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University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute

Promoting collaborative research on biodiversity conservation and its impacts

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Literature and Conservation

by Alison Harvey last modified Oct 06, 2014 01:34 PM

Literature and Conservation

As part of the Festival of Ideas programme, the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI) is delighted to host an evening with the award-winning writer and broadcaster, Richard Mabey; poet and writer, Blake Morrison;  Dame Fiona Reynolds, Master of Emmanuel College and ex-Director General of the National Trust; Dr John Fanshawe, BirdLife International; Dr Paul Chirico and Dr Mina Gorji, co-directors of the John Clare Study Centre.  We are looking forward to a stimulating discussion on literature and poetry in relation to the natural environment, and an exciting presentation of their forthcoming work. Booking Required.

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The Panellists

Richard Mabey: During his stay at Emmanuel College, as the Derek Brewer Visiting Fellow, this Michaelmas Term, award winning writer and broadcaster, Richard Mabey will be working on The Cabaret of Plants, which is expected to be published in October 2015. A draft of the introduction can be found at Work in Progress.  Whilst here in Cambridge, UCCRI are honoured that Richard will be talking about his forthcoming work alongside a group of panelists of with a wealth of knowledge in literature and conservation.

Blake Morrison: A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and former Chair of the Poetry Book Society and Vice-Chair of PEN, Blake has written fiction, poetry, journalism, literary criticism and libretti, as well as adapting plays for the stage. He will be discussing his collection of poems on coastal erosion, which is coming out in spring 2015.

Dame Fiona Reynolds: Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE became Master of Emmanuel in 2012. She came to the College from the National Trust, of which she has been Director-General since 2001.  UCCRI are delighted that Fiona will be joining this event to discuss conservation issues in relation to literature, based on her knowledge of the environment and the need to connect with the public on these issues.

Dr John Fanshawe: John is currently on part-time secondment from BirdLife International supporting the development of an arts, science, and conservation programme for the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.  After he completed a doctorate on coastal forest bird communities in Kenya, John has worked on numerous conservation development programmes, and as Head of Policy and Advocacy for BirdLife.

Dr Paul Chirico: Paul Chirico is the Senior Tutor of Fitzwilliam College, as well as College Lecturer and Director of Studies in English. His research focus is particularly on the early nineteenth-century poet John Clare and he is founding chair of the John Clare Trust, which has established an educational, environmental and cultural centre at Clare's birthplace, Helpston.

Dr Mina Gorji: Mina Gorji is a lecturer at the English Faculty, University of Cambridge and a fellow of Pembroke College, where she teaches mostly eighteenth century and Romantic literature. She has published a study of John Clare's poetry and essays on rudeness, mess, literary awkwardness and weeds (John Clare’s Weeds, Ecology and the Literature of the British Left, ed. John Rignall, H. Gustav Klaus and Valentine Cunningham, Ashgate). Her poems have appeared in various magazines.

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