George Orwell


2020 is the 70th anniversary of George Orwell’s death. Join us to celebrate the many accomplishments and lasting legacy of this novelist, critic, and journalist, who challenged the ruling classes, championed human rights, and fought authoritarianism wherever he found it. Among the topics covered by the four leading Orwell scholars will be Orwell’s accounts of his time in Burma, and of the Spanish Civil War, his politics, and the dystopias for which he is so renowned.

Programme details

9.45am            Registration

10.00am          Oriental Orwell

                         Professor Robert Hampson

11.15am            Coffee/tea

11.45am            Orwell’s Kindness

                         Dr Nathan Waddell

1.00pm            Lunch

2.00pm            Propaganda and the Body in Orwell's Writings on the Spanish Civil War

                        Dr Lisa Mullen

3.15pm            Tea/coffee

3.45pm            Orwell and Dystopia - Then and Now

                        Professor Gregory Claeys

5.00pm           Course disperses


Description Costs
Tuition only £70.00
Baguette Lunch £5.00
Hot Lunch £15.00


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Professor Gregory Claeys


Gregory Claeys is Professor of the History of Political Thought at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of numerous books, including Searching for Utopia: the History of an Idea (Thames & Hudson, 2011), Dystopia: A Natural History (Oxford University Press, 2016), and Marx and Marxism (Penguin Books, 2018). Among his edited collections is The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2010). He is the current Chair of the Utopian Studies Society (Europe), and in 2018, his Dystopia: A Natural History won the Cantemir Prize for contributions to humanistic scholarship.

Dr Ben Grant

Director of Studies

Dr Ben Grant is a Lecturer in English Literature in the Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford. He has a research background in postcolonial studies and cultural translation. His first book, Postcolonialism, Psychoanalysis and Burton: Power Play of Empire (2009), was about the iconic Victorian explorer and translator, Richard Francis Burton, who began his career as a spy in British India. Ben is also interested in all forms of brevity in literature, and his second book, The Aphorism and Other Short Forms (2016), aims to give a consolidated picture of the exciting and often marginalised genres of the aphorism and related short forms, such as the proverb and the fragment. Ben is currently working on life writing and autobiographical fiction, particularly in the work of Jenny Diski.

Professor Robert Hampson


Robert Hampson was for many years Professor of Modern Literature in the English Department at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is now a Research Fellow at the University of London's Institute for English Studies. He has a research interest in the literature of colonialism. He has edited works by Kipling, Conrad and Rider Haggard for Penguin. He is the author of Joseph Conrad: Betrayal and identity (1992); Cross-Cultural Encounters in Joseph Conrad's Malay Fiction (2000); and Conrad's Secrets (2012) - and has recently completed a critical biography of Joseph Conrad. He is currently Chair of the Joseph Conrad society (UK).

Dr Lisa Mullen


Lisa Mullen is the Steven Isenberg Junior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford University. Her first book, Mid-Century Gothic: Uncanny Objects in British Literature and Culture after the Second World War, was published in 2019 by Manchester University Press; her next book will be called Orwell Unwell: Pathology and the Medical Imaginary in the Fiction and Journalism of George Orwell. She is also currently compiling a new edition of Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia for Oxford University Press.

Dr Nathan Waddell


Nathan Waddell is a Senior Lecturer in Early Twentieth-Century and Modernist Literature at the University of Birmingham, UK. He is the author of Modern John Buchan (2009), Modernist Nowheres (2012), and Moonlighting: Beethoven and Literary Modernism (Oxford UP, forthcoming June 2019). He's currently editing The Cambridge Companion to ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ for Cambridge University Press.


Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email for details of availability and discounted prices.