Academic Armchair – Dr Matthew Dimmock
Heaven White It’s Friday morning as I intrude impromptu on Dr Matthew Dimmock’s time, a Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Director of Student Experience. Safe from the dismal torrent of rain outside, Dimmock discusses his book due to be published the following year. ‘I am currently writing about the figure of the prophet Muhammad in English writing during the Late Medieval and Enlightenment period’. His work is largely inspired by an unpublished play that he came across during his PHD concerning Muhammad which successfully highlighted misrepresentations of Islam. Dimmock ‘couldn’t imagine doing anything else’ if it weren’t for his studies and research in Early Modern Literature. He has had however, some very interesting jobs that vary from a cattle rancher to a maggot farmer. I then attempt to dabble in a ‘Harry Potter’ query which goes horribly amiss. ‘If you were a character from Harry Potter, who would you be?’ Long pause. ‘Well, to be honest I haven’t actually seen any of the Harry Potter films.’ Oh my; perhaps this should be an opportunity for me and other students alike to stop watching a Whomping Willow attack youths and engage in some more enlightening literature such as Donne or Marlowe. Next, I question which food he would build his house from if this were architecturally feasible, leading Dimmock to describe his very odd and particular eating habits. ‘I’m currently going through a roll mop faze.’ Roll mop? ‘It’s pickled herring.’ Fish?! ‘I also make a mean scotch egg.’ Whilst I respect individual tastes, I would not recommend a house constructed from herring and scotch eggs. Neighbours may be prevented from attending your perfectly nice summer barbeque by the overwhelming stench of fish and eggs. More seriously, Dimmock’s advice for students would be to primarily enjoy your time here, since this experience is so brief. Also, if Dimmock could possess any super power, he would have the ability to avoid travelling. Whilst many of you will empathise with the arduousness of extensive travelling and the unsettling nature of jet leg, attaining the art of apparition does require reading (and gaining the powers) of Harry Potter.