Poetry and politics

June 4, 2009

One of the saddest aspects of the messy business over the failure to appoint a professor of poetry at the University of Oxford is that a woman and a black man have "cancelled each other out". This potentially gives the (largely) white male Establishment a troubling pretext for ignoring wider questions of sexual and racial inequality and harassment in Oxbridge; and for failing to give attention to the politics of appointment generally. As for this particular chair, I recommend the performance poet Valerie Bloom (black woman). Whether or not she would accept it, particularly in a context of "degrading debates and character assassination" (Derek Walcott), is another matter.

Julia Swindells, Cambridge.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns