Bethany White has spent the summer digging around Oxford's archives for interesting and quirky research

Marino Gonzalez (Flickr) - with photo of Bethany White

Artistic Licence: introducing our new article series

Matt Pickles

Oxford feels different over the summer. The High Street is devoid of undergraduates streaming in and out of lectures. They are replaced by tourists who are in much less of a rush.

The pace of academic life changes, too. Although graduate teaching continues, academics have more time to focus on their research or write their next book.

But many academics in the Humanities Division found their research interrupted by a knock on the door from Bethany White.

Bethany is a DPhil student in the Faculty of History and Trinity College, and she was given artistic license to roam the various departments in the Humanities Division and write a series of articles on some of the most exciting and unusual research going on.

The results are thrilling - keep your eyes peeled for her article about medical remedies in medieval England. Did you know that medieval doctors recommended applying heated eight-day old urine to your face to cure acne? If you didn’t, please don’t now try it at home.

Bethany has also written a series of profiles about students in the humanities doing interesting things – from the student balancing literature lectures with running a campaign to help refugees, to the aspiring historian helping her classmates to fight procrastination.

“I learnt more than I imagined I would - about graffiti, bilingualism, Qawwali music, medieval medicine and so much more,” says Bethany.

“It struck me just how much research is being done in Humanities, and what a range and depth there is. It was exciting to think that this is all going on at once, and that you can learn so much from a quick chat with anyone in Oxford.”

Today, we release the first article in the series: could social media save endangered languages?

You can find out more about Bethany's own research into working-class women and higher education in Britain from 1965 - 1975 here, and follow her on Twitter here.