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Charlotte Higgins

Charlotte Higgins is chief culture writer for The Guardian and a member of the editorial board.

She was born in Stoke-on-Trent and raised in Newcastle-under-Lyme, where she attended school and developed a life-long fascination with the Classics, particularly Latin and Greek literature and history, a subject she later studied at Balliol College, Oxford.

After graduating, Charlotte’s first job was writing copy for a mail order catalogue before joining Vogue magazine in 1995 and then The Guardian in 1997. She was soon pitching story ideas to the arts desk and was later put in charge of classical music coverage – another childhood interest. Charlotte had been a member of the Staffordshire County Youth Orchestra and a keen violin player.

Charlotte began writing news articles during a difficult period for the English National Opera and was made arts correspondent, working in a “very exciting, fast paced environment”. She travelled to the Cannes Film Festival in France, as well as to Venezuela, the US, China and the West Bank.

After a few years, Charlotte stepped back to write longer articles, eventually taking up her current role as chief culture writer. In 2014, she wrote a nine-part series on the BBC and its place in British society, expanding the essays into a book, her fourth, entitled This New Noise.

Charlotte’s other books all cover aspects of the ancient world. The most recent, Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain, was shortlisted for the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. She is also on the board of The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham.

The Award of Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts is bestowed upon Charlotte in recognition of her distinguished career as a journalist and writer. It celebrates her success, from her early beginnings in Stoke-on-Trent through to working for The Guardian. The honour also recognises Charlotte as an ambassador for the City and the University and as a source of inspiration for students in journalism, arts, creative writing and history.

Photo of Charlotte Higgins

Charlotte Higgins was bestowed the award in 2016

When I opened the letter I was overwhelmed with joy – I was practically in tears. I have a high respect for the history of Staffordshire University and those who have passed through it. I am extremely excited to accept the award and delighted to be recognised by the University from the town where I was born.

Charlotte Higgins