“Winter”, wrote artist Paul Nash, “is life imprisoned”, and while that may have been true for anyone spending the season in the trenches, it did not quite ring true for those of us who were standing before his works that February morning. We, the Scholars in question, were there at the Tate Britain to visit […]


In her presentation Dead as a Dodo? Why Literature Matters in Times of Migration and Unrest, given as the Eugene Ludwig Lecture at New College on 24 February 2017, the German author Ulrike Draesner spoke about literature as a means to transport and deal with traumatic memory:  ‘Literature expresses what is beyond normal verbal expression, […]

In the first instantiation of the Ertegun House Seminar in the Humanities, Wole Soyinka recalled his time in prison during the Biafran War. Deprived of human contact and intellectual stimulation, he wrote poetry in Spanish, scrawled on toilet-paper dowels for lack of writing materials. It was for the sake of understanding of such human moments, […]

A podcast is now available of the recent Ertegun House seminar in the Humanities, a wide-ranging conversation between historian Professor Quentin Skinner and the members of the Ertegun House community, led by Ertegun House Director, Professor Rhodri Lewis. The Ertegun House Seminar in the Humanities is a termly series of conversations between members of the […]

“Paris est magique”: A Journey to Modern Visual Art on the French Scene On Thursday 9th of February, Ertegun scholars were kindly invited to the opening of the spring exhibition “Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism in France” as part of the private views organized at the Ashmolean Museum. As suggested by its title, this exhibition […]

Our guest for the second Ertegun House seminar in the Humanities was Professor Quentin Skinner, the Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London. Widely regarded as one of the most influential historians of his generation, Skinner is known for his extraordinary work on methodological issues in intellectual history and in-depth […]

On February 14th, a group of Ertegun Scholars visited London’s Royal Opera House for the Royal Ballet’s final performance of Woolf Works: an evocative, award-winning triptych choreographed and directed by Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor.  Offering interpretations of three of Virginia Woolf’s most famous writings the program’s three-part structure provides a simple framework within which the […]

A delegation of Ertegun scholars headed to the Ashmolean on Friday 27th January for a handling session with artefacts from the exhibition Power and Protection: Islamic Art and the Supernatural. Most of use had already found time to explore the show, which addressed a range of material practices used in an Islamic context to ensure supernatural protection […]

‘We are going to the Oxford University Press Museum’: to what will it be devoted? To the history of book printing? To notable titles issued by OUP? To fine specimens of the art of pressing (flower presses, clothes presses, impressment gangs)? Though a preserved and fully operational impressment gang would have provided a more holistic […]

Un Roman Étranger What is a residence permit? A short-lived identity document or a pretext to write a novel? How to depict the administrative chaos, the continuous coming and going, the unbearable tension and the long wait to renew one’s residence permit? The narrator, an exiled stranger in a European capital, struggles to renew his […]