‘Making History’: Diversity exhibition and event series launched at Magdalen


Magdalen College has opened an exhibition titled ‘Making History: Christian Cole, Alain Locke and Oscar Wilde at Oxford,’ celebrating the lives of early pioneers of diversity at Oxford. The exhibition is taking place at Longwall Library, and will run from May-October 2019. The exhibition can be viewed by all College members, and by all other visitors by appointment.

The exhibition was curated by Elizabeth Adams (University College, Oxford) and Michèle Mendelssohn (Mansfield College, Oxford) in collaboration with Daryl Green (Magdalen College, Oxford).

Daryl Green, the Librarian at Magdalen, commented that the exhibition “will focus on Oxford University’s first Black African undergraduate, Christian Cole; the first African-American Rhodes scholar, and midwife to the Harlem Renaissance, Alain Locke; and the great Irish wit and dandy, Oscar Wilde. These three were undergraduates at University, Hertford and Magdalen College, respectively.

“By drawing these exceptional men together, the exhibition highlights the surprising shared histories of Oxford’s Queer, Black and First Generation undergraduates. By showcasing rare archives, Making History allows the public a unique glimpse at the documents and drawings that bear witness to these remarkable young men’s lives and times.”

An event series will be run alongside the exhibition, the details of which can be seen below:


‘Making History: Alain Locke Memorial Lecture with Donald Brown (Harvard)’

5.00pm-6.30pm, 13 May 2019, Rhodes House

Attendance free, registration required: http://tinyurl.com/makinghistory13May


Making History: lunchtime discussion

‘Making History: Free Lunch and Discussion about Alain Locke’s Legacy with Nicholas Gaskill (Oxford)’

12.00pm-1.30pm, 30 May 2019, Hertford College

Attendance free, registration required: http://tinyurl.com/makinghistory30May


Making History: Black Oxford Walking Tour

‘Making History: Black Oxford Pioneers and Trailblazers walking tour with blue badge guide Angela Morgan’

12pm-2pm & 5pm-7pm, 4 June 2019, starting at Magdalen College

Attendance free, registration required: http://tinyurl.com/makinghistory4June


Making History: Christian Cole Lecture

‘Making History: Christian Cole Lecture with Pamela Roberts, FRSA’

6.00pm-7.00pm, 12 June, University College

Attendance free, registration required: http://tinyurl.com/makinghistory12June


Making History: Oscar Wilde Lecture

Lecture by Merlin Holland (Oscar Wilde’s grandson)

5.00pm-6.30pm, 19 October, Magdalen College

Registration for event not yet open


Sign up for the newsletter!

Want to contribute? Join our contributors’ group here or email us – click here for contact details