The Hist is the oldest debating society in the world, tracing its roots back to Edmund Burke’s Debating Club of 1747. The Society was incorporated into College in 1770.

Oratory and the arts of argument and rhetoric are the cornerstones of our many activities. Chamber speaking, intervarsities, the Maiden Speakers’ Competition, Private Members’ Time, and the constant informal exchange of ideas in our Conversation Room are all designed to foster the development of the individual’s capacity to analyse, to argue, and to add to a democratic society. The selection of opportunities to voice your opinion is wide, and we endeavour to provide forum every year to suit the diversity of our members.

The Hist also runs a series of workshops during Michaelmas Term aimed at allowing speakers with little experience to learn the arts or oratory and rhetoric in a friendly environment.

You can see upcoming competitions in the competition section of our events page.