Staff tributes to Kate Marsh

Kate's colleagues from Modern Languages and Cultures, pay tribute

Prof Robert Blackwood

Kate made an enormous contribution to many different areas of activity within Modern Languages & Cultures, more widely across the School, Faculty, and University, and – as an outstanding scholar – to the range of disciplines with which she engaged in her research. She will be greatly missed by many cohorts of students, friends, and colleagues in Liverpool and beyond.

Prof Bruce Gibson

I first met Kate at the beginning of 2015 when she became Director of Postgraduate Research for the Faculty of HSS. Over what is only four years since then, I have worked with Kate as Deputy Director of PG Research in our Faculty. This has given me the chance to see how fearlessly she defended and promoted the interests of postgraduate students in the Faculty and the University, how well she supported individuals who were in difficulties, and how she delighted in the successes of those starting out as researchers. That delight in the research of others was very characteristic of her, and it mirrored her inspiring commitment to her own subject which endured, formidable and cheerful, in spite of the enormous workload that fell to Kate in her various roles. 

I recall a meeting we had about a year ago which began as a discussion on various PGR matters, but changed into a wonderful opportunity to hear Kate talk to me in detail about her current research and her plans for her Leverhulme project (which had just been awarded). That occasion was an extraordinary privilege, especially when the general pressures of academic life make it difficult even for those working in the same subject to take the opportunity to find out what others are doing. When I think back on conversations with Kate over these four years, or the several hundred emails we exchanged (and even in email on unpromising topics she had a splendid style and turn of phrase, often with a choice word or two in French!), I am again and again struck by her kindness, understanding and courtesy, her wisdom and generous advice, and her peerless integrity. I am deeply grateful to have known Kate as a colleague and friend.

Prof Graham Kemp

Kate and I worked together for several years in postgraduate research, for a while as the academic leads for our two faculties, and then as part of the Liverpool Doctoral College team. Kate was a wonderful colleague, and with her exceptional clarity, courage and wisdom she made a huge contribution to postgraduate research in her faculty and the university. My Doctoral College role ended last summer, but we kept in touch. One of the pleasures of academic life is that a medic and a French historian can find a lot to talk about, and so I’ll remember her best for her conversation: perceptive, irreverent, illuminating and funny. The urge to email her about something interesting or absurd will eventually pass, but (if I can put it this way) Kate’s voice will stay with me.

Prof David Joss

Kate Marsh was an excellent friend and colleague with too many admirable qualities to be described in a few lines. Kate and I worked together as postgraduate research leads for our respective faculties where I witnessed her enormous contributions to enhancing the experience of postgraduate students across the University. She had an effortless ability to balance the utmost professionalism with a ready wit and tremendous sense of fun. Kate always tackled challenges with determination and found resolutions with the highest degree of clarity and common sense. It was also apparent from our early meetings, and amply demonstrated thereafter, that Kate possessed an innate integrity and a robust sense of fairness. While many of us will continue to cherish joyful memories of Kate, it is with great sadness that we bid a premature farewell to an erudite, funny, interesting, kind, musical, wise and courageous friend.


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