Co-curating diverse histories with Uncomfortable Oxford
Uncomfortable Oxford is an academic-led organization that has been running walking tours of the city since 2018. Its goal is to develop activities that encourage public engagement with topics that are often considered controversial: histories of empire, race, class, gender discrimination, and historical memory. They also highlight overlooked histories and use the built environment as a learning tool for recognizing how these topics have shaped our shared present. Here, the Uncomfortable Oxford team tell us about the deep dive they took into Oxford’s history, together with Year 7 pupils from Cheney School.
Uncomfortable Oxford strives to provide a safe space for members of the public to engage with discussions, and share their own perspectives on difficult topics. Aside from running walking and online tours, we host free public lectures, produce podcasts, and publish research articles and other educational resources.
One of our key objectives is to break down academic barriers and create connections between the town and university. Our organization has collaborated with numerous institutions in the past three years: including museums, galleries, local secondary schools, charities (Homeless Oxfordshire, OSARCC), cultural organisations and festivals (Fusion Arts and IF Oxford). We have multiplied our community collaborations to foster greater inclusivity and co-creation across the city of Oxford.