International Award for Dr Syrithe Pugh

The School is delighted to announce that Dr Syrithe Pugh, Senior Lecturer in English, has been awarded the Isabel MacCaffrey Prize by the International Spenser Society. The prize recognises the best book in Spenser Studies published in the years 2015 and 2016, and was awarded to Dr Pugh’s monograph, Spenser and Virgil (Manchester University Press, 2016). The judges commended Dr Pugh’s study for its ‘learned nature and ambition’.


Dubbed ‘the English Virgil’ in his own lifetime, Spenser has been compared to the Augustan laureate ever since. He invited the comparison, expecting a readership intimately familiar with Virgil’s works to notice and interpret his rich web of allusion and imitation, but also his significant departures and transformations. Spenser and Virgil considers Spenser’s pastoral poetry, the genre which announces the inception of a Virgilian career—anticipating ascent to epic—in The Shepheardes Calender, and to which he returns in Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, throwing the Virgilian career into reverse. Both publications conduct a sustained dialogue with Virgil’s Eclogues, betraying Spenser’s profound debt to Virgil and his deep-seated unease with the values and priorities enshrined in his work. Spenser was a sensitive reader of Virgil as well as a great poet. Investigating Spenser’s act of creative imitation, Dr Pugh’s study reveals both poets in a new light.

The Annual Public Lecture on The Novel

Inaugurated in 2006 to coincide with the launch of the Centre of the Novel, the first talk was given by Professor John Sutherland. Further details to follow.

The James Murray Brown Lecture Series

This lecture series is held every three years and brings a distinguished international scholar to Aberdeen for a major of talks to the academic community. In 2007 Professor Jerome McGann presented a series re-evaluating the poetry of A C Swinburne. Previous speakers have included the eminent linguists Professors James & Leslie Milroy, and the leading poetry critic Professor Helen Vendler.

The School Postgraduate Forum

The School Postgraduate Forum provides a venue for Phd students to present their own research and to welcome visiting speakers.

The Centre for Early Modern Studies

The Centre hosts a Research Seminar for invited speakers and members of staff whose research focus is on aspects of renaissance and early modern literature and culture. It also hosts other events including major conferences and colloquia.

The Centre for the Novel

The Centre hosts a number of special events throughout the course of the year from invited speakers to conferences and symposia. The events page contains full details.

The Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies

The Institute has a full programme of events including lectures, conferences and seminars.  For details of forthcoming and previous events see the Events Page.