letters, Princeton University) on 'Digs and Lodging Houses: Literature, ruins and survival in post-war Britain'. 21 April 2016

2015 John Coffin Memorial Annual Palaeography Lecture: Professor Nicholas Vincent FBA: 'Who Wrote Magna Carta?'. 13 May 2015

2014 John Coffin Memorial Annual Irish Studies Lecture: Joanna Bourke (Birkbeck College): 'Desire and Dishonour: Heterosexuality in Nineteenth-Century Ireland'. 5 June 2014 

John Coffin Memorial Annual Palaeography Lecture: James Willoughby (New College, Oxford): 'The Hand of Ralph of Coggeshall. Chronicle-Making in the Reign of King John'. 7 May 2014

2010 John Coffin Memorial Lecture: Teresa Webber: 'Reading in the Refectory: monastic practice in England, c.1000-c.1300' (18 February 2010)

2005 John Coffin Memorial Lecture in the History of the Book: William St Clair: 'The Political Economy of Reading'

Katherine Mansfield Society Annual Birthday Lecture

2019Katherine Mansfield Society Annual Birthday Lecture: Professor Angela Smith (University of Stirling): '"We are all sailors, bending over a great map": Katherine Mansfield’s travellers'. 12 October 2019.

2018: Katherine Mansfield Society Annual Birthday Lecture 2018: Steven Matthews ‘Nearer than anyone else’: Katherine Mansfield, D.H. Lawrence, and the ‘modern’ short story. 13 October 2018. Listen here

2017: Katherine Mansfield Society Birthday Lecture: Professor David Trotter (Cambridge University). 14 October 2017.

2016: The Annual Katherine Mansfield Society Birthday Lecture: Professor Claire Davison: 'Katherine Mansfield's Musical World', joined by musician Joseph Spooner. 15 October 2016.

Liberty Lecture

2020: Liberty Lecture: Elif Shafak, Sarah Churchwell, and Martha Spurrier in conversation. 25 September 2020

2019: The Liberty Lecture with Kamila Shamsie. 28 February 2019.

2017: Inaugural Liberty Lecture: Ali Smith CBE FRSL. 6 November 2017.

Stevenson Memorial Lecture

2021: Bloomsbury Chapter Stevenson Lecture: Book Empires: Investigating British Publishing in Colonial Africa, Caroline Davis. 26 October 2021

2019: Bloomsbury Chapter Stevenson LectureTaking Mapping to the World. Laurence Worms. 30 October 2019 

2018: Bloomsbury Chapter Stevenson LectureThe Golden Treasury, Don Paterson OBE. 22 October 2018.

2017: Iain Stevenson Memorial Inaugural Lecture: Professor Simon Eliot (IES). 23 October 2017.

Virginia Woolf Society Annual Birthday Lecture

2019: Stuart N.Clarke: 'Virginia Woolf’s Non-literary Reputation'. 26 January 2019.

2018: Stephen Barkway (Chair and founder-member of the Virginia Woolf Society): ‘Virginia Woolf: Woman of Letters. 27 January 2018.

2017: Professor Susan Sellers (St Andrews University): 'Woolf and the Essay'. 28 January 2017.

2016: Professor Frances Spalding CBE (Newcastle): 'Virginia Woolf and Tristram Shandy'. 23 January 2016

2015: Professor Dame Hermione Lee (Wolfson College, Oxford): 'To pin down the moment with date and season'. 25 January 2014

Wordsworth Trust Annual Lecture

2019: Professor Lucy Newlyn, Vital Stream’: Love and Creativity in the Wordsworth Circle, 1802. 20 November 2019 

2018:  Professor Fiona Sampson: A Daedalus for the Romantic Era? Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. 22 November 2018. Listen here

2017: Professor Sir Drummond Bone (Oxford University): Byron and Wordsworth, Art and Nature. 31 October 2017.

2016: Professor Michael Rossington (Newcastle University): 'Romantic Poetry and "the Existing State of Things'". 15 November 2016

2015: Professor Simon Bainbridge (Lancaster University): A 'closing deed magnificent?' Wordsworth, War and Waterloo. 15 October 2015

2014: Professor Fiona Stafford (University of Oxford): 'Wordsworth and the Meaning of Trees'. 16 October 2014

2013: Professor Stephen Gill (Lincoln College, Oxford): '"A Sea Rolling High": Wordsworth in 1804'. 8 October 2013