College News

Friday 27 November 2020

Image for the news item 'New publication by Dr Moretti' on 27 Nov 2020

Dr Laura Moretti's new book Pleasure in Profit. Popular Prose in Seventeenth-Century Japan (Columbia University Press) is now out. 

As the title suggests, this is intended to be the first comprehensive study of the birth of Japanese commercial publishing, with a focus on the vibrant world of vernacular popular literature. 

Prof Peter Burke describes the book as follows on the back cover copy: “In this exemplary study, Moretti challenges the conventional wisdom in her choice of texts (outside the literary canon), in her treatment of genres (as ‘porous’), and in her approach (comparative). Her book should appeal to students of comparative literature as well as to specialists on Japan.”

The book is available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book from the website of Columbia University Press: It is also available on Amazon (UKUS) and

Tuesday 3 November 2020

Image for the news item 'Requiem for Allsoulstide' on 3 Nov 2020

Each year at the beginning of November, near to All Souls’ Day, we have a Requiem service in the College Chapel.  This year the Choir will be singing Mozart’s Requiem and we will be remembering, among others, all those members of the College about whom we know, who have died in the preceding 12 months.   As it is not possible to welcome those who are not resident members of the College community in person, we will be making  the service available virtually.

In view of the recently announced restrictions, the service has been recorded before the lockdown came into force on Thursday 5th November and has been made available on You Tube. We are sorry that this will take a few days.

You can find the video on the Chapel's page on the Emma website.

A pdf of the order of service can be downloaded here.

Wednesday 30 September 2020

Image for the news item 'Assistant Chaplain Ordained' on 30 Sep 2020

David Bagnall, the College's Assistant Chaplain, was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Ely in a socially distanced service on Sunday 27 September. David, who is doing research for a PhD on the Church in Rwanda with Professor David Maxwell, will also be attached to Great St Mary’s, the University Church. In this photograph he is seen with members of his family and the Bishop in Ely Cathedral. 

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Image for the news item 'Undergraduate Admissions 2020' on 19 Aug 2020

Everyone at Emmanuel congratulates our offer-holders on their results, which have nearly all been confirmed.

As everyone will know, there is no need now for anyone to appeal: if students’ Centre Assessed Grades meet our offer conditions, including STEP if applicable, then those students will have their places to study at Emmanuel confirmed as quickly as we can manage. There are some issues to be ironed out across the University that relate to subjects which are numbers managed, but we expect everyone who has met our specific offer conditions to be able to take up places for October 2020.

We realise that students have been caught up in a very stressful situation absolutely not of their own making. At Emmanuel we have tried to work closely with schools and students, and we acted promptly on 13 August to let most students know that we were able to confirm their places even though they had missed their offers on the awarded grades. We always take into account students' personal and contextual circumstances, information from the schools who know them best, and the details of our written assessments and interviews, and obviously this was more important this year than ever.

We look forward to seeing the new cohort of students in a few weeks' time. Clearly, there will be a lot of challenges ahead, not least because we will have more students than anticipated, in a year when social distancing measures will have to be in place for much of the time, but that is clearly now our focus.

Once again, congratulations to all the students who have gained places in this extremely difficult year.

Tuesday 18 August 2020

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The government’s U-turn on A-level awards clearly makes previous College and University statements redundant. The implications of this abrupt change in policy are complex, and the University is seeking clarification from the government as a matter of urgency. We regret the continuing uncertainty, but the admissions team will contact affected offer-holders as soon as possible.

Monday 17 August 2020

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We appreciate that this year’s admissions process has been extremely difficult, above all for offer-holders who have been waiting for their A-level and other assessments. We congratulate those students who have had their offers of places at Emmanuel confirmed.

As with every admissions round, we look very carefully at applicants who have missed their offers, taking into account how narrowly they may have missed, their school predictions and academic record, school references and assessments, contextual data on background, personal circumstances, and performance in written assessments and at interview.

Our aim has been to be as fair and flexible as we can possibly be, whilst recognising that numbers are limited for specific subjects and for the University as a whole. We have confirmed places for many students who have missed their offers, and we have placed special emphasis on candidates likely to be disadvantaged by downgrading of predictions.

Any student whose appeal is successful will also of course have their offer of a place confirmed.

Thursday 6 August 2020

Image for the news item 'Planning approval for new Emmanuel court' on 6 Aug 2020

We're delighted that the plans for our new court at the south-east corner of the college, designed by Stanton Williams, have been approved by Cambridge City Council.

The design of the court will mean that we will be able to accommodate all our community of undergraduates on the main college site. The scheme will also provide social and communal spaces, including a central Social Hub, a new College Bar and a large events space. The development includes teaching rooms for supervisions and offices for Fellows, and will be based around landscaped courts.

Wednesday 1 July 2020

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Emmanuel’s Master, Dame Fiona Reynolds, will be stepping down from her post as Master at the end of next academic year, and we are delighted that she has been appointed to Chair the National Audit Office. The notice was announced in the House of Commons on Wednesday 1 July, and the college community, who so value her work for and with the college, would like to congratulate her on her new appointment.

Thursday 25 June 2020

Image for the news item 'Kindle reissue for Dr Harvey' on 25 Jun 2020

Dr John Harvey's prizewinning first novel The Plate Shop, about life in an engineering works, will be reissued on Kindle on 25 June; with a new foreword, and illustrations not reproduced before. Over the coming months John's first four novels will be reissued both in print and on Kindle, together with the paperback edition of PAX.

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Image for the news item 'RSC Supramolecular Chemistry Award for Professor Hunter' on 24 Jun 2020

The college are delighted that our Herchel Smith Professor of Organic Chemistry, Professor Chris Hunter, has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry 2020 Supramolecular Chemistry Award for his pioneering work in the field.

Professor Hunter's research while at Emmanuel has been developing tools to predict the properties of molecular ensembles, based on the chemical structures of the components and their interactions. His award is honouring his recent establishment of key principles in supramolecular design, and quantitative descriptions of non-covalent interactions. His most recent research development has enabled the creation of duplex-forming sequence oligomers and catalytic assemblies.

Monday 8 June 2020

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In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, another critical issue is affecting us all: the dreadful killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.   We align ourselves fully with the statement issued last week by the Vice-Chancellor, and want to take this opportunity to remind our whole community of the commitment we have long made that everyone should feel equal, welcomed and special in Emmanuel.  These are difficult times, and we re-assert our rejection of anything racist or discriminatory, and pledge to work towards a more equal society as an integral part of our purpose as a College.

Thursday 21 May 2020

Image for the news item 'Emmanuel & #makeitblue celebrate our key workers, carers and NHS staff' on 21 May 2020

The college was delighted to be part of the #makeitblue campaign on Thursday 21 May, to celebrate our key workers, carers and NHS staff and especially all our members of college who are involved and contributing so much.

Dame Fiona said: "Our college community has become stronger than ever, with our Student Union organising regular online yoga sessions, bake-off competitions, regular Zoom catch-ups with the Master, weekly film nights, and even pets dressed in Emmanuel jumpers! Students have praised our welfare officers for their efforts in fore-fronting mental health and wellbeing, and we’re delighted that all our members continue to be connected with us.”

We also want to thank the local independent event contractors who brought the installation together, including The Crane Event, Pink Lamp, jmps, Blue Shed & JezO's Events.

Thursday 30 April 2020

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The college are absolutely delighted that our Fellow Professor Steve Young and member Professor Vikram Deshpande (1994) have been elected to Fellowships at the Royal Society. The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the UK, dedicated to promoting excellence in science for the benefit of humanity.

Professor Young researches machine learning and AI, focussing on speech and language processing. His work contributed significantly to speech recognition and his research was pioneering in its use of statistical modelling in spoken dialogue management.

Professor Deshpande's work in solid mechanics has developed material design in both soft and active materials, designing micro-architectured materials, helping to determine the current parameters of his field.

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Image for the news item 'Message from the Master' on 15 Apr 2020

Easter term begins next week, and in normal times we would be gathering again for a summer of hard work, exams, friendship and celebrations.  Of course these are not normal times, and instead there are plans for virtual teaching, open book exams for some and lots of online communication.  It will be odd, but it will still be Emma, and although we won’t see each other, we are still part of the same community.  So let’s keep in touch! 

Over the break everyone has been working hard to put plans in place for this term:  it’s all new, and we are learning as we go. We’ll try and anticipate everyone’s needs and answer questions as things develop, but none of us will have all the answers.  The golden rule is to keep in touch with your tutor, Director of Studies and/or supervisor.

We’ll all be doing our best for you, and hope to hear that all our members, students, staff and Fellows are keeping well and safe in these difficult times.   

To make sure you don’t forget her, I’m attaching a picture of Miranda reading the newspaper – she misses you all, as do I! 

With love to you all,


Wednesday 18 March 2020

Image for the news item 'Message from the Master' on 18 Mar 2020

We are all aware of the coronavirus crisis that affects us all. Like every other organisation, our primary concern at Emmanuel is that all members of our community stay safe and well.

News and advice about the virus, and how to manage our lives as a result is widespread, so I don’t need to repeat it here.  We are communicating directly with our undergraduates, graduates, staff and Fellows on the issues that affect them, and will continue to do so as long as it is needed.  The Development Office will keep our members around the world in touch with what’s happening.

However it is now clear that we will have an Easter term like no other.  We will be running a skeleton operation for the very few who need to be here, there will be no face to face teaching or examinations, and no internal college events.  We will have to be creative about the way we interact with and support each other. 

This will be difficult for many people, and we recognize the disappointment that many will feel over expectations that can’t be realized, and events that will be missed.  But far more important is that we play our part in helping to deal with these unprecedented events.

We are a community that is spread across the world, with one thing in common:  Emmanuel.  Our experiences here, and our affection for the place and its people are an important part of who we are, and I hope it will help sustain you over the next difficult period.

We will continue to post information on the website and to use social media and other means to keep you all in touch. 

Until we can meet again, I’m sending our love and best wishes, and the hope that you will all keep safe and well.

With warmest wishes


Dame Fiona Reynolds, Master

Tuesday 17 March 2020

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The COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak poses an unprecedented challenge to the country and to the University of Cambridge. We know that this is a cause of concern for all those who live here, those who come to visit, to Emmanuel members and everyone else who cares for the College. 

Monday 16 March 2020

Image for the news item 'Emma Gives 2020' on 16 Mar 2020

On our first-ever Giving Day you helped raised over £134,000 from more than 500 donors for student support! Thank you so much to everyone who took part, your support will have a lifelong impact for Emma students.

Tuesday 10 March 2020

Image for the news item 'Emma Gives: today's the day!' on 10 Mar 2020

On 10/11 March, College is holding its first ever Giving Day! Over 24 hours, we're celebrating all things Emma, and are raising funds that will benefit our students directly. Come to the Robert Gardner Room for a cake and a chat with some of our staff, who can help you get involved!

Monday 24 February 2020

Image for the news item 'The Edge of Law: a new book by Dr Jeffrey' on 24 Feb 2020

A new book by our Fellow Alex Jeffrey examines the social and political consequences of conducting war crimes trials in the wake of violent conflict. Focusing on the establishment of a war crimes court in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Edge of Law explores the challenge of creating a new legal institution in a divided and traumatised society.

To examine this task, Dr Jeffrey understood the operation of law as a social process, in doing exploring the ways in which trials are communicated; the civil society groups and NGOs helping facilitate legal proceedings, and even the architecture and organisation of the court itself. In mapping the consequences of the court's establishment, the book argues that war crimes trials need to be understood as part of a wider array of legal and political instruments established to confront atrocities of the past.

Wednesday 19 February 2020

Image for the news item 'John Harvey on WNPR' on 19 Feb 2020

Dr Harvey discussed his book 'The Story of Black' on WNPR's Colin McEnroe Show on Wednesday 19 February. The station recorded the interview as part of their podcast series and you can listen again online.

John will also be giving a talk on his most recent book 'PAX' at Westminster Cathedral on 22 April.

Friday 10 January 2020

Image for the news item 'Dr Orben awarded 2019 BPS Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research' on 10 Jan 2020

We're delighted that one of our current Research Fellows, Amy Orben, has been awarded the 2019 British Psychological Society's Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research.

Amy's research into how social media and digital technology use affects the well-being of teenagers uses innovative statistical techniques to study large-scale international datasets. Her current study at College concentrates on learning new computational and statistical methods to challenge current assumptions regarding adolescent life satisfaction and wellbeing, predicting the ways that children will be affected by social media in the future.