Our People

Professor Judith Buchanan

Professor Judith Buchanan

Professor Judith Buchanan

  • The Master

As Master of St Peter’s, Judith Buchanan supports the pursuit of scholarly excellence in College and the vibrant, thoughtful and inclusive life of the community. She oversees all aspects of internal College governance and represents the College externally.

She follows students' academic progress and interests closely and hosts them for social events, music recitals and sporting celebrations. She reports that the central privilege of the role is seeing students thrive, academically and personally, and go on to become confident, creative, thoughtful and responsible contributors to the world.

She enjoys welcoming back old members of the College and hearing their stories. These testify repeatedly to the very many lives that have been enriched and changed for the better through their time at St Peter’s. Judith reports that these stories are a crucial part of the pulse of the place and that she is always up for hearing more.


Judith is a Shakespearean. Her primary research is on Shakespearean textual and performance histories. She speaks and writes frequently on Shakespeare, both to academic and to public audiences. She also works with external partners across arts and heritage sectors nationally and internationally, including at Shakespeare’s Globe, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Auckland Globe, the Beckett Theatre in Dublin, Sotheby’s New York and BFI Southbank. She enjoys working not only with academics but also in creative collaborations with actors, directors, musicians and dancers. She co-adapted and was Shakespeare Advisor on a British feature film of Macbeth released in 2018 and has been a frequent contributor to BBC Radio arts programmes. She is a committed advocate for the value of projects that move between academic and non-academic spheres. She has held visiting fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC and at the University of Lausanne.  She works also on film history, with a specialism in the silent era. She runs ‘Silents Now’ bringing silent cinema to contemporary audiences in fresh and creative ways. She is a member of the Oxford English Faculty and an Honorary Fellow at Worcester College Oxford.

In and beyond Oxford

Judith is a Pro-Vice-Chancellor without Portfolio at the University of Oxford. She sits on many University boards, including the Advisory Council for the Humanities Cultural Programme, and the University’s Research and Innovation Committee. She chairs the Cameron Mackintosh Drama Fund Board and the Electoral Board for the Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre, bringing in industry professionals of distinction to inspire the next exciting generation of theatre-makers. The elected professors for the past two years have been Adjoa Andoh and Sir Greg Doran. She chairs academic Electoral Boards for the appointment of University Statutory Professors in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Beyond Oxford, she sits on various international boards in support of academic-based projects. She has just stepped down from being a Government appointment on the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission and is a Trustee at RADA (The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art).

Where to next?