29th November 2016

Exeter hosts Power of the Written Word symposium


On Saturday 26 November Exonians and their guests were welcomed back to Exeter College for a day of talks focussed on the Power of the Written Word.

Professor Adam Smyth (1990, Modern History) started the day off with a session discussing the evolution of the book and its future. Professor Christopher Rea, who had come over especially from the University of British Columbia, then spoke very eloquently on the illustrious writing of Old Member Qian Zhong Shu (1935, BLitt).

The afternoon was spent with a panel chaired by Reeta Chakrabarti (1984, English & French) discussing the varying ways of writing for different audiences. John Gapper (1978, PPE) from the Financial Times, Eleanor Franzen (2010, English) previously of Mumsnet, Gregory Lim (2003, Physiological Sciences) Chief Editor of Nature Reviews Cardiology and Lebby Eyres (1990, Literae Humaniores) editor of New! and Star! magazines took part in the lively session that could easily have continued into the evening.

Neil Blair (1986, Jurisprudence) and Jeri Johnson (Fellow in English) finished the day with a fascinating discussion on his role at the Blair Partnership representing authors and celebrities including JK Rowling, and the issues surrounding copyright and privacy in today’s increasingly accessible online world.

To hear some of the sessions that we were able to record, please see below:

Professor Christopher Rea: The Power of Writing in and from the margins: The literary careers of Qian Zhong Shu (1935, BLitt) and Yang Jiang

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