Peter Conrad (academic)

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Peter Conrad (born 1948) is an Australian-born academic specialising in English literature, currently teaching at Christ Church at the University of Oxford. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Conrad was born in Hobart, Tasmania. Aftering graduating from the University of Tasmania in 1968, Conrad went to Oxford University, UK, on a Rhodes Scholarship,[1] studying at New College. He became a fellow of All Souls College from 1970 to 1973 before taking up his current post at Christ Church. There he taught English since 1973, and has been a visiting professor at Princeton University and at Williams College, and a guest lecturer throughout the United States.[2]

He has written a number of works of criticism including a major history of English literature, The Everyman History of English Literature, a cultural history of the twentieth century, two autobiographical works and a novel. He has written books of criticism on Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock and has been a prolific writer of features and reviews for many magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Observer, the New Statesman, and The Monthly.


  • The Victorian Treasure-House, London: Collins, 1973
  • Romantic Opera and Literary Form, Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1977
  • Shandyism: The Character of Romantic Irony, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1978
  • Imagining America, New York: Oxford University Press, 1980
  • Television: The Medium and its Manners, Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982
  • The Art of the City: Views and Versions of New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 1984
  • The Everyman History of English Literature, London: J. M. Dent, 1985
  • A Song of Love and Death: The Meaning of Opera, New York: Poseidon Press, 1987, ISBN 0-671-64353-3
  • Behind the Mountain: Return to Tasmania, London: Chatto & Windus, 1988
  • Where I Fell to Earth: A Life in Four Cities, New York: Poseidon Press, 1990, ISBN 0-671-68233-4
  • Modern Times, Modern Places: Life and Art in the Twentieth Century, Thames & Hudson, 1999, ISBN 978-0-500-28151-2
  • At Home in Australia, Thames & Hudson, 2003[3]
  • Creation: Artists, Gods & Origins, Thames & Hudson, 2007
  • How the World Was Won: The Americanization of Everywhere. Thames & Hudson. 2014. ISBN 9780500252086. 


  1. ^ "Peter Conrad's "Tales of Two Hemispheres" – 2004 Boyer Lectures broadcast in November on Radio National". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 11 January 2004. 
  2. ^ Biography from Christ Church, Oxford
  3. ^ Fitzgerald, Michael (13 October 2003). "The View From Abroad". Time. 

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