Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Prof Dr Valentine Cunningham



Professor Dr Valentine Cunningham is Senior Research Fellow in English at Corpus Christi College Oxford. His research interest focuses on fiction, ranging from the Victorian era to the twentieth century.

Professor Cunningham completed both his undergraduate and graduate studies in English at Keble College, Oxford (1963-66 and 1966-69, respectively). Following his early research interest in the Victorian era, he wrote his doctorate on representations of religious dissent in Victorian fiction, which he completed as Junior Research Fellow at St John's College, Oxford (1966-69). Since joining Corpus as its second ever English Literature Fellow in 1972, he has been Dean, Senior Tutor, Tutor for Admissions, and Vice President. Prof Cunningham has served as a Special Lecturer of the Oxford English Faculty, as well as its Chair. He was made a titular Professor of English Language and Literature in 1996.

He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, at the German Universities of Freiburg, Göttingen, and Konstanz (several times from 1980 on; Ständiger Gastprofessor 1994-2002). He has also been Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Perth, Western Australia and a Fellow of the Centre for British Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin, since 2013.

Professor Cunningham reviews widely for newspapers and magazines, and broadcasts frequently for BBC Radio on particular authors and on literary, musicological and cultural-historical topics. Amongst others he has been a judge of important literary prizes such as The Booker Prize, 1992, 1998; or the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, 2000, 2001). In line with these functions stands his research portfolio. He works widely across literary-historical-cultural periods, areas and genres, as well as in literary theory. Following his PhD thesis, he continued to publish on Victorian novels, as well as editing the Blackwells Anthology of Victorian Poetry and Poetics. He edited Adam Bede for Oxford World Classics and has recently written on Victorian Poetry, King Lear as well as Dickens and Defoe. His growing interest in more recent fiction is evinced in his writings about twentieth-century novelists, including James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Iris Murdoch. A main research interest has been the literature of the 1930s, not least the writing of the Spanish Civil War. In more recent times he has published on musico-literary topics, on theology and Bible literature, as well as on literary theory.