Curiosity Column

Students from across Oxford University explore the topics in history that interest them. Crossing and playing with disciplinary boundaries, OHR’s Curiosity Column brings you the history that truly resonates with students.

  • ‘Workers of the World, Awaken!’: Medieval Dreams and the Peasants’ Revolt
    ‘During this time of sleep surely it is not my true self, Lord my God?’ (Saint Augustine, Confessions)  Dreams occupy an uneasy status in contemporary society. On the one hand, they are dismissed. Those that earnestly believe dreams can predict the future or put us into contact with otherworldly forces are labelled as superstitious. As …
  • What is Juneteenth to an American?
    Mia Thwaites discusses the history of Juneteenth and how the federal holiday may contribute to racial reconciliation.
  • Looking beyond Brittain and Nightingale
    John Stewart sheds light on the reality of nurses in World War One, looking beyond the influences of Vera Brittain and Florence Nightingale.
  • On Old English Translation: Wulf’s Tale
    Yasmin Howells’ creative translation of Wulf and Eadwacer, an Old English Poem found in the Book of Exeter.
  • Warsaw: Life Imitates Art
    Maciej Nowakowski opens his ‘Cities of Hope’ series by looking at Warsaw, “the Paris of the North”.
  • 100 Years of Northern Ireland
    “Northern Ireland’s journey over the past one hundred years has been one of devastation and pain, but also one of cooperation and hope.”
  • Bad Gays: Issues with HIV activism in gay historiography
    Eliott Thompson discusses the issues with HIV activism throughout history, focusing on the role of AZT and Gays against Genocide.
  • Don’t Hate the Player, Hate the Game
    “From governments and organisations…to individuals…sporting events have held the power to change the world on a political level.”
  • Drifter: A Creative Translation based on ‘The Wanderer’
    Yasmin Howells discusses creative translation of Old English within a historical context, looking at 9th to 10th century poem ‘The Wanderer’.
  • December 1973: Christmas in Crisis?
    OLIVER SHAW writes about the difficult winter of 1973-74 in Britain – and how glam rock came to the rescue.
  • The Unhealed Wounds: The Catholic Church and the Holocaust
    In March 1998, a Vatican commission on Jewish-Catholic relations published We Remember: A Reflection of the Shoah. The delicate document went further than any previous statement to recognise the Catholic Church’s passivity during the wartime genocide of European Jews, acknowledging ‘past errors and infidelities’ from the faithful led astray by anti-Semitism and the ‘heavy burden of …
  • Oxford: the Museum, the City, the University
    As a child, I had a recurring fantasy of London’s Natural History Museum at night. Their work complete and the sun now down, I saw the curators gathering beneath the museum’s vaulted roof to lay a table and feast amongst the exhibits. This idyllic vision was reawakened during Hilary term when I took the Collections/Displays …
  • Women and the Anti-Psychiatry Movement
    Molly Archer-Zeff discusses how we should be looking for female voices outside of the 1960s anti-psychiatry movement.