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EnglishPart of Humanities

Professor Philip Hoare 

Professorial Fellow

Professor Philip Hoare's photo

Professor Philip Hoare is a Professorial Fellow in English at the University of Southampton.

Philip Hoare is a writer, artist, film-maker and curator.  His books—which have featured on best-seller lists in the UK and USA, and are published in translation in Russia, China, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy—include biographies of Stephen Tennant and Noël Coward, Wilde's Last Stand, England's Lost Eden, and Spike Island.  Leviathan or, the Whale won the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2009, was followed by The Sea Inside and RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR both serialised as BBC Radio 4 books of the week. 

His broadcast work includes the feature-length BBC 2 film, The Hunt for Moby-Dick, and three films he directed for BBC 4's Whale Night. During the 1980s he was founder of the post-punk record label, Operation Twilight, with Rough Trade Records, and he co-curated Icons of Pop at the National Portrait Gallery, one of the institution's best-attended exhibitions.  He has collaborated with Pet Shop Boys, John Waters, and the Black American artist Ellen Gallagher; recent  work includes I was a dark star always (2018), an installation film about Wilfred Owen, voiced by Ben Whishaw, for the John Hansard Gallery.  He is currently working with the gallery on an exhibition on the artist and film-maker, Derek Jarman. 

Working with the artist Angela Cockayne and the Arts Institute, University of Plymouth, Philip co-curated the Moby Dick Big Read, for which the entirety of  Melville's novel was read by Sir David Attenborough, Tilda Swinton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Fiona Shaw, among others; The Guardian and the Ancient Mariner Big Read, in which Coleridge's poem was read by Iggy Pop, Hilary Mantel, Willem Dafoe, Simon Armitage, Beth Gibbons, Jeanette Winterson, Rupert Everett, Ali Smith, Alan Bennett, Robert Macfarlane, Jeremy Irons, Marianne Faithfull, and Lemn Sissay, among others.  Both digital projects have received millions of hits.

An experienced broadcaster, Philip is a regular contributor to The Guardian and numerous other publications.  He is Special Ambassador to Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and swims every day in the sea. 

He tweets here.

Professor Philip Hoare
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