Vantastic voyage home

September 1, 1995

(Photograph) - The pop music superstar who advised "No Guru, No Method, No Teacher" is to teach after all.

Singer-song writer Van Morrison is to turn his talents to lecturing in his home territory of Northern Ireland. The University of Ulster has offered the former window cleaner a guest lectureship after he revealed he would like to teach philosophy.

Bemused potential colleagues of the taciturn and often monosyllabic celebrity are curious as to how he might fare in front of students from a different generation.

Fresh from providing the soundtrack for the Northern Ireland Office's controversial series of "feelgood" television commercials to promote the peace process, the move to academia confirms Morrison as a looming pillar of the establishment.

Terry O'Keefe, head of Ulster's faculty of humanities, said: "We certainly don't want to put any pressure on Van but we would be delighted to have him."

Three years ago the university awarded Morrison an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. Bob Welch, a professor of English who knows him, is awaiting his reply.

The format for the lectures has yet to be agreed but a series of three on creativity, ideology and possibly media studies is being suggested.

"We think we might be swamped if it was a public lecture so perhaps seminars with a select audience might be more appropriate, I don't know," Professor O'Keefe added.

Morrison's work is littered with references to literature, philosophy and mysticism and he has taken part in summer school sessions in Ireland on subjects like religion and W. B. Yeats for years.

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