Geoff Ward (academic)

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Geoff Ward
Principal of Homerton College, Cambridge
In office
Preceded byKate Pretty
Succeeded bySimon Woolley
Personal details
Geoffrey Christopher Ward

1954 (age 69–70)
Academic background
EducationManchester Grammar School
Alma materClare College, Cambridge
Academic work
DisciplineEnglish literature

Geoffrey Christopher Ward, FRSA (born 1954) is a British academic specialising in American literature.[1] He became Principal of Homerton College, University of Cambridge in 2013[2] (succeeded in 2021 by Simon Woolley).[3] In 2020, the College announced that Ward would retire in September 2021 after eight years as Principal.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Ward was educated at Manchester Grammar School, and Clare College, Cambridge, where he read English Literature and graduated with a first-class degree in 1975.[6] Later, in 2006, he graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), also from the University of Cambridge.[7]

Academic career[edit]

Ward formerly worked as lecturer then senior lecturer in English at the University of Liverpool. Following a year spent lecturing in Japan, he took up a Chair and the Headship of Department at the University of Dundee in 1995.[8]

His first book Statutes of Liberty: The New York School of Poets (1993: new edition, 2001) was followed by other books and articles, including The Writing of America: Literature and Cultural Identity from the Puritans to the Present (Polity, 2002), which he researched during a year spent in the USA as a Fellow of the Leverhulme Foundation.[8]

In 2002, he was made a Deputy Principal at Dundee. He left four years later to serve as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and then Vice Principal at Royal Holloway, University of London. He joined Homerton College, Cambridge, as Principal in 2013,[9][10] serving in the role until 2021.

In addition to his scholarly work, Ward has written and presented occasional broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, including on David Foster Wallace.[8] A Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, he has also been elected to an Honorary Fellowship at Harris Manchester College, Oxford.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In 1992, Ward married Marion Wynne-Davies.[11] Wynne-Davies is also a scholar of literature, and specialises in Renaissance literature.[12] Together, they have two sons.[11]


  1. ^ "Professor Geoff Ward". Royal Holloway, University of London. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  2. ^ LinkedIn
  3. ^ "Lord Simon Woolley elected as next Principal of Homerton College". For staff. University of Cambridge. 2 April 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2023.
  4. ^ "Academic staff vacancies".
  5. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Professor Geoff Ward discusses his portrait. YouTube.
  6. ^ "WARD, Prof. Geoffrey Christopher". Who's Who. Vol. 2018 (online ed.). A & C Black. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ "Ward, Prof. Geoffrey Christopher, (born 18 Feb. 1954), Principal, Homerton College, Cambridge, since 2013". Who's Who 2021. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d "People: Professor Geoff Ward". Homerton College. University of Cambridge. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Clare Alumnus to become Principal of Homerton". Clare College, Cambridge. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  10. ^ "New Principal for Homerton College". University of Cambridge. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Ward, Prof. Geoffrey Christopher, (born 18 Feb. 1954), Principal, Homerton College, Cambridge, since 2013". Who's Who 2020. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2019. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U281337. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4.
  12. ^ "Prof Marion Wynne-Davies". University of Surrey. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
Academic offices
Preceded by Principal of Homerton College, Cambridge
2013 – 2021