History with Joint Schools

At St Anne’s we are strongly committed to the ‘joint schools’: ‘History and …’  They are flexible; they are broad; and although formally they straddle disciplines, they represent well thought-out and coherent fields of study.


All the courses of this kind which we offer rest on the support of in-house College tutors on both sides of the so-called ‘joint schools’. So don’t be afraid to think ‘outside the box’. However, for purposes of information, do take a look at the website entries on History and the other ‘parent’ schools which supply much useful information (e.g. Modern Languages; Classics for the Ancient and Modern History course; Philosophy, Politics and Economics for History and Economics and History and Politics). The History page (above) will tell you about the St. Anne’s tutors; something about our teaching practice and commitment; specific features about College that are of benefit to students in the arts and social sciences (the library, travel grants); and relevant career paths.


History and Politics

The History and Politics tutors at St Anne’s are strongly committed to this popular course.  They uphold the commonsense propositions that past and present are seamlessly united; and that the notionally separate fascinations of modern politics and history must and do go together. The front-line tutors for this school are our 20th century Americanist (currently Dr Gareth Davies, but he is moving on and will be replaced); Peter Ghosh, whose subjects in intellectual history have included Max Weber, Antonio Gramsci and Maurice Cowling; and in Politics Dr Todd Hall, who is a Chinese specialist within International Relations.

Oxford has the largest history faculty in the world, and the largest Department of Politics and International Relations in the UK. The presence in College of five History tutors and lecturers as well as two active and senior members of Oxford University’s Politics and International Relations Department has helped make this College a powerfully attractive intellectual home for students of History and Politics.

A great advantage of History and Politics as a degree course is its breadth. Students on this course sharpen their judgement; refine their arguments; think hard about questions, problems and evidence; and they can detect when ignorant people (as can happen in politics) are faking knowledge and the authority that comes from knowledge. In career terms this degree is a way of keeping your mind and your options open: some of our graduates progress to work at postgraduate level; whilst others move into demanding professions such as the law, the City and the civil service. The College’s History and Politics graduates are strongly represented both in journalism and in public service, not least through teaching and or charitable foundations.

History and Economics

St Anne’s has a strong commitment to this school through its in-house tutors: Dr Terry O’Shaughnessy (Economics) and amongst the historians Peter Ghosh and our 20th century Americanist (Dr Gareth Davies). We are all agreed as to the obvious relevance of the study of Economics to a full understanding of the modern world, but also – and conversely – that thinking about economics is not merely a technical discipline.  It is a core component of what Max Weber called the ‘material culture’ of modern life: modern economic life and the assumptions that support it are historically specific. To understand Economics, one needs to be able to think historically and vice versa.

Note that in career terms the Economics component of the course gives this degree an obvious vocational element, which links it to a wide range of career paths where economics is relevant. On the other hand the breadth conferred by the History component allows you to keep your options open if you wish. So this course allows for a particularly wide variety of career paths, ranging from banking and consultancy through to the arts, journalism, teaching and the professions.

History and Modern Languages

Both the History and the Modern Languages departments at St Anne’s are among the largest and liveliest in the College. And the arts faculties at Oxford are some of the largest (if not the largest) in the world. College tutors (Fellows and Lecturers) cover a wide range of periods and specialist areas in History, as well as French, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Italian (both literature and language). We also have native language assistants for French. This means that, particularly at the beginning of the course, students can expect to spend a reasonable proportion of their time working in College; but of course, having found your feet, we want you to make use of the full resources of the wider University.

In History Professor Howard Hotson and Peter Ghosh have strong European research interests (in early modern Europe and modern Germany respectively); and our modern Americanist confronts the linguistic plethora which is 20th century America. On the Modern Language side, Professor Patrick McGuinness works on 19th- and 20th-century French literature; Dr Geraldine Hazbun specializes in the literature and historiography of medieval and Golden Age Spain; Dr Simon Park has exposed the worldly life of 16th century Portuguese poets; Dr Tom Kuhn works on German political literature in the 20th century, and in particular on Bertolt Brecht.