Monday 20 January 2020


The Institute of English Studies (IES) at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, has appointed Professor David Amigoni, an international expert in Victorian literature, as chair of its Advisory Council. He succeeds Professor Dinah Birch CBE, University of Liverpool’s pro vice-chancellor for cultural engagement.

Professor Amigoni has held a variety of leadership roles at Keele, including head of department, director of the Research Institute of Humanities, and head of the School of Humanities, and has published extensively in the field of Victorian literature.

Since 2009 he has worked on ageing and culture, ran an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded network with Professor Gordon McMullan (King's College, London), and co-edited (with McMullan) Creativity in Later Life: Beyond Late Style. He is a former editor of The Journal of Victorian Culture (2005–08) and editor in chief of Literature Compass (2013–15). In 2018, he joined the editorial board of The Conversation UK and is set to serve on the English REF panel in 2021.

Commenting on this new role, Professor Amigoni says, “English studies has always been, at heart, an interdisciplinary enterprise. The IES is one of the great flagships for the advanced study of this inter-discipline so this is a particularly exciting time to work with the Advisory Council as, together with the director of IES and the dean of the School of Advanced Study, we continue to develop the unique contribution of IES to the higher education landscape. Causes that are central to the IES – excellence and innovation in research and education, equality and diversity of opportunity, and sharing the work of IES regionally, internationally and with diverse publics – are vital to me as well. I am very much looking forward to starting work.”

Professor Rick Rylance, dean of the School of Advanced Study, says, “I am delighted to welcome David as the new chair of the IES Advisory Council. I have known David for many years, both as an excellent scholar and an experienced senior presence in academic life. He is an outstanding appointment to follow another. I would like to take this opportunity not only to welcome David, but also to send my thanks and appreciation to Dinah Birch for her tenure in this role. She has been the most wise and supportive of advisors and IES and SAS are much in her debt.”

“In David, the Advisory Council has found a distinguished new chair with an exceptional record of achievement in research and leadership,” adds Professor Clare Lees, IES director. “His commitment to excellence, innovation and inclusivity in the diverse and varied field of English Studies will guide the Council over the next several years. We are thrilled that he is joining the Council and the Institute, and excited to begin the work. Thank you, David.”