The Humanitas Visiting Professorship in Historiography is an ambition initiative at the University of Oxford that explores the many ways in which history is made, recorded, and shared.

The Visiting Professorship in Historiography is hosted by Trinity College, Oxford. It has been made possible by the generous support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation.

Simon Schama 2015-2016

Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University and a Contributing Editor of the Financial Times. He is the author of sixteen books and the writer-presenter of more than forty documentaries on art, history and literature for BBC2.

Simon Schama’s art criticism for The New Yorker won the National Magazine Award for criticism in 1996; his film on Bernini from The Power of Art won an Emmy in 2007 and his series on British history and The American Future: a History, Broadcast Critics Guild awards. He won the NCR non fiction prize for Citizens, National Book Critics Circle award for Rough Crossings, the WH Smith Literary Award for Landscape and Memory. He writes on cooking and food for GQ; fashion for Harpers Bazaar and on everything else for the FT. He curated the Government Art Collection show Travelling Light at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and has collaborated with Anselm Kiefer, John Virtue and Cecile B. Evans on contemporary art exhibitions and installations. His The Story of the Jews was broadcast on television and published as a book in the UK in autumn 2013, and in the US in spring 2014; the second volume of the book will be out in 2016. His latest project is Face of Britain, a book, television series and display at the National Portrait Gallery in London in autumn 2015.

The Humanitas Visiting Professorship in Historiography is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation

Barbara Rosenwein 2014-2015

Barbara Rosenwein is an internationally renowned historian and a professor at Loyola University, Chicago.

Rosenwein has lectured throughout the world, including France, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Spain, Germany, Israel, Sweden, Taiwan, and Australia.

In her exploration of the history of emotions, she has edited Anger’s Past: The Social Uses of an Emotion in the Middle Ages and completed several influential publications, the most important of which are Worrying about Emotions in History and “Problems and Methods in the History of Emotions.

In the videos to the right Rosenwein discusses the concept of the history of emotions and the practice of mapping generations of feeling.

In How Can There Be a History of Emotions Rosenwein presents the concept of emotional communities and illustrates how they can be used as a tool to different understand periods of history.

Then in Generations of Feeling Rosenwein discusses two distinct emotional groups from the time of the English Civil War; showing how the development and use of emotional terms reflect their particular historical vantage point.

Lynn Hunt 2013-2014

Lynn Hunt is Eugene Weber Professor of Modern European History at UCLA.

Lynn Hunt’s Humanitas Visiting Professorship, Dilemmas of History in a Global Age, examined the relationships between human rights, emotions, and our idea of the ‘self’.

Declarations of rights, Hunt argued in her opening lecture Do Human Rights Need a History?, do not emerge from long historical developments but rather from an acute sense of outrage. This poses a problem for the assertions of ‘timelessness’ and ‘self-evidence’ that often accompany declarations of rights.

Sandra Fredman, (Oxford’s Rhodes Professor of Law and the co-director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations) gave a response to Hunt’s lecture, building on the ideas raised as a way of looking at the future of human rights.

Her Humanitas tenure was concluded by a roundtable discussion on the Histories of the Self  with Professor Lyndal Roper (Oxford’s Regius Professor of History) and Professor Elleke Boehmer (Oxford’s Professor of World Literature in English).

Christopher Bayly 2012-2013

Christopher Bayly is Emeritus Professor of Imperial and Naval History and Director of the South Asian Studies Centre, University of Cambridge.

Christopher Bayly series began with a lecture, titled The challenge to Euro-centric history: The legacies of Marshall GS Hodgson. He discussed the European and North American historiography of Islam from the late nineteenth century up to and beyond the monumental work in the 1970s of Marshall Hodgson. Professor Bayly highlighted the relevance of this work to the intellectual history of European and American engagement with the broader Islamic world.

Professor Bayly’s second lecture, Albert Hourani revisited: Arabic and Indian thought in the liberal age, took Albert Hourani’s seminal work, Arabic thought in the Liberal Age (1962) as its point of departure for a consideration of transnational intellectual history as an emerging dimension of historical writing, particularly around themes of liberalism, religion, and community in the global south in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  • Share :