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First English professor joins Tremough Campus

A folk musician and specialist in national identity has been appointed the first Professor of English at the Tremough Campus, Penryn. Professor Nick Groom joins the University of Exeter's staff who will be welcoming 70 new students of English in September, a sharp increase from the current 25.

Professor Groom's expertise is broad-ranging. His most recent book is a cultural history of the Union Jack, examining British identities. His new research links into the British environment and sustainability issues. This will contribute to a particular research strength among University of Exeter staff in Tremough who are studying the influence of landscape on literature. He will be teaching literature and culture from Shakespeare to the present day, as well as optional courses for students covering his specialities of national identity, literature and the environment and erotic literature.

Professor Nick Groom says: "I am inspired by the chance to live and work in Cornwall, and see it as a special location for investigating the effect of the landscape on our literary heritage. The strength of Cornish identity is also of great interest to me, and I want to make sure that such feeling is seen as having global significance. The Cornish landscape and culture lends itself to exciting field trips, and I'm looking forward to examining traditional language."

Professor Groom has lived in rural Devon for 12 years, during his previous post at Bristol University. He continues his interest in popular culture in his spare time by playing the hurdy-gurdy for the 'King's Brawlers', who specialise in early dance styles that pre-date Morris dancing. He is looking forward to learning more about traditional Cornish music.

The University of Exeter has offered degrees in English at the Tremough Campus since 1998. Student numbers will this year rise from 25 to 70. Students study a wide range of literature, with an emphasis on contemporary critical thinking about literary and cultural issues.

The £100 million Tremough Campus is a Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative of which the University of Exeter and University College Falmouth are two of the founding partners. It is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council. Set in 70 acres of countryside, but close to the waterside towns of Penryn and Falmouth, the campus offers a lively student community. The University of Exeter now offers degrees in Biology, Cornish Studies, English, Geology, Geography, History, Law, Mining Engineering, Politics and Renewable Energy on its Tremough Campus, which has expanded rapidly as part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative.

For further information, pictures or interviews contact Abigail Dixon, Press Officer, telephone 01392 262307.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). University of Exeter is a partner of the CUC.


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Clare Morgan
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