Dr Trudi Tate

Subject: English Literature

Department/institution: Faculty of English

Contact details: tt206@cam.ac.uk

Research interests:

Dr Trudi Tate is an Emeritus Fellow of Clare Hall, and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of English.

She works on English literature from the 1850s to the present day, with a particular interest in how literature attempts to bear witness to events of its time, particularly in times of war. She has published on the literature of the First World War, the Crimean War and the American-Vietnamese War.

Dr Tate has an interest in reading psychoanalysis historically and has worked on Freud, Melanie Klein, Wilfred Bion, D W Winnicott, and John Bowlby. A recent essay explores how babies were perceived in Britain at the time of the Armistice of 1918, looking at the influence of Truby King, alongside writings by Woolf, Bowen and Mansfield.

Dr Tate has recently published A Short History of the Crimean War for I B Tauris, examining the military and naval histories, as well as representations of the war in newspapers, photographs and poetry.

She also works on memoirs and novels by Vietnamese, American and Australian soldiers and refugees of the American/Vietnamese War, and taught an MPhil course on this subject in the Cambridge English Faculty. In addition, she wrote a memoir of an Australian veteran who served in Viet Nam, The Listening Watch (2013).

Dr Tate supervises for many Cambridge colleges, and lectures in the Faculty of English on British and American literature from the 1840s to the present, with a special interest in Virginia Woolf. She supervises undergraduate, MPhil and PhD dissertations, and teaches for the Sutton Trust, which encourages bright students from non-traditional backgrounds to apply to Cambridge. Her previous posts include lectureships at the universities of Edinburgh and Southampton, and a Visiting Professorship at the Goethe Universität, Frankfurt.

In College, Dr Tate edits the Clare Hall Review and served on the publications, music, social events, fellowship, research fellowship, visiting fellowship and development committees. She was Clare Hall Praelector from 2014 to 2019. She ran the family activities for many years, was the administrator of the Intimate Engagements concerts, and set up the Clare Hall Literary Talks series in 2013. This brought leading contemporary writers to Clare Hall, including Ali Smith, Olivia Laing, Christina Koning, and Francis Spufford. In 2015, the focus turned to the writings of Virginia Woolf, attracting large audiences from town and gown. Dr Tate now runs a series of literary talks at Lucy Cavendish College, focusing on Virginia Woolf and her contemporaries.

Outside College, Dr Tate is Aurora Fellow, supporting Indigenous Australian postgraduate students in Oxford and Cambridge. She was Editor of the English Faculty magazine, 9 West Road. She is currently Director of Literature Cambridge, which offers summer courses and study days taught by Cambridge academics.

Select publications:

  • Trudi Tate, Modernism, History and the First World War, revised edition (Penrith: HeB, 2013)
  • Trudi Tate and Kate Kennedy, eds., The Silent Morning: Culture and Memory After the Armistice (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013; paperback 2015)
  • Trudi Tate, ‘King Baby’ in The Silent Morning. Featured on the university’s research page, 7 November 2015
  • Trudi Tate, A Short History of the Crimean War (London: I. B. Tauris, 2018)