Professor Gordon Campbell

Gordon CampbellMA, DPhil, DLitt, Dr hc, FBA, FSA, FLS, FRHistS, FRGS, FRAS

Professor of Renaissance Studies

Contact Details:

Research Interests

I am a Renaissance and seventeenth-century specialist with a particular interest in John Milton. Broader interests in cultural history on which I publish include art, architecture, Biblical studies, classical antiquity, garden history, legal history, historical theology and the Islamic world. I have recently published a book on hermits and hermitages in Georgian gardens, entitled The Hermit in the Garden: from Imperial Rome to Ornamental Gnome. I am now working on a short monograph entitled Garden History for OUP's VSI series and an edited Oxford Illustrated History of the Renaissance . When these projects are completed, I intend to turn to three other projects that are in various stages of preparation: a VSI on Contemporary Islam, a dictionary of English legal history and a book on the Norse in America.

Fellowships, honours, and positions in learned societies:

I have lectured, examined or reviewed provision at most pre-1992 British universities, and in scores of countries abroad. Named lectures include

  • the Bentall Lectures in Christian Theology at University of Calgary
  • the Distinguished Lecture on the History of Text Technologies at Florida State University
  • the Dr Williams's Library Annual Lecture
  • the James Spalding Memorial Lecture at University of Iowa
  • the Leo Miller Memorial Lecture at University of Colorado
  • the Maren-Sofie Røstvig Lectures at University of Oslo
  • a Passmore Edwards Lecture at University of Oxford
  • the Sir Henry Stephenson Lecture at Sheffield
  • the Sir Philip Sidney Lecture at Shrewsbury
  • the Sir Syed Memorial Lecture at Aligarh Muslim University
  • the Society of Friends of Milton's Cottage Annual Lecture, Mercers' Hall, London

The King James Bible

2011 was the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version of the Bible.  I have given some 70 talks on the KJV in Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Ireland, Israel, Romania, Switzerland, the United States and the Vatican. Venues have included cathedrals (Bristol, Ely, Exeter, Leicester, Lichfield, Norwich, Sheffield and Winchester), churches (Anglican/ Episcopal, Methodist, Roman Catholic, United Reform), clubs (including the Athenaeum in London and the Harvard Club in New York), exhibitions (including Atlanta, Charlotte NC, Colorado Springs, Edinburgh, Jerusalem, and Oklahoma City), libraries, the Inns of Court (Gray's Inn), learned societies (including the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow), literary festivals (Althorp, Belfast, Bloxham) and universities. I published a monograph on the history of the King James Bible and an edition of the 1611 text; the British government bought 21,144 copies of my edition of the Bible, and presented a copy to every primary and secondary school in England. I also contributed to BBC radio and television programmes on the KJV.  My microsite gives details of these activities:

I spend a signif8icant portion of my time working for the Museum of the Bible, which will open in Washington DC, possibly in April 2017. My principal responsibility concerns the section of the Museum devoted to Biblical archaeology and the history of the Bible, but I am also happily involved in many other aspects of the planning process. This agreeable task takes me to the United States regularly.

International Interests

I have taught in Denmark (Århus University) and Canada (University of British Columbia), visited South Africa as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Science Development (Pretoria), examined in India (Aligarh and Calcutta), Luxembourg, Finland (Tampere) and Pakistan (Sindh), and lectured on academic and professional subjects all over the world; such professional travel has taken me to some 70 countries, and I have travelled with scholarly intent in many others, on all seven continents. The British Council has sponsored visits to conferences in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Spain and to institutions of higher education in Saudi Arabia and Libya, and I have travelled to Iran as a guest of the Iranian Ministry of Science and Technology.

My work overseas has made me familiar with international issues in higher education, and has brought me into close contact with the British Council, some 100 of whose offices and resource centres I have visited. I have initiated and/or negotiated split-degree programmes in Hong Kong and Malaysia, a post-graduate Law programme in Cyprus, a World Bank biotechnology project in Indonesia, a teacher-training programme in Brunei, a staff-development programme in eastern Turkey, an FCO shared scholarship scheme in India, a Soros shared scholarship scheme in Hungary and a women's PhD programme in Saudi Arabia. In South Africa I have offered advice on the redressing of historic imbalances through selective funding; in Beirut, where I was the first British academic visitor in fifteen years, I contributed my mite to the process of reconstruction; in the West Bank, throughout the years when schools and universities were closed during the first intifada, I gave assistance to Palestinians in need of higher education. My work in Eastern and Central Europe has included academic and professional lectures, a book scheme in which I sent 6000 new books to 15 libraries in six countries, mediation between universities and organisations such as the British Council, the Soros Foundation, Tempus and the World Bank, and assistance with recognition of professional qualifications (especially Engineering) by EU organisations. I also had special responsibility for Eastern and Central Europe within ESSE, of which I was one of eight founder members.

I have long had a particular interest in the Islamic world, to which I have made well over a hundred visits in the course of the last 30 years. I was the founding chair of the British Universities Iraq Consortium (BUIC), in which capacity I visited Baghdad (where I met the prime minister) and chaired meetings at ministerial level. I was also the founding chair of a consortium of British universities (now known as the UK Saudi Interest Group) active in Saudi Arabia, and in this capacity travelled to Riyadh for the Two Kingdoms Dialogue (led on the UK side by the Foreign Secretary), where I chaired the education negotiations with the Saudi Minister of Higher Education.  Pro bono work for HMG has mostly been for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, but has also included the Department for International Development, the Department for Education and the (former) Department of Trade and Industry.  I have also worked as a consultant for the British government, for which I drafted a cross-governmental strategy for the support of education in the Islamic world. I have given many  interviews on news items relating to the Middle East, mostly on local radio stations and occasionally on national radio.

Postgraduate Supervision

I have supervised research students on topics ranging from Richard Hooker and Milton and Boiardo to Scandinavian drama, modern travel writing and the modern Islamic world; I have also supervised dissertations that consist of editions (Joseph Mede, Clement Paman, Moses Wall).

Recent Interviews

'As a Matter of Fact: Gordon Campbell in Conversation with Joseph Shub', The European Legacy 17 (2012), pp. 213-232

'Interview with Prof. Gordon Campbell', Glad Times 9 no. 4, December 2012  (GLA University, Mathura, India), pp. 14-21

Interview with Carmen Devito and Alice Marcus Krieg on 'We dig Plants: Episode 128' on Heritage Radio Network (3 February 2014)

Recent (since 2013) and Forthcoming Publications

(author) The Hermit in the Garden: from Imperial Rome to Ornamental Gnome (Oxford University Press, 2013), xviii + 255 pp, plus 8-page colour insert; paperback forthcoming July 2014

(author), 'The Language of the King James Bible', in La Bible de 1611 - The King James Version: Sources, Écritures & Influences XVIe-XVIIIe siècles / Sources, Writings & Influences 16th-18th centuries, édité par Matthieu Arnold et Christophe Tournu (Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 2013), pp. 107-16

(author), 'The King James Bible and its impact on English culture, 17th to 19th centuries', in Études Newmaniennes (2013), pp. 15-35 [in English with French summary]

(author), 'The King James Bible in the Modern World' in Библия короля Иакова, 1611-  2011: Культурное и языковое наследие / The King James Bible, 1611 – 2011: Legacy in Language and Culture, ed. Ye. B.  Yakovenko (Moscow, 2013), pp. 244-249 [adapted from the final chapter of Bible: The Story of the King James Version]

(author), 'The King James Version', in The Book of Books: Biblical Canon, Dissemination and its People, ed Jerry Pattengale, Lawrence Schiffman and Filip Vukosavović (Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, 2013), pp. 114-117.

(co-general editor with Thomas Corns), Vernacular Regicide and Republican Writings, ed N.H. Keeble, contributing editors Nicholas McDowell and N.H. Keeble, volume 6 of The Complete Works of John Milton (Oxford University Press, 2013), xx + 811 pp.

1227 entries in Grove Art Online (OUP, 2008-2014)

(author), 'Le jardin contemplatif', forthcoming in Jardins 5 (2014)

(author), 'The King James Bible: Listening and Reading', in The King James Bible, Across Centuries, Across Borders, ed. Angelica Duran (Duquesne University Press, 2014)

(author) 'The King James Bible: Language and Literature'. in Transactions of the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society 107 (2014)

(author), 'The Catholic Contribution to the King James Bible', forthcoming in Verbum Domini, ed. J. Pattengale (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2014)

(author), From Ritualist to Radical: the theology of Milton (Dr Williams's Library, London, 2014) [annual lecture]

Current and Recent Activities

University

  • Public Orator (2004-2014)

External

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