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26 July 2021

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St Hugh’s appoints Professor Robert Vilain as Senior Tutor

Professor Robert Vilain joins St Hugh’s from the University of Bristol, where he has been Professor of German and Comparative Literature since 2010 and Director of the South, West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership since 2020. From 2015 to 2018 he was Warden of Wills Hall, where he was responsible for welfare and pastoral support. He is also Lecturer in German at Christ Church, where he read French and German as an undergraduate in the 1980s and subsequently completed his DPhil in comparative literature. His academic work has focused mostly on comparative topics, especially in the field of modernist poetry and the avant-garde.

Robert’s affection for St Hugh’s goes back some while: his very first experiences of university teaching were for St Hugh’s where both his doctoral supervisors were Fellows (Peggy Jacobs and Mike Holland). No fewer than four of his colleagues in the Bristol German Department are graduates of, or have taught for, St Hugh’s.

Outside work, a young family keeps Robert on his toes. Music, especially opera, and cooking are his chief distractions. He would like to refine his croquet skills, so is glad that the Senior Tutor’s office looks out over the croquet lawn.

Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC FRSE, said “We are delighted to welcome Robert to St Hugh’s. Robert’s academic experience and time at Wills Hall as well as his knowledge of the College, will be invaluable for this key College role.”

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