Thursday, 14 July 2016 14:33

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Beyond hierarchy: Archaeology, common rights and social identity

Journal article by Dr Susan Oosthuizen in World Archaeology 48.

DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2016.1180261

Published online 6 July 2016

It is an archaeological commonplace that grazing across extensive pastures in many periods was shared, often over extended lengths of time, by kin-based communities who met there seasonally in large groups.

Such explanations are richly implicit with models of social relations – there were large communities, they were made up of one or more kin groups, they shared pasture, and they had regular assemblies. How did that general framework of social structure and social relations work in practice, particularly at the level of the individual landholding?

This paper explores the practical implications of a property rights approach to those questions, briefly illustrated in indicative examples drawn from the English fenlands across the longue durée. Its central contention is that the mutualities implied in the equitable, ‘horizontal’ governance of shared resources complemented and enriched ‘vertical’ hierarchies of power and status in complex societies of which they were both part.

You can download the whole journal article on the Taylor and Francis Group website.



Thursday, 14 July 2016 13:34

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Taboo and sensitive heritage: labour camps, burials and the role of activism in the Channel Islands

Journal article by Dr Gilly Carr and Caroline Sturdy Colls (2016) in the International Journal of Heritage Studies, 22(9)

DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2016.1191524

In this article we propose the concept of taboo heritage as a way to describe a legacy of war so sensitive that it never undergoes heritage creation. Attempts at creation, such as heritage listing, renovation or excavation, are blocked by local authorities. We also examine the transition from taboo heritage to sensitive heritage, the next step along the ‘heritage continuum’, which we propose can only occur through the combined efforts of the passage of time, the role of activists and official authorisation. We take as our case study two of the British Channel Islands of Jersey and Alderney, occupied by German forces from 1940 to 1945. Labour camps were built in both islands, where the dead were also buried locally. We explore how the existing legacy of these events is still taboo heritage in Alderney, but has achieved partial progress in the transition to sensitive heritage in Jersey.

Download the full article on the Taylor & Francis Group website.


Wednesday, 22 June 2016 11:03

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2016 Queen’s Young Leaders visit ICE

We are delighted to welcome the 2016 Queen’s Young Leaders to Madingley Hall this week. The Young Leaders are here to take part in a series of workshops, organised by ICE, to help them develop their management and leadership skills.

Over a packed week, Queen’s Young Leaders will visit global corporations, the sights, shops and museums of London – and Buckingham Palace for a reception with Her Majesty the Queen. In the midst of all this, they are spending two days in Cambridge to think, network, be inspired and learn.

This year’s Queen’s Young Leaders, who are aged between 18 and 29 and come from all over the Commonwealth, are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of different issues including education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.

The 2016 Leaders will be welcomed and supported by Alumni from the 2015 group during their stay in Cambridge, including:

  • Alicia Wallace, women’s rights activist, public educator and grassroots organiser from the Bahamas
  • Nicole Brown, CEO of Robogals Global – an international non-profit organisation that promotes engineering as a career for women – from Australia
  • Shamir Shehab, a social entrepreneur, environmental activist, and policy advocate, from Bangladesh
  • Edmund Page, CEO and founder of the Xavier Project, an NGO working with refugees in Kenya and Uganda
  • Jerome Cowans from Jamaica who is known for his work in youth leadership and youth development
  • Tabby Besley, founder and co-ordinator of InsideOUT, a national youth charity in New Zealand
  • Nkechikwu Azinge, founder of the Sickle Cell Aid Foundation (SCAF) in Nigeria
  • Jordan Kerr, Director of the National Youth Council of Australia.

For updates, photographs and the latest news on #QueensYoungLeaders at Madingley, visit the Leading Change Facebook page or catch them on Twitter @LeadingChangeUC.


Tuesday, 21 June 2016 10:42

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Dr Gilly Carr wins Vice-Chancellor's Impact Award

ICE archaeologist Dr Gilly Carr has won the 2016 Vice-Chancellor's Impact Award for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, for her work on 'Victims of Nazism in the Channel Islands: A Legitimate Heritage?'.

These prestigious awards have been established to recognise and reward those whose research has led to excellent impact in the world beyond academia.

The aim of Gilly's research has been to increase awareness of Channel Islander victims of Nazi persecution both locally (in the Channel Islands) and nationally. She is achieving this through the creation of a plural 'heritage landscape' in the Channel Islands, to facilitate the voice of this group, and via education. She is working with the Holocaust Education Trust to create educational materials for the UK and Channel Islands, and will also be curating exhibitions in London. The creation of the heritage itself is a major achievement and will be of significant impact for the Channel Islands.

Gilly has recently filmed two BBC documentaries on her work. Her application earlier this year was successful for Jersey woman Dorothea Le Brocq to be recognised as 'Righteous Among the Nations' by Yad Vashem for sheltering a Jewish woman. Gilly's exhibition on Channel Islander victims of Nazism will be coming to London, to the Wiener Library for the study of the Holocaust and Genocide, in 2017.

Speaking after the awards ceremony, Gilly said: "I am really pleased to win this award for my work on victims of Nazism. I am passionate about getting their story more widely known and it is nice to feel that one's hard work has been appreciated."


Thursday, 02 June 2016 13:49

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Dr Ed Turner awarded the John Spedan Lewis Medal for his significant contribution to conservation

On the 24th May ICE Academic Director for Biological Sciences, Dr Ed Turner, was awarded the John Spedan Lewis medal for his significant and innovative contribution to conservation at the Linnean Society of London’s annual meeting at Burlington House in Piccadilly, London.

John Spedan Lewis, founder of the John Lewis Partnership, was a skilled business man, but considered himself first and foremost a naturalist. He was a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London from 1933 until his death in 1963. The following year the John Spedan Lewis Foundation was established to support projects closely aligned to Spedan’s personal interests in the field of natural history. The John Spedan Lewis Medal was commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of the Foundation.

Many congratulations to Dr Ed Turner on receiving this much deserved award.

Learn about conservation science

If you would like to learn more about conservation science, the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education has a wealth of courses available.

You can find a full list of our Conservation and Biological Science courses on our website.

Dr Turner himself is teaching a number of forthcoming courses:

The story of life on earth: four billion years in seven hours (25 June 2016)
Undergraduate Certificate in Evolutionary Biology (returning 2017)
Undergraduate Diploma in Evolutionary Biology (2016)


Monday, 16 May 2016 13:02

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The Michael Holroyd Prize for 'Recreative' literature awarded at Madingley Hall

When the highly acclaimed biographer Michael Holroyd first addressed Creative Writing Masters students at ICE in October 2013 he drew attention to the term ‘non-fiction’ as an essentially negative expression – describing what it was not rather than what it was – and proposed a new term which also took account of the creative aspect of non-fiction writing. Fiction, he suggested, could be described as creative writing, and non-fiction refigured as recreative writing.

Michael Holroyd has kindly helped us set up a prize for recreative writing at ICE in his name and the winners were announced at an event here at Madingley Hall on Wednesday 4 May.

The prize was open to our Undergraduate Certificate in Creative Writing students and Master of Studies in Creative Writing students, all vying for a £250 prize contribution to their fees, which they could also spend on books.

Genres represented included biography; autobiography/memoir; travel writing; writing on human issues and social/cultural history; writing on science, nature and the environment. The judges,  ICE tutors, Jem Poster; Sarah Burton; and Midge Gillies, created a shortlist before Michael Holroyd himself chose the overall winner.

Shortlisted entrants along with their ICE creative writing peers were invited to a dinner here at Madingley Hall. The event was hosted by Boyd Tonkin, Chair of the International Booker Prize 2016, who had earlier addressed students on the subject of literary prize culture, from fiercely contested playwriting prizes in Ancient Greece to the present day.


3rd place: Look back in hunger by Stu Roberts

2nd place: The Christmas Ox by Jodie Molloy

Winner: Knocking on Walcott’s door by Sara Collins

Michael Holroyd had this to say about the winner’s work:

"Knocking on Walcott's Door is a form of literary autobiography. It is set within a chapter of history and uses memory and imagination to focus on past and present. From an impoverished and eccentric library we are led towards Derek Walcott's poetry. The journey is told with subtlety and composed by a natural writer who takes us on a complex and stimulating journey along maps of the mind ending at Cambridge."

Since winning the Michael Holroyd prize, Sara has also been shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize and signed to major literary agency Peters Frasers Dunlop.

Michael Holroyd went on to say that “this has proved to be an extremely difficult prize to judge. All three of the finalists set very high standards and in a perfect world all should have prizes. They are excellent examples of recreative writing”.

Congratulations to all of the finalists from everyone here at the Institute. We look forward to watching your literary careers flourish in the future.

Creative Writing courses at ICE

If this has inspired you to start writing, we run a number of creative writing courses at ICE, including short courses, online courses, and part-time University qualifications.

We are now enrolling students for the Undergraduate Certificate and the Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing (no previous qualification is required):

Creative Writing Certificate 1
Creative Writing Certificate 2
Creative Writing Diploma 1
Creative Writing Diploma 2

Other open-access courses include day schools such as Writing picture books and weekend courses such as World of words in September. You may also wish to take part in the Creative Writing Summer Programme in August.

Applications for the MSt in Creative Writing open in October for entry in October 2017.

Should you have any further questions regarding future creative writing study with us, please contact Katherine Roddwell at


Friday, 06 May 2016 08:08

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Dr Gilly Carr presents BBC documentary on the lost heroes of World War II

Cambridge ICE archaeologist Dr Gilly Carr is presenting a new BBC documentary in which she helps two women discover the fate and final resting place of loved ones snatched by the Nazis during their occupation of the Channel Islands.

‘Finding Our Fathers: Lost Heroes of World War II’ will be broadcast on BBC One South West at 7.30pm on Friday 6 May 2016, and on BBC iPlayer.

The two women, Pat Fisher and Jean Harris come from separate islands (Jersey and Guernsey) and have remarkably similar stories. Both their fathers were called Joe and both women were not long born when their fathers were deported for distributing BBC News in Nazi-controlled territory, never to be seen by their families again.

As part of the BBC investigation, Dr Gilly Carr uncovered fresh information about what happened to the two men. She took Pat and Jean on an emotional journey through Europe to piece together what happened to their fathers and find out where they are buried. Both men were shunted from various forced labour and concentration camps in Germany and Czech Republic. One died in the Czech Republic and was buried in a mass grave and the other died in a prison in Halle, Germany.

The experience was a harrowing but rewarding one for everyone involved. Gilly said: “Filming the documentary was incredibly emotionally draining. We were all crying several times a day, but the whole experience was very worthwhile and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. More stories like the one we uncovered need to be told.”

Gilly Carr is a Senior Lecturer and Academic Director in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education (ICE). She is also a Fellow of St Catharine’s College and a Member of the McDonald Institute of Archaeological Research. She works in the field of Conflict Archaeology, POW Archaeology and Heritage Studies and her current research projects are based in the Channel Islands.

Gilly will be teaching a short course at the Institute of Continuing Education in 2017 on the subject of Channel Islander victims of Nazism. Details will be announced in July.


Thursday, 05 May 2016 10:13

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Culture and identity in the early medieval fenland landscape

Journal article by Dr Susan Oosthuizen in Landscape History 37, 1: 5-24.


Published May 2016

The fen-basin is located in a region in which material culture had become largely Germanic by the mid-fifth century. This paper evaluates the contribution made to an understanding of that process of cultural change by place-names, archaeology and documentary records.
Archaeological evidence indicates little post-Roman abandonment of the fenland; the region continued to be inhabited and exploited. Patterns of intercommoning, the Tribal Hidage, and stray pieces of information recorded by Bede and Felix, demonstrate the presence of territorial groups across the whole basin by the mid-seventh century in a complex, almost certainly dynamic, hierarchy of subordinate and dominant polities, principalities and kingdoms, some with some Brittonic territorial names and others with names based on Old English elements.

Most of the people who gave these place-names were likely to have been descended from the Romano-British and prehistoric inhabitants of Britain. Different cultural traditions cannot be identified in their material culture, and many may have been bilingual. Such commonalities, together with continuity across the region in structures governing rights of common pasture, suggest that it is as likely that some sub-Roman polities evolved into sub-kingdoms as it is that other polities were created anew. There is nothing so out of the ordinary in such political changes that they might be ascribed to the influence of incomers. The influence of migration on the evolution of early medieval fenland culture remains enigmatic.

You can download the whole journal article on the Taylor and Francis Group website.



Wednesday, 13 April 2016 00:00

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Global Summer Programme:
additional places now available

Apply today

The Global Summer Programme is primarily for undergraduates at IARU institutions. However a limited number of additional places are now available for students from other leading universities around the world.

Students should have an equivalent GPA of 3.5 or above (ie, be in the top 10% in their year), and must provide a current transcript, two referees, IELTS scores (where relevant), as well as the completed application form by Monday 23rd May at the latest.

Application form

Download the application form here.

Open-access Summer Programmes

We also offer a wide range of other open-access programmes:
Ancient and Classical Worlds
Creative Writing
English Legal Methods
Medieval Studies
Interdisciplinary Summer Programme

About our programmes

Programmes are delivered at university level and geared towards an adult audience of undergraduate and graduate students, professionals and retired people. All are taught by leading Cambridge scholars and guest subject specialists. Programmes combine classroom sessions, subject-specific morning lectures and general-interest evening talks. 

Find out more

Browse our programmes online
Download a copy of our brochure
Request a copy of our brochure or
Call us on +44 (0) 1223 760850

What our students say

“One of the best summers of my life! The courses were intensive, challenging and highly enjoyable!”
Marie Tredaniel, France (Interdisciplinary Programme)

“In the introduction talk you said that your goal was to change lives, and in my case you definitely succeeded. I will hopefully be returning next year, and will definitely be recommending it to others.”
Blanaid Barr, Northern Ireland (Literature)

“Classes are rich and rewarding in their variety and depth; plenary lectures are stimulating and fun; the international, intergenerational student body is a delight… It's no wonder students return year after year.”
Ben Wiley, USA (Interdisciplinary Programme)

“The International Summer Programme is the most wonderful thing I have ever taken part in. I have learned more in the past two weeks than in the past two years! Thank you for this opportunity!”
Barbara Plock, Germany (Medieval Studies)

For more information visit
Follow us on Twitter:@Cambridge_ISP





Thursday, 31 March 2016 12:50

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Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown walk opened as part of CB300 celebrations

The Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) has created a new walk in the grounds of Madingley Hall, in honour of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown's Tercentenary.

Professor Sir Mike Gregory, Acting Director of the Institute of Continuing Education, unveiled the Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown Tercentenary Walk at ICE's annual Open Day on Thursday 24 March 2016.

Download a leaflet of the walk to find out more about the route and its history.

Access to the walk

Visitors are welcome to walk round Madingley Hall's grounds, including the new walk, during daylight hours, Please note that the Hall, Courtyard and Walled Garden are private, and that picnics, games, radios and dogs are not permitted in the grounds.

The gardens will be accessible at the Open Afternoon for the National Gardens Scheme on Sunday 5 June, 2.30 to 5.30pm and as part of the Open Cambridge weekend on Friday 9 September, 2.00 to 7.00pm.

A Capability Brown Conference: Moving Heaven and Earth will be held at the Hall from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 August 2016.

Please note that access is not available on the following dates in 2016:

  • Sunday 29 May
  • Wednesday 1 June
  • Saturday 4 June
  • Sunday 12 June
  • Saturday 18 June
  • Sunday 19 June
  • Wednesday 6 July
  • Saturday 16 July
  • Saturday 23 July
  • Saturday 30 July
  • Saturday 13 August
  • Sunday 14 August
  • Friday 26 August
  • Saturday 27 August
  • Sunday 28 August
  • Saturday 10 September
  • Saturday 24 September

Photo: Professor Sir Mike Gregory, Acting Director Institute of Continuing Education, Julia Weaver, Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust, Richard Griffin, Senior Surveyor, University Estate Management, Richard Gant, Head Gardener.
Image credit: Colm Sheppard


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