Oxford Minds

Event series for postgraduate students led by the Social Sciences Division

Providing social science graduate students with an inspiring, interactive, and inter-disciplinary educational experience

Oxford is built on people, and the way they engage with pressing global issues within and across disciplines. People matter more than ever. This new series will convene the great minds of Oxford and beyond to discuss the issues that matter to our graduate students. It aims to provide all our graduates with an educational experience that transcends disciplinary boundaries. Serving as a graduate enrichment programme during extraordinary times, Oxford Minds is based upon three eight-week pillars: themes, theory and methods. The series will unfold on a fortnightly cycle. Four times per terms, a globally recognised speaker will give a public lecture on a specific topic. In each subsequent week, this will be followed by both an inter-disciplinary panel discussion and small, interactive discussion groups jointly facilitated by Oxford doctoral students enrolled in a new teaching mentorship programme. Our overarching goal is to create an interdisciplinary space in which we can collectively rethink social science for a changing world.

The series will be organised around a fortnightly cycle, with all events hosted via Teams Live. In weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8 (on Tuesdays at 17.00), an Oxford Social Science Lecture will be delivered online by a global thought leaders on a particular topic. In weeks 3, 5, 7 and 9 (Tuesdays at 17.00), a 45-minute interdisciplinary panel discussion will take place between two Oxford social scientists and one external speaker to debate the same topic. SSD graduate students will have the opportunity to sign-up for a 1-hour small group, interactive discussion (Wednesdays at 12.00 in weeks 3, 5, 7 and 9).

Each fortnightly issue will pose questions that matter both globally and here in Oxford. The four 'themes' for Michaelmas Term are 'race', 'sustainability', 'justice', and 'protection'. 

In Hilary Term, the focus will be ‘Theory’. The four themes are ‘power’, ‘space’, ‘belonging’ and ‘identity’. The Trinity Term we will look at ‘Methods’, with the themes of ‘ethnography’, ‘interviews’, ‘statistics’ and ‘archives’. The speakers for these events are to be confirmed.

Missed a talk? Watch the recording


Press and media enquiries: Esme Wilks, Senior Communications Manager

Student enquiries: please contact the series convenors, Professor Alexander Betts and Professor Susan James Relly.