The Isabel Dalhousie Fellowship

This Fellowship was created by Alexander McCall Smith and named after the heroine of The Sunday Philosophy Clubone of his successful series of novels.

The first holder of the Isabel Dalhousie Fellowship, in 2012, was Professor Edward Mendelson.  During his Fellowship he delivered a lecture on “Auden and ‘the Flesh We Are’” at St Cecilia’s Hall.

In 2013, the Fellowship was held by Michael and Edna Longley.  Michael Longley is one of the world’s most highly regarded poets. He has published numerous volumes of poetry since he produced his first collection in 1969. In 1991 he won the Whitbread Poetry Prize and he has also been the recipient of the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. His latest collection is Angel Hill, and he is editor of Robert Graves: Selected Poems which will be published by Faber in July 2018. Professor Edna Longley is Professor Emerita at Queen’s University Belfast. She is well-known as a scholar and critic of modern poetry, and as an authority on the works of Edward Thomas. Her interests include Irish-Scottish studies. She has recently co-edited two collections of critical essays: Modern Irish and Scottish Poetry and Incorrigibly Plural: Louis MacNeice and his Legacy.

In 2014, we were delighted to welcome back to IASH Professors Edward and Cheryl Mendelson as joint holders of the Isabel Dalhousie Fellowship. Edward Mendelson is the Lionel Trilling Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, New York.  He is also the literary executor of the estate of W.H. Auden and the world authority on the works of the poet. Cheryl Mendelson teaches philosophy at Barnard College, Columbia University, with specializations in the philosophy of law and ethics. She is also a freelance writer of both fiction and non-fiction.

The 2016 Isabel Dalhousie Fellow was Professor Juliette Wells, Associate Professor and Chair of English at Goucher College, Baltimore, Maryland. You can read our interview with her here.

The 2019 Isabel Dalhousie Fellow is Professor George van Driem, Chair for Historical Linguistics at the University of Berne, where he directs the Linguistics Institute. Professor van Driem has written several grammars of languages of the Himalayas, viz. Limbu, Dumi, Bumthang and Dzongkha. In 2001, he authored the two-volume ethnolinguistic handbook, Languages of the Himalayas. In Bhutan, he discovered two languages previously unknown to science, Gongduk and Black Mountain Mönpa. He collaborates with linguists and population geneticists to reconstruct human population prehistory, publishing articles in journals such as Nature, Science and Human Genetics. He also wrote the history of tea, entitled The Tale of Tea (2019).