Warburg Institute student wins Rhodes Scholarship

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Christopher Lu, a Warburg Institute MA student from China, is among the 100 students worldwide chosen to begin studies at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 2022. The Rhodes Scholarship is among the most prestigious academic honours in the world, and Christopher was one of four chosen from 14 finalists competing from China.

First awarded in 1902, it is the oldest international scholarship programme for post-graduate study. Scholars are selected on criteria including outstanding intellect and character, as well as motivation to engage with global challenges, commitment to serving others, and promise to become principled leaders in the future.

‘I am immensely grateful for the training, resources and support that I have received from SAS and the Warburg in the past year. They transformed me from a mere dilettante into an aspiring Renaissance scholar,’ said Christopher.

He will use his two years at Oxford to pursue an MSt in Classical studies and another MSt in modern languages, specialising in Italian, and hopes that his studies will enhance his academic expertise and facilitate a dedication to translating important texts of Early Modern Europe into Chinese.

After earning BA degrees in Philosophy from Fudan University, Shanghai, and the University of Birmingham, Christopher joined Warburg (part of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study) to pursue his MA in Cultural, Intellectual, and Visual History, where he specialised in the art and intellectual history of Quattrocento Italy with intensive training in Early Modern Italian, Latin and palaeography.

Twice awarded the National Scholarship of China, Christopher also won the University of Birmingham’s JG Davies Memorial Prize for the best undergraduate dissertation and the Master Studentship of the School of Advanced Study. He has translated key works of French philosophers into Mandarin Chinese and served as the interpreter for multiple events co-organised by Fudan University and the École Normale Supérieure of Paris. 

Under the supervision of the institute’s director, Professor Bill Sherman, he completed his MA dissertation on the images and rhetoric of the illustrated book Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, printed in 1499 by the Venetian printer Aldus Manutius.

‘We at the Warburg are very proud to learn that Chris Lu has been selected for this prestigious programme,’ said Professor Sherman. ‘He has been a star student and while we will miss him we know he won’t be far away during his time in Oxford and will follow his progress with the greatest of interest.’

Christopher has two translated monographs under review for publication, and, in addition to his own research interests and academic pursuit, he is dedicated to translating key texts of the Early Modern period from their respective languages into Chinese, introducing them to academics and general readers alike. 

Famous Rhodes alumni include former US President Bill Clinton, three Australian prime ministers, Bob Hawke, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, Grammy winner Kris Kristofferson and former US national security adviser Susan Rice.