Short Biography

Michael Grenfell has held Chair positions in Scotland, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland and the University of Southampton, UK where he is now based. Besides acting as Head of School and Director of Research, he has taken a special interest in post-graduate research methodology and training with some 30+ PhD students supervised to successful completion. His background is in French Studies and early research projects included French Catholic non-conformist intellectuals’ response to dechristianisation in France. His academic career also involved extensive research and publications on language, education and linguistics. However, he had a close association with the French social philosopher Pierre Bourdieu

He collaborated on various projects with him and three times being Visiting Scholar at the Ėcole des Hautes Ėtudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has brought a Bourdieusian approach to a range of research studies: education, language, biography, fine arts, photography, health, music, journalism and politics. He has a full publication list and annual lecture schedule, undertaking lecture tours in Europe, Australia and South America . He has taken a particular interest in artistic biographies and has researched and published on the St Ives artists in the first half of the twentieth century, the Young British Artists, and avant-garde arts movements more generally. His books include Pierre Bourdieu: Agent Provocateur (Continuum, 2004), Art Rules: Pierre Bourdieu and the Visual Arts (with C. Hardy) (Berg, 2007), and Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts (Routledge, 2014). He is a keen musician, having performed in various contexts with a number of international artists. He has been an active protagonist within Guitar Craft since his involvement began in 1997. He published Parallel Lives: the Biographies of Ralph McTell (Pomera Press, 2016), and is currently working on biographical elements within the English rock band King Crimson . He is also writing a book on reflexivity and the philosophy of aesthetics, which is scheduled for publication with Routledge, New York. He has a personal interest and involvement in a range of esoteric philosophical traditions and disciplines, and has worked closely with the ideas of J G Bennett and associate connections. He was founder member of the William Blake Society of St James in London .

He sat on their committee for a number of years as Press and Publicity Officer. He also edited the Blake Journal. His special focus has been on on Blake and Gnosticism.