Published 31 January 2013
Retired University of Brighton professor Michael Tucker has been made a knight by King Harald of Norway for 'outstanding service in the interest of Norway'.
Professor Tucker, professor of poetics at the university until his retirement last year, was granted the title Knight: First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit – the highest honour given to non-Norwegians – for 'outstanding service in the interest of Norway'.
During a long and distinguished career at the university, which included receiving the degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Sussex in 1997, Michael developed a unique cross-genre course in Scandinavian Studies, which he taught in the Faculty of Arts.
This included the fruits of a considerable amount of original research and publications in the field of Norwegian culture. As well as working on historical material, included in The Grove Dictionary of Art, Michael has written major studies on internationally-renowned contemporary Norwegian figures including the painter and printmaker Frans Widerberg (whose first touring British retrospective was generated by the University of Brighton in 1986-87), the saxophonist Jan Garbarek (who played several times in the Sallis Benney Theatre at Grand Parade in the 1980s and 1990s) and the poet Jan Erik Vold.
A long-time contributor to the specialist magazine Jazz Journal, Michael continues to work in the field of Scandinavian culture and is currently working on the idea of a show on the theme of jazz and painting for the 2014 YstadSweden festival.
Professor Tucker (right) receiving his knighthood from the Norwegian ambassador, Mr Kim Traavik, during a reception at the ambassador's official residence in London. Picture by Tove Sylstad Iversen.
Professor Anne Boddington, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, said: "This is a thoroughly well-deserved honour for an academic who served this university and the interests of Norway with diligence and care, and who was well respected by students and colleagues alike. I am delighted for Michael."
Dr Paddy Maguire, Head of the School of Humanities, said: "Professor Tucker was never less than fully committed to his work. He had a deep appreciation of the demands of art practice, working closely with practitioners and students throughout his career. His enthusiasm for, and critical analysis of, the practice of art was communicated in all his work, lectures, exhibitions and scholarly texts and his work was greatly appreciated both by generations of students and by the international academic community."
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