About the Course

History and English is a Joint School which allows undergraduates to inform themselves about, and to participate in, many of the most exciting theoretical and practical debates in historical and literary studies. It is a challenging course covering many of the areas where the latest research is transforming the parent Schools.

Both the History and English tutors are committed to interdisciplinary teaching and research, and to the expansion of the Joint School. Professor Kewes is Chair of the Joint Standing Committee for History and English and both she and Dr Gajda teach interdisciplinary bridge papers for History and English.

Teaching takes the form of tutorials and classes, many of which will be organized and taken by the Fellows and Lecturers of the College. You will also receive tuition from Fellows and Lecturers of other colleges, especially on the History side of the course. Attendance at, and production of work for, tutorials and classes is compulsory, and must be given priority over all other activities. The University organizes courses of lectures which cover the syllabus, but which are not compulsory, and which are not designed to prepare candidates for a particular examination paper. Tutors will, however, be happy to advise undergraduates concerning which lectures are likely to prove most beneficial.

Students at Jesus find themselves welcomed into a serious, lively, and good-humoured academic community with every opportunity to discuss their thoughts in tutorials, seminars, and College events.

Students reading for the joint school of History and English enjoy the benefits of two subject societies. The Herbert English Society provides a forum for exchange of ideas and discussion of literature, criticism, and the arts. The Society invites poets, playwrights, novelists, academics, journalists, and cultural historians. Our recent speakers have included the Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri, Marina Warner, Philip Pullman, Bernard O’Donoghue, Craig Raine, Hermione Lee, Sally Shuttleworth, William St Clair, Blair Worden and the acclaimed poet Geoffrey Hill.

Jesus College students also run a lively History association, the J. R. Green Society, which is the oldest student History Society in Oxford. It hosts informal talks and organises a number of social events each year. Recent speakers have included Ian Kershaw, Lyndal Roper, Peter Heather, Quentin Skinner, Rana Mitter, Hew Strachan, Julia Smith, and Faramerz Dabhoiwala.

For further information about the course, see the video available on the University website here. This video features two current Jesus students: Saanjh Gupta (2nd year History and English undergraduate) and Chris Gausden (2nd year DPhil student writing an interdisciplinary thesis on early modern court culture jointly supervised by Dr Alexandra Gajda and Professor Paulina Kewes).

Subject notes

To see the latest subject notes for History and English - which contain information about our tutorial fellows, the admissions process and the course itself - please consult the below link.