St Edmund Hall Blog

The St Edmund Hall blog brings you the latest thought in academic research and interesting artefacts from our archive and library.

Please note that any opinions or views expressed by blog contributors are not shared or held by St Edmund Hall.

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No book rest for the wicked

15 May 2019

What happens when a group of teenagers are let loose with 17th century books?

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Dinosaur extinction - Roger Benson blog post

Mammals During the Extinction of Dinosaurs

8 May 2019

Professor and Tutor in Earth Sciences, Roger Benson discusses mammals and their jaws during the extinction of the dinosaurs

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The top half of the Morris Window in the College Chapel

The Morris Window

30 Apr 2019

Professor Jonathan Yates, our Picture and Chattels Fellow, discusses one of Oxford’s ‘hidden gems’ – the ‘Morris Window’ situated in the College’s chapel.

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Detail of a miniature of a wolf in a medieval bestiary

Celtic Magic

24 Apr 2019

English tutor, Professor Mark Williams discusses magical transformations in the Celtic ‘Four Branches of the Mabinogi’ and the problematic conflict between God’s powers and those of fictional enchanters.

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First image of a black hole - taken by the Event Horizon Telescope

Why the oohs and ahhs?

16 Apr 2019

Luminous coffee stain or momentous achievement? Professor Jeff Tseng weighs up the significance of the first picture of a black hole captured by the Event Horizon Telescope that was all over last week’s news.

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Eleanor Roosevelt

The First Lady and the Library: Eleanor Roosevelt and St Edmund Hall

9 Apr 2019

Learn about Eleanor Roosevelt’s visit to the Hall sixty years ago, plus James Howarth guides us through some American-related items in our library collection.

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Poster for 2019's medieval mystery cycle at St Edmund Hall

A Medieval Mystery Cycle for Oxford at St Edmund Hall

28 Mar 2019

Professor Henrike Lähnemann explains the popular tradition of mystery plays in the Middle Ages, and invites you to see a modern-day version performed at the College.

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A very honest, modest, & ingenious Man: Francis White and the Benefactors’ Board in St Peter-in-the-East

12 Mar 2019

St Edmund Hall’s Librarian James Howarth tells the story of Francis White and his legacy across the University and the city.

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Rousseau and Mini-Fridge in Karma Nabulsi's office


6 Mar 2019

Tutor in Politics and Library Fellow at St Edmund Hall, Karma Nabulsi discusses ‘The Man’, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and his relevance in Oxford.

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The Supper at Emmaus by Ceri Richards

Ceri Richards: Supper at Emmaus

27 Feb 2019

Learn about the commission of our striking altarpiece, and the genesis and development of the picture, in a post by Professor Jonathan Yates.

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The cover of Linda Yueh's book, 'The Great Economists'

What we can learn from the Great Economists

20 Feb 2019

Economist Dr Linda Yueh describes how lessons from history can be invaluable in tackling current issues such as slow economic growth and why wages are so low even as the economy improves.

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Alfred Brotherston Emden

Principal Emden: ‘the force that did what had waited 700 years’

13 Feb 2019

Archivist Rob Petre explains the huge impact of Alfred Brotherston Emden, without whom the College would likely not exist today.

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A revolving door. Image by Bradley Huchteman (

An Open and Shut Case: Membrane Transport in Health and Disease

4 Feb 2019

Professor Robert Wilkins explains the role of transport proteins and how we can target them to treat a broad spectrum of diseases, from arthritis to cancer.

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Inside St Edmund Hall's Chapel

An Introduction to the College Chapel

23 Jan 2019

Professor Jonathan Yates, our Picture and Chattels Fellow, tells the history of the seventeenth-century building and points out some of its interesting features.

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Ronald Reagan televised address from the Oval Office, outlining plan for Tax Reduction Legislation July, 1981 - White House Photo Office; Originally uploaded to Wikipedia by Happyme22 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Writing the History of Neoliberalism

15 Jan 2019

Professor David Priestland, who is currently writing a history of neoliberalism as a global phenomenon between the 1970s and 2008, explains the term and its appeal to him as a historian.

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The Old Library with scaffolding on its roof

New Life for the Old Library

8 Jan 2019

St Edmund Hall’s Librarian James Howarth describes the current renovation of the Old Library, giving a quick overview of its collections and its history since the building’s completion in 1686.

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A crochet chough in a Christmas tree in the Front Quad at St Edmund Hall

The Maths of the 12 Days of Christmas

20 Dec 2018

The question of how many legs are there in The 12 Days of Christmas was recently featured on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Here, the author of that puzzle Dr Tom Crawford explains how to use maths to unpick the answer.

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An embroidered Christmas card from World War I

The Ghost of Christmas Past: Christmas in the Archives

17 Dec 2018

Rob Petre, St Edmund Hall’s Archivist, discusses some of the Christmas cards in the College archive, sent during the two World Wars.

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