Who got that job? Professor of British Literature

June 18, 2004

Richard Todd

Job advertised in The Times Higher September 5 2003

Richard Todd is an academic and British but has never been an academic in Britain.

The day after submitting his doctoral thesis at University College London in 1976, he left for the Netherlands.

He took up a short posting at Leiden University, before moving to the department of English language and literature at the Vrije (Free) Universiteit in Amsterdam in 1977.

Some 28 years and a readership later, Dr Todd, 54, is still there, but on August 1 he is set to return to Leiden, the institution where his career began, this time as professor of British literature.

Leiden was established in 1575 and the Free University in 1880. They are two of the Netherlands' six "classical" universities that are facing some of the same funding problems as their counterparts in Britain. Dr Todd says that Leiden has recently dropped the State from its title in protest over the financial squeeze.

He is looking forward to teaching a chronological course in Leiden.

Amsterdam had adopted a thematic approach, which he believes has diminished student interest in British literature.

Dr Todd's PhD thesis was titled "Forms of Interpretative Activity in George Herbert's The Temple (1633)". Some of his publications include Iris Murdoch (1984) and Consuming Fictions: The Booker Prize and Fiction in Britain Today (1996).

He has also been on the editorial board of International Post-war Literatures in English: A Lexicon of Contemporary Authors since the project's inception in 1986.

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