Enter the green silence of gardens. Stephen Yeo, Suzan Meryem Rosita and Kate McLoughlin will be reading and discussing literature about gardens from seventeenth-century England to twenty-first-century Armenia. We will reflect on the attractions of the quiet rural life, the powers of silent communication between plants and the ways in which gardens can silently enhance well-being. Audience-members will be encouraged to join in the discussion.
Stephen Yeo: Stephen worked as a social historian (mainly of labour movements) at the University of Sussex for many years before becoming Principal of Ruskin College in Oxford from which he retired in 1997. He now writes and reads poetry as well as history and is active as a Quaker and as a gardener in Eynsham where he lives and at the Quaker Meeting House and Centre at 43 St Giles in Oxford.
Prof Kate McLoughlin: Kate McLoughlin is Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford and Fellow and Tutor in English at Harris Manchester College. Her publications include Authoring War: The Literary Representation of War from the Iliad to Iraq (2011) and The Cambridge Companion to War Writing (2009). She recently published a monograph about war veterans in English Literature from Wordsworth to J. K. Rowling.
Suzan Meryem Rosita: Suzan Meryem Rosita Kalayci is a Junior Research Fellow at Pembroke College and the British Academy Fellow at the Faculty of History. Her interest in the notion of silence arises from the work she has done on the Armenian genocide, for which she has received several awards. Her first book on the topic was a completely empty book (2010, 2015) which is on view in several library and art collections around the world. The book is a retake on what the American poet Muriel Rukeyser said in 1949: ‘During the war, we felt the silence in the policy of the governments of English-speaking countries. That policy was to win the war first, and work out the meanings afterward. The result was, of course, that the meanings were lost.’