History Summer Programme

2016 History BR 200x155 72dpi

23 July – 5 August 2017

We are now in the process of planning next summer’s programme. 2017 information will be available in November.The following Information relates to 2016 and will give you a general idea about what we offer.

Programme Director: Dr David Smith FRHistS

A team of eminent historians offer courses that cover a wide range of problems and themes in British, European and global history. You can choose courses that complement one another or you may wish to select ones that address the broadest possible historical period.

Academic programme

  • Four special subject courses
    (two per week)
  • Plenary course LM0:
  • Evening talks

Special subject courses

Courses are led by members of the University’s Faculty of History and visiting academics. You may wish to attend courses which most obviously complement one another or you may make a selection which covers the broadest historical period possible.

Week 1:

11.00am – 12.30pm

La1 - Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution - This course is now full
La2 - The American experience in Vietnam
La3 - Out of the ashes: post-war Europe, 1945-65 - This course is now full
La4 - Heroes and villains: the Victorians and history
La5 - Revolutionary Russia

2.00pm – 3.30pm

Ma1 - France under the Occupation
Ma2 - Bloody Mary? The reign and reputation of Mary I
Ma3 - Louis XIV and the greatness of France
Ma4 - British America, from the Tudors to Independence
Ma5 - Cold War flashpoints

Week 2:

11.00am – 12.30pm

Lb1 - John Milton and the English Revolution
Lb2 - The reign of Henry VIII - This course is now full
Lb3 - Democracy in India, 1935-2002
Lb4 - Winston Churchill: the greatest Briton?
Lb5 - Surprise attacks from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 - This course is now full

2.00pm – 3.30pm

Mb1 - The French Revolution
Mb2 - Elizabeth I: the Age of Gloriana? - This course is now full
Mb3 - The CIA in Cold War historical perspective - This course is now full
Mb4 - Kingdom and conquest: forging Protestant Ireland, 1540-1800
Mb5 - Naval warfare in the 20th century

Plenary lectures

Each year, eminent historians from the University of Cambridge and beyond are invited to contribute plenary lectures related to a chosen theme. The theme of this year’s morning plenary lectures is Revolutions. Invited speakers include:

Professor John Morrill: England's 17th-century revolution in global context
Allen Packwood: Churchill as anti-revolutionary
Dr Andrew Thompson: 18th-century British attitudes to revolution
Professor Andrew Preston: Vietnam, America, and the revolutionary 20th century
Dr Hester Vaizey: A revolution? Looking at sex from 1900 to the present
Dr Sujit Sivasundaram: The Age of Revolutions and the rise of the British Empire
Dr Eoin Devlin: The anxiety of succession: genealogies of Irish revolution and the Easter Rising of 1916
Dr Leigh Denault: 1857 in India and a 'Global' Age of Revolution
Dr Amy Blakeway: Revolutions in government: Tudors and Stewarts
Dr David Smith: Was there a revolution in 17th-century England?

Evening talks

Additional history-related and general evening talks will add to your enjoyment of the programme. Planned topics include:

Dr Jonathan Davis: Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union
Dr Seán Lang: Understanding the British hero figure: from Boudica to Bond, and beyond
Dr James Grime: The Enigma code-breaking machine
Thomas Wakefield: Piano Recital
Dr John Lennard: An introduction to A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Professor Mark Goldie: Lottery and democracy: choosing by lot - a scheme for real democracy
Dr John Leigh: Demanding satisfaction: the duel in literature
John Jackson: The impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on her neighbours

A typical day

On each weekday morning you attend a plenary lecture, followed by a class from your La or Lb special subject course. In the afternoons you attend a class from your Ma or Mb special subject course. Subject specific and joint lectures are offered in the evenings.

College accommodation

Accommodation is available for participants who want to stay in a Cambridge College. Please see the accommodation options and accommodation fees available for this programme.

Non-residential attendance is also available if participants prefer to find their own lodgings.

Information for applicants

Programme calendar (pdf version, 32KB)
Who can apply
How to apply (pdf version, 90KB)
What happens next?
Tuition and accommodation fees (pdf versions, 46KB and 42KB)
Language requirements
Visa guidance
Booking terms and conditions


The quickest way to apply is by using our secure online booking system. You can also apply by downloading an application form (pdf) and sending it by post or fax.