2021-22 | Real Oxford: Valuing the Everyday

Image depicting a photograph of the Natural History Museum Oxford

'Real Oxford: Valuing the Everyday'


Knowledge Exchange Fellow:
Dr Patrick McGuinness   |   Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages   |   University of Oxford

Partner Organisation:
Museum of Oxford   |   Dr Marta Lomza



'Real Oxford: Valuing the Everyday' is a joint venture between Patrick McGuinness and JC Niala and the Museum of Oxford designed to draw out and communicate the richness of the Oxford beyond the dreaming spires. It brings together the academic and creative expertise of McGuinness and Niala with the Museum of Oxford's rich holdings, its record of outreach, and the expertise of its staff and volunteers to create a mixture of community workshops, fresh exhibits and panels, and a publication celebrating the city beyond the university.


It consists of three elements:

1 - Community workshops on place-writing and memoir, topics which correspond to Patrick McGuinness's scholarly and creative research, involving local audiences and inhabitants of different parts of the city. The workshops would use objects or images from the Museum's collections as starting-points. Attendees will produce photographs, poems, fragments, prose texts and raw notes about the places they live in or remember. The emphasis is on people and place, on the local and the lived, and on the histories that get crowded out by both the university's prestige and the grand historical obsession with 'events'. Participants will be encouraged to be creative and personal.

2 - A set of exhibits, community labels, and products of the workshops themed around the idea of 'Real Oxford: Valuing the Everyday', and interspersed among the museum's permanent exhibition spaces.

3 - A publication, edited by P McGuinness and JC Niala (who would also be contributors) of the writings and images produced by workshop participants.

Past Events