On Tuesday 23 January, LMH Principal Professor Stephen Blyth will be joined by alumna and Honorary Fellow Dame Marina Warner (1964, Modern Languages) for an 'In Conversation' event.
Marina Warner (LMH l964) writes fiction, criticism and history. Her award-winning books explore myths, symbols and fairy tales, and cultural politics. They include Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and Cult of the Virgin Mary (1976), Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism (l984); Monuments and Maidens: The Allegory of the Female Form (l988); From the Beast to the Blonde (1994); No Go the Bogeyman (1998; US Title: Monsters of Our Own Making, 2007); Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors and Media (2006); Stranger Magic: Charmed States & the Arabian Nights ( 2011) and Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (Oxford University Press, 2014), reprinted as Fairy Tale: A Very Short Introduction). She edited a collection of little-known French fairy tales stories in translation (Wonder Tales: Six Stories of Enchantment, 1994). In l996 she gave the BBC Reith Lectures, published as Managing Monsters: (US Title: Six Myths of Our Time); in 2000 she gave the Oxford Clarendon Lectures, Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self (2001).
Her essays on literature and art have been collected in Signs & Wonders (1994), and Forms of Enchantment: Writings on Art and Artists (2018). A study of the artist Helen Chadwick (Afterall Books) came out last year. Marina has also brought out three collections of short stories (including Fly Away Home (2016). Among her fiction, The Lost Father (1988) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Leto Bundle (2000) was longlisted. Her most recent book, Inventory of a Life Mislaid (2021) is an ‘Unreliable Memoir’ about her childhood in Cairo where her father opened a bookshop in 1947; it was published in the US as Esmond and Ilia. She contributes regularly to artist’s catalogues, the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement.
Marina is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, a Distinguished Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, a Fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary Fellow of LMH. In 2015, she was awarded the Holberg Prize in the Arts and Humanities; in 2017 she was given a World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. This year she was made a Companion of Honour. Since 2016, she has been working with the storytelling project http://www.storiesintransit.org in the UK and Palermo, Sicily. Her son is the sculptor Conrad Shawcross (LMH 1996, Fine Art), and she is married to the mathematician Graeme Segal. She lives in Oxford and London. Temporale,(2023) an essay about the experience of time during lockdown. She is currently writing a book about the concept of Sanctuary.