Join UC Berkeley's Christopher Day as he gives an entertaining, illustrated lecture of the University of Oxford's history. The town of Oxford has a history that goes back 1,200 years. Yet it is the University, a mere 900 years old, that has most attracted the world's attention. Many of the great movements of English history were acted out at the University in part or in miniature: medieval monasticism; the Reformation; the English Civil War (when Oxford was garrisoned by the King and then taken by the Parliamentarians); the early modern burgeoning of art, literature and science; 18th-century grandeur; Victorian dynamism; and the 20th-century technological revolution have all left solid memorials in the city or its environs. Specifically, the history of Oxford provides a lens for the study of past developments and urgent current issues in Western education.
Until he moved to the International Programmes division of Continuing Education in 2006, Christopher Day was director of Studies for Local History with special responsibility for the master's program, which is designed to train students in sources and methods so as to equip them to carry out research for themselves. He continues to supervise master's and doctoral students.
Day's published work has appeared primarily within the volumes of the Victoria County History, the standard work of reference for English local history, for which he co-authored a mammoth History of Oxford. He has written the history of several towns and villages in the Oxford region and he was a contributor to the History of the University of Oxford and the Dictionary of National Biography. It was in recognition of his work as a local historian that in 1987 he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the learned society of archaeologists and historians founded in 1717.
His light and slightly irreverent style of presentation brings regular invitations to give lectures. Despite occasional radio and television appearances he has so far resisted temptations to give up the day job.
Christopher Day, M.A., FSA, is University Lecturer in Local History and Fellow of Kellogg College at Oxford University.