Palgrave announces release date for first-ever Iris Murdoch book series

IMAGE: Iris Murdoch writing at her Oxford home in 1958
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Credit: University of Chichester

A NEW series of books on the novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch has been commissioned by major academic publisher Palgrave Macmillan.

The series, Iris Murdoch Today, will be led by Dr Miles Leeson, Director of the Iris Murdoch Research Centre, and Deputy Director and Visiting Fellow Dr Frances White.

The aim is to produce two books a year from September 2022 which will include monographs and edited collections, and will showcase work from the Centre’s members alongside writers and academics worldwide.

Dr Leeson, a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Chichester, where the centre is located, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Palgrave on the first ever series focusing on Iris Murdoch. Palgrave have an excellent backlist of works on Murdoch, and their commitment to women’s fiction makes the series a natural home for new work on this author.

“Murdoch’s centenary in 2019 highlighted a new dynamic in her reception and she is now firmly established as a canonical 20th-Century novelist and philosopher, and one of the great writers of the post-war era. The Iris Murdoch Today series will highlight all aspects of her work as well as her wider intellectual engagement with the culture of her time, and ours.”

The teaching of Murdoch’s work is embedded in the English Literature degrees at both undergraduate and postgraduate level at the University of Chichester, where there is a thriving doctoral cohort.

The Iris Murdoch Research Centre at Chichester studies the history behind the writer’s most successful work in fiction, many of which confront the moralities of life through good and evil, sexual relationships, and the power of the unconscious mind.

The Centre emphasises national and international collaboration between scholars by hosting regular events at Chichester focusing on the writer’s milieu and academic areas as well as producing the Iris Murdoch podcast: https://soundcloud.com/user-548804258.

Brendan George, Commissioning Publisher at Palgrave MacMillan, said: “The Iris Murdoch Research Centre at the University of Chichester is a high-energy hub that drives global research on this iconic twentieth century philosopher and novelist.

“Palgrave Macmillan is honoured to have been chosen as the Centre’s partner for its series of scholarly monographs and contributed volumes exploring all aspects of Iris Murdoch’s philosophical and literary work.”

The first publication will be a collection entitled Iris Murdoch and the Literary Imagination.

Those working on Murdoch and wanting to discuss potential publication in the series should contact Dr Miles Leeson at [email protected]

To find out more about the Iris Murdoch Research Centre at the University of Chichester visit http://www.chi.ac.uk/iris.

Upcoming Iris Murdoch conference in July

A dedicated conference on Iris Murdoch is being hosted virtually on Thursday 15th July. The online event, led by the Iris Murdoch Research Centre, will include guest speakers specialising in the life and work of the acclaimed writer.

Tickets are available at https://irismurdochsociety.org.uk/events/.

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The Iris Murdoch podcast series was launched in 2020 during the Covid pandemic to continue promoting her books and new research to a global audience. Around 30 episodes have already been recorded at https://soundcloud.com/user-548804258/popular-tracks

The University of Chichester is a thriving higher education institution which was recently recognised as a one of the top-30 universities in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2021). Its origins trace back to 1839 when it was founded as a training college by William Otter, the Bishop of Chichester.

It’s now known for its outstanding student experience, for which it was recently rated in the top-20 by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 for student satisfaction with teaching quality. Its students are also among the happiest in the UK, according to the National Student Survey (NSS) 2020 which placed it in the UK’s top-3rd for high student-satisfaction.

Campuses are based in the city of Chichester and the nearby coastal resort of Bognor Regis which, since 2013, has had nearly £50million invested in its estates and facilities. Bognor Regis is home to the Tech Park, housing all STEM courses. A University film shows how the Tech Park was officially opened by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in October 2018.

Find out more at http://www.chi.ac.uk.

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