Skip to content

University of York academic wins US accolade

Posted on 13 June 2008

A senior University of York scholar is to be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of Chicago.

Professor John Barrell, of the Department of English and Related Literature and Co-director of the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, receives the award today.

[the Honorary Degree is in recognition of Professor Barrell’s] extraordinary scholarly accomplishments....and his impact on our intellectual community

 Robert J. Zimmer

The University of Chicago's President, Robert J. Zimmer, says the Honorary Degree is in recognition of Professor Barrell’s "extraordinary scholarly accomplishments, of the intensity of his ongoing productivity, and of his impact on our intellectual community."

President Zimmer added: "Although he began as a literary critic and historian in the early 1970s, his work began to embrace visual culture in a sustained consideration of the textures of eighteenth century culture, politics and representational forms.

"Since that time, in a series of path-breaking publications, his reach has extended to the law, colonialism, gender, geo-political landscape and urban planning, economics and the political contours of republicanism. Not only is the sweep magisterial in scope, John Barrell's contribution to each of these distinct areas of scholarly inquiry has been decisive."

Professor Barrell has been at York for 15 years, having taught at Essex, Cambridge and Sussex. His current projects are a book on the Royal Academy in the 1790s, and an edition of the political pamphlets of William Fox, co-edited with Tim Whelan of Georgia Southern University. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and the English Association.


Notes to editors:

  • The Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York is recognised as one of the top six English departments in the country. It was awarded a 5*A ranking by the the last Research Assessment Exercise. It has over 40 members of academic staff from across the world, making it one of the country’s largest and most active English departments.
  • The Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies was founded in 1996, and is now an internationally renowned centre for the study of the 'long' eighteenth century, 1650-1850. It is based at the historic King's Manor in the middle of the city, and has staff members from the departments of Archaeology, English, History, History of Art and Philosophy. The Centre has a lively research community within which students can individually and collaboratively pursue their interests in the history, culture, politics, literature, art, and society of the period.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153