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What is Uncomfortable Oxford?

Collaboration | Discourse | Engagement

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Uncomfortable Oxford was founded in 2018 by two students, with the aim of raising questions about the 'uncomfortable' legacies of inequality and imperialism in the city and the university.

We ultimately ask: How can we engage collectively

with these histories in the public space?

If you have any questions, email us:


Who do we want to engage with this project?

  1. Academics - At the University of Oxford but also beyond it - all universities in the city, and universities abroad​

  2. Local Oxfordians - the people who live and work in this city, as well as the many schools here and around Oxfordshire​

  3. Tourists - Oxford gets 9 million a year, we want them to learn more about the city and its uncomfortable history when they do​

  4. Institutes - The many institutes around the city are great locations for public engagement and we can help enrich their programs and content through the project.

Meet The Team



Founding Director

Paula is co-founder of Uncomfortable Oxford. She is a DPhil Candidate, studying the history of medicine in the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology. Her research focuses on the history of vaccinations in Canada, with a particular focus on the intersections of ethnicity and policy in the past century.



Founding Director

Olivia is Co-founder of Uncomfortable Oxford. She is a DPhil Candidate in the Centre for Global and Imperial History at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the history of the port cities of New Orleans and Odessa in the 19th century, with a particular focus on their relationship with settlement and immigration.

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Waqas is Co-Director of Uncomfortable Oxford. He is a DPhil Candidate in 20th

century French and English Literature at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the representation of the mind and consciousness in the arts, bilingualism,

self-translation, poetry, Cultural Studies

and Hip Hop Studies.

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Finance Manager

Paul Stephens is a DPhil candidate in English Literature at the University of Oxford. His research explores the poetry and prose of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) through the disciplinary lens of economic philosophy.

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Blog Editor

Louis is a DPhil candidate in History at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on identity and the construction of otherness in the Holy Roman Empire.

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Guides Manager

Amy Holguin holds a master's degree in Archaeological Science from the University of Oxford, and her research explores the importance of plant resources in Mesolithic and Neolithic diets.



Illustrator and Designer

Kati is a local illustrator and designer who specialises in editorial, publishing and portraits. Her work often explores the history of people and places. Originally from Budapest, where she received a degree in English, following eight years in North Wales, Kati did a second degree in Illustration and has established herself as a freelance illustrator in the Oxford area.  



Digital Media Officer

Sara is an MPhil student in Modern European History at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the history of  Weimar and Nazi Germany, with a particular focus on political assassinations and the development of clandestine military organisations after the First World War.

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Steph Barker

Human Resources Manager

Steph is studying a master's in Environmental Governance at the University of Oxford. She is interested in environmental history and law. Her current research is focused on the colonial history of property law in the United States and ecological change in the Mid-Atlantic region.



Logistics Officer

Malak is a final-year undergraduate reading English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. Her research interests include postcolonial and world literature studies, with a particular focus on Anglophone Arab writing.



Impact Officer

Lydia is an undergraduate reading History and German at the University of Oxford.

Her interests include Global History, literature and translation.

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Lucas Tse



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Karina Greenwood

Museums Officer

Karina recently received her MSt in History of Art from the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on colonialism, immigration, and museums/dark tourism.

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Grants Officer

Madeline is an MPhil student in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology at the University of Oxford. She is interested in the use of scientific language and theories on colonized places and populations.


Daniel Poole

Project Lead

Daniel Poole holds a degree in history and an MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes University. Currently he is involved in research concerning British colonial attrocities during the Malayan Emergency. His interests include the history of post-WWII communism, cold-war propaganda and anti-colonial revolutions.


Ben Wheadon

Podcast Editor

Ben Wheadon is a Masters student in English & American Studies at the University of Oxford. His research currently focuses on African American literature, songwriting and the technological function of sampling in hip-hop composition.


Saanjh Gupta


Saanjh is a History & English Literature graduate from the University of Oxford and also holds an MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation from the LSE. Her research focuses on imperialism, urban space and foodways in Southeast Asia.

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Luping Zhao

Webpage Editor


Mission Statement

Uncomfortable Oxford aims to find ways of engaging with the uncomfortable issues

in the city of Oxford, to promote awareness, dialogue, and public interest.

It values diversity, collaboration, and breaking down the institutional and academic barriers.

Its ultimate goal is to change how the public engages with the city of Oxford

through awareness of its uncomfortable legacies in the built environment.

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