St Antony's College, Oxford

St Antony's College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England.

St Antony's is the most international of the seven all-graduate colleges of the University of Oxford, specialising in international relations, economics, politics, and history of particular parts of the world — Europe, Russia and the former Soviet states, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Japan, China, South and South East Asia.

The College is located in North Oxford with Woodstock Road to the west, Bevington Road to the south and Winchester Road to the east. As of 2006, St Antony's had an estimated financial endowment of £30m.


St Antony's was founded in 1950 as the result of the gift of Antonin Besse of Aden, a merchant of French descent. Its role was "to be a centre of advanced study and research in the fields of modern international history, philosophy, economics and politics and to provide an international centre within the University where graduate students from all over the world can live and work together in close contact with senior members of the University who are specialists in their fields".

The College first admitted students in Michaelmas term 1950 and received Royal Charter in 1953. A Supplementary Charter in 1962 was granted to allow the College to admit women as well as men and in 1963 the College was made a full member of the University.

The first Warden of the College was Sir William Deakin (1950–1968), a young Oxford academic who in the Second World War became an adventurous soldier and aide to Winston Churchill. He won Antonin Besse's confidence and played the key role in turning his vision into the centre of excellence that St Antony's has become. Sir Raymond Carr (1968–1987), a distinguished historian of Spain, expanded the College and its regional coverage and opened its doors to visiting scholars from all over the world.

Sir Ralf Dahrendorf (later Lord Dahrendorf) (1987–1997) came to St Antony's after a distinguished career as a social theorist and politician in Germany, a European Commissioner and Director of the London School of Economics. He further enlarged the College and developed its role as a source of policy advice. The previous Warden, Sir Marrack Goulding (1997–2006), served in the British Diplomatic Service for 26 years before becoming an Under Secretary-General at the United Nations. His appointment underlined the international nature of the College and its links with government and business. In July 2007 the fifth Warden of the College, Margaret MacMillan took up her position.


The Main Building, the former Holy Trinity convent built in the 1860s, houses the Main Library, the Gulbenkian Reading Room, and the Russian and East European Study Centre. The collective holdings of the Main Library and Centre Libraries comprise over 110,000 volumes. Subscriptions to current periodicals number about 300. The Main Library itself holds over 60,000 volumes and subscribes to over 100 current periodicals with the general collections in modern history, politics, international relations and economics, the collections on Europe, Asia, and the non-Slavonic collections on Russia, the former USSR and Eastern Europe. The Main Library also houses some 20th century archive collections including the Wheeler-Bennett papers. St Antony's is associated with the Oxford Libraries Information System (OLIS), and has been a contributor to the University's on-line union library catalogue since 1990.

The other libraries on the College site are the Middle East Centre Library, the Latin American Centre Library, the Bodleian Japanese Library and the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre Library. The College also holds an extensive collection of archival material relating to the Middle East at the Middle East Centre Archive.

College life

St. Antony's College has some 400 students from over 67 countries. About half of the students have languages other than English as their first language, which provides a very lively and rich cosmopolitan cultural environment, fostered by a communal dining hall and active sport clubs for rowing, cricket and football. The College also has an active European Film Society and College Choir. Student interests are represented by an elected body - the GCR Executive, which is elected on an annual basis.

The college is also host to the St. Antony's Late Bar, located on the ground floor of the Hilda Besse building, serving Oxford's students and their guests throughout the academic year. In addition to operating as a regular bar, it hosts numerous themed Bops, culture/region/country nights, live music events (guest concerts, open-mic nights, Battle of the Bands), welfare/charity functions, various tastings and launch parties, among others. Popular recurring events include Halloqueen, USA Night, Latin Bop, Balkan Night, and the thrice-annual Drink the Bar Dry.

  • Timothy Garton Ash, journalist and author on European matters
  • Archie Brown, historian of the end of the Cold War and author of The Gorbachev Factor
  • Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies
  • Homa Katouzian, literary critic and scholar of Iranian studies
  • Robert Service, historian of the USSR and biographer of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin
  • Avi Shlaim, historian writing on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the biographer of books including The Politics of Partition (1990 and 1998), War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History (1995), and The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (2001).
  • Alan Knight, post-critical historian, Director of the Latin American Centre, and author of the two-volume award winning book The Mexican Revolution (1986)
  • Eugene Rogan, historian
Notable alumni
Former students
Former fellows
  • Albert Hourani, Founder-Director, Middle East Centre, St. Antony's College, Oxford
  • Sudipta Kaviraj, Professor of Political Sciences, Columbia University, New York
  • Frank McLynn, historian and biographer
  • Tapan Raychaudhuri, Emeritus Fellow, St. Antony's College, Oxford
  • Abu Imam, Fellow from 1966-69, St. Antony's College, Oxford and Professor, and Head of the Department of Archaeology and History and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh.