I was lucky to have been inspired by some brilliant lecturers and tutors as an undergraduate. This blog gives me the chance to thank them publicly. I have also thanked some of them in person, but since I left Cambridge I have not had the chance to thank Stefan Collini, who gave me the single best lecture I received as an undergraduate, on J.S. Mill. It was a superb combination of telescope and microscope. I have tried, and failed, to do the same with my own lectures on Mill since then.
Here’s a six-minute video of Collini explaining why the arts and humanities matters. (Click here if the video doesn’t work.) It’s typically concise and incisive. I don’t agree with everything he says, but that is a matter for another time. For now, I’m just happy to remember lectures which were well-prepared, clear, thoughtful, rigorous, and stimulating.