Highly acclaimed artists, prize-winning novelists, leading poets and innovative composers join Bath Spa University

26 September 2012 08:54:00
  • Sixteen new Professors to include novelist and screenwriter Fay Weldon, artist Gavin Turk & composer Joe Duddell
  • Group of prize-winning writers, cross-cultural collaborators, and cutting-edge artists will cement Bath Spa University’s reputation as a hub of creative excellence

Bath Spa University today (26 September) announces the appointment of sixteen Professors to join its vibrant, creative academic community.  Joining the University’s celebrated Creative Writing, Art & Design and Music & Performing Arts departments, these highly prize-winning novelists, leading poets, acclaimed artists and innovative composers have been appointed to help build upon its great foundations across the cultural and creative industries.

The new posts come as part of a wider programme of development and growth, led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Christina Slade

Professor Slade comments:

“Bath Spa University is a leading education institution in creativity, culture and enterprise. These appointments build upon our excellence in creativity and will enhance our teaching and research. Each of the new Professors brings with them a wealth of knowledge and experience that will prove invaluable to the fulfilment of our vision to expand and become a truly international university whose students are global citizens.”

The new Bath Spa University Professors include:

Professor of Art & Design

  • Dexter Dalwood
  • Mike Tooby
  • Gavin Turk

Professor of Creative Writing

  • Naomi Alderman
  • David Almond
  • Aminatta Forna
  • Maggie Gee
  • Tessa Hadley
  • David Harsent
  • Philip Hensher
  • Nicholas Jose
  • Kate Pullinger
  • Fay Weldon CBE

Professor of English

  • John Strachan

Professor of Music

  • Amanda Bayley
  • Joe Duddell

With several of the new Professors in post from the start of this new academic year, the rest are due to join the university in early 2013.

These leading individuals will contribute to Bath Spa University life in a number of different ways across the campuses working on research collaborations, giving lecturers and providing expertise to students.

Amy Dawson, Students’ Union President said:

“Bath Spa is a wonderful place to be a student.  Not only are the campuses beautiful, it is a welcoming, friendly and creative environment. The new Professors are a very welcome addition to a great team of tutors who help guide us through the best years of our lives!”

Bath Spa University has recently appointed the following Professors to join its Creative Writing, Art and Design and Music and Performing Arts departments.

Professor of Art and Design

Dexter Dalwood

British artist Dexter Dalwood (b. 1960) has been building a strong reputation over the last fifteen years in the UK, Europe and the States. He studied at St Martins School of Art and the RCA. He had a mid-career retrospective at Tate St Ives in 2010 for which he was nominated for the Turner prize. He is represented by Gagosian Gallery, David Risley Gallery Copenhagen and Alan Cristea Gallery London.

He is currently the Artist Trustee for the National Gallery London.

In April 2013 Centre Pasquart in Biel in Switzerland will mount the most extensive survey show of his work to date.

Mike Tooby

Mike Tooby is currently working independently, based in Cardiff. He is Professor of Art and Design at Bath School of Art and Design and Visiting Professor of Contemporary Curatorial Practice at the University of Glamorgan. He was Director, National Museum & Gallery, (2000 – 2004) and Director of Learning, Programmes and Development (2004-11), for Amgueddfa Cymru, National Museum, Wales. In his earlier career Mike worked as a curator at Kettles Yard, Cambridge, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow and Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield. From 1992to 2000 was the founding curator of Tate St Ives.

He has been responsible for many commissions and projects in the UK and internationally in the visual arts, archaeology, social history, music, dance, site-specific performance and film and video. He has a particular practice and research interest in the relationships between artists, the arts and professional roles in museums and institutions, and audiences and communities.

Gavin Turk

British artist Gavin Turk was born in Guildford in 1967 and attended the Royal College of Art. He gained notoriety in 1991 when he was denied his MA certificate for his degree show in which he exhibited an empty white studio with a blue English Heritage plaque commemorating his occupancy with the inscription “Borough of Kensington/Gavin Turk/Sculptor/Worked Here 1989-1991.” This set the tone for his subsequent work, critiquing the construction of artistic myths of authorship, creativity and genius. His work was collected by Charles Saatchi and he came into prominence as one of the infamous Young British Artists (YBAs).

Turk often uses his own image and signature in his sculptures and installations to address issues surrounding authorship, authenticity and identity; questioning the amount of value the artist’s name gives to the work. His most renowned sculpture sees Turk as a life-size waxwork in which he adopts the identity of Sid Vicious singing “My Way” in the pose of Elvis Presley as depicted by Andy Warhol. Turk and his partner Deborah Curtis have been running a project based group of artists since 2008 called ‘The House of Fairy Tales’ designed to further educational community projects to support and advocate art.

Turk has exhibited in several significant exhibitions including the 46th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul in 1999; Material Culture, Hayward Gallery, London in 1998 and Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, Saatchi Collection, London in 1995. Recent exhibitions have included: Gavin Turk-Me as Him, Riflemaker, London; Gavin Turk: The Negotiation of Purpose, GEM Museum for Contemporary Art, The Hague, The Netherlands; Gavin Turk: Last Year in Eggenburg (The Paradise Show), Schloss Eggenburg, Graz; The Golden Thread, Sculpture at Goodwood, West Sussex; Gavin Turk: et in arcadia eggo, New Art Centre Sculpture Park & Gallery, Salisbury; and Gavin Turk Oeuvre, Tate Britain Sculpture Court Display, London.

Professor of Creative Writing

Naomi Alderman

Naomi Alderman grew up in London and attended Oxford University and UEA.

Her first novel, ‘Disobedience’, was published in ten languages; like her second novel, ‘The Lessons’, it was read on BBC radio's Book at Bedtime. In 2006 she won the Orange Award for New Writers. In 2007, she was named Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, and one of Waterstones' 25 Writers for the Future.

Her prize-winning short fiction has appeared in Prospect, on BBC Radio 4 and in a number of anthologies. In 2009 she was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award.

From 2004 to 2007 Naomi was lead writer on the BAFTA-shortlisted alternate reality game Perplex City. She's written online games for Penguin, the BBC, and other clients. In 2011 she wrote the Doctor Who tie-in novel ‘Borrowed Time’. In 2012, she co-created the top-selling fitness game and audio adventure Zombies, Run! which has been shortlisted for a Develop award for narrative and the Writer's Guild of Great Britain best videogame award.

Naomi broadcasts regularly, has guest-presented Front Row on BBC Radio 4 and writes regularly for Prospect and the Guardian. Penguin published her third novel, ‘The Liars' Gospel’, in August 2012.

David Almond

David Almond is the author of ‘Skellig’, ‘The Savage’, ‘Clay’, ‘My Name is Mina’, ‘The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean’, ‘The Boy Who Swam With Piranhas’ and many other novels, stories and plays. His books are translated into almost forty languages and are widely adapted for stage and screen. He has worked with major theatre directors, including Sir Trevor Nunn and Braham Murray. He wrote the libretto for the opera of ‘Skellig’, composed by the American Tod Machover. He collaborates with major artists/illustrators including Dave McKean, Oliver Jeffers and Polly Dunbar. He works regularly with BBC Radio 3 and 4. He appears at conferences and festivals around the world. He was Visiting Professor at Nottingham Trent University from 2007-12. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and has honorary doctorates from the Universities of Newcastle, Leicester and Sunderland. His major awards include The Carnegie Medal, two Whitbreads, The Michael L Printz Award, and Le Prix Sorcieres. In 2010 he gained The Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world’s most prestigious prize for children’s authors.

David Almond was born in 1951 in Newcastle. He grew up on Tyneside in a large Catholic family. He was educated at local schools and at the University of East Anglia. He has been a labourer, a postman, and a teacher in primary, adult and Special Education. His first stories were published in tiny magazines, and his first novel was rejected by every UK publisher. He lives with his family in Northumberland.

David Almond’s books are strange, unsettling wild things – unfettered by the normal constraints of children’s literature. They are, like all great literature, beyond classification.

The Guardian.

A writer of visionary, Blakean intensity.

The Times.

A master storyteller.

The Independent.

Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna was born in Scotland, raised in Sierra Leone and spent periods of her childhood in Zambia, Iran and Thailand. Her most recent novel, ‘The Memory of Love’, was winner of the Commonwealth Writersʼ Prize Best Book Award 2011 and shortlisted for the Orange Prize and Warwick Prize. ‘The Devil that Danced on the Water’ was shortlisted for the 2003 Samuel Johnson Prize. Between 1989 and 1999 Ms Forna worked for BBC Television as a reporter and film maker in the spheres of art and politics, including on The Late Show. Today she acts as guest host of BBC Radioʼs Open Book and Saturday Review. Aminatta is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She sits on Board of the National Theatre, the Council of the Caine Prize for African Writing and the Advisory Committees of the Royal Literary Fund and Purchase College (SUNY) Writerʼs Centre in New York. She has acted as judge for a number of literary awards and is currently a judge of the 2013 International Man Booker Prize. Most recently Sterling Brown Visiting Professor at Williams College, Massachusetts where she taught literature, Aminatta has often acted as a visiting lecturer and tutor of creative writing.

Maggie Gee

Maggie Gee has written eleven acclaimed novels, including ‘The Ice People’, ‘My Cleaner, My Driver and The White Family’, a collection of short stories, ‘The Blue’, and a writer’s memoir, ‘My Animal Life’ (2010). She has judged many prizes including the Booker and has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the International Impac award. She has been translated into 14 languages. Maggie was the first female Chair of the Royal Society of Literature, 2004-2008, and the first conference about her writing was held at St Andrew's University in 2012. Bloomsbury Academic is publishing the first book-length study of her work, ‘Maggie Gee: Writing the Condition of England’, this year, and a collection of critical essays on her writing is forthcoming in 2014 from Gylphi.

She is a professor at Bath Spa University and a course director at Faber Academy.

Tessa Hadley

Tessa Hadley has written four novels including ‘The Master Bedroom’ and ‘The London Train’,and two collections of short stories. A new novel, ‘Clever Girl’, will be published in May 2013.She has also written one book of criticism, ‘Henry James and the Imagination of Pleasure’. She publishes stories regularly in the New Yorker, reviews for the London Review of Books and the Guardian, and teaches at Bath Spa University.

David Harsent

David Harsent has published nine volumes of poetry. ‘Legion’, won the Forward Prize for best collection. His most recent collection, ‘Night’, was triple short-listed in the UK (Forward, Costa and T.S. Eliot prizes) and won the Griffin International Poetry Prize. ‘In Secret’, his versions of Yannis Ritsos, will appear in autumn 2012.

Harsent has collaborated with composers—most often with Harrison Birtwistle—on commissions from, among others, the Royal Opera House, the BBC Proms, The Nash Ensemble, Music Theatre Wales, BBC Radio and Channel 4 television. These collaborations have been performed at ROH, the Proms, the Concertgebouw, the Wales Millennium Centre, the South Bank Centre, the Aldeburgh Festival and Carnegie Hall.

Harsent is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, a Fellow of the English Association and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Philip Hensher

Philip Hensher was born 1965, London, educated in Sheffield, Oxford, Cambridge. He has published eight novels, one book of short stories and one work of non-fiction.

Philip Hensher  is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award and shortlisted for the Man Booker.

Nicholas Jose

Nicholas Jose has published seven novels, two collections of short stories, a book of essays and a memoir. He has worked as mentor with some of Australia’s best new writers. He was general editor of ‘The Literature of Australia’ (2009), Visiting Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University, 2009-10, president of Sydney PEN, 2002-05, and has written widely on contemporary Australian and Asian art and literature. He is an adjunct professor with the Writing and Society Research Centre, University of Western Sydney, and Professor of English and Creative Writing at The University of Adelaide. ‘The Custodians’ and ‘Black Sheep’ are October releases in Allen & Unwin’s House of Books Australian Classics series.

Kate Pullinger

Kate Pullinger writes fiction for both print and digital media. Her most recent books include the novel ‘The Mistress of Nothing’, which won Canada’s most prestigious award, the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, 2009. Pullinger’s many digital fiction projects include her multiple award-winning collaboration with Chris Joseph on 'Inanimate Alice', a multimedia episodic digital fiction - www.inanimatealice.com – and ‘Flight Paths’ – www.flightpaths.net – a networked novel. With her students at DMU, she helped create the Penguin/DMU wikinovel, ‘A Million Penguins’, 2007. Find her news of her latest projects, a novel called ‘Our Stuff and Our Things’ and ‘Duel’, a collaboration with Andy Campbell of Dreaming Methods, on her website, www.katepullinger.com. Kate Pullinger is Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University; she is a Canadian who lives in London, England.

Fay Weldon CBE

Fay Weldon is one of Britain’s most influential, best-read and versatile writers. As well as over 30 novels, her first in 1969, translated into many world languages, she writes for stage, screen, opera, television and radio. Her novel ‘Life and Loves of a She Devil’ was a major movie starring Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr, and a Bafta award-winning BBC series. ‘The Cloning of Joanna May’ - was a BBC TV series screened by PBS, ‘The Presidents Child’a successful Home Box Office drama. She wrote the pilot episode of ‘Upstairs-Downstairs’, and her screen play of her opera version of Radiguet's 1917 novel the ‘Devil in the Flesh’ is currently in production in France. Her latest novel ‘Habits of the House’ has just been published by head of Zeus to enthusiastic reviews. Her original opera ‘A Small Green Space’ toured schools in Britain in the eighties for ENO's Bayliss programme.

Her essays and reviews appear regularly in leading newspapers and journals in this country and abroad, from the Australia, the ‘New York Times’, and reviews and articles in ‘Harper's’, ‘the Washington Post’, in Denmark's ‘Politiken’ and Germanys ‘Die Welt’. Her work travels and translates well: dealing as it does with the three-way relationship between men, women and society.

She has a reputation, albeit a controversial one, as one of the formative influences in Britain's feminist revolution of the seventies and eighties. She is a familiar face on British TV, and as a voice on radio. Her first degree was from St Andrews in 1952, where she studied Psychology and Economics, eschewing English Literature. Her only ambition in those days, after the fashion of the times, was to get married. She is currently a Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, has a CBE for services to Literature (2001) and is a member of the Royal Society of Literature here in Britain. She is as at ease on the pages of the New York Review of Books as in the Daily Mail; addressing the Copenhagen Philosophical Society on Kierkegaard, as the local Women's Institute (which she enjoys more.)

Professor of English

John Strachan

John Strachan is Professor of English Literature at Bath Spa University. He is the author or editor of some twenty books, notably on Romanticism and Irish Literature, including ‘Advertising and Satirical Culture in the Romantic Period’ (Cambridge University Press, 2007). He is Associate Editor of the ‘Oxford Companion to English Literature’, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has been a Senior Research Fellow of the British Academy. He previously held the post of Professor of Romantic Literature at the University of Sunderland before joining Northumbria University in 2011. His research to date has focused on British Romanticism with a particular attention to parody and satire, Romantic-ear popular culture, literary magazines and the work of Leigh Hunt, John Keats and William Wordsworth.

Professor of Music

Amanda Bayley

Dr Amanda Bayley is Professor of Music at Bath Spa University. She is editor of ‘The Cambridge Companion to Bartók’ (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and ‘Recorded Music: Performance, Culture, and Technology’ (Cambridge University Press, 2010) for which she received the Ruth A. Solie Award from the American Musicological Society in 2011. She was President of the Society for Music Analysis from 2004 to 2008 and has published on twentieth-century string quartets and Berio’s Sequenza VI for viola. From 2007 to 2009 she led a collaborative research project with the Kreutzer Quartet and Michael Finnissy entitled: ‘From Composition to Performance: Innovations and Interactions in Contemporary String Quartets’ funded by a British Academy Larger Research Grant (see: http://www.wlv.ac.uk/sspal/stringquartetresearch). One of the significant outputs of this research is a software DVD produced with Michael Clarke (University of Huddersfield) in 2011, an overview of which may be seen at: http://youtu.be/eHzNtCJRgOo. She is now pursuing research into rehearsal analysis with social anthropologist, Beth Elverdam (Aarhus University, Denmark), and is planning her next project on composer-performer collaborations with the Kronos Quartet.

Joe Duddell

Joe Duddell studied music at Salford University and with Steve Martland at the Royal Academy of Music. The percussionist Colin Currie has premiered four works including Ruby, a percussion concerto commissioned by the BBC and premiered at the 2003 Proms with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop. The piece went on to be performed in both the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the European Young Musician of the Year contests. ViVA! commissioned ‘Shadowplay’, a cello concerto for Thomas Carroll and a string quartet and have worked with Duddell on many performances and education projects. He has been composer-in-residence at the Presteigne Festival in 2008 and Lichfield Festival in 2003. In 2009 he orchestrated and conducted the Halle Orchestra in a unique collaboration with the band Elbow for The Manchester International Festival, which was received with universal acclaim. He has since gone on to work with the BBC Philharmonic and Orchestra of the Swan in projects with the artists James, Richard Hawley, Nero, Tim Burgess and Jimi Goodwin amongst others. In 2012 Joe was made an Associate of the Royal Acedemy of Music. Joe’s music is published by Schott & Co.