Prof Stefan Collini, Clare Hall



Biographical Information

Stefan Collini is Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature.  After degrees at Cambridge and Yale, he taught at the University of Sussex before moving to a post in the Faculty in 1986.  He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a frequent contributor to The London Review of Books The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, The Nation, and other periodicals, and an occasional broadcaster.

Research Interests

The relation between literature and intellectual history from the early 20th century to the present. Current research focusses on the cultural role of, and the historical assumptions expressed in, literary criticism in Britain from c.1920 to c.1970. Recent work has dealt with the question of intellectuals in 20th-century Britain, the relation between academic critics and 'men of letters', the role of cultural criticism, as well as individual essays on figures such as T.S. Eliot, F.R. Leavis, George Orwell, Raymond Williams, and Richard Hoggart. Also work on the history, and public debates about the role, of universities in Britain.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

Prof Collini is interested in supervising graduate students working on a wide range of topics in the broad area of the relations between literature and intellectual history from the mid 19th century to the present. He is particularly interested to hear from students proposing to work on some aspect of 'non-fiction prose' in the 20th century, whether in the history of literary criticism, in literary journalism, in social or cultural criticism, or in the relations between literature and politics. Contributes to teaching and/or supervision for PhDs on literary subjects in the post-1830 period

Selected Publications

  • 'What, ultimately, for? The elusive goal of cultural criticism', Raritan, 33 (Fall 2013), 4-26
  • F.R. Leavis, Two Cultures?  The Significance of C.P. Snow, ed. with introduction and notes, Cambridge University Press, 2013, 118pp
  • '"The Chatto list": publishing literary criticism in mid-twentieth-century Britain', Review of English Studies, 63 (2012), 634-663
  • What Are Universities For?, Penguin, 2012, 216pp
  • That's Offensive! Criticism, Identity, Respect, Seagull Press/U of Chicago Press, 2011, 69pp
  • Common Reading: Critics, Historians, Publics, Oxford University Press, 2008,368pp.
  • "Richard Hoggart: literary criticism and cultural decline in twentieth-century Britain", Richard Hoggart and Cultural Studies, Ed. Sue Owen, Palgrave, 2008, 33-56
  • "Where did it all go wrong? Cultural critics and 'modernity' in interwar Britain", in E.E.H. Green and Duncan Tanner (eds.), The Strange Survival of Liberal England (CUP, 2007), 247-274
  • Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain, Oxford University Press, 2006, 526pp.
  • "The literary critic and the village labourer: 'Culture' in twentieth-century Britain (The Prothero Lecture)", Royal Historical Society Transactions 14, 2004, 93-116
  • 'Eliot among the intellectuals', Essays in Criticism, 52 (2002), 101-125