Our Committee

The lecture series is organised by former and current Pembroke College students.

Alexander Rutherford is a DPhil student at Pembroke studying artificial intelligence for robotics. Like many of the committee, he became rather attached to The Hobbit while growing up and hasn’t looked back since.

Harriet Carter was born in England and grew up in New Zealand which legally means she is a) the real-life Lucy Pevensie and b) 50% Hobbit. In 2022 she completed an English degree at Pembroke specialising in Medieval and Anglo-Saxon literature. She spends her free time reading, buying books, and learning dead languages. 

Seda Öztürk is a second-year DPhil student specialising in theoretical linguistics at Pembroke College. Although she got familiar with fantasy as a genre early on in her life, she discovered Tolkien’s fantasy world with the famous trilogy of the Lord of the Rings when she was a teenager, followed by reading the Hobbit and not liking the translation. She is an active Pembrokian and has been running MCR Book Club (aka PemBook) since Michaelmas 2022.

Michelle Chong is a DPhil student in English who researches portrayals of bodily movement in 19th-century literature.  As a child, she daydreamed about wielding a bow and fighting alongside the Fellowship; these days, she feels closer to Bilbo in his old age – in want of seeing mountains and some peace and quiet in a hobbit hole to finish her book.

Lindsey Cohick is a fantasy enthusiast specializing in pirates and superheroes. She completed her MPhil in International Relations at Pembroke College in 2018 and holds a BA in East Asian Studies and History from Rutgers University. She currently resides in her home state of New Jersey and commutes to NYC, where she makes comic books for a living as an Assistant Editor at Marvel. In her free time, she reads fantasy novels, plays Dungeons & Dragons, and invents imaginary worlds.

Will Badger holds an MFA in Fiction from NC State University and a DPhil in English Literature from Pembroke College, Oxford. His research explores the early modern supernatural, specifically representations of witchcraft in the plays of Shakespeare and other dramatists. Will currently teaches literature and creative writing at Lees-McRae College in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Will is an accredited (PCIfA) member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. 

Gabriel Schenk spent his childhood pretending to be a knight, dreaming up fantasy worlds, and trying to get into Narnia. He completed his DPhil in English at Pembroke College in 2014, analysing different versions of King Arthur in literature, from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. He started the Tolkien lecture series with Will Badger in 2013, after finding out that nothing had hitherto commemorated Tolkien’s twenty years at the college.

Former Committee Members

We thank our former committee members with gratitude.

  • Ariana Zlioba (MPhil in Comparative Government, Pembroke College)
  • Louis Morris (DPhil in History, Pembroke College)
  • Will Brockbank (DPhil in Old English and Old Norse LL, Jesus College)
  • Augustus Porter (DPhil in Astrophysics, Pembroke College)