Welcome to the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford. Among subjects in the Humanities, Oriental Studies is unique in introducing students to cultures and civilisations that do not usually form part of the mainstream curriculum in British schools. The courses present both the major traditions of the regions studied and, in most cases, their modern developments. All courses include language, literature, history and culture, and there are a wide range of options in such fields as art and archaeology, history, literature, philosophy, religion and modern social studies.The following are the principal areas of study:
In addition to the above subject areas, a major benefaction from the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai has fully endowed a new Chair of Buddhist Studies at Oxford. For more information please see the Buddhist Studies section of this website.
Oriental Studies has a long history in Oxford. The Bodleian and other libraries have acquired magnificent collections. The Oriental Institute, Bodleian Japanese, Indian Institute, Bodleian K B Chen China Centre Libraries, and the Leopold Muller Memorial Library for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, offer loan collections in their respective fields. Adjacent to the Oriental Institute is the Ashmolean Museum, which houses superb collections. The Sackler Library includes the principal library for Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.
Most courses offer the opportunity to spend time in the region being studied. The Arabic course includes a year in the Middle East, the Persian and Turkish courses a year in Iran or Turkey respectively, the Hebrew course an optional year in Israel. Both the Chinese and Japanese courses include a year abroad for all undergraduates in their second year, where they attend a course at a university which has been especially designed for Oxford’s undergraduates.
Further information about individual subjects can be found on this website within the relevant subject areas, accessed via the navigation bar above the banner picture at the top of each page.
Lectures, Seminars & Conferences:
Lecture: 15 February 2017
Books and Documents in Ancient China
Books and Documents in Ancient China - Olivier Venture (EPHE, Paris)
The Hilary Term lecture in our WMTC series will be given Olivier Venture, Maitrise de conferences, EPHE, Paris, on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 at 5pm in the Magrath Room.
RESEARCH IN ORIENTAL STUDIES - SEMINAR SERIES - HILARY TERM 2017
Mondays - 5pm - Faculty Room - Oriental Institute - Refreshments will be served
For more information, see here.
Oxford Centre for Global History: Transnational and Global History Seminar - Hilary 2017
A Unique Seminar for Graduate Historians at Oxford
TGHS is the only graduate-led seminar at the University of Oxford focused on themes of global history
The Seminar is active throughout the academic year, hosting an exciting and varied list of speakers, including both established and early career researchers.
The Seminar is known for its informal settings, which encourage participation in a stimulating and wide-ranging discussion.
Join ‘Oxford Transnational & Global History Seminar’ on Facebook to receive information on
upcoming speakers and events. For more information about dates and venues, also see here.
Traditions in Motion: The Circulation of Texts, 1100-1900
Quarrell Room, Exeter College - Thursdays, 2:15pm, followed by tea
All are welcome
Week 1 (19 January) Stefano Zacchetti (Balliol College, Oxford )
Not what the Buddhists did: Matteo Ricci’s Chinese Translation of Epictetus
Week 2 (26 January) Alastair Hamilton (American University in Cairo)
Johann Michael Wansleben: an early use of Arabic sources in Ottoman Egypt
Week 3 (2 February) Ada Rapoport-Albert (University College, London)
Trans-cultural Sectarians: The Messianic Cult of Jacob Frank and His Daughter in Eighteenth-Century Poland
Week 4 (9 February) Peter Hill (Christ Church College, Oxford)
The First Arabic Translations of Enlightenment Literature: Syrians, Greeks and Franks in Damietta, 1808-1818
Week 5 (16 February) No Meeting
Week 6 (23 February) Elliott Horowitz
A Sixteenth-Century Hebrew Catechism by a Convert from Judaism, and its Use by Modern Missionaries
Week 7 (2 March) Thomas Roebuck (University of East Anglia)
Thomas Smith (1638-1710) and His Journey to the Levant: Continuities and Transformations in Oriental Scholarship
Week 8 (9 March) Krisztina Szilágyi (University of Cambridge)
The Story of ‘Antar in Jewish and Christian Manuscripts
Convenors: John-Paul Ghobrial (History) and Joanna Weinberg (Oriental Studies)
This seminar is supported by funding from the Oxford Unit for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and the Programme in Eastern Mediterranean Studies in the History Faculty.
Christians and Jews in Ottoman Society: A Workshop in Oxford
Organiser: John-Paul Ghobrial, University of Oxford (email@example.com)
Dates: 3-5 July 2017 (two and a half days)
This workshop has the explicit purpose of the publication of a volume of collected essays. As such, we invite submissions for papers from scholars who will be able to adhere to the provisional schedule detailed on the page linked below. We are interested in papers that engage with the general subject in different ways. For example, some papers might consider aspects of everyday life among specific communities of dhimmis, while others might offer more, general accounts of the place of dhimmis in Ottoman society. The main criterion is that papers must engage with wider questions about the place of dhimmis within various contexts of Ottoman, Muslim, or imperial society. Given limits of space and time, it is unlikely that we will be able to select papers that focus only on practices within specific dhimmi communities, i.e., all papers must engage in a meaningful way with the status of these communities as Ottoman subjects.
Proposals should take the form of an Abstract (no more than 250 words, including title) and a short Cover Letter introducing yourself and including details of your current institutional affiliation and any previous publications (no more than 1 page). When preparing your proposal, we strongly encourage you to consider the section: ‘Some Propositions’ on the News and Events page.
Proposals should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 20 February 2017.
Edward Ullendorff Medal for Semitic Languages and Ethiopian Studies
The Faculty of Oriental Studies would like to congratuate Dr Sebastian Brock FBA on being awarded the Edward Ullendorff Medal for Semitic Languages and Ethiopian Studies for his extensive contribution to the study of Syriac language and literature.
The Edward Ullendorff Medal is awarded annually for scholarly distinction and achievements in the field of Semitic Languages and Ethiopian Studies. This award commemorates Professor Edward Ullendorff FBA (1920-2011). His widow, Mrs Dina Ullendorff, has generously supported the establishment of a Medal in memory of her husband in view of his long association with the Academy, which he valued greatly.
Dr Frances Reynolds (Shillito Fellow in Assyriology) appeared on 'In Our Time' on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 3 November as part of a panel discussing Gilgamesh, with Melvyn Bragg. To hear this via BBC iPlayer, please go BBCiPlayer Radio and follow the link here.