News archive 2007

New Vice-Provost elected

Dr Basim Musallam, the College's Director of Studies in Oriental Studies and a specialist in Islamic Studies, has been elected Vice-Provost in succession to Dr Tess Adkins, with effect from 1 January 2008. The Vice-Provost is elected by the Fellows of the College and serves for a period of five years.

Posted: 26 December 2007

College accounts

The King's College Accounts for the year ended 30 June 2007 are available.

Posted: 5 December 2007

Professor Peter Lipton

9 October 1954 - 25 November 2007

Peter Lipton, a Fellow of King's College, died suddenly in Cambridge last Sunday. He will be greatly missed. His many contributions to the College, both intellectual and social, earned him the respect and affection of all who worked with him.

Posted: 27 November 2007

New Fellows at King's

The College is delighted to welcome the following new Fellows this year: Dr Andrew Blake (Physics), Dr Charlotte Grant (English), Dr Timothy Griffin (Computer Sciences), Professor Gillian Griffiths (Pathology), Dr Rotraud Hansberger (Medieval Arabic Philosophy), Dr Gyongyi Loranth (Microeconomics), Dr Rory O'Bryen (Latin American Cultural Studies), Dr Oliver Rinne (Mathematical and Computational Physics), Dr Joshua Ross (Mathematical/Economic Biology), Dr Bert Vaux (Linguistics). We are also pleased to welcome Professor Jose Luis Lanata as Visiting Fellow.

Posted: 27 November 2007

Christmas at King's

For the first time, you can purchase King's Christmas gifts online. We are delighted to offer our exclusive College Christmas card and calendar, the choir's latest CD and a new book on the King's Glass.

Posted: 13 November 2007

Have your say with the Non Resident Members' Survey!

In a new departure for the College, four thousand NRMs were sent an email survey in April. In the survey, part of which will be interpreted by computer, you are asked to rate various aspects of your 'King's experience', whether as undergraduates, graduate students or as alumni. With Non Resident Members of so many generations and interests, the responses you supply will enable us to tailor communications and events in a more sophisticated way, with more understanding of your needs and desires. That's the theory anyway.

Edit: 2/7/2007. The 2007 survey has been closed. Of course the Development Office would be happy to receive your feedback at any time of the year, however.

Please don't miss this chance to let us know what you think. The survey will close on July 1st. While anonymity is certainly an option, there is a prize on offer for those of you who do give us your name: a case of wine from the King's cellars, or dinner for two in the Saltmarsh Study with overnight accommodation in the Rylands Suite.

Full results will appear in the next edition of King's Parade and on the website.

Posted: 16 May 2007

Dante Quartet concert

Sunday 13 May, 6pm in the King's College Chapel


Haydn's Seven Last Words of Christ

Haydn's composition of seven adagios to illustrate the Seven Last Words of Christ contains some of his finest and most interesting writing. In the magnificent setting of King's College Chapel, the Dante Quartet will play the arrangement for quartet with their characteristic intensity of emotion and purity of the quasi vocal line. The insertion of readings of metaphysical poetry instead of the traditional religious readings will preserve the original contemplative intent whilst expanding its philosophical relevance. The poets' deep affinity with the spirituality of the natural world make the timing of a late spring evening particularly apt. It should make for an uplifting evening!

Tickets £12 (students £5) available at King's College Porter's Lodge 01223 331100

Posted: 1 May 2007

Peter Avery and Iran

May saw the publication of a new book by Peter Avery, 'The Collected Works of Hafiz of Shiraz', and the event was marked by a dinner at Pembroke College co-hosted by His Excellency Mr Rasoul Movahedian, the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Peter has become one of the western world's foremost experts on the history and literature of Iran, and this new book celebrate the poetry of Hafiz, who died in 1390 and is honoured as the greatest lyric poet of Iran.

Peter's speech of thanks: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am not keen on lengthy speeches at dinners; I am not going to deliver a lecture, but I must say a few words, first of all to express my gratitude for the singular honour the representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran have this evening paid me, and secondly about my life-long experience of Iran, its culture and its people.

My gratitude is too considerable for me easily to find words to describe it. Gratitude not only for this evening but for all the joy and enrichment Iran has given me throughout most of my life. When I was seven years of age my mother introduced me to Edward Fitzgerald's brilliant paraphrase of the Ruba'iyat attributed to 'Umar-i Khayyam. She asked me to go to a nearby grocery and to say to the grocer, whom she knew, ".. a Loaf of Bread - and thou beside me singing in the wilderness - O wilderness were Paradise enow!"

She made me learn it by heart. Fortunately the grocer, a by no means uneducated man, understood the message that my mother required me to get a loaf of bread for her. After my return home, she gave me a small velvet-backed edition of Fitzgerald's Ruba'iyat, in which she had marked the verse and which she asked me to run back to the grocer and give to him as a present. Thus a lifetime of experience of a great civilization began with the humble beginning of a rather novel way of asking in a shop for a loaf of bread.

This experience, a constant consolation in an ever darkening and increasingly materialistic, Mammon-worshipping world, has included acquaintance with the dignity, the wit, the grace, the unstinting hospitality, and the welcoming sympathy of the Iranian people. I used to say, and I still believe, that I could walk from one end to the other of what is a large country without a penny in my pocket and be assured of sustenance and a lodging the whole way. Such is the welcome that one can find in Iran and the nature of its remarkable culture.

Any flaws in this character - and what human situation has no flows ? - can be explained by the vicissitudes of an exceedingly long and often horror-filled history, punctuated by invasions from envious foreigners and marauding hosts. But of the flaws, while they are perfectly explicable in historical terms, I have no personal experience.

It is only natural that the supreme voice, a voice which comprehends all the grace, the spirituality, and even the justifiable suspicions, of the people of Iran should have proved throughout my adult life what amounts to a kind of obsession: the voice of Iran's, and for that matter the world's great poet, Hafiz. I remember in my first year as an undergraduate at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London meeting for the first time a very remarkable Iranologist, the late Professor Vladimir Minorsky. He asked me why I was studying Persian. I answered that I wanted to read Hafiz in the original. That was the truth. I have gone on reading and teaching Hafiz the rest of my days, although I have to confess that just at this moment at the beginning of my eighty-fifth year I have turned my attention to a contemporary of his, to the poems of Kamal-i Khujandi. He was known to Hafiz, Hafiz's poems being rapidly communicated, across a war-torn land, all the way from Shiraz to where Kamal resided, Tabriz. Kamal's often enigmatic, but always fascinating, verses do not have the clarity and the versatility of the poems of the Master, but they are in the same vein in so far as they are the voice of that spirituality which realizes that there is a celestial world beyond and superior to our worldly world.

I remember a phrase in a nineteenth-century traveller's narrative of journeying in Iran in which, and it is in the context of the poetry of Hafiz, he observes how close the stars in heaven seem to earth on a plateau whose average height above sea level is four thousand feet. I also remember how suddenly and with surprise as I sat on the edge of a hauz in a garden at 4 a.m. on a moonless night I realized that I was reading a book by the light of the stars alone. I mention these features of Iran's topography and geography as part of the explanation of Iranians' unique view of the Universe and man's place in it. A view so superbly represented by their poets, and particularly Hafiz.

Let us think of Iran as a wellspring of a civilizing grace and beauty that can afford cultural and spiritual nourishment to the whole world. A world which particularly today needs such nourishment, as two of my great predecessors who were fellows of this college, Professors Edward Brown and Arthur Arberry, both realized, as did their colleague of Trinity College, Professor R. A. Nicholson. If the Iranians are dubbed a proud people, all I can say is how richly they merit their pride, and how in response they deserve our utmost respect.

Let me, therefore, Ladies and Gentlemen, offer you a toast. Let us toast Iran."

Posted: 5 April 2007

Carrington Letters

Through a generous gift of his son, Dr Oliver Lucas (KC 1961), King's College Archives have received a total of 52 letters from Dora Carrington (the artist, 1893-1932) to F.L. (Peter) Lucas, Fellow and Librarian of King's at the time of the correspondence (1928-1931). Carrington stayed with Peter Lucas and his wife Topsy in Cambridge while she was working on the decorations for Dadie Rylands's front room in 1928. This decorative scheme has been restored and is now visible in the Rylands Room in the Old Lodge at King’s.

The letters show the development of an intimate friendship between Carrington and Peter Lucas, and some of them are illustrated in her quirky and humorous style. The Archives already contain other groups of letters from Carrington to Dadie Rylands, to Clive and Vanessa Bell, to Rosamond Lehmann and to Sebastian Sprott. Recently the College has purchased seven letters from Carrington to John Maynard Keynes, 1917-19, letters not previously known to scholars.

The Carrington letters are a valuable accession to the Bloomsbury archives at King's, and throw much light on the College's own close relation to that circle of artists and writers in the 1920s and 1930s.

Posted: 18 April 2007

New Fellows

Professor Atta-ur-Rahman has been elected to an Honorary Fellowship. He is a most distinguished chemist, whose many international awards include the UNESCO Science Prize 1999. He is Director of the H.E.J.Research Institute in Karachi, Coordinator General of COMSTECH, and Chairman of the Higher Education Commission with the status of Federal Minister in Pakistan.

The College is also delighted to welcome Professor Yasir Suleiman as a Fellow. Professor Suleiman is the newly-appointed His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Professor of Modern Arabic Studies in the University.

Both will be formally admitted to the College at a ceremony in Chapel on 1 May 2007.

Posted: 14 March 2007

Draft Statutes

The Governing Body recently agreed a new set of draft Statutes. These will be the subject of a second vote at the Congregation of the Governing Body to be held in March.

Posted: 26 February 2007

The Anglo-California Foundation Scholarships

Pembroke and King's Colleges are pleased to announce a graduate student exchange with the University of California, Berkeley, through the Center for British Studies at Berkeley.

Posted: 19 February 2007

Dante Quartet at King's College

Saturday 10 February, 8:30pm in the King's Hall: Russian Evening.


Three Pieces Stravinsky
Quartet no 3 Shostakovich
Prelude and Fugue Galzunov

Russian Revolution and The Holocaust revealed ...through readings, poetry, and musical illumination.

  • Open Rehearsal 9.30 am -11.30 am
  • Masterclasses 1.30pm - 3.30pm

Posted: 23 January 2007

New Arrivals

The College is delighted to welcome Professor Quassim Cassam as a Fellow of King's. Professor Cassam is the Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy in the University.

We also welcome this term our Visiting Fellow, Professor Richard Wrangham from Harvard; he is working at the Leverhulme Centre for Evolutionary Studies.

Posted: 12 January 2007

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