Professor Barry Spurr

MLitt Oxf. MA PhD, FACE
Personal Chair in Poetry and Poetics

A20 - John Woolley Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 2689

Curriculum vitae Curriculum vitae

Biographical details

Educated at the Universities of Sydney and Oxford and appointed as Australia's first Professor of Poetry and Poetics in 2011, Barry Spurr is the longest-serving member of the Department of English (appointed to a lectureship in 1976) and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators. His published research and teaching are focused on Early Modern poetry (John Donne and John Milton) and on the Modernists, especially T.S. Eliot, on whose life and work he is a leading authority. Professor Spurr's recent study (2010) of Eliot's Christianity is the standard account of the subject. He is also the author of books on poetic representations of the Virgin Mary from the Medieval period to today; on Studying Poetry (now in its second edition); and on Lytton Strachey's prose works and on liturgical language, and of numerous chapters, refereed articles and encyclopedia entries on poets and poetry across the centuries. He is currently preparing commissioned chapters for three volumes from Oxford and Cambridge University Presses on Tractarian religious poetry, The Waste Land and Eliot's religious vision. Professor Spurr is in demand as a media commentator and public lecturer, and is delivering a series of lectures on The Great Poets at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2014.

Research interests

Teaching and supervision

  • Renaissance studies
  • Modernism
  • Religious literature
  • Poetry and poetics

Specific Topics

  • Donne
  • Milton
  • T.S. Eliot
  • Canonical and confessional poetry

Current projects

  • Chapters and books on T.S. Eliot and on Poetry and Religion

Associations

  • Fellow of the Australian College of Educators (elected 2007)
  • Council member, University of Sydney Association of Professors (co-opted 2011)

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2013

  • Human Animal Research Network; Probyn-Rapsey F, Belov K, Black C, Degeling C, Fawcett (Quain) A, Irvine R, Johnston J, Lea T, Kindt J, Michael M, McGreevy P, McManus P, Raubenheimer D, Schlosberg D, Spurr B, Shine R, Wadiwel D; DVC Research/Research Network Scheme (SyReNS).

2012

  • Animals and Writing; Spurr B; School of Letters, Art and Media, University of Sydney/Conference Seed Funding.

Selected publications & creative works

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Books

  • Spurr, B. (2011). The World Shall Come to Walsingham: The Blessed Virgin Mary in English Poetry. Sydney: St Laurence Press.
  • Spurr, B. (2010). Anglo-Catholic in Religion: T.S. Eliot and Christianity. Cambridge, UK: Lutterworth Press.
  • Spurr, B. (2007). See The Virgin Blest: The Virgin Mary In English Poetry. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Spurr, B. (2006). Studying Poetry. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Spurr, B. (2006). Successful Public Speaking, Debating and Oral Presentations. Epping: New Frontier.
  • Spurr, B. (2005). Successful Essay-Writing. Epping: New Frontier.

Book Chapters

  • Spurr, B. (2011). Religion. In Jason Harding (Eds.), T.S. Eliot in Context, (pp. 305-315). United Kingdon: Cambridge University Press.
  • Spurr, B. (2010). The national curriculum for English. In Chris Berg (Eds.), The National Curriculum: A Critique, (pp. 29-40). Melbourne: Institute of Public Affairs.
  • Spurr, B. (2010). The poetics of incarnation: T.S. Eliot's "Shrine" and Robert Lowell's Walsingham. In Janes, Dominic and Waller, Gary (Eds.), Walsingham in Literature and Culture from the Middle Ages to Modernity, (pp. 233-242). Surrey, UK: Ashgate.
  • Spurr, B. (2006). What is the difference between King Lear and 'Ginger Meggs'. In Phillip Elias (Eds.), Postmodernism in Education, (pp. 8-13). Kensington NSW: Warrane College, The University of New South Wales.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). English Studies In Crisis. In Naomi Smith (Eds.), Education and the ideal: Leading Educators Explore Contemporary Isues in Australian Schooling, (pp. 63-84). Australia: New Frontier Publishing.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). The Genesis Of Milton?S Sentences. In David Brooks & Brian Kiernan (Eds.), Running Wild: Essays, Fictions and Memoirs presented to Michael Wilding, (pp. 43-53). India: Manohar Publications.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Felicity Incarnate: Rediscovering Thomas Traherne. In Eugene R. Cunnar & Jeffrey Johnson (Eds.), Discovering and (Re)Covering the Seventeenth Century Religious Lyric, (pp. 273-289). United States: Duquesne University Press.

Journals

  • Spurr, B. (2012). Anglo-Catholicism and the "religious turn" in Eliot's poetry. Religion and Literature, 44(1), 136-143.
  • Spurr, B. (2012). Lunar Symbolism. Hermes, 2012, 40-49.
  • Spurr, B. (2011). "And God said": the King James Version and English Literature. Metaphor, 4, 3-8.
  • Spurr, B. (2011). Poetry and the Life Well Lived. Quadrant, LV(7-8).
  • Spurr, B. (2011). The Fame and Nurture of Poetry. Sydney Studies in English, 37, 1-18.
  • Spurr, B. (2008). The legacy of Eliot's poetry. Aesthetics (was Literature & Aesthetics), 18(1), 19-30.
  • Spurr, B. (2006). Review: Holy Ambition: Rhetoric, Courtship, and Devotion in the Sermons of John Donne. Journal of Religious History, 30(2), 241-242.
  • Spurr, B. (2006). Review: The Art of Suffering and the Impact of Seventeenth-Century Anti-Providential Thought. Journal of Religious History, 30(2), 244-245.
  • Spurr, B. (2003). "Visible signs" review of "In Your Absence: Poems 1994-2002" by Stephen McInerney (review). Southerly, 63(3), 167-170.
  • Spurr, B. (2003). Review: Culture and the Thomist Tradition: After Vatican II. Oriens: journal of the International Society for Oriental Research, , 1-4.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). Review: Exiled from light: divine law, morality and violence in Milton’s 'Samson Agonistes’. Sixteenth Century Journal: journal of early modern studies, 33(3), 917-918.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). "I loved old Tom": T.S. Eliot and David Jones. Yeats Eliot Review, 17.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Review: Milton and the Natural World. Sixteenth Century Journal: journal of early modern studies, , 810-811.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). The Language of Sport. Arts: the proceedings of the Sydney University Arts Association, 23, 82-99.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). The Theology of "La Corona". John Donne Journal: studies in the age of Donne, 20, 121-139.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). True confessions? Ted Hughes"s 'Birthday Letters'. Sydney Studies in English, 27, 74-89.

Conferences

  • Spurr, B. (2012). T.S. Eliot and the Western Classical Tradition. The Christian View of history and the Revival of the Liberal Arts Conference, Australia: Connor Court Quarterly.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). The Via Negativa In The Poetry And Thought Of T.S. Eliot. 2002 Conference of the Religion, Literature and the Arts Society, Sydney: RLA Press.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). Eliot’s quest for the centre of meaning in Four Quartets. 2001 Australian and International Religion, Literature and the Arts Conference, Sydney: RLA Press.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). The Centre of Meaning in Eliot's 'Four Quartets'. Sixth Australian International Religion Literature and the Arts Conference, Sydney Australia: RLA Press.

Live Performances

  • Sherry, B., Hewson, H., Walker, B., Spurr, B., Miller, A., Chambers, O., Sherry, C. (2008). A life beyond life: a celebration of the 400th anniversary of John Milton. Sydney, Australia, Afghanistan.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Spurr, B. (2011). Recovering the numinous: the Bible, language and liturgy. Religion and Ethics.
  • Spurr, B. (2011). To live in Paradise alone: The bliss of solitude. ABC Religion and Ethics.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). Men in the Classroom. Sydney’s Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). So Much Grandstanding. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). Valuing Education. Melbourne's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2003). Kindy for jurors. AQ.
  • Spurr, B. (2003). National hypocrisy. AQ.
  • Spurr, B. (2003). Political paedophilia. AQ.
  • Spurr, B. (2003). The Problem with men. Animals.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). Champion of a liberal, educated life. The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). Review: Sometimes Madness is Wisdom: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). Review: The Songs of the Kings. Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). The decomposing university. AQ.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). The demise of seriousness. AQ.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Cultivate reading. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Dress Codes: the great uniform debate. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). English going the way of Latin and Greek. [Opinion] The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). English studies: going the way of Greek and Latin? News Weekly.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Nightmare sporting parents. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Nurturing the essentials: children's reading, writing and speaking skills. Australian Quarterly.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Oh boy!. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Review: Matters of the Mind: Essays in Honour of Leonie Kramer. The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Terrorism in context. Melbourne's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). The appeal of Harry Potter. Melbourne's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). The death of "English". Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). The well-mannered child. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Throwaway Pets. Sydney's Child.

Reference Works

  • Spurr, B. (2005). The Bloomsbury Group (1904-1939). The Literary Encyclopedia. (pp. online publn). The Literary Dictionary Company Limited.
  • Spurr, B. (2005). W.B. Yeats (1865-1939). The Literary Encyclopedia. (pp. online publn). The Literary Dictionary Company Limited.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). Lytton Strachey. The Literary Encyclopedia. (pp. Online publication). The Literary Dictionary Company Limited.

2012

  • Spurr, B. (2012). Anglo-Catholicism and the "religious turn" in Eliot's poetry. Religion and Literature, 44(1), 136-143.
  • Spurr, B. (2012). Lunar Symbolism. Hermes, 2012, 40-49.
  • Spurr, B. (2012). T.S. Eliot and the Western Classical Tradition. The Christian View of history and the Revival of the Liberal Arts Conference, Australia: Connor Court Quarterly.

2011

  • Spurr, B. (2011). "And God said": the King James Version and English Literature. Metaphor, 4, 3-8.
  • Spurr, B. (2011). Poetry and the Life Well Lived. Quadrant, LV(7-8).
  • Spurr, B. (2011). Recovering the numinous: the Bible, language and liturgy. Religion and Ethics.
  • Spurr, B. (2011). Religion. In Jason Harding (Eds.), T.S. Eliot in Context, (pp. 305-315). United Kingdon: Cambridge University Press.
  • Spurr, B. (2011). The Fame and Nurture of Poetry. Sydney Studies in English, 37, 1-18.
  • Spurr, B. (2011). The World Shall Come to Walsingham: The Blessed Virgin Mary in English Poetry. Sydney: St Laurence Press.
  • Spurr, B. (2011). To live in Paradise alone: The bliss of solitude. ABC Religion and Ethics.

2010

  • Spurr, B. (2010). Anglo-Catholic in Religion: T.S. Eliot and Christianity. Cambridge, UK: Lutterworth Press.
  • Spurr, B. (2010). The national curriculum for English. In Chris Berg (Eds.), The National Curriculum: A Critique, (pp. 29-40). Melbourne: Institute of Public Affairs.
  • Spurr, B. (2010). The poetics of incarnation: T.S. Eliot's "Shrine" and Robert Lowell's Walsingham. In Janes, Dominic and Waller, Gary (Eds.), Walsingham in Literature and Culture from the Middle Ages to Modernity, (pp. 233-242). Surrey, UK: Ashgate.

2008

  • Sherry, B., Hewson, H., Walker, B., Spurr, B., Miller, A., Chambers, O., Sherry, C. (2008). A life beyond life: a celebration of the 400th anniversary of John Milton. Sydney, Australia, Afghanistan.
  • Spurr, B. (2008). The legacy of Eliot's poetry. Aesthetics (was Literature & Aesthetics), 18(1), 19-30.

2007

  • Spurr, B. (2007). See The Virgin Blest: The Virgin Mary In English Poetry. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

2006

  • Spurr, B. (2006). Review: Holy Ambition: Rhetoric, Courtship, and Devotion in the Sermons of John Donne. Journal of Religious History, 30(2), 241-242.
  • Spurr, B. (2006). Review: The Art of Suffering and the Impact of Seventeenth-Century Anti-Providential Thought. Journal of Religious History, 30(2), 244-245.
  • Spurr, B. (2006). Studying Poetry. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Spurr, B. (2006). Successful Public Speaking, Debating and Oral Presentations. Epping: New Frontier.
  • Spurr, B. (2006). What is the difference between King Lear and 'Ginger Meggs'. In Phillip Elias (Eds.), Postmodernism in Education, (pp. 8-13). Kensington NSW: Warrane College, The University of New South Wales.

2005

  • Spurr, B. (2005). Successful Essay-Writing. Epping: New Frontier.
  • Spurr, B. (2005). The Bloomsbury Group (1904-1939). The Literary Encyclopedia. (pp. online publn). The Literary Dictionary Company Limited.
  • Spurr, B. (2005). W.B. Yeats (1865-1939). The Literary Encyclopedia. (pp. online publn). The Literary Dictionary Company Limited.

2004

  • Spurr, B. (2004). English Studies In Crisis. In Naomi Smith (Eds.), Education and the ideal: Leading Educators Explore Contemporary Isues in Australian Schooling, (pp. 63-84). Australia: New Frontier Publishing.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). Lytton Strachey. The Literary Encyclopedia. (pp. Online publication). The Literary Dictionary Company Limited.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). Men in the Classroom. Sydney’s Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). So Much Grandstanding. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). The Genesis Of Milton?S Sentences. In David Brooks & Brian Kiernan (Eds.), Running Wild: Essays, Fictions and Memoirs presented to Michael Wilding, (pp. 43-53). India: Manohar Publications.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). The Via Negativa In The Poetry And Thought Of T.S. Eliot. 2002 Conference of the Religion, Literature and the Arts Society, Sydney: RLA Press.
  • Spurr, B. (2004). Valuing Education. Melbourne's Child.

2003

  • Spurr, B. (2003). "Visible signs" review of "In Your Absence: Poems 1994-2002" by Stephen McInerney (review). Southerly, 63(3), 167-170.
  • Spurr, B. (2003). Kindy for jurors. AQ.
  • Spurr, B. (2003). National hypocrisy. AQ.
  • Spurr, B. (2003). Political paedophilia. AQ.
  • Spurr, B. (2003). Review: Culture and the Thomist Tradition: After Vatican II. Oriens: journal of the International Society for Oriental Research, , 1-4.
  • Spurr, B. (2003). The Problem with men. Animals.

2002

  • Spurr, B. (2002). Champion of a liberal, educated life. The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). Eliot’s quest for the centre of meaning in Four Quartets. 2001 Australian and International Religion, Literature and the Arts Conference, Sydney: RLA Press.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). Review: Exiled from light: divine law, morality and violence in Milton’s 'Samson Agonistes’. Sixteenth Century Journal: journal of early modern studies, 33(3), 917-918.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). Review: Sometimes Madness is Wisdom: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). Review: The Songs of the Kings. Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). The Centre of Meaning in Eliot's 'Four Quartets'. Sixth Australian International Religion Literature and the Arts Conference, Sydney Australia: RLA Press.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). The decomposing university. AQ.
  • Spurr, B. (2002). The demise of seriousness. AQ.

2001

  • Spurr, B. (2001). "I loved old Tom": T.S. Eliot and David Jones. Yeats Eliot Review, 17.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Cultivate reading. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Dress Codes: the great uniform debate. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). English going the way of Latin and Greek. [Opinion] The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). English studies: going the way of Greek and Latin? News Weekly.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Felicity Incarnate: Rediscovering Thomas Traherne. In Eugene R. Cunnar & Jeffrey Johnson (Eds.), Discovering and (Re)Covering the Seventeenth Century Religious Lyric, (pp. 273-289). United States: Duquesne University Press.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Nightmare sporting parents. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Nurturing the essentials: children's reading, writing and speaking skills. Australian Quarterly.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Oh boy!. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Review: Matters of the Mind: Essays in Honour of Leonie Kramer. The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Review: Milton and the Natural World. Sixteenth Century Journal: journal of early modern studies, , 810-811.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Terrorism in context. Melbourne's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). The appeal of Harry Potter. Melbourne's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). The death of "English". Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). The Language of Sport. Arts: the proceedings of the Sydney University Arts Association, 23, 82-99.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). The Theology of "La Corona". John Donne Journal: studies in the age of Donne, 20, 121-139.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). The well-mannered child. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). Throwaway Pets. Sydney's Child.
  • Spurr, B. (2001). True confessions? Ted Hughes"s 'Birthday Letters'. Sydney Studies in English, 27, 74-89.

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