dave_popplewell.jpgDr David Popplewell, Brasenose fellow in Psychology, has been given an Oxford Teaching Award by the Medical Sciences Division, as a public acknowledgement of his excellence in teaching and learning.

Dr Popplewell will be given his ‘Excellent Teacher' award at a ceremony on 10 of November in the Divinity School. He is being recognised for the exceptional contribution he has made to the delivery of teaching of statistics in Experimental Psychology. Dr Popplewell has been a supernumerary fellow at Brasenose since 1997, and is currently the Department Coordinator of Psychology for undergraduate admissions. His primary research interest is in the application of Information Technology in Neuroscience and Psychology.

Recent Brasenose winners of the Medical Sciences Division Teaching Excellence Awards include Professor Anton van der Merwe (Kurti Senior Fellow) and Dr Richard Boyd (Fellow in Medicine).

jing_ouyang.jpgFreshers were heartily welcomed to Brasenose College last week, when just over two hundred undergraduates and graduates joined the Brasenose community. As well as meeting their tutors and other members of College, undergraduates were treated to a whole host of activities designed to help them settle in to College life. Events included an exclusive performance by Oxford A Capella group Out of the Blue and leading improvised comedy troupe the Oxford Imps, a Casino Night, a pool tournament, a walk through Port Meadow, a ghost tour, a treasure trail around the city, a barbeque at the Brasenose Boat House, a visit to the Phoenix Cinema, a tour of the historic pubs of Oxford, a sports day and trips to local nightclubs.

Jing Ouyang,  a 3rd Year Medic who led the organisation of fresher's week, commented "Fresher's week was a resounding success and the fresher's committee did a brilliant job organising it. The freshers responded really well to all the events and we had big turnouts, especially for Out of the Blue and the treasure trail. The highlight of the week was definitely Out of the Blue, who had only recently featured on prime time TV, demonstrating a good balance of both day time and night time activities. Freshers were amazed by how we were able to attract such big names for our fresher's week, but this just goes to show how much effort the college and the JCR puts into the programme. "



Professor Nicholas Purcell has joined Brasenose College as the new Camden Professor of Ancient History.  The Camden Professorship was first established in 1622 by English antiquarian and historian William Camden (1551-1623), who came to Oxford in 1566. The chair has been attached to Brasenose College since the 19th century, and has recently been held by Sir Fergus Millar (1984-2002) and the current Principal of Brasenose College, Professor Alan Bowman (2002-2010).

Professor Purcell has held posts at All Souls College and St John's College, and has written widely on Mediterranean History and the ancient city of Rome. On beginning his professorship, he commented "I was an undergraduate at Worcester College, when Martin Frederiksen was ancient history tutor there. He encouraged an interest in Rome and Italy which has always been at the core of my work, and introduced me to Peter Brunt, then Camden Professor, by sending me to him for tutorials at Brasenose on fifth-century BC Greek History. He was apt to sink very low in his chair, cigarette in mouth, and say unexpectedly in his most sepulchral tones 'so you disagree with Brunt, then'. It is quite a challenge to come back to BNC 35 years later as successor to Syme, Brunt, Millar and Bowman, but I am looking forward to it very much, and to doing my bit to help out with Classics in a College which has always been very loyal indeed to the subject. We take a very good number of graduates in Ancient History, partly because of the Camden Chair, and it will be good to get to know them in a College context as well as in the faculty."


jonathan_newell.jpgBrasenose is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Newell as the College's first Director of Music.  The post is designed to build on the work Nick Prozzillo has done as Graduate Director of Music, giving the college the benefit of an experienced musician supervising not only the choir and chapel music, but also our concerts (professional and amateur) and our wider musical life.

Jonathan is a vastly experienced organist and choral trainer.  A graduate of Durham University, where he was the Organ Scholar of University College, he holds diplomas in organ playing and choir training from the Royal College of Organists, London and Trinity College, London. He also holds an M.A. in Choral Education from the University of Surrey.  As well as experience in the UK, Jonathan has worked abroad - in Norway, running the music in five churches; in Cairo, he was Director of Music at the British International School; in Vienna, he even founded a chamber choir which performed at the Sturm-Graz F.C. Christmas party.  Since 2009, he has been the Chief Examiner for the International Baccalaureate Diploma in music. 

sept_open_day_helpers.jpgThe final Open Day of 2011 was held at Brasenose College in  mid-September. Hundreds of prospective applicants, teachers and parents visited Brasenose, greeted by a small army of enthusiastic student helpers. Impromptu tours ran all day for prospective applicants, many of whom had already decided to apply to Oxford, but were pondering college choice. Tutors were also on hand to meet with the visitors.

Brasenose's Schools Officer, Dr Joe Organ, commented: "Every Open Day we run I'm always amazed at the enthusiasm and inquisitiveness of our visitors. It is fantastic to see so many of them taking an interest in the College. Yet again I was very proud of our student helpers, who worked very hard all day to show people round, and give them an insight into College and University life"



maris_kopcke.jpgCongratulations to Dr Maris Köpcke Tinturé, Brasenose lecturer in Law (and Worcester College fellow in Law), who has won the European Award for Legal Theory. This award is assigned, once every two or three years, to the author of the best doctoral thesis submitted anywhere in Europe, in the area of legal theory and philosophy of law. The competition is judged by a jury with members representing the various sub-disciplines within legal theory and philosophy of law, from several different countries. Dr Köpcke's doctoral thesis (Oxford, 2009) studies the moral function of legal validity. It argues that the mechanism of legal validity enables a diverse population to coordinate action around shared standards and that, for this reason, it is morally necessary that legal validity does not (primarily) turn on moral considerations. As part of the award, Dr Köpcke's doctoral thesis will be published by Hart Publishing Ltd of Oxford and she will be appointed as a lecturer at the European Academy of Legal Theory, in charge of a seminar for a period of three academic years.

open_day2011.jpgThe first undergraduate Open Days of 2011 were held at Brasenose College in early July. Once again, the event proved to be very successful, with hundreds of prospective applicants, teachers and parents visiting Brasenose. All prospective applicants were offered tours of the College, with 40 current students from nearly every subject on hand for questions about undergraduate life. Subject tutors were also available at various times to discuss with prospective applicants courses, admissions procedures, teaching methods and other topics.

As every undergraduate college, as well as departments and faculties run events during the Open Days, for two days in July Oxford was awash with sixth form students finding out about life at the University. In part due to its location right at the heart of the collegiate city, and in part due to its open door ‘no bookings required' policy, Brasenose was heaving with prospective applicants throughout the Open Days.  

morgan.jpgA recent edition of BBC Radio 4's Something Understood is hosted by Brasenose Classics Fellow, Dr Llewelyn Morgan. In the programme, Dr Morgan considers how the diamond, a beautiful yet tarnished jewel, is capable of provoking complex responses within us all, and examines how this precious stone can bring out the best and worst in us. The programme features reading from Christina Rosetti, Marco Polo and William Pitt Root, and music from Joan Baez, Bela Bartok and Joni Mitchell. There is also an interview with bookseller Farrukh Hussain.

Something Understood - Diamonds and Coal was broadcast on Sunday 26th June 2011. It can be listened to on BBC iPlayer until the evening of Sunday 3rd July:


bowman_alan.jpgBrasenose College is pleased to announce that Professor Alan Bowman will become Principal of the College from 1st October 2011, when the current Principal Professor Roger Cashmore retires.

Professor Bowman was formerly the Camden Professor of Ancient History and has been Acting Principal of Brasenose in 2010-11, while Professor Cashmore has been on research leave.

Professor Bowman was born in Manchester in 1944, and educated at Manchester Grammar School (1955-62) and the Queen's College, Oxford where he read Greats (1962-6). He earned his Doctorate at the University of Toronto (1966-9), was Assistant Professor of Classics at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (1970-2), Lecturer in Ancient History, University of Manchester (1972-7), Official Student of Christ Church and University Lecturer in Ancient History, University of Oxford (1977-2002) before becoming Camden Professor of Ancient History and Fellow of Brasenose College (2002-10). His research interests have included Roman Egypt and Vindolanda. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1994.

Richard Haydon
Vice Principal
Brasenose College

bnc_students_in_the_grove.jpgAscension Day, which fell on the 2nd June this year, is marked at Brasenose College with two long-standing traditions. Firstly, the Beating of the Bounds ceremony passed through Brasenose during the morning of Ascension Day. The boundaries of the parishes of the churches of St. Michael at the Northgate and St. Mary the Virgin (also known as the ‘University Church') pass through Brasenose College and on Ascension Day groups from both parishes visit and mark the boundary stones located on certain walls of the college by marking them with the year in chalk and beating them with willow sticks. The brief ceremony was led by our Chaplain, the Reverend Graeme Richardson, and was well-attended by students, staff and visitors.

bnc_old_boys1.jpgOn May 15th a BNC Old Boys football team returned to the Brasenose sports ground to play a current students XI. Led by Gareth Cadwallader (1977, PPE), the Old Boys team certainly looked the part, sporting specially embroidered football shirts, in Brasenose colours, provided by Lawrence Lever (1977, Law) and Gary Jackson (1978, Maths).

Buoyed by the news that the current students XI were in some disarray due to the well-timed Brasenose College Ball the previous evening, the BNC Old Boys started strongly, scoring two goals through Martin Fiennes (1980, Geography) and Danny Paffett (1977, Chemistry). With some stout defending by the Old Boys and squandered goal mouth chances by the students, the first half closed with a respectable 2-2 score line.

bnc_arts_festival.jpgThis year's annual Brasenose Arts Festival begins on Sunday 15th May. The festival features six days of theatre, music concerts, workshops, poetry readings and exhibitions as well as an outdoor summer bar, all organised by Brasenose students. This year's festival is kicked off with Trinity Term's Platnauer Concert. Festival  highlights include an Open Mic Night, Salsa Classes, a Comedy workshop with the Oxford Imps, a Cabaret showcasing the College's eclectic talent, the Brasenose Bake-Off followed by cake sale, communal mural painting and, last but not least, a knitting workshop.

professor_peter_somogyi.jpgProfessor Péter Somogyi, FRS and Kurti Senior Research Fellow at Brasenose College, has been awarded The Brain Prize by the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation. The Prize was awarded for the first time for outstanding contributions to neuroscience on the 2nd May 2011, and was shared between Péter Somogyi, Tamás Freund and György Buzsáki, three Hungarian educated neuroscientists, for "their wide-ranging, technically and conceptually brilliant research on the functional organization of neuronal circuits in the cerebral cortex, especially in the hippocampus, a region that is crucial for certain forms of memory."

Braseandrew_wiffen.jpgnose plumber,Andrew Wiffen, has completed the 2011 London Marathon, running to raise money for the Sobell Hospice Charity, which cares for people with life threatening illnesses.  

35 year old Andrew, who has worked for Brasenose College for the past 17 years, covered the 26 miles and 385 yards in 4 hours 44 minutes. He was inspired to run the Marathon following the death of his father from a brain tumour in 2007, when Andrew gave up smoking and took up football and running. Andrew was also running for Carmen Perez and Doreen Wright, greatly missed former colleagues at Brasenose who both spent time at Sobell House before they died.

weitzman.jpgThis year's Tanner Lectures, entitled ‘An Economist Tries to Grapple with Catastrophic Climate Change', will take place on 20 and 21 May in the Nelson Mandela Lecture Theatre at the Said Business School. They will be given by Martin L Weitzman, Professor of Economics at Harvard University.

Professor Weitzman is a fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has published widely in leading economics journals, and is the author of Income, Wealth and the Maximum Principle (Harvard 2003) and The Share Economy (Harvard 1984). His current research is focused on environmental economics, including climate change, the economics of catastrophes, cost-benefit analysis, long-run discounting, green accounting, and the comparison of alternative instruments for controlling pollution.

telethon.jpgBrasenose's second telethon, which took place during the last two weeks of March, saw an astounding £250,000 pledged to the College Annual Fund. We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took time to speak to us, to share their experiences of BNC and life after Oxford. We are particularly grateful to everyone who agreed to make a gift to the Annual Fund.

drandrew_stockley.jpgDr Andrew Stockley, the Senior Tutor of Brasenose College for the last five years, was farewelled in February. He has now taken up the position of Dean of Law at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, where he is also a member of the University's Senior Management Team. Dr Stockley (pictured) has written about his five years as Senior Tutor in the most recent edition of the Brazen Nose.

Brasenose welcomes Acting Senior Tutor Ms Karen Brill, who joins the College on secondment from her post as Assistant Registrar (Academic Affairs) in the Humanities Division. A new permanent Senior Tutor is currently being recruited, and should be in post from September 2011.

ale_verses_2011.jpgThe annual Ale Verses evening, held on Shrove Tuesday, was once again well attended and a tremendous success. Written by college members, the Ale Verses are satirical songs set to popular music and performed in Hall during a formal dinner. The evening was presided over by the Brasenose Chaplain, Rev'd Graeme Richardson, with the Organ Scholar, John Forster (Music 1st Year), providing accompaniment to the Verses. This year, 19 Verses were performed, set to music ranging from Yellow Submarine, Amazing Grace and YMCA. The winning entry, set to the music for the Jerusalem hymn, satirised the College's current building project.


A memorial service was held for Sir John Owen in Coventry Cathedral on Thursday March 24 at 3pm. The service was open to any Brasenose alumni that wanted to attend.


 restrictionsmayapply.jpg‘Restrictions May Apply' is new theatre production by Richard O'Brien, a third year Brasenose English and Modern Languages undergraduate. The play is the story of an unlikely couple who plan a weekend of romantic rediscovery on the Cornish King Arthur Trail, but IT consultant Mark hasn't reckoned for falconry, a medieval pageant and his girlfriend Izzie's complete disinterest. The play draws influence from Fawlty Towers, Peep Show and Morte d'Arthur.

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