Will Self to become professor at Brunel University
The eccentric author will begin his new post as professor of contemporary thought at Brunel University next week.
Self is best known as a political journalist and author of books such as My Idea of Fun and Great Apes.
It has been confirmed that he will be teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students at the London university's school of the arts and its school of the social sciences. He is also expected to contribute to teaching in journalism and creative writing
Self will begin his teaching with a lecture on "urban psychosis" at the end of next month. The star revealed one of the topics that most interests him is the relationship between people and geography. "I do think there are interesting things to be said about the relationship between different modes of transport, including pedestrianisation, and perceptions of the way the city has grown up, the way we experience it, and the impact of new technologies on that … I just think that architects should be made to walk."
He added that he is also fascinated with the position of Brunel University itself. "It's very near to Heathrow, and there's a big British Asian community that has grown up around Southall. Take the last few weeks and all of this Dickens brouhaha, the bourgeoisie got themselves into an awful pother – 'why was he so great and we're so crap – where is the contemporary Dickens?' Maybe the contemporary Dickens is going to be a British Asian."
Dany Nobus, Brunel's pro-vice chancellor is thrilled with Self's enthusiasm for the post. "We were incredibly impressed, not just by his intellectual background and range of interests but also by his commitment to university life.
"What we want to do is about crossing boundaries and also about taking the university beyond its own boundaries, opening things up towards the wider community."