Professorial Lecture Series

To celebrate and share the expertise of our new and established Professors, we invite you to attend Bath Spa’s new Professorial Lecture Series. Each lecture is free and open to everyone – staff, students and members of the public.

Upcoming lectures

Professor Alastair Niven - "The Value of Literary Prizes, If There Is Any" ~ 23/11/2016

Alastair Niven has twice been a judge of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction and has created, assessed and advised on innumerable literary awards around the world.

In this lecture he will spill some beans about the way they work. He asks whether there is any point in rating one novel, poem or biography above another. If being ‘the best’ is the criterion for receiving a prize, does this square with an egalitarian approach to writing? How are decisions reached, who chooses the juries, and what effect does giving an award have on sales and reputations?

Dr Niven will take a healthily sceptical approach to the subject of literary awards, but argue that a world without them might find itself subject even more than it already is to the pressures of commercial marketing. However imperfect and subjective they are, prizes act as compass points for our guidance. This lecture aims to be a comprehensive round up of the issues surrounding them

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Past Lectures

Whenever posible we try to record our Professorial Lectures for posterity. We then make them available on this website for you to enjoy.