Professor Alan Bowman, FBA, Camden Professor of Ancient History, will be Acting Principal of Brasenose from 1 October 2010 for the academic year 2010-11, during which Professor Roger Cashmore has been granted research leave.

hollybush_row.jpgBrasenose College has won Oxford City Council's David Steel Sustainable Building Award  for its new graduate accommodation centre in Hollybush Row. The award is for environmentally friendly, resource efficient buildings and is named in honour of former council employee, David Steel, who died in 2006. Entries were judged by a panel of city councillors and officers.

Hollybush Row is centrally located, close to the railway station and Said Business School. Built in 2008, it comprises of single rooms with en suite bathrooms and shared kitchens. The building has doubled the accommodation that Brasenose can offer to its postgraduate students.

andrew_sillett.jpgHaving achieved a first class degree in Classics in summer 2010, Andrew Sillett has won the Helmore Award for his post-graduate studies. The award is being combined with a bursary from Brasenose College to constitute four years funding. The Helmore Award, administered by the Oxford University Society, was created by a bequest left by Lady Margaret Eleanor Helmore. The first award was made in October 2000.

By way of preparation for his DPhil, Andrew will first take a one year Master of Studies in Greek or Latin Language and Literature programme before progressing to doctoral study. He hopes to research the works of the Roman orator and statesman Cicero in order to find continuities between his speeches and his theoretical works on politics.

Morgan.JPGA recent edition of BBC Radio 4's Something Understood is hosted by Brasenose Classics Fellow, Dr Llewelyn Morgan. In the programme, he recounts how he came across an old Russian samovar, a kind of kettle, in his grandmother's attic. The object was a mystery, but a quick polish revealed an inscription that had remained secret for many years; "Kandahar 1881". Using his flair for piecing together the past through objects and fragments of information, Dr Morgan was compelled to attempt to track down the owner of the samovar by trawling through thousands of names and places that appear in the census. The programme includes readings from John Donne, Keith Douglas, J G Farrell and Lionel Shriver and music by Maurice Ravel, Alfred Schnittke, and Fridge. Adam Humphreys joins Brasenose College in September 2010 as the new Politics Fellow.  He has made the short journey from Oxford's Department of Politics and International Relations where he has, for the last three years, been a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow, participating in a scheme to enable outstanding early career academics to develop their research and teaching experience. 

Dr Humphreys' research examines the nature and uses of theories of international politics.  He explores the often complex relationship between our abstract ideas about how international relations work and our intuitive responses to specific problems.  As a corollary of this, he also investigates the relationship between social scientific and historical approaches to international politics.  He will continue to develop this research during his time at Brasenose, as well as pursuing interests in 20th century British politics and foreign policy.


With a first class degree in Physics under her belt, Jenny Foreman is off on the cycling adventure of a lifetime. With her partner Finlay Dawson, she will cover the length of the old Inca Empire from Quito in Equador to Buenos Aires in aid of Cancer Research UK. Travelling down the humid equatorial coast, across the Bolivian Altiplano and down through Argentina, they will take in some stunning scenery, visit fabulous ruins, and experience the different cultures of Latin America. They will also have to contend with altitudes of 4,800 metres and penetrating night-time temperatures of up to -12C in a tiny tent.

simon_sprague.jpgSimon Sprague, a DPhil chemistry student at Brasenose College, has won a prestigious scholarship for Stanford University. Simon will be the AstraZeneca Research Scholar at Stanford, awarded by the Fulbright Commission. His thesis research focused on simplifing the synthetic route to a cancer drug, working within the Burton Group at Oxford's Chemistry Research Laboratory. Simon studied Natural Sciences as an undergraduate at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, before moving to Brasenose College to specialize in organic chemistry.

On winning the scholarship, Simon commented:"I thoroughly enjoyed my DPhil in Oxford - this was in no small part due to the support I received from Brasenose. The college has a fantastic sociable graduate community, which allows you to meet people from completely different walks of life and subjects - much better than being cooped up in the lab with chemists all the time!"



troubles.jpgThe novelist J G Farrell, who read Modern Languages at Brasenose College in the 1950s, has been posthumously awarded The Lost Man Booker Prize for his 1970 novel, Troubles.

Set in Ireland shortly after the First World War, Troubles tells the story of Major Brendan Archer, who has gone to County Waterford to visit a woman he thinks he may be engaged to marry. From her home, a run-down but once grand Irish hotel, he witnesses the Irish War of Independence unfold. The book is the first instalment of the Empire Trilogy; the second, The Siege of Krishnapur, won the Booker Prize in 1973.

giles_wiggs.jpgDr Giles Wiggs, Brasenose Fellow in Geography and University Reader in Aeolian Geomorphology, has been awarded a Natural Environment Research Council grant, in conjunction with colleagues at Oxford University, the University of Sheffield, Imperial College, the Met Office and the University of Cape Town. The £1.2 million grant funds a project to model dust emission based on observed data sets rather than simulations.

tamingoftheshrew.jpgA new production of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew was shown in Magdalen College President's Garden in late July. It featured Adam Baghdadi (Economics and Management - 2nd Year) in the role of Gremio.

The production begins with Lucentio, a modern-day rich and privileged undergraduate, arriving in Padua with his minder and companion, Tranio, as a piece of street theatre is being set up. Realities merge as they contrive to abandon their spectator roles and enter the world of the play (within a play). Donning the period costume of the other 'actors', they become absorbed into the storyline of Baptista Minola and his daughters.

The play was shown in Magdalen College President's Garden from Wednesday 21st July to Saturday 24th July, and was then taken on tour to Stratford, Covent Garden and finally Tokyo.

mike_taylor.jpgThe college was deeply saddened by the sudden death this term of Michael Taylor, our Head Porter.  Mike had been with us since 1992, and became a much-loved (even iconic) figure in college life.  He was generally the first person visitors and freshers met; and upheld the dignity of his position without ever losing his sense of humour at the occasional absurdities of lodge life.  He is survived by his wife Pat, daughter Juli, son Joe and granddaughter Annabel.

fergusmillar.jpgProfessor Fergus Millar, Emeritus Fellow at Brasenose College, has been awarded a knighthood in the Birthday Honours List for services to scholarship. Professor Millar, amongst the most influential ancient historians of recent times, has published widely in Roman history for over five decades, and is currently researching the Late Roman Near East from the 4th to 6th century CE. Recently, he published A Greek Roman Empire: Power and Belief under Theodosius II, 408-450. On hearing of the knighthood, Professor Millar commented "I was surprised. It's late in life but I'm pleased, and it's recognition of the subject that I do."

Brasenose College congratulates Professor Millar on this exceptional achievement.


timramsey.jpgTim Ramsey, currently in the second year of a Classics degree, has been awarded two prizes for his top ranked performance in the Honour Moderations examinations. Firstly, for his performance in the Latin paper, he was awarded the Hertford Prize. Secondly, for his performance in the Greek paper, he was awarded the Harold Lister Sunderland Prize.

The College is delighted to welcome Philip Parker who comes from the YWCA England and Wales based in Oxford, where he is Director of Corporate Services.  Philip has significant charity and commercial experience and is a Chartered Management Accountant.  He has an Economics Postgraduate Certificate (Distinction) from Birkbeck College London and a BA Hons (2:1) in Classics from Emmanuel College Cambridge.

 Philip will take up his post on 20 September 2010 and succeeds Brian Carroll who leaves on 30 June at the end of his contract as Interim Bursar.


beating_the_bounds.jpgAscension Day, which fell on the 13th May 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. This rite has its ancient origins in the days before maps were commonplace, when it was important for property owners to establish and maintain the boundaries to their land. A custom developed whereby the bounds of land were periodically walked, and boundary stones struck to ‘mark' these bounds. 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

0020a.jpgDavid Cameron became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 11 May 2010 on the basis of a coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.  He read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Brasenose College from 1985 to 1988. He was described as "one of the ablest" students by his Politics tutor, Professor Vernon Bogdanor, who retires this year after a distinguished academic career.

no_exit.jpgA performance of John-Paul Sartre's one-act masterpiece, No Exit was shown in the Frewin Undercroft from Tuesday 25th May to Saturday 29th May.

In No Exit three wildly different people meet in hell, only to get sucked into each others' vicious power games and realise where the torture is really coming from. Perhaps Sartre's best known play, the work contains the famous line "L'enfer, c'est les autres", usually translated as "Hell is other people". Featuring only four characters and one set, No Exit was written during the Second World War and first performed at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier a few months before the liberation of Paris.

turn_again_lane_poster.jpgAlthough a very successful Brasenose Arts Festival has now come to a close, there has been no respite in the creative output of College members. 'Turn Again Lane' is a new musical with script, lyrics and direction by Richard O'Brien (English and French 2nd Year), and it showed from the 18th-22nd May at the Moser Theatre, Wadham College. It tells the story of the development of a relationship between two Oxford students, Chris and Louise, against the backdrop of the city and the university and the pressures it creates. The two define themselves through books, films and indie music, both as self-image and defence mechanism, but both have to learn the difference between what you like, and what you're like as a person.

carole_bourne-taylor.jpgBrasenose College is pleased to announce that Dr Carole Bourne-Taylor, who has been Lecturer in French since 2000, has been elected a Supernumerary Fellow of the College. She teaches a range of papers spanning the late 18th to the 21st Century. As a native speaker she also teaches language. Carole's research is in the field of comparative literature. She has just completed a chapter on Virginia Woolf and the Continent for a collection of essays, Virginia Woolf in Context, published by Cambridge University Press.  Her doctoral thesis, The Imaginary World of Virginia Woolf was published in 2001, but her research is eclectic and in both English and French.

arts_festival.jpgThe annual Brasenose Arts Festival began on Monday 10th May. The festival featured six days of open-air plays, music concerts, workshops, poetry readings and exhibitions as well as an outdoor summer bar, all organised by Brasenose students. Highlights included a performance of ‘Dirty Linen' by Tom Stoppard; an Art Exhibition that was open daily, displaying a collection of fine art, photography, sculpture and short films; the Shakespeare-a-thon, a dramatic read-through of the complete works of the bard; a Classical Concert; Speaker's Corner; a Cabaret showcasing the College's eclectic talent; and a 1950s Theme Night.

Read the Prospectus

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter for news from students and tutors, Schools Liaison and other interesting things