Distinguished academic achieves one of the country’s greatest academic honours

Posted by pt91 at Jul 22, 2011 09:35 AM |
University of Leicester Professor elected as a Fellow of the British Academy
Distinguished academic achieves one of the country’s greatest academic honours

Professor Gordon Campbell of the School of English.

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 22 July 2011


A Professor from the University of Leicester has been selected for one of the country's greatest academic honours.

Gordon Campbell, Professor of Renaissance Studies in the School of English, joins a distinguished group to be elected as a Fellow of the British Academy.

Professor Campbell is among a select group of leading academics in the University of Leicester to have received this honour. He joins Professor Christopher Dyer of the Centre for English Local History and Professors Colin Haselgrove and David Mattingly, both in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, in holding this distinction.

The British Academy, established by Royal Charter in 1902, is the national academy for the humanities and the social sciences – the counterpart of the Royal Society, which covers the natural sciences. Professor Campbell’s election to the British Academy complements the recent election of Professor Stan Cowley of the Department of Physics and Astronomy to the Royal Society - this double in the same year  is unique in the history of the University.

Professor Sir Robert Burgess, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: "This is excellent news. The entire University joins with me in congratulating Professor Campbell on this well deserved honour. Professor Campbell’s election to the British Academy brings great distinction to the University as a whole and to the School of English in particular, and will link him into many new networks".

Professor Campbell said: "I am delighted to be elected as a Fellow of the British Academy. The election of Stan Cowley and myself to the twin peaks of learned societies in the United Kingdom is a tribute to the world-class research environment in which we work at the University of Leicester. The University rightly values the research and pedagogy of the School of English, which selects very able students and inducts them into the advanced study of English language and literature with teaching that is enhanced by research”.

The Academy’s President, Sir Adam Roberts, said,

‘I congratulate all the distinguished Fellows who have been elected to the Academy this year, on achieving this peer group recognition of the outstanding contribution they’ve made to scholarship and research in the humanities or social sciences.  Election is not only an honour, but also a beginning. I look forward to their active participation in the life and work of the Academy.’

Professor Campbell was elected Fellow of the British Academy at the 109th annual general meeting on 21 July. The University now has four Fellows of the British Academy, the highest number since the University was founded. In former years Fellows have included Professor W G Hoskins (1969), Dr Joan Thirsk (1974) and Professor Alan Everitt (1989), all of English Local History; Professor Ralph Davis (1973) of Economic History; and Professor Graeme Barker (1999) of Archaeology.

Note to Newsdesk: Professor Campbell can be contacted on leb@le.ac.uk


Professor Campbell was a Lecturer at Aarhus University (Denmark) and University of Liverpool before joining the Department of English at Leicester in 1979. He was appointed as Reader in Renaissance Literature in 1987 and as Professor of Renaissance Studies in 1994. He has worked as International Relations Adviser to the University since 1983, and as Public Orator since 2004. He has been awarded a D.Litt by University of York and an honorary doctorate by the University of Bucharest. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Geographical Society. He has served as chair and president of the English Association and as chair of the Society for Renaissance Studies. His recent books, all for Oxford University Press, include

  • The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance (2003)

  • Renaissance Art and Architecture (2004)

  • The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts (2 vols, 2006)

  • John Milton (2007)

  • The Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art and Architecture (2 vols, 2007)

  • John Milton: Life, Work and Thought (2008)

  • The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art (3 vols, 2009)

  • Bible: The King James Version, 1611-2011 (2010)

  • The Holy Bible: Quatercentenary Edition (2010)

For further biographical information see Professor Campbell’s staff page www.le.ac.uk/departments/english/people/gordoncampbell and his microsite on the King James Bible www.le.ac.uk/kingjamesbible.


The University of Leicester has one of the most long-established and distinguished schools of English in the country: English language and literature have been taught at the University for more than 80 years. The first professor in the Department of English was the Shakespearean scholar Arthur Humphreys (appointed 1946), editor of the Arden editions of Shakespeare’s Henry IV. The renowned Dickens scholar Philip Collins became the Department’s second professor in 1964. The third professor was the poet-scholar J.S. Cunningham (1975), and the fourth the Romantic specialist Vincent Newey (1989). In 1994 Gordon Campbell and William Myers became the fifth and sixth professors. Since then the appointment of another eight professors testifies to the growing distinction of the School of English, which is now led by Professor Martin Halliwell.

The study of English at University of Leicester extends from the early medieval period to the twenty-first century, and includes English language, drama, literary theory, American literature and the literature of the English-speaking world: www.le.ac.uk/english 


The British Academy was established by Royal Charter in 1902, under the full title of 'The British Academy for the Promotion of Historical, Philosophical and Philological Studies'. It is an independent and self-governing fellowship of scholars, elected for distinction and achievement in one or more branches of the academic disciplines that make up the humanities and social sciences, and is now organised in eighteen Sections by academic discipline. There are Fellows, overseas Corresponding Fellows, and Honorary Fellows. Up to thirty-eight new Fellows may be elected in any one year.

The British Academy is the national academy for the humanities and the social sciences, the counterpart to the Royal Society which exists to serve the natural sciences. The Academy aims to represent the interests of scholarship nationally and internationally; to give recognition to excellence; to promote and support advanced research; to further international collaboration and exchange; to promote public understanding of research and scholarship; to publish the results of research. www.britac.ac.uk

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