Virtual Summer Festival of Learning open talks | Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) skip to content

Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


Free open talks

In addition to the week-long courses we offered the following open talks:

Week 1: 6 July - 10 July

The impacts of the COVID-19 shutdowns on air quality and climate: What have we learned so far? Dr Alex Archibald 

Jean Paul Sartre as a public intellectual: WWII, the French Resistance and Existentialist Philosophy Professor Patrick Baert 

Reading Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall trilogy Dr Jenny Bavidge 

An overheated world Sir Tony Brenton 

Lord Byron: still ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’? Simon Browne 

The strange adventures of H Sarah Burton

Animal Rights Law Dr Seán Butler 

1989: why the Wall fell Dr Jonathan Davis 

Alan Turing and the Enigma machine Dr James Grime 

Experiencing histories: mural painting in Britain Dr Lydia Hamlett 

Heart of oak – the oak in history, legend and natural history Dr Patrick Harding 

Lessons from Ophelia Vivien Heilbron 

Neuroscience: unravelling the brain Professor Peter J Hutchinson, Mr. Jeremy Dearling, and the COMMIT team of investigators

Is there more to medieval warfare than fighting?: Dr Philip Morgan 

  • Writing medieval battles
  • Picturing medieval battles
  • Remembering medieval battles

Sutton Hoo and the Golden Age of Early England Dr Sam Newton

Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield: “a public of two” Dr Claire Nicholson

Little lights with big ideas Professor Rachel Oliver

Greek art and ideas in the Cambridge Museum of Classical Archaeology Jan Parker   

How Roman was Roman Britain? Dr Nicholas James 

Courting Shadows and Rifling Paradise Professor Jem Poster 

Serving a villain: Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII Dr Jessica Sharkey 

Digital productivity and digital wellbeing Tyler Shores

Week 2: 13 July - 17 July

Medieval literature and race: exploding the myths Dr Lucy Allen-Goss

Plastic planet Dr Claire Barlow 

Living in the shadow of the Bomb: Hiroshima and after Sir Tony Brenton

Liberal values in retreat: Westphalia here we come Sir Tony Brenton 

Shakespeare's Othello: Venice, Cyprus and a man ‘of royal siege’ Simon Browne 

Impostors and A Double Life Sarah Burton  

Can Archaeologists excavate the Nazis? Dr Gilly Carr

Other worlds: the rise of the Multiverse in Fundamental Physics Dr Harry Cliff 

Turning points in the History of Science Dr Seb Falk 

Tudor neuroscience Dr Christina Faraday

The costs and benefits of dating vampires: economics and Young Adult fiction Meghane Flynn & Sarah Hardstaff

Illustrating Britain’s mythic origins Dr Amy Jeffs

Existential Risk: an introduction to studying the end of the World Dr Luke Kemp

The BBC: broadcaster to the world Dr Seán Lang

Realism and Fantasy Dr John Lennard

COVID-19: the story of an Apocalypse… but in both senses of the word Dr Calum Nicholson

The history of English Karen Ottewell

Courts and Palaces of the Renaissance Dr Sarah Pearson

Brought to light - Jem Poster's poetry Professor Jem Poster

Framing the city: Sickert’s Girl at a Window, Little Rachel Jo Rhymer  

Which type of technologies can we use for fighting a pandemic?​ Dr Clarissa Rios Rojas

The riches of English medieval funerary art: Professor Nigel Saul

  • Tombs and tomb-makers
  • Status and salvation
  • Design and meaning

"A brave, bad man": the historical reputation of Oliver Cromwell Dr David Smith

The joy of steps Dr Matthew Wilkinson

Week 3: 20 July - 24 July

The Middle Ages illuminated: Dr Rowena E Archer

  • The Wilton Diptych
  • The Très Riches Heures
  • The Beauchamp Pageant

The origin of our Universe Dr Matthew Bothwell 

Machiavelli and the virus Sir Tony Brenton 

The only British survivor at the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp Dr Gilly Carr

The Holocaust, Nazi persecution and the Channel Islands Dr Gilly Carr

The Cherokee Indians and the Trail of Tears Dr Ian Chambers

What evolution does - and does not - tell us about humans
Professor Simon Conway-Morris

Finding your voice as a writer Miranda Doyle

Shakespeare and spirituality Valentin Gerlier

The Jurassic world of fossil hunter Mary Anning Dr Aaron Hunter

The Presidency of John F Kennedy, 1961-63 Nicholas Kinloch

Kipling and the Imperial "ideal" Dr Seán Lang

Jane Austen and her modern collaborators Dr John Lennard

'Van Dyck was right': Anthony van Dyck and English portraiture Catharine McLeod

A Nazi in the family Derek Niemann

The Pardoner's Tale: self and story in The Canterbury Tales Dr Lotte Reinbold

The beauty of silk Dr Darshil Shah

The future of perovskites for solar power and lighting Dr Sam Stranks

Why read Ulysses? Getting to grips with James Joyce's masterpiece 
Dr Mark Sutton

Mao, Maoism and political revolution in Communist China Robert Weatherley

"Nothing is funnier than unhappiness": approaching Samuel Beckett's tragicomedy Dr Andy Wimbush

The University's International Summer Programmes are an embodiment of our mission 'to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence'.

Professor Graham Virgo QC (Hon), Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education)