Tag Archives: History of Art

Oxford Brookes student joins regional newspaper on a journalism internship

Emma Corr JournalismEmma Corr, a History and History of Art joint honours graduate from Oxford Brookes University has recently completed a journalism internship with regional newspaper the Leicester Mercury.

The week-long placement held at their Leicestershire headquarters allowed Emma to experience the pace of a working press office.IMG_6736

Keen to make the most of the internship, Emma presented her own ideas for articles to the press editor and wrote four published articles over the course of her placement as well as shadowing a journalist in court.

Emma said “I have always had an interest in journalism and current affairs and wanted to gain some experience with a well established newspaper.”

“My final project at the end of the week involved going to court and shadowing a court correspondent. This was particularly exciting as I had never seen a live court case before, and getting to hear verdicts and observe how journalists followed up real cases was really interesting.”IMG_6732

Emma’s articles included a piece on the infamous Red Bull Challenge, a world-wide trial, involving teams of students challenging themselves to travel across Europe using only cans of red bull as currency. She also wrote an inspiring piece about a mother running the London Marathon for a local charity on behalf of her daughter.

More information about studying History or History of Art can be found here.

More doctoral success for the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion in a record-breaking semester

PG graduation

Last week, Melanie Bashor successfully defended her doctoral thesis entitled “Engineering Tolerance: Origins of Multicultural Education Policies in the Atlantic World from 1941‒1988.

Melanie’s success rounds off a record-breaking semester for the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion, bringing the total of doctoral completions this year to ten.

Recent completions also include:

  • Dr Stephen Massie, “The Imperialism of Cecil John Rhodes: Metropolitan Perceptions of a Colonial Reputation.”
  • Dr Jenny Wright, “Public Health Women Doctors in England, 1965-1991.”
  • Dr Christine Bianco, “Modern Art for Middle America: American Abstraction in Mass Magazines, 1946–1960.” Director: Dr Elizabeth Darling
  • Dr Catriona Gilmour-Hamilton: “A Cohort of One: Oral Narratives of Cancer Research in Britain, 1970–2010.” Directors: Dr Viviane Quirke and Dr Marius Turda

“I’m absolutely delighted. Doctorates don’t happen overnight, of course, and the success we’re currently enjoying reflects years of hard work on the part of students and their supervisors right across the department”Dr Tom Crook, Postgraduate Research Tutor

“I’m absolutely delighted. Doctorates don’t happen overnight, of course, and the success we’re currently enjoying reflects years of hard work on the part of students and their supervisors right across the department,” said Dr Tom Crook, Postgraduate Research Tutor for the department.

“The good thing,” he added, “is that this hard work continues, and there are plenty more in the pipeline. So watch this space!”

The department of History, Philosophy and Religion has nine interconnected research communities, supporting our doctoral students and encouraging wide participation through partnerships, research centres, conferences and public events.

Further information about our current cohort of doctoral students, including student profiles, can be found here.


Framed! History of Art department bring portraits to life at Ashmolean LiveFriday event

Ashmolean LiveFriday

On Friday 13 May, the History of Art team at Oxford Brookes headed to the Ashmolean museum for LiveFriday, an after-hours experience.

This time around, the theme for the evening was Framed!, focussing on portraits across the museum and beyond, from gargoyles to pop-art, self-portraits to caricatures, and face-swaps to selfies.

Alongside other live performances, hands-on creative workshops and behind the scenes talks and tours, the History of Art team collaborated by designing a portrait trail across the museum’s galleries. It featured a range of portraits and sculptures from the 16th to the 20th century and included highlights such as Titian’s portrait of the Genoese merchant Ashmolean cut out photoGiacomo Doria and Reynolds’ intriguing double portrait of James Paine and his wayward son.

The trail led visitors to various portraits and sculptures based on a set of clues; at each exhibit an academic member of staff or student from the History of Art course were on hand to explain the piece in more depth

Popular features of the portrait trail were the life size cut outs of two famous artworks from the museum’s collection. The Portrait of a Young Man by Alessandro Allori and Music by Edward Burne-Jones proved popular with both young and old visitors.

It was such fun to take part in an event which allowed us, staff and students alike, to work together on a light-hearted, but carefully researched, project and to engage the public in discussion on some of our favourite works in the Ashmolean Museum. It was a wonderful opportunity for some of our second year students to collaborate on an event outside the usual lectures and assessments, really highlighting how exciting art-historical research can be!”
Dr Marika Leino, Senior Lecturer in History of Art

Events such as LiveFriday give visitors the opportunity to experience the museum and explore the collections after hours.

For more information on Ashmolean LiveFriday events please visit their website.

Department of History, Philosophy and Religion receives excellent rankings in new Guardian University League tables

HPR guardian rankings photo


The Guardian UK released their new University league tables and the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion achieved excellent rankings for a range of subjects.

Philosophy at Oxford Brookes, is currently ranked 10th for its subject, with a high score of 91.9% of final-year students satisfied with the overall quality of their course, according to the latest National Student Survey (NSS).

History at Oxford Brookes, has recently jumped from 50 to 39 in this year’s Guardian University leagues tables, with a high score of 96.7% of final-year students satisfied with the quality of teaching they received on their course (NSS).

History of Art at Oxford Brookes, is currently ranked 20th for its subject, compared to other providers in the UK and received a rating of 96% of final-year students being satisfied with the overall quality of their course, according to the latest National Student Survey (NSS).

I am delighted to see these results, which are testimony to the hard work and enthusiasm of our teaching staff who use their research to offer inspiring modules and to the committed, high-calibre undergraduates who choose to come and study with us.”
Professor Joanne Begiato, Head of the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion

Get Published! A History of Art student showcases her research

Vy TranThird year History of Art student Vy Tran presented her research on the representation of food in 17th-century Dutch still life

On Friday 15 April Oxford Brookes held their first ever University-wide research conference showcasing current undergraduate and postgraduate student research.

Free and open to all students, staff, and the wider community, the event consisted of an informal marketplace where students could present their research in a poster format.

Third year History of Art and Film studies student, Vy Tran, presented her research on the representation of food in 17th-century Dutch still life.

Speaking about her motivation to take part in the event, Vy said:

I decided to take part in the event because I wanted to present my undergraduate research to a wider audience than just people on my course. The chance to publish my research is a worthwhile opportunity and as an undergraduate student, there are not many chances to do this. I also really wanted to take part in this event to challenge myself and see what I could gain from it.”

Over 60 students presented their research at the conference with research ranging from the use of lasers to visualise plant responses to pests, across disciplines to cult mind-sets linked to the radicalisation of terrorists. The wide scale of the event allowed students from different disciplines to share knowledge and gain experience in a professional academic context.

Vy added:

The best thing was that I met so many students from different disciplines and got to learn about their fascinating research through friendly conversations. As a result, I gained new knowledge and felt more connected to the rest of the university. Overall it was a great and well-organised event, and I would highly recommend other students to participate next year.”

The conference was organised as part of a larger programme to enhance the Student Experience. More information on Get Published! and other  projects can be found on the PESE webpages.

Doctorate success for the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion

London Illustrated News, 1883

London Illustrated News, 1883

Congratulations to Mary O’Neill, who last week successfully defended her PhD thesis, entitled “Model Citizens: Fisherfolk imagery from West Cornwall, 1860-1910.”

The thesis recovers the ways largely metropolitan artists depicted Cornish fishing culture during the mid- to late Victorian period; or rather, as Mary argued, selectively packaged this culture for an urban art market hungry for images of a “real” – but in fact romanticised- Cornwall.

Mary’s research was supported by a prestigious AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award, and was directed by Professor Christiana Payne, with further advice from Dr Matthew Craske and Dr Peter Forsaith.

After the exam, a delighted- and relieved- Mary joined her supervisors, examiners and fellow students for some celebratory drinks in the Tonge common room. A fine start to the festive season for all concerned!

Speaking about Mary’s success, Tom Crook, the Postgraduate Research Tutor, said:

“This is a wonderful achievement for Mary, and we’re very proud not just of her brilliant thesis but also her contribution to our postgraduate research community in both the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion and English and Modern Languages – she will be much missed.”

Mary is the third student this semester from the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion to obtain a doctorate.

Parisian adventures for Brookes Art History students

DSCF1349-e1394717605512Every spring, Oxford Brookes second-year History of Art students get the opportunity to study in Paris.

Students and staff stay in a hostel converted from 17th-century houses in the Marais, a centrally located and extraordinarily evocative area. A broad range of guided visits are offered; this year they range from highlights of the great collections of the Louvre to Monet’s Water Lilies at the Orangerie, from the Gothic glories of the Sainte Chapelle to Le Courbusier’s modernist masterpiece, the Villa la Roche.

The field trip to Paris is a very important feature of the Brookes History of Art programme. Students undertake it in the second semester of their second year, so it stands right at the heart of their course. The field trip is not only a great academic experience, but also a valuable social one, giving the whole second year an opportunity to spend an extended period together. The guided visits provide the opportunity to concentrate in detail on individual works, small groups of works or monuments, thus building on the experience of studying works of art and architecture at first hand that forms a central part of our teaching. For most students it proves to be an unforgettable part of their Oxford Brookes degree.