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Course 1

Ideas and society in Victorian Britain and the British Empire, 1815-1914

Oxford has the largest and the best university history faculty in the world, and our two history courses draw on the remarkable tutors here to present unique, interdisciplinary courses.

The first course uses the writing, art and architecture of Victorian Britain to explore the social, intellectual and cultural transformations of the age; and to address the ways in which contemporaries in Britain and the British colonies celebrated and critiqued Britain’s constitutional, economic, and imperial ‘progress’ during the century and also considers the strong criticisms of Victorian culture and society which developed within Britain.

This course takes special advantage of the buildings of Oxford, allowing you to view a series of important works of engineering and architecture from the period first-hand to better understand how the Victorian age helped build the modern world.

Course 2

Gender, Religion, and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

In our second course you will explore the relationship between religious and social change and the intense paranoia about witches. You will do this by looking at why witchcraft was so associated with women, and how this links back to changing ideas about gender in a world being turned upside-down.

Course Photos


Subject Tutors

Dr Josh Bennet,

Lincoln College, Oxford

Dr Bennet read for BA, MSt, and DPhil degrees in History at Christ Church, Oxford. During his doctoral work, he held scholarships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, in addition to a Scouloudi Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research in London. After holding a Stipendiary Lectureship in History at St John’s College, Oxford, and the Walter Dingwall Junior Research Fellowship in History at Christ Church, he joined Lincoln as the Darby Fellow in Modern History in 2020.

Dr Leif Dixon,

Regent’s Park College, Oxford

Leif graduated with a First Class degree in History from the University of Sussex in 2000, and went on to take his doctorate at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford.  In 2008 he was awarded a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, which was based at St. Catharine's College, University of Cambridge.  He returned to Oxford in 2013, and for the last nine years has been the Director of Studies for History at Regent's Park College, where he won the Oxford University Student Union award for Outstanding Tutor in the Humanities in 2016.  Leif's research interests surround the relationship between religious ideas and wider culture in the English Reformation.  His publications and projects include work on the relationship between theology and pastoral contexts, anxieties about atheism, witchcraft belief, the role of emotions in shaping radical religious ideas, and the ways in which language about God was gendered.

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