School of English Hosts Evening with Professor Sir Terry Pratchett

Posted on: 21 November 2011

Professor Sir Terry Pratchett spoke to over 300 guests made up of alumni, students, staff and friends of Trinity College Dublin at an evening hosted by the School of English recently.  In conversation with the Head of the School of English, Dr Darryl Jones, the author spoke of his writing career and commented on the impact his Discworld series of novels has had on the literary world.

YouTube clip

In November 2010 Sir Terry Pratchett joined 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’.

Speaking about the event, Head of the School of English Dr Darryl Jones said: “We are delighted to see the return of Professor Sir Terry Pratchett to the School of English.  He has become a much-loved fixture round these parts, and over the last couple of years he’s exhausted my stock of superlatives.   He is a British national institution, and if he’s not careful he’ll become an Irish one too!  In the School of English, we’re extremely proud of our alumni and the many successes they have had, and of their continuing relations with us in the School, so it’s only right and proper that Terry should be speaking directly to them.”

About Sir Terry Pratchett:
One of the most important satirists in the English language today, Terry Pratchett is often compared to Jonathan Swift. He is the author of the famous Discworld series of 36 books (four of which are written for children), in which he created a satirical counter world to hold up a distorting mirror to our own. His work has sold more than 55 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 33 languages. He has won numerous literary awards and was appointed OBE in 1998. In 2007, Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with a rare early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Since then has been at the forefront of a campaign to raise public awareness of the disease and its impact on society, and generously supports research on Alzheimer’s disease. He has spoken out publicly about his illness, confronting the taboo around the disease and encouraging an open debate.

Professor Darryl Jones, Head of School of English; Professor Sir Terry Pratchett; Professor David Lloyd, Bursar and Director for Strategic Innovation.