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‘Luminous Shades’: Iris Murdoch and William Blake

Saturday 23 February 2019, 6-7.30 p.m.
Cloisters, Bishop Otter Campus. Free and open to all.

George Steiner commented in Existentialists and Mystics that Iris Murdoch’s writings present ‘[l]uminous shades of Blake’s “holiness of the minute particular”’. This lecture explores some of the ways in which Murdoch engages with this oft-maligned Romantic visionary, whose works are referenced in her fiction, her letters and her philosophy. Blake and Murdoch share a dialectical moral vision that suggests the necessity for revolutionary violence, seeks an acknowledgement of evil, and invites the individual to attend to the world around them.

Daniel Read completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Kingston University. His current research is titled ‘The Problem of Evil and the Fiction and Philosophy of Iris Murdoch’. He has been an assistant editor for the Iris Murdoch Review.

Iris Murdoch Centenary Conference

13 - 15 July 2019
St Anne’s College, Oxford

First Call for Papers – July 2018

2019 marks the centenary of the one of the twentieth century’s greatest thinkers and writers, Iris Murdoch. Born on the 15th July 1919, she would go on to have a long and internationally renowned career as a fiction writer, a professional philosopher, and a public intellectual.

The Iris Murdoch Research Centre at the University of Chichester, in association with St Anne’s and Somerville College Oxford, invite proposals for 20-minute papers, or panels of up to three papers, on any aspect of Murdoch’s career. For this centenary conference there is no theme as such, but we hope that many of the papers will reassess and celebrate Murdoch’s achievements in light of her centenary. It is hoped that a collection of essays will form from this conference.

The conference will be preceded by a public lecture at the Bodleian Library on the afternoon of the 12 July to be given by Professor Peter Garrard of St George’s Medical School, London.

Proposals of no more than 300 words (per paper) or 750 words (per panel) to be sent to the organising committee at by 1 March 2019.

For further information please contact the Director of the Iris Murdoch Research Centre, Miles Leeson, at



The Iris Murdoch Research Centre organises a variety of events each year focusing on Iris Murdoch, her milieu, and related academic areas at University of Chichester.

It also supports events connected to Murdoch both nationally and internationally. For the latest information on forthcoming events please follow the hyperlinks on the 'Links' page, or email: