University of Massachusetts Amherst



The heart of the Oxford Summer Seminar is the teaching and learning involved in small classes led by the Seminar's distinguished staff. The following brief biographies provide some indication of the outstanding academic or artistic achievements of the Seminar's faculty.


Sally Bayley

Sally Bayley completed her first degrees at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where she studied British, American, and European literatures. She completed her Ph.D. in English at Mysore University, India, where she wrote a dissertation on Sylvia Plath. Now a lecturer in modern literature at Balliol College, Oxford, she has also been a tutor in English at Wadham College.

Andrew Beaumont

Andrew Beaumont is currently Domestic Bursar of Hertford College, Oxford. He completed a doctoral thesis at Lincoln College on British colonial administrators in pre-revolutionary North America, in which he examined crown and proprietary governors in the mainland colonies from the late 1740s to the mid 1760s. In his research he has continued to explore the role of the Board of Trade in forming imperial policy and the pressures incumbent on individual governors when asserting the crown's prerogative there.

Richard Coggins

Currently a lecturer in politics at Oriel College, Oxford, Richard Coggins has taught not only at several other Oxford colleges but has also been a research associate at the University of Zimbabwe. His prime fields of interest are British political history in the era of decolonisation, especially the Rhodesian Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) Democratization, failed democratic transitions in Africa, and the influence of external mediators, and non-governmental actors, on democratic transition.

Valentine Cunningham

Senior Research Fellow and Tutor in English Literature, Corpus Christi College, Valentine Cunningham, M.A., D. Phil., is also Professor of English Language and Literature, Oxford University. He is the author of Everywhere Spoken Against: Dissent in the Victorian Novel (1975); The Penguin Book of Spanish Civil War Verse, ed. (1980); Spanish Front: Writers on the Civil War, ed. (1986); British Writers of the Thirties (1988); In the Reading Gaol: Texts, Postmodernity and History (1994); and Adam Bede, ed. (1996). He reviews widely in British and American periodicals, and broadcasts frequently for BBC Radio on literary and cultural topics.

Beverley Lyle

Beverley Lyle studied Law at University College, London and practised as a solicitor before changing careers to become an art historian. She completed her Master’s Degree and PhD at Oxford Brookes University.  Her doctoral thesis researched patterns of artistic patronage in the Italian Renaissance city of Perugia, focusing on Franciscan and familial networks and their roles in the spread of ideas.  Currently lecturing in Visual and Material Culture at Buckinghamshire New University, she regularly teaches Art History at Oxford Brookes and has also tutored at University College Oxford.

Tom MacFaul

Tom MacFaul is Fellow and Departmental Lecturer at Merton College, University of Oxford, where he teaches English literature from the Renaissance to Romanticism. His books include Male Friendship in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries (2007), Poetry and Paternity in Renaissance England (2010), and a forthcoming study of fathers in Renaissance drama. He completed his BA at Cambridge University, and his doctorate at Oxford University.

Anne-Claire Michoux

Anne-Claire Michoux is a graduate in English literature from the universities of Oxford and York. She studied at Lincoln College both as an undergraduate and postgraduate and tutored at St Peter’s College. She is currently teaching and lecturing at the English department of the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. Anne-Claire specialises in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fiction and drama, eighteenth-century actors and acting theory, private theatricals, and literary theory. Her current research focuses on early nineteenth-century fiction, particularly on the work of Jane Austen, Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Sir Walter Scott and the construction of national identity.


Clare Morgan

Clare Morgan gained her M.Phil. in twentieth-century English literature from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, before taking an M.A. in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. She then completed her D.Phil. at Oxford with a thesis on post-World War II literature and art. Currently director of Oxford University's MSt in Creative Writing and a fellow of Kellogg College, her most recent academic publication is What Poetry Brings to Business (University of Michigan Press 2010), while her new novel, A Book for All and None, will be published in June 2011 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. She is a regular reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement.

Martins Paparinskis

Martins Paparinskis, LLB (University of Latvia), MJur (Dist, Clifford Chance Prize), MPhil (Dist), DPhil, MA (Oxon), recently left his position as a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College to become a lecturer in the Faculty of Laws at University College London. Previously he spent his time as a Hauser Research Scholar at New York University (2009-2010), and before that tutored as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Oxford. Martins has varied research interests in the field of general international law. His recent and forthcoming publications mainly address the place of investment protection law and international economic law in the international legal order, including in the International Minimum Standard and Fair and Equitable Treatment (Oxford University Press, Oxford 2012).

Sarah Poynting

Sarah Poynting held lectureships teaching Shakespeare and the Renaissance period at Lady Margaret Hall and Mansfield College, University of Oxford, where she gained a doctorate in early modern drama. After several years as a Research Fellow at Keele University, she is now a tutor at the University of Warwick, specialising in epic literature from Homer to Derek Walcott, Medieval and Renaissance literature, and the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. She is working on a three-volume edition of the letters of Charles I for Oxford University Press.

Astrid Van den Bossche

Astrid Van den Bossche is pursuing a doctorate at Said Business School and Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. Her research focuses on early-childhood socialisation into consumer scepticism through the medium of picture books. Further interests include cultural discourses on money and morality, as well as historical and aesthetic perspectives on branding and advertising. Prior to her DPhil, Astrid taught at University College Maastricht, obtained an MSt in Film Aesthetics from University of Oxford, and an MSc in Management from London Business School. She has hands-on experience in the marketing industry, having worked as a brand strategist for clients such as Nestlé Purina, Reckitt Benckiser, and Mondelz International.

Lynn Phillips

Whether through research, teaching, or directing the Department's advising program, I see my work as a vehicle for prompting critical thought and promoting constructive social change. My research interests include the subjective and social implications of media images hypermasculinity and the hypersexualization of young girls, the commercialization of children's culture, and the health and environmental impacts of media driven consumerism. My current research explores consent and coercion in adolescents' and young women's sexual experiences, focusing on the roles of pornography and other media messages in college students' experiences and perceptions of "hooking up." I am also studying the impacts of Title IX and other campus rape policies on feminist pedagogy, research, and advocacy. My scholarship sits at the nexus of social and developmental psychology, critical cultural studies, and feminist media studies, with a particular focus on issues of gender, race, class, and sexuality.

Erica Scharrer

My research interests involve the study of media content, opinions of media, media effects, and media literacy, particularly regarding gender and violence. My work has appeared in Communication Research, Human Communication Research, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, and Media Psychology. I've co-authored three books with first author, George Comstock, including Media and the American Child (Elsevier, 2007) in which we provide a critical synthesis and review of the children and media literature. My edited collection Media Effects/Media Psychology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), part of the International Encyclopledia of Media Studies, provides a state-of-the-art review of the field. Particular emphases in my work include media depictions of masculinity, the third-person effect and other opinions about media influence, and the effectiveness of media literacy curricula.



Jenny Adams – Seminar Director

Jenny Adams, Associate Professor, holds a Ph.D. and an A.M. in English Literature from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in English Literature and French Language and Literature from UCLA. She specializes in later medieval literature, and her current research focuses on medieval student debt and university life in England. She is at work on a monograph provisionally titled “Unlocking St. Frideswide’s Chest: Student Debt and University Life in Medieval Oxford.” With Nancy Bradbury (Smith College) she is also editing an essay collection titled “Objects of Medieval Women.”

Her past research has been on chess and political organization in the late Middle Ages. Her book, "Power Play: The Literature and Politics of Chess in the Late Middle Ages" (University of Pennsylvania Press) appeared in 2006, and her edition of William Caxton's "The Game and Playe of the Chesse" (TEAMS Middle English Texts series) came out in 2009. (Cambridge University Press), came out in 2009. Her current project is a book on Imperial women in the Mongol Empire.

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