First speakers of 2024 revealed for return of free public lecture series

24 January 2024
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A composite image of two photos side by side - one is Ruth Strudwick seated by a sofa and the other is Charlie Haylock giving a speech
Prof Ruth Strudwick and Charlie Haylock

The University of Suffolk’s series of free lectures open to the public will return again this year, with a well-renowned dialect expert and radiography professional among the first speakers for 2024.

The Open Lecture Series brings revered experts from both inside the university and further afield to offer free public talks in Ipswich as part of the university’s commitment to the community.

Kicking off 2024’s return of the series will be the University of Suffolk’s Diagnostic Radiography professor Ruth Strudwick for her inaugural professorial lecture on Thursday 1 February.

The series will then continue on Thursday 29 February with renowned Suffolk dialect expert and historian Charlie Haylock, who became an honorary graduate of the University last year.

Further speakers have been lined up throughout the year, with details of those talks set to be unveiled in the future.

Professor Helen Langton MBE, Vice-Chancellor and chief executive of the University of Suffolk, said:

“The Open Lecture series is a really important part of the University’s mission to share knowledge and expertise in our communities, and we have an exciting programme of speakers lined up for 2024 which we are sure will make for thought-provoking and entertaining evenings.”

Professor Strudwick’s lecture, titled ‘Making A Difference’, will discuss how considering the individual is at the heart of patient care while taking the audience on a journey of how suffering a broken wrist at the age of 12 inspired her career into diagnostic radiography and then education.

“Every interaction shouldn’t just be about the mechanics of taking an image,” said Professor Strudwick, Head of Allied Health Professions at the University.

“It may be routine procedure for those doing it but it is never routine for the patients who deserve to be looked after as equals. There is a story behind every person.”

On Thursday 29 February, Charlie Haylock will host his talk, ‘The History of Spoken English’, where he will present a unique look at how invading forces such as the Saxons and Vikings changed the English language, how Shakespeare was spoken, and how the English language adopted words from around the globe as a result of its position in global trading.

He will also take a dialect tour of the British Isles and even demonstrate how a deaf person can understand different dialects just from lip reading and facial expressions.

Charlie, who coached Ralph Fiennes in a Suffolk accent for 2021 movie The Dig and regularly presents crowd-pleasing talks, said: “I am very much looking forward to returning to the University of Suffolk since being awarded an honorary degree.

“This will be my first Open Lecture and I shall explore the history of spoken English, which will be both highly informative and very entertaining, at the same time demonstrating the richness of the English language.”

Both lectures take place at the Waterfront Building. The events are free to attend, but anyone wishing to come along must book online in advance. To find out more and book tickets visit the event pages here:

Making a Difference by Professor Ruth Strudwick
History of Spoken English by Charlie Haylock

Previous open lectures have included fascinating talks on topics as diverse as the changing landscape of religion and belief, how fishing became a hot political topic during Brexit, and citizenship in the western world. 

For details on the future open lectures, keep an eye on the University’s social media channels and the event webpage here.

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