Professor Sir Terry Pratchett joins Trinity College Dublin
Nov 05, 2010
This month Sir Terry Pratchett joins the staff at Trinity College Dublin as an adjunct Professor in the School of English. His close relationship with the university began in December 2008 when he was conferred with an honorary degree, and since then the relationship has deepened, with Colin Smythe, Pratchett’s literary agent, donating a complete back-catalogue of Terry’s published translations to the College Library in 2009.University life features regularly in his bestselling Discworld novels, with his hilarious descriptions of ‘Unseen University’ and its eccentric staff, such as the ‘Egregious Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography’, and the simian Librarian who refuses all efforts to undo his magical transformation into an orang-utan. On joining the staff of Trinity, Pratchett will now find out what academic life is really like from the inside.
Taking up his post as adjunct Professor of English at Trinity College Dublin with great enthusiasm, Sir Terry has been busy preparing classes in creative writing and popular literature for students on a range of Trinity’s postgraduate courses including the M.Phil in Creative writing course in the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing. These students got the benefit of master classes from one of the greatest comic novelists of the modern era.
Last night (Thursday, November 4th) Sir Terry delivered his public inaugural professorial lecture in the College’s Public Theatre – which, drawing on Trinity’s literary heritage, he entitled, ‘The importance of being absolutely amazed about everything’ .
Commenting on his entry to academic life, Professor Sir Terry commented: "Until recently I couldn't even spell academic and now I are one!"
Welcoming Sir Terry to the staff of Trinity College Dublin, Provost John Hegarty noted that his appointment was part of a major initiative by Trinity to spearhead a new approach to the Creative Arts, Technologies and Culture. Promoting the generation of new ideas, connectivity and programmes across the Arts and Sciences and between the City and the University, a new appreciation of creative practice within the University is at its core (www.tcd.ie/catc). “Professor Sir Terry Pratchett brings a new depth of creative genius to our cohort of distinguished international adjuncts in our School of English. His contribution to the student experience and to the wider Trinity experience will be absolutely unique and we are delighted to have him on our staff.”
On the occasion of the lecture, Sir Terry Pratchett was presented with a hat by the Dean of Research at TCD, Dr David Lloyd, which was especially designed for him by the renowned Irish designer, John Rocha.
ABOUT PROFESSOR SIR TERRY PRATCHETT
With 70 million copies of his books in print worldwide (but who’s counting?), published in thirty-eight languages, Sir Terry Pratchett is ‘one of the world’s best-loved writers’. Pratchett is a British fantasy, science fiction, and children's author, best known for his popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels. He has written forty-eight books, his first novel, The Carpet People, being published in 1971, and since his first Discworld novel (The Colour of Magic) was published in 1983, he has written forty-four books and co-authored nearly fifty more. He is currently the second most-read writer in the UK, and seventh most-read non-US author in the US. In 2001 he won the Carnegie Medal for his children's novel The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. He was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1998, and a knighthood in 2009, both for “services to literature”. (The initial soundings-out from Downing Street when he received his OBE came as such a surprise to him that initially he thought it must be an elaborate hoax.)
In December 2007, Sir Terry publicly announced that he was suffering from the posterior cortical atrophy variant of early-onset Alzheimer's disease, subsequently making a substantial public donation to the Alzheimer's Research Trust. Since then has been in the forefront of a campaign to raise public awareness of the disease.