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Professor Simon Gaunt FBA (1959-2021)

We are profoundly saddened by the news that Professor Simon Gaunt passed away in the early hours of Saturday 4th December 2021. He was 62. An alumnus of Warwick University (BA, 1982; PhD, 1986), Simon Gaunt was a preeminent scholar of medieval French and Occitan whose creative combination of traditional approaches with new critical perspectives made him one of the foremost medievalists of his generation. After leaving Warwick, he held positions at the University of Cambridge (1986-1998) and at King’s College London (1998-2021), where he served as Head of the French Department between 1998 and 2004 and as Head of the School of Arts and Humanities in 2013. He was also a key figure in Modern Languages both within the U.K. and abroad. In addition to holding a range of national and international advisory roles, he acted as President of the U.K. Society for French Studies (2006-2008) and as a member of two REF subpanels. He was a Fellow of King’s College London, Honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s College Cambridge, and Fellow of the British Academy. Simon Gaunt was a much-loved teacher, mentor, and colleague as well as a widely respected scholar. He had a particular skill for fostering intellectual community and interdisciplinary exchange, remaining active in the online forms that scholarly community took in the wake of the pandemic. The loss of his inimitable brilliance, intellectual generosity, vitality, and wit will be felt by all those who had the privilege of knowing him. Our deepest sympathies are with his loved ones.

Read the French Studies tribute to Simon by Emma Campbell here.