Arts of Place/Oxford Centre for Life Writing, Weinrebe Lecture 2024

Fiona Stafford

‘Time and Tide: Lives and Landscapes’

Tuesday 18 June, 5pm, University of Birmingham, Alan Walters Building G11 (directions below). With drinks, conversation and book signing after the lecture. Tickets are free and all are welcome but please register here.

Our annual lecture, a collaboration between Arts of Place and OCLW, brings together thinking about place with some of the most exciting current work in the fields of biography and life-writing. Lives happen in places; places shape lives and have lives of their own.

We are delighted this year to welcome Fiona Stafford, FBA, Professor of English at the University of Oxford, scholar of Romantic literature, and author of bestselling books on our relationships to the natural world and our local surroundings.

Landscapes, seascapes, skyscapes – seemingly empty spaces often turn out to be full of life and hidden lives.  A solitary walk is a chance to listen to waves or leaves, to catch sight of birds and wildlife, to sense the people who once lived and worked there.  Writing the long, long life of landscape means attending to what seems odd or out of place, to unexpected openings into the past.  A bridge from nowhere to nowhere, an old oak in a birchwood, a red squirrel, a half-submerged church, an echoing sea cave, or an enigmatic placename – cracks in the present, opening the way into other times and other lives.’ 

Do come and hear Fiona talk about the research for her acclaimed new book Time and Tide: The Long, Long Life of Landscape.

‘Poetic and profound, Time and Tide is wise, considered and full of surprises’  – Observer

Shot through with tender delights and unexpected revelations’ RICHARD HOLMES

Directions to the lecture. The Alan Walters building is close to the North Gate of the University’s Edgbaston campus. You can download a PDF campus map (it’s building R29) or use the interactive map here. G11 is on the ground floor, and there’s a large foyer area with seating and work space if you get there early.

More to see. There’s lots to see around the Edgbaston campus. You may like to visit the beautiful Winterbourne House and Gardens or follow the Public Sculpture Trail around the university grounds and buildings.