08 June 2022

Professor Sir Jonathan Bate CBE (OS 1976)

Sir Jonathan is a renowned scholar in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature, Romanticism and biography and the youngest person ever to be knighted for services to literary scholarship.

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Professor Sir Jonathan Bate CBE (OS 1976) returned to Sevenoaks for a glorious dip into Shakespeare, his own and the school’s past.

Referencing his book Mad About Shakespeare – From Classroom to Theatre to Emergency Room, Sir Jonathan told some fascinating stories of being a student at Sevenoaks in the 1970s and how the liberal and progressive education he received and some influential teachers helped him to develop the passion which led to his distinguished academic career. Additionally, the innovative, modern approaches the Drama department used to put on plays helped to stimulate his passion.

Sir Jonathan studied at Cambridge and Harvard universities. He is well known as a biographer, critic, broadcaster and scholar, and a leader in green thinking as Foundation Professor of Environmental Humanities in Global Futures, the School of Sustainability and the College of Liberal Arts at Arizona State University. He is also a Senior Research Fellow of Worcester College Oxford, where he was Provost from 2011 to 2019.

He has wide-ranging research interests in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, Romanticism, biography and life-writing, ecocriticism, contemporary poetry, visual culture and theatre history. He is a Fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature, as well as an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

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