Tutors who teach Visiting Students

As with Oxford full-degree course undergraduates, your tutorials will be with college and Oxford University employed academics (fellows, lecturers and graduate scholars) or with qualified specialists from other colleges in the University.

Below are details of some of our tutors and lecturers:

Dr Dimitrina Spencer: Tutor in Anthropology

Didi completed her DPhil at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology and Linacre College at the University of Oxford in 2005. She has been teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University since then. She was a lecturer on the MA in Migration Studies for two years, and on the MA in International Development – for five years. Since 2006, she has been training the graduate anthropology tutors in teaching. Didi is the founding editor of ‘Teaching Anthropology – a Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute’.

Her research interests focus mainly on emotions in research and in teaching and learning. She has also conducted research in political anthropology, and anthropology of migration and international development. Since 2010, she has been involved in applied science and technology projects. Her most recent work explored emotional experiences of doctoral researchers in science labs and their interdisciplinary learning and engagement. She has conducted fieldwork across South Eastern Europe and also - in France, the UK and Nigeria.



Dr Scott Urban: College Lecturer on International Finance and the Chinese Economy

 Dr Urban is a researcher in applied international finance specialising in the international monetary system. His latest publication is 'Policy options for the euro - heterodoxy ahead', forthcoming in the Journal of Common Market Studies and which he presented at the Bank of England. He is also co-author of 'Still tied by golden fetters', published in 2012 in the Financial History Review.

Dr Urban teaches undergraduate courses in money and banking, financial crisis and the Chinese economy. In addition he teaches international finance on the Georgetown University 'Graduate Program in International Management'. He obtained his D.Phil from Oxford in 2012, supervised in the Economics department and administered in the History faculty. His thesis looked at the on the international monetary system of the 1930s.



Stephen Pickles: College Lecturer in English Literature and Poetry

Stephen, who read English at New College, Oxford, has worked in opera production, dramaturgy and theatre education, and spent several years in publishing, during which time he established a pioneering list of neglected European classics in translation, and championed the uniquely acerbic fiction of Thomas Bernhard. He has contributed critical introductions to The Poetry Archive and published fictional sociology, as well as compiling a nostalgic tribute to Look and Learn, Britain’s most famous pictorial educational magazine for children.

Stephen has taught at Hertford and other Oxford colleges and has been a Teaching and Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute. He teaches the Romantics, Victorian and fin-de-siècle art and literature, and subversive aspects of the C20 novel. His research interests include Venetian afterlives, book and periodical illustration and the paratextual life of ephemera and souvenirs.


David Tolley has been a College Lecturer in English at Hertford since 2004 (teaching at Hertford since 2002).




David teaches Shakespeare, Renaissance Drama, Restoration Drama and Modern British Drama.  


His research interests include performance studies and theatre history, staging, use of space, public versus private theatre, acting companies, and the mode of production of early-English and modern-British drama.

At the English Faculty he has lectured on 'Tom Stoppard on Film'. Full Profile



Dr André Nilsen: College Lecturer in Politics and Philosophy

Dr Nilsen is researching philosophy and global affairs. Dr Nilsen teaches 20th century philosophy (Wittgenstein as well as both analytic and Continental thought), social and political theory (historical and contemporary), and sociology and politics (especially globalization and inequality). He has taught for several Oxford colleges as well as for the Oxford Program of Stanford University. He was for three years the Acting Professor of International Business at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.

Dr Nilsen has a DPhil in political economy and an MPhil in European politics, law, and economics from Wadham College at the University of Oxford where he was the 2000 Norway Scholar. He has a CandMag from Universitetet i Oslo and has been a visiting student at the University of Washington, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, and Harvard University.


Dr Sundas Ali: College Lecturer in Politics and Political Sociology

Dr Sundas Ali has been teaching students at Oxford for the last 6 years through one-to-one/paired tutorials, revision classes and seminars. She has developed teaching material, designed and constructed teaching syllabuses, and supervised dissertations. She is a political sociologist but has taught a range of other courses within the Politics syllabus including, theory of politics, comparative government, South Asian politics, Middle Eastern politics and European politics.


She recently completed her doctorate (DPhil) in Sociology from the Department of Sociology and Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Her doctoral thesis entitled "Identities and Sense of Belonging of Muslims in Britain", was based on a mixture of research methods, using survey data (specifically the Citizenship Survey and Ethnic Minority British Election Study), cognitive survey methodology interviews, and in-depth qualitative interviews, with first, second, and third generation Muslims living in Britain, mostly of a Pakistani ethnic origin. Among her recent publications is an article on the way opinion polling data on Muslims is reported in newspapers in the journal Ethnicities, an article on how to test the national identity argument empirically in the journal European Political Science Review, a chapter on the politics of Islamic identities in the Handbook of Identity Studies and a chapter on identity and public opinion in the book Race and Ethnicity in the 21st Century. She is involved in a number of other research projects, recently completing a project on the future of identities in the UK for the Government Office for Science. She also worked with the team conducting the 2010 Ethnic Minority British Election Survey and carried out policy work for the Aga Khan Foundation on minority groups in Britain.

Kathrin Bachleitner: College Lecturer in Politics of the Middle East


Kathrin Bachleitner is currently writing her DPhil at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford. Her research interests include European foreign policy towards the Middle East as well as the role of memory in post-conflict reconstruction. In previous years, Kathrin has worked in Austria and the Palestinian Territories for international NGOs and the foreign ministry. She also holds master degrees in political science and International Relations from the University of Salzburg and the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University.

Dr Aurelia Annat: College Lecturer in Modern British History

 Aurelia completed her DPhil in 2010 on “Imaginable Nations: Constructions of History and Identity and the Contribution of Selected Irish Women Writers 1891 -1945” in 2010, under the supervision of Professor Roy Foster. Since then she has worked as a research assistant for Dr Michael Biggs on a project on 'Hunger Strikes by Suffragettes and Irish Republicans, 1909-1923', under the auspices of the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford. She is currently in the early stages of a project exploring gay teenage identity in 1980s Britain.

Aurelia has taught at Hertford and other Oxford colleges since 2005 and has been a Stipendiary Lecturer in Modern British History for Trinity College, Oxford since 2007. For the History BA, she teaches the outline papers: Britain 1815-1924, and Britain 1900 to the present; she also teaches specialist papers on Ireland 1870-1922 and on British Twentieth Century Social History, and theoretical and historiographical papers, especially those on Gender History and Art as an approach to history. Aurelia has also devised courses for Visiting Students on British imperialism, and Victorian social, political and intellectual history. She started assisting with the Hertford College Princeton Exchange Programme in 2012. Her interests lie in modern British cultural and social history.


 Dr Luke Blaxill: British Political History

Luke' has published widely in the field of British Political History in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His particular interests include political language and communication in and outside Parliament, psephology and election analysis, social class and politics, and the histories of the Conservative, Liberal, and Labour parties. Luke is also interested in the digital humanities and innovative computer-based methodologies, especially text mining.  He is  currently finishing his book on British election speeches and party language in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, and also has publications in outlets including the Historical Journal, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Twentieth Century British History, Journal of British Studies, Historical Research, and Parliamentary History.

Luke has been teaching at Hertford College since 2013, and was previously the Draper's Company Junior Research Fellow at the college. He has co-taught the 'Forging of Modern Britain' course for visiting students since 2014.



Please also take a look at our fellows who teach

English:  Professor Charlotte Brewer, Professor Emma Smith

Philosophy: Professor Peter Millican

Politics: Dr Radoslaw Zubek

History: Dr David Hopkin

Human Sciences: Mr Clive Hambler

Physics: Professor Pat Roche and Dr Sam Henry

Geography: Dr Jamie Lorimer


Find out more about Academic Life at Hertford College.