I am very honoured to have been awarded the Barbara Stevens Heusel Research Fund for Early-Career Scholars. I currently work as an assistant professor in the School of Foreign Languages, Tongji University, China. I obtained my doctorate from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and I spent 2017-18 at the Iris Murdoch Research Centre under the supervision of Dr Miles Leeson. The title of my PhD dissertation is ‘Transcendence and Disunity: A Study of Iris Murdoch’s Void’.
Through my paintings and drawings I’ve attempted to capture moments in time and the symbolism of the everyday. By immersing myself in the act of painting and drawing, I would like to think that I’m engaged in a process of deep attention, allowing the artworks to evolve organically and often incorporating unexpected elements. Murdoch and, importantly, the Iris Murdoch community have offered me new ideas to explore, new ways to interpret and think about my own work, and also a lot of enjoyment!
This piece was performed at the University of East Anglia on the 6th December, 2014 as part of an event entitled ‘An Afternoon with Iris: Life, Thought, Writing’.
Iris Murdoch herself visited Japan along with husband John Bayley at the request of the British Council. They stayed for around two weeks and the lecture Iris gave in Kobe that I attended took place at the Kobe Institute of St. Catherine’s on Friday 28th May 1993. This wide-ranging talk was on ‘The Modern Novel’.
I discovered Iris Murdoch’s novels around the same time that I was becoming immersed in Powell. I had read a few in England, starting with The Bell, before my move to Japan in the mid-1980s. And so, I became a Murdochian as well as a Powellian.
In this blogpost Arka Basu, the first recipient of the Barbara Stevens Heusel Early-Career Fund, discusses his doctoral work and future research in the UK
In this article, Miles Leeson follows on from his piece on Murdoch’s centenary last year and discusses the impact the Anglo-Irish writer is having on those who came after her.
In this essay Miles Leeson suggests that the under-discussed friendship between Elizabeth Bowen and Iris Murdoch is one that warrants further attention.