Image of Composite image - 6 honorary fellows
Clockwise from top left: Frances Morris, Susan Rutherford, MM McCabe, Deryck Murray, Alison Bashford, Verene Shepherd.

New Honorary Fellows elected

Jesus College has elected six new Honorary Fellows in recognition of their contributions to their respective fields. 

Professor Alison Bashford

Professor Alison Bashford is an Australian historian of great distinction. Appointed Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History at the University of Cambridge in 2013, she was elected to a Fellowship at Jesus in the same year. Her familiarity with the College preceded her arrival in Cambridge, having already embarked on an ambitious global history of the Jesuan demographer and political economist Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834). In fact, she spent the morning of her university interview in the Old Library carrying out research on the Malthus collection.

Professor Bashford’s work is situated at the meeting point of the history of science, demography and empire. She has been a leading figure in re-shaping the old colonial history on a global model. Her books range across the fields of Victorian medicine, the history of quarantine and isolation, imperial hygiene, and the history of eugenics. A passionate exponent of world history, she coined the phrase ‘terraqueous histories’ and has been a key player in historians' oceanic turn. Between 2013 and 2017 she was Trustee of Royal Museums Greenwich, including the National Maritime Museum, the Queen's House and the Royal Observatory. Her latest book, The New Worlds of Thomas Robert Malthus: Rereading the "Principle of Population" (co-authored with Joyce Chaplin and published by Princeton University Press) is a milestone in the global history of ideas.

Professor Bashford left Cambridge in 2017 to a research chair at the University of New South Wales, where she is Laureate Professor of History and Director of the Laureate Center for History & Population. In 2009-10, she was the Whitlam and Fraser Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University’s Department of the History of Science. She is a Fellow of the British Academy, and of the Australian Academy of Humanities, and was awarded the Cantemir Prize in 2011. In May 2018, she presented the prestigious Wiles Lectures at Queen's University, Belfast. Professor Bashford was awarded the Dan David Prize in 2021.

Professor Mary Margaret “MM” McCabe

Professor Mary Margaret McCabe (known as “MM”) is a distinguished philosopher. Her academic work has focussed on ancient philosophers, in particular Plato, but also the Presocratics and Aristotle, with occasional forays into Stoicism. She has engaged with topics in contemporary ethics and medicine. 

Her books, especially Plato’s Individuals (1994) and Plato and his Predecessors: The Dramatisation of Reason (2000), have challenged traditional readings of Plato and his intellectual context, offering influential new insights into and original interpretations of Platonic ideas and methods. The title of her collected essays—Platonic Conversations (2015)—perhaps best encapsulates her work, with its pairing of Plato and dialogue and emphasis on discussion and debate, ancient and ongoing. 

Professor McCabe held a chair in Ancient Philosophy at Kings College London until 2014. She was then Keeling scholar and Honorary Professor in Philosophy at UCL, until her retirement in 2017. In 2017, she was the Sather Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, delivering the Sather Lectures on ‘Seeing and Saying: Plato on Virtue and Knowledge’. In 2018 she gave the 10th John Ackrill Memorial Lecture in Oxford. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and was President of the British Philosophical Association (2008-12) and President of the Mind Association (2016-17).  In 2015-16 she was a visiting professor at first Princeton and then Yale; and 2019 the Leventis Professor at Edinburgh. Professor McCabe is President of the Classical Association 2021-2. 

Professor McCabe was instrumental in launching the charity Philosophy in Prison, of which she is a trustee. 

Professor McCabe graduated from Newnham in 1970, was a fellow in Classics at New Hall from 1981-1990 and held a Bye-Fellowship at Newnham from 2014-17. She lives in Cambridge, and continues to participate in the intellectual activities of the Classics Faculty. She is the editor of the Cambridge University Press series, Cambridge Studies in the Dialogues of Plato. 

Her first husband, Gavin Mackenzie, was Senior Tutor between 1982 and 1992; many former students have fond memories of her involvement in College life during that time.

Professor McCabe’s Festschrift Rereading Ancient Philosophy: Old Chestnuts and Sacred Cows (2017) was edited by two Jesuans, Professor Verity Harte (1986), now Chair of Philosophy at Yale, and Professor Raphael Woolf (1981), now Professor of Philosophy at Kings College London.

Frances Morris

Frances Morris has been Director of Tate Modern since 2016. Before her appointment as Tate Modern’s first woman director, she had a distinguished career at the gallery. Initially working as a Curator, she then became Head of Display, before becoming Director of Collections.

In these roles she was jointly responsible for the initial hang of the Tate collection at the opening of the Bankside site in 2000, now acknowledged as having transformed the way museums present the story of modern art. The exhibitions she has curated include major retrospectives of Louise Bourgeois (2007), Yayoi Kusama (2012) and Agnes Martin (2015), and she has championed the representation of women artists throughout her career. More recently, she has foregrounded the climate emergency as a central challenge for contemporary art. The 2019 In Real Life exhibition of Olafur Eliasson’s work in the Tate’s Turbine Hall became a platform to raise awareness and engagement with the climate crisis.

Frances Morris’s connections with Cambridge go back to her first degree in History of Art, and she has been artistic advisor to Jesus College since 2017. In this role, she arranged the loan of Louise Bourgeois’ sculpture Eyes, which was displayed in the summer of 2017 at Sculpture in the Close

Deryck Murray

Deryck Murray had an outstanding career as a cricketer. By the time he came up to Jesus to read Land Economy and History in 1964, he had already won a place in the West Indies cricket team, and gained the record – which still stands – for the most wicket-keeper dismissals in a test series between the West Indies and England. He was captain of the Cambridge University Blues team in 1966, their first from the Caribbean. Murray’s international cricket career lasted 17 years from 1963 to 1980, and he was vice-captain of the West Indies team when, in 1975 and 1979, they won the first two Cricket World Cups in 1975 and 1979. He captained the Trinidad and Tobago team between 1976 and 1981. Murray joined Nottinghamshire as a professional cricketer in 1966, and completed a degree in Industrial Economics at the University of Nottingham in 1972. He subsequently played for Warwickshire (1972 – 1976). 

Deryck also gave great service to the organisation of the game. He was the first Secretary of the West Indian Cricketers Association, and lateralso the President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board. He also achieved distinction in fields of diplomacy and governance. After his retirement from cricket, he joined the Trinidad and Tobago diplomatic corps and served as a representative to the United Nations. He was later Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute, the national Chapter of the anti-corruption organisation Transparency International. 

Deryck is the current Chair of the Commonwealth Advisory Board on Sport (CABOS), and is the High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago in Jamaica.

Professor Susan Rutherford

Professor Rutherford is Emerita Professor of Music at the University of Manchester. She has held Visiting Fellowships at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. She is a pioneer of opera studies, from the perspectives of both the opera industry and the professional singer.

Her work on female singers and the creation of the operatic ‘diva’ has focused on Italian and French opera, across the 17th to 21st centuries. Her co-edited 1992 collection, The New Woman and Her Sisters: Feminism and Theatre, 1850–1914 (U. Michigan Press) set the tone for future research. Her monograph The Prima Donna and Opera,1815-1930 (CUP, 2006) won the Pauline Alderman Award for ‘outstanding research on women and music’. Her second monograph Verdi, Opera,Women (CUP, 2013) was hailed for its innovative structure, depth of insight and unearthing of rarely found women’s voices. Since then, Rutherford’s research has expanded to include work on operatic recordings and technology, the operatic photo-portrait, histories of operatic acting, and the function of the city as an operatic setting and magnet. Her most recent project, funded by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, is the forthcoming monograph A History of Voices:Singing in Britain, 1588 to the Present.

Professor Rutherford has written and presented documentaries for BBC Radio 3, and regularly contributes to public talks and programme notes on opera. She is the recipient of both the Pauline Alderman Prize (International Alliance for Women and Music), and the Premio Internazionale: Giuseppe Verdi (Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani). Since 2016, Professor Rutherford has offered support and coaching to Jesus College Choral Scholars and music students.

Professor Verene Shepherd

Professor Shepherd is currently Emerita Professor of Social History and Director of The Centre for Reparation Research at the University of the West Indies. She is a Vice Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), and a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society. She was educated in Jamaica and studied at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus (Jamaica), before coming to Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge for a PhD in history (awarded in 1988).

Professor Shepherd has published widely on a number of topics. Her research spans the areas of Jamaican Economic History during slavery (especially the history of non-sugar activities), migration and diasporas, and Caribbean Women’s history. She is internationally recognised for her work on social justice and human rights, as shown by her many awards, visiting fellowships and other honours. She has served as a representative and chair on a number of international bodies, including (from 2010-2015) on the United Nation’s Working Group of Experts on People of African descent (as a member, and for 2 years as Chair). Professor Shepherd is an external member of the Jesus College Legacy of Slavery Working Party, and has greatly assisted its work.

Photo credits:

Frances Morris: Hugo Glendinning 2016

Verene Shepherd: Aston Spalding