History is large and vibrant field with the College. At any one time, St Catherine’s has about thirty undergraduates reading History, or the joint degrees of History and Modern Languages, History and Politics, History and Economics, and History and English.
St Catherine’s College has a particular association with History. Alan Bullock, the founding Master of the College, was a distinguished historian of the twentieth century. Famous for his biography of Hitler, and for a comparative study of Hitler and Stalin, Bullock gave the College a particular association with the discipline which it has retained and nurtured.
St Catherine’s does not limit the choice of its History undergraduates, and students are able to study any of the very wide range of papers made available by the History Faculty. The two History Fellows, Marc Mulholland and Amanda Power, between them teach a large number of papers concerning the periods from 1400-2013, and they co-teach theoretical and methodological papers. St Catherine’s tutors organise tuition for students wishing to take other papers with experts at other colleges.
The Library is especially well stocked with history books relating to the many options within the BA History course. Indeed, it is one of the best of all Oxford college libraries in the field.
Every term we hold a St Catz History Soiree, an evening during which all History students and Fellows of the college gather to listen to a short talk on a historical topic accompanied by wine and chat.
A College Essay Prize for History offers an opportunity and an incentive for undergraduates to pursue a personal field of study and to practise their historical writing.
In their final year all students are invited to ‘exam labs’ run by the tutors which help them to hone their examination technique and academic writing.
In 2013 St Catherine’s was host to its first interdisciplinary conference intended primarily for undergraduates. Historians and English students met to discuss various aspects of their work, and this was followed by a convivial dinner. There will be further conferences like this one in future years.
Close and supportive collaboration with College Fellows in related disciplines means that the joint degrees of History and Politics, History and Modern Languages, History and English, and History and Economics are well looked after in St Catherine’s. In addition, St Catherine’s has a vibrant community of Art Historians, and while they take a separate degree course, they participate alongside the Historians in a number of social and academic events.