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Greek tragedy and the Arabian Nights inspire annual lecture

18 Feb 2016

World renowned Professor and author Professor Dame Marina Warner speaks at The John Rylands Research Institute

Greek tragedy and the Arabian Nights inspired The John Rylands Research Institute’s third annual lecture, given by world renowned Professor and author Professor Dame Marina Warner.

Each year, the Institute invites a distinguished academic to give a public lecture relating to the University Library's Special Collections.

This year’s lecture was entitled ‘Oracular Narrative: Timing and Truth Telling’ and delivered by Professor Dame Marina Warner, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London and Quondam Fellow All Souls College, University of Oxford.

Professor Warner won the Holberg Prize 2015 and is a fellow at the British Academy, the President of the British Comparative Literature Association, and has been given Honorary Doctorates at several universities.

The evening commenced with a drinks reception in the Historic Entrance of The John Rylands Library, before guests took their seats in the Historic Reading Room for an opening speech from Jan Wilkinson, University Librarian and Director of The John Rylands Library, and introductory speech from Peter Pormann, Professor of Classics and Graeco-Arabic Studies and Director of the Institute. 

As the highlight of the evening, Professor Warner shared her expertise with our audience as she explored mythic forms of prefigurement and prophecy in contemporary fiction. The lecture took inspiration from Greek tragedy and the Arabian Nights, one of the manuscripts featured in the University’s significant Arabic collections.

The lecture proved a success with more than 120 guests in attendance.