Dr. Marije Altorf is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at St. Mary's University, Twickenham, and author of Iris Murdoch and the Art of Imagining (London: Continuum, 2008). Together with Mariëtte Willemsen, she translated The Sovereignty of Good into Dutch (Amsterdam: Boom, 2003). Her main research areas also include Hannah Arendt and philosophical dialogue.
Dr. Pamela Osborn is a Researcher on the Iris Murdoch Archive Project at Kingston University and she lectures in English Literature at Kingston University. She has recently completed a PhD on bereavement, grief and mourning in Iris Murdoch's fiction.
Dr. Frances White is Writer in Residence at Kingston University Writing School and Assistant Editor of The Iris Murdoch Review. She is acting as Assistant Director of the Iris Murdoch Archive Project, Kingston University. Her book Becoming Iris Murdoch (Kingston University Press, 2014) covers the formative years of Muroch's life between 1945 and 1956.
Dr. Melanie Williams is Senior Lecturer in Film and television Studies at the University of East Anglia. She specialises in the study of British cinema with a particular emphasis on questions of gender and has published books on David Lean (MUP, 2014), Ealing Studios (BFI Palgrave, 2012), Shane Meadows (EUP, 2013) and Mamma Mia: the Movie (IB Tauris, 2013).
'The Film I Would Like to See Next: Reflections on Biography and Gender'
In an interview in 1976 Iris Murdoch famously stated ‘I have never felt picked out in an intellectual sense because I am a woman; these distinctions are not made at Oxford’. Perhaps this statement is one of the reasons why feminist scholarship of her work, and especially of her philosophical writing, has had a late start. I will argue that the biographies by John Bayley, Peter Conradi and A.N. Wilson, and the film ‘Iris’ have provided new reasons and fields of enquiry for feminist scholars. As there have not been many women in the history of philosophy and even less accounts of women philosophers, the question arises how to portray them. In my lecture I discuss some of the choices the filmmakers have made and I reflect on what I would like to see in any future project.
 Interview with Sheila Hale, published in G. Dooley, From a Tiny Corner in the House of Fiction: Conversations with Iris Murdoch. University of South Carolina Press, 2003.
Pamela Osborn and Frances White
'The Lives and Deaths of Iris Murdoch'
This paper takes the form of an imaginary dialogue between the young as yet unpublished Iris Murdoch and the shade of the afterlife Iris Murdoch. It is rooted in recent research we have each been engaged in. Frances White has explored the evolution of the writer in her recently published Becoming Iris Murdoch (KUP, 2014) and Pamela Osborn’s thesis on mourning and survival in Murdoch’s fiction has developed into an appraisal of Murdoch’s literary afterlife, published in the latest issue of The Iris Murdoch Review (no.5, 2014). Both of us analyse and critique the nature of biographical approaches to understanding Murdoch’s work. We are closely involved with the work of The Iris Murdoch Archive Project, directed by Dr Anne Rowe, and Frances White ran an HLF project May 2012-August 2013 which opened the letters to Philippa Foot held in the Iris Murdoch archive at Kingston University to many different groups in the local community and schools. This dialogue draws these interests together and opens up questions on the nature of literary survival, literary archives and the thorny areas of biographical criticism and letter publication.