Marina Warner

Teaching and Research Posts

Current Posts

Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London and a Professorial Research Fellow, SOAS. For a list of all teaching posts held previously, see Marina’s CV here.


2017- 2021: Arabic Translation Workshops, together with Wen-Chin Ouyang (SOAS)

Since May 2017, Marina and Wen-Chin have been organizing an ongoing series of workshops and public lectures, discussing Arabic poetry in translation, inviting scholars, translators and writers for discussions and workshops. A number of sessions have been recorded and can be watched on this YouTube Channel.

The single episodes are:



7th June 2016
Into the Woods: Fairy Tales of Home.  Marina Warner in the second part of her seminar will look at: Angela Carter, Wise Children and Helen Oyeyemi, Mr Fox. Chaired by Russell Celyn Jones
Part of MA Creative Writing at Birkbeck, London.

31st May 2016
Back to Troy: Myths of War.  Marina Warner will look at retellings, translations and transformations, and revisionings through returns to the story of the Trojan War, the Odyssey and domestic fairy tales.  Chaired by Russell Celyn Jones
Recommended reading:  Christopher Logue, War Music; Elizabeth Cook, Achilles;  David Malouf, Ransom.
Part of MA Creative Writing at Birkbeck, London.

30th January 2016
This year’s Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture, ‘Proust and music, politics and flesh’, will be delivered by Jacqueline Rose. The lecture will take place at 2:30 pm on 30 January 2016, at Room B04, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD London.
The lecture is open to the public; however, spaces will be limited. Book a free place on Eventbrite. Details can be found here.

24th November, 1st December, 7th December 2015
Celebrated author and academic Marina Warner, who has recently joined Birkbeck, will be offering 3 classes on ‘Sanctuary’ in the autumn term of 2015. More info here.

7th November 2015
BCLA: AGM and Colloquy
The Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

2nd June 2015
Birkbeck: William Matthews Memorial Lecture 2015
Translumination or travesty? : Reading the World in English
MW spent the last two years reading novels from all over the world for the Man Booker International Prize, which is given for a significant body of fiction by a living writer, as long as it is in English or in translation into English. In relation to some of the writers who emerged (whose names will then be known), she will will discuss the character of global fiction, the difficulties of making decisions, and the questions raised by the domination of English as a world language. More info here and booking details are here.

18th May 2015
Birkbeck Arts Week: Curiosity panel in the afternoon with Brian Dillon et al.

From 2004-14 Marina Warner was professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex. She taught an undergraduate course Transformation of Fairytale, and also taught MA courses in Creative Writing; The Tale, and another one on psycho-geographical writing, Memory Maps. She also contributed to the new course, Wild Writing: Literature and the Environment.She is currently Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London.

Director’s Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton April 2015
Two Year Fellowship, All Souls College Oxford, 2013.
Honorary Fellow at St Cross College, Oxford.
Honorary Fellow at Mansfield College, Oxford.
She is Distinguished Visiting professor at NYU Abu Dhabi from January 2012.
Distinguished Visiting Professor, NYU Abu Dhabi, 2014.

Marina Warner was one of the organisers of Smatterings: Why Languages Matter, which takes place on 26- 27 March 2012 at Cumberland Lodge.
This conference will explore a broad range of the cultural aspects of language acquisition and language use. We start off with a mother tongue, a ‘first’ language; some of us start off with two. Does knowing a second (or third) language give the speaker something more than a practical bonus? How does knowing another language give us a different perspective on our first one, the one that is natural to us, by showing that it is not the only way of thinking and telling? How does bilingualism, native or acquired, affect cultural identity and cultural understanding? What does this mean for the role of translation in key services, and in popular culture? We live in a truly multilingual society, but how can we overcome the perceived difficulty of multilingualism? Is foreign language education impeded by an unrealistic ideal of fluency? Should the idea of ‘passable Chinese’ or ‘a smattering of Urdu’ be reevaluated? The conference is organised in partnership with the British Academy and in association with the British Comparative Literature Association. More details here. MW contributed ‘English that’s good enough: The mastery of English is not the intimidating ideal any non-native should seek: a smattering will do’ for The Guardian Comment section, 14th March 2012. The article can be found here.


Visiting Professor, NYU Abu Dhabi 2012.
Visiting Fellow, The Italian Academy, Columbia University, New York, 2003.
Visiting Professor, Université de Paris XIII, Spring, 2003.
Visiting Fellow, The Italian Academy, Columbia University, New York, 2003.

Visiting Professor, Dept of English, St Andrew’s University, Scotland 2000-
Visiting Professor, Dept of Visual Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London, 1999 –2004.
Visiting Professor, Stanford University, 2000.
Visiting Fellow, All Souls College. Oxford, 2001.

Visiting Fellow Commoner, Trinity College, Cambridge, 1998.
Visiting Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, Warwick, 1999.
Visiting Mellon Professor in the History of Art, Univ. of Pittsburgh, Fall 1997.
Whitney J. Oates Short-Term Fellow, Council of the Humanities, Princeton, Fall 1996.

Visiting Writer, Banff Centre for the Arts, Summer 1996.
Visiting Lecturer (to the late Edward Said’s Center for the Humanities), Columbia University, 1996.
Visiting Professor of Women’s Studies, University of Ulster, 1994-5.
Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing, Dept of English, University of Reading, 1993.

Visiting Fellow of the British Film Institute, 1993.
Tinbergen Professor, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 1991.
Getty Scholar at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1987-8.