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Oxford in Cambridge: Is there a future for the country house?

Downing College, Regent St, Cambridge CB2 1DQ
Tuesday, 09 May 2017
6.00pm to 8.30pm

Come to Cambridge for an evening of discussion, networking and refreshments in a beautiful college setting.

The evening will be led by a talk given by Dr Oliver Cox on, 'Is there a future for the country house?' Audiences’ expectations, experiences and attitudes to country houses are changing rapidly. The 'treasure house', full of priceless objects to be worshipped, must transform and change into the 'story house', if the country house is to remain relevant to more diverse audiences. Dr Cox will argue that if the country house is to continue to thrive, it must not be afraid of the c-word of heritage: change. The idea of preserving the past through static presentations and interpretation is failing to unlock relevance and inspire emotional connections and intellectual access to the country house.

After the talk, there will be a Q&A followed by canapés, drinks and the chance to meet fellow alumni.


Speaker: Dr Oliver Cox (University College, 2006), Heritage Engagement Fellow at the University of Oxford

Oliver received his BA, MSt and DPhil degrees from Oxford. In 2013, as Oxford Humanities Division’s first Knowledge Exchange Fellow, he created the Thames Valley Country House Partnership (TVCHP) to link researchers with entrepreneurial ideas in the heritage sector. After three years developing TVCHP, he was appointed as the University of Oxford’s inaugural Heritage Engagement Fellow. He is a Governor of Compton Verney, a Trustee of the Oxfordshire Record Society, and sits on Arts Council England’s Designation Panel and the Education and Publications Committee of The Gardens Trust. In 2016, Oliver was Visiting Professor in Public History at Texas State University.

Hear more from Dr Cox in this Alumni Voices podcast interview

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