The Humanitas Visiting Professorship in Comparative European Literature was the first of Lord Weidenfeld’s Visiting Professorships. The visiting professor delivers four to six one hour lectures and holds two seminars on a wide range of comparative literature.

Marina Warner 2015-2016

Marina Warner is a writer of fiction, criticism and history; her works include novels and short stories as well as studies of art, myths, symbols, and fairytales.

Marina Warner delivered a series of three lectures on the theme of ‘The Sanctuary of Stories’, exploring myths and myth-making.

Javier Cercas 2014-2015

Javier Cercas is a writer and professor of Spanish literature at the University of Girona, Spain.

Javier Cercas is one of Europe’s most distinguished contemporary writers. His works, which have been translated into more than twenty languages, include the acclaimed, Solados de Salamina (Soldiers of Salamis, 2001), which was made into a film by David Trueba in 2003, La Velocidad de la Luz (The Speed of Light, 2005), Anatomia de un Instante (The Anatomy of a Moment, 2009) and Las Leyes de la Frontera (Outlaws, 2012).

He has won numerous literary awards, including the Independent’s Foreign Fiction Prize, and Spain’s National Narrative award. He is currently a Professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Girona, and a columnist for El Pais.

In the footage to the right, Javier Cercas reflects on the nature of the novel as a genre, including discussions of works by Vargas Llosa, Cervantes, Melville, James and Kafka. He introduces his theory of ‘The Blind Spot’ and explores areas of irony and ambiguity in the novel; asserting that it is only through these blind spots that readers reach a deeper understanding of the text’s ideas.

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