VC’s Open Lecture: Professor Evelyn Welch

01 March 2023 | Professor Sue Harrison

Dear colleagues and students

I invite you to the first Vice-Chancellor’s Open Lecture for 2023.

The VC’s Open Lecture will be presented by Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice-Chancellor and President of Bristol University in the United Kingdom (UK). The lecture is titled “Why humanities matter in a 21st century university”.

Her lecture will examine the role the study of languages, arts, music, or theology play in a world that is increasingly dominated by technology. In a world where students are signing up in increasing numbers for business and finance studies, how do the humanities attract a new generation of students? Professor Welch will share on what is happening to the humanities and liberal arts programmes globally, as well as within the UK as well as on ways of thinking they support or challenge and the futures they create.

She graduated from Harvard University, and received her PhD from the Warburg Institute, University of London.

Prior to taking up the position of Vice-Chancellor and President of Bristol University in 2022, she was Senior Vice-President: Service, People and Planning at King’s College London. She previously served as King’s Vice-President: Arts and Sciences and later Provost: Arts and Sciences.

Professor Welch has taught at the Universities of Essex, the Warburg Institute and Birkbeck; and held senior leadership roles at the University of Sussex, including Pro Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning; and at the Queen Mary, University of London as Dean: Arts and Pro Vice-Chancellor: Research and International.

She is the author of numerous books and articles, including Fashioning the Early Modern: Creativity and Innovation in Europe, 1500–1800 (OUP 2017), and Shopping in the Renaissance (Yale 2005), which won the Wolfson Prize for History. She currently serves as the Chair of Trustees of the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

Please join us in-person or online to glean valuable insights from Professor Welch at what will be an enlightening lecture.

Date: Tuesday, 7 March 2023
Time: 18:00 SAST (Doors open at 17:30, guests to be seated by 17:45)
Format: Hybrid
Venue: SoE Seminar Room, 4th Floor, School of Economics Building, Middle Campus (seating limited)

  • Please register online to attend the lecture, or to receive the livestream link.


Professor Sue Harrison
Acting Vice-Chancellor

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