Oxford historian Professor Martin Goodman is no stranger to the world of television. Most recently, in 2015 he met with screenwriters working on an original international broadcast TV drama about a large Jewish family. The TV crew themselves had been able to collect much information from desk research and visits to museums, and from their trips to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. They were, however, also very much aware of the benefits that a researcher specialising in the history of the Jews in the Roman Empire would bring to their project. Going the extra mile and arranging a meeting with Martin has enabled them to discuss their findings and add the much desired “oomph” to their work.
On a different occasion, Martin provided his expertise in a TV documentary dealing with the subject of women in the Imperial Roman Empire in an interview filmed at the Ashmolean. And that’s not all. Over the last 13 years or so, Oxford University Innovation has helped Martin to put together more than 15 contracts related, in one way or another, to TV dramas, documentaries or broadcasters in general.
It is in the nature of my research on the history of the Jews at the beginning of Christianity that I get called on for advice on television programmes and films aimed at a general public and produced by media professionals seeking guidance, sometimes at a very basic level.
I have been immensely grateful to Oxford University Innovation for saving great amounts of my time by taking on all the negotiations with the production companies, so that they know they will be paying for my advice by the hour and that they need to focus their queries to make best use of my expertise.
– Martin Goodman, Professor of Jewish Studies and President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies