Fellows & Staff

Kersti Börjars

 

Welcome to St Catherine’s College! Known fondly as ‘Catz’, we are a forward-looking, dynamic community known for our friendly and inclusive atmosphere. Whether you are a prospective student, visiting academic, alumnus/alumna or supporter of the College, I hope you will spend some time exploring these pages to find out a little bit more about our history and our values.

I joined Catz from the University of Manchester this January, where I was a linguistics professor and Associate Vice-President. Whilst it is a big change to move from a place you have lived and worked for over 30 years, I have been overwhelmed by how special the Catz community is and I have been made to feel very welcome here.

Catz is a College of high-achievement and accolade. To highlight just a few examples, we were proud to be second in last year’s Norrington Table; one of our English Fellows Professor Bart van Es won the 2018 Costa Book of the Year; and last summer three more of our alumni (Professor Tony Cheetham FRS, Brigadier Richard Clements and James Sherr) joined the magnificent list of alumni awarded honours by Her Majesty the Queen.

But Catz is also a College that celebrates and supports non-academic success. Music and drama form an important part of College life: each year we welcome the Cameron Mackintosh Professor of Contemporary Theatre (Deborah Warner from 2018-2019) – a leading figure in contemporary drama – to give great professional insight into the world of theatre through a public lecture and other events; whilst the Catz Music Society hosts a wide range of events, from musicals and recital concerts to jazz workshops.

Sport, too, flourishes at St Catherine’s. At a University level, Augustin Wambersie represented Oxford in the famous Boat Race and Conor Hennessy and Ben Ransom represented Oxford in the annual Rugby Varsity Match last year. And at a College level, Catz was the overall ‘Cuppers’ winners (the friendly sports competition between all Oxford Colleges). Whatever your ability and whatever your interest; we have such a wide variety of sports teams here for competitive and non-competitive matches that there is something for everyone.

St Catherine’s truly does have a tremendous amount to offer students, fellows and staff alike, and, whilst I am only able to offer a very brief summary here, I hope that you might consider visiting our history, events or alumni pages to learn even more about this wonderful place – and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

About me

Kersti Börjars has degrees from Uppsala University (Filosofie Kandidat), the University of Leiden (Doctorandus) and a PhD from the University of Manchester.

From 1990 to 1994 she worked as Research Assistant to the Subordination and Complementation group of EUROTYP, a large European typological project. Since 1994, she has been a member of staff at The University of Manchester, where she was promoted to professor in 2002. During 2002, she was a visiting professor at Göteborg University, and she is currently Professor II at the University of Oslo.

She was appointed Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs in the newly formed Faculty of Humanities in January 2004 and remained in this role until January 2008. She was Head of School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures from 2009 until 2012. She is currently Associate Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students.

She was the President of The Linguistics Association of Great Britain from 2005 until 2011. She was a member of the RAE 2008 panel 58 for linguistics and is Chair of sub-panel 28 ‘Modern languages and linguistics’ of REF2014. She is the editor of Journal of Linguistics. Since January 2017, she is Professor II in Nordic Languages at The University of Oslo.

Photograph of the Master in the SCR Corridor at St Catherine's College