Professor Jose Harris (1941-2023)

St Catherine’s College is saddened to share the news that Professor Jose Harris FBA, Emeritus Professor of Modern History, has died aged 82.

Professor Harris had been a Fellow of St Catherine’s since 1978, she was a Fellow and Tutor in Modern History 1978-97 and Emeritus Fellow following her retirement, she also served as Vice-Master 2003-2005. She was Reader and then Professor of Modern History at Oxford from 1990—2007 and had previously been a lecturer at University College London; Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford; and lecturer and senior Lecturer at the London School of Economics, following her BA and PhD at the University of Cambridge.

Professor Harris was a modern historian specialising in social history, the history of social policy, political thought and the interplay between the three, especially in Britain, France, and Germany. Her wide-range of publications includes the seminal biography of William Beveridge. She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1993 and was a contributor to the London Review of Books and the Royal Academy’s work, most recently writing on Beatrice Webb, the first woman admitted to the Royal Academy and one of the founders of the London School of Economics.

Professor Harris was a loyal friend to St Catherine’s before and after her retirement. As recently as this summer, she led tours of alumni and other visitors around the College, teaching them about our own modern history. The College is very grateful to Professor Harris for her continued dedication to St Catherine’s, as well as her generosity, kindness, and rigorous intellect—a gratitude shared by her students, colleagues, and all who knew her.

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