Changing faces: Christina Howells

29th February 2016

News, Student news, Alumni news

A portrait of Wadham’s Tutorial Fellow in French, Christina Howells, now graces the wall of the Tower Room in the McCall MacBain Graduate Centre.

  • Christina Howells

This newly commissioned photographic portrait is one of a series of images which are going up around College. The sitters have been chosen following nominations from staff, students and alumni, as inspirational members of the Wadham community.

Christina Howells was Wadham’s first female tutorial fellow (in French), elected in 1979. Educated at King’s College, London, her doctoral thesis was on Jean-Paul Sartre’s theory of literature and since then her research work has focussed on Continental philosophy, literary theory, and twentieth-century French literature. Christina is particularly interested in post-war French thought, including Sartre, Derrida, Lacan, Lyotard, Foucault, Levi-Strauss and Levinas. As well as several books on Sartre she has published a monograph on Derrida, a reader of articles by twenty-eight contemporary French women philosophers, and most recently a study of the relationship between subjectivity and mortality as understood by a dozen twentieth-century French philosophers and an edited collection of articles on the contemporary philosopher of technology, Bernard Stiegler. Christina teaches French literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; literary theory; and recent French thought. Christina is a regular contributor to In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg on BBC Radio 4.

Christina is photographed in her study above the lodge, (formerly the Wren room, named after the architect and founder of the Royal Society) beside one of college’s beautiful 17th Century globes.

Warden Ken Macdonald QC is spearheading this project to showcase a more balanced selection of images of Wadham’s alumni and fellows: “I wanted to address the predominance in Hall and around College of portraits of white men. The Wadham community is a diverse and inclusive one and, until now, this has not been reflected by the portraits which adorn its walls. Over the coming months we hope to go some way to provide our students with inspirational images which reflect today’s Wadham community.”

Photographer Sophia Spring was commissioned to capture this image, one of nine which will be featured individually on the website over the coming weeks.

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