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About Durham University

Professor David Cowling, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Arts and Humanities)


The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Arts and Humanities) is Head of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, which includes the departments of Classics and Ancient History, English Studies, History, Music, Philosophy and Theology and Religion, along with the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, the English Language Centre and the Liberal Arts undergraduate programme. He is also responsible for the University’s Library Services.

Professional background and expertise

David took up his role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Arts and Humanities) in January 2014.

He joined Durham University as Chair in French in 2003 and has twice served as Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. He has also served as Executive Director of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, where he directed the MA programme between 2006 and 2008.

Previously he was a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader in French at the University of Exeter, where he led the Department of French between 2001 and 2003, and a Visiting Lecturer at the Université de Rennes 2, France.

David served on the Modern Languages and Linguistics panel of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) between 2005 and 2008. He has been a member of the AHRC’s Peer Review College since 2008 and an AHRC Strategic Reviewer since 2010. He has been a member of the editorial board of French Studies (OUP), the discipline’s leading UK journal, since 2013.

David’s research expertise is in the application of elements of cognitive metaphor theory to the analysis of late medieval and early modern French texts.

Education and qualifications

David holds an undergraduate degree in Classics and Modern Languages (French and Latin) and a PhD in French from Oxford University.

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