Royal Society of Literature honours Goldsmiths staff and MA student

Primary page content

The Royal Society of Literature has recognised three members of the Goldsmiths community with Fellowships and Honorary Fellowships for 2023.

Headshots of RSL Fellows Henderson Mullin, Erica Wagner and Josh Cohen

Henderson Mullin, Erica Wagner and Josh Cohen (L-R) Henderson Mullin Photo Credit Electric Egg

Two academics from the Department of English and Creative Writing have been selected as Royal Society of Literature Fellows, alongside an Honorary Fellowship for a Goldsmiths MA student.

The Royal Society of Literature, a charity that represents the voice of literature in the UK, announced 62 new appointments at an event on July 12, including three from Goldsmiths.

Josh Cohen and Erica Wagner from the department of English and Creative Writing were among those announced as recipients of the Fellowship, via direct nomination for their work.

Henderson Mullin, a current student studying on Goldsmiths MA in Black British Literature programme, was made an Honorary Fellow for his work with underrepresented voices in literature. Henderson has a long interest in how literature enables marginalised people to represent themselves, or helps people to live better together.

Henderson Mullin said: "It was a great honour to be elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a little daunting to be associated with so many very famous people who have made such great contributions to the arts over many years. In my case the award is really a validation of the work of many, who believe in the idea that literature belongs to all people, of all communities, circumstances, and aspirations. I chose to sign the Book of Fellow’s with Andrea Levy’s actual pen. It seemed appropriate given my own background, and her presence in Goldsmith’s truly important MA in Black British Literature, which highlights people who truly deserve recognition."

The Goldsmiths Fellows joined broadcaster and writer Emma Dabiri, poet Sunti Manjoshi, author Patrick Ness and poet Moniza Alvi who received Fellowships and Honorary Fellowships at the event held at the Garden Museum.

Speaking of the accolade, Professor Josh Cohen said: “As a non-fiction writer who borrows styles and ideas from all strands of literature, being made a Fellow means becoming part of a community of writers whose amazing diversity of histories, interests, forms and projects can be an ongoing inspiration.”

31 of the fellows were elected through the second induction of RSL’s Open initiative, which aims to recognise writers from backgrounds culturally underrepresented in UK literary culture. Launched as part of the bicentenary celebrations, the initiative has seen 60 new writers from communities, backgrounds and experiences currently under-represented in UK literary culture elected to Fellowship 

Erica Wagner said: “I’m so honoured to be made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. I’m conscious not only of its heritage, but of all the great work it has done and continues to do for writers and readers — and for the culture at large. I feel fortunate to be able to be a part of such an inspiring institution.”

Professor Cohen added: “It’s a lovely tonic to be placed in the company of so many great contemporary writers. The Fellowship is an inspiration to keep writing.”

Full details of the list of Fellows and Honorary Fellows for 2023 are available on the RSL website.