An Audience with Jon Ronson: Goats, Psychopaths & Censorship

On 14 June, 2012 the School of English and Languages will host An Audience with Jon Ronson: Goats, Psychopaths & Censorship at the University of Surrey, Lecture Theatre G at 5 p.m with a free wine reception and book signing immediately following.

Jon Ronson, award-winning journalist, filmmaker and cultural critic is the author of several books including: Them: Adventures with Extremists (2001), The Men Who Stare at Goats (2004), Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness (2006) and most recently the best-selling work The Psychopath Test (2011). In 2009 The Men Who Stare at Goats was adapted into the blockbuster film of the same name starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey. Prolific documentary filmmaker and frequent contributor to The Guardian, BBC’s Radio 4 as well as the United States radio programme This American Life, Ronson has carved out a unique and consumable style which bridges the gap between intellectual inquiry and public fascination. Shockingly relatable and always funny, Ronson positions himself as the protagonist of his work, embarking on a quest superficially Don Quixote in nature but laden with a darker reality to expose as Will Self calls it, ‘the hinterland of the human psyche.’

The event will take place as part of the Annual University of Surrey English PEN Writers Series sponsored by Pat Grayburn which began in 2011 with An Audience with Monica Ali to launch our partnership with English PEN, an international charity committed to defending the rights of persecuted writers abroad while maintaining a robust defence of free speech in the UK.

PEN at the University of Surrey is a unique collaboration between English PEN, the School of English and Languages, and the students of the University (for more info visit We also welcome the involvement of readers and writers from the city of Guildford and the surrounding area. Students and staff undertake research on PEN’s areas of focus, as well as producing awareness-raising events and activities, some of which include public events with leading British writers, campaigns for those internationally imprisoned on the grounds of censorship, and translating their work for an English speaking audience. Participation in these projects is open to anyone who values freedom of expression and believes that, in the words of the PEN charter, ‘Literature Knows No Frontiers’.

Tickets for the 2012 Audience with Jon Ronson are available now for purchase from the University of Surrey Box Office: The cost for the event is: £3–Surrey Students, £5–Surrey Staff, English PEN Members, non-Surrey Students and £10–General Admission.

You can read more about the work of English PEN by visiting our website or following us on twitter @englishpen. For more information on how you can get involved in PEN at the University of Surrey or for more information on the event please contact Surrey PEN Project Coordinator, Amanda Finelli at