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Institute of Continuing Education (ICE)


Our Summer Festival talks bring together over 60 thought-provoking lectures, providing fascinating glimpses into a wide range of subjects, recent research and global current affairs. Delivered by academics from the University of Cambridge and invited specialists from other leading institutions, many talks complement the courses offered during the Festival, while others extend the range of topics covered.


All talks are approximately 30-40 minutes in duration and will be released at a rate of 2-3 a day, throughout the Festival. Subject areas embrace art, literature, film, archaeology, history, the Classics, research methods and a range of sciences. The full series of talks will be unveiled over the coming weeks.

Access to the series talks costs just £50 and once released all talks will remain online until Monday 6 September 2021, giving you plenty of time to re-watch your favourites.

Subjects already planned include:

  • Sustainability of healthcare PPE
  • Ancient myths and ancient men: Homer, Virgil and being a hero
  • Gerhard Richter and the Pop portrait
  • Impressionists in their gardens - living light and colour
  • Gravitational waves
  • Reading Caribbean poetry
  • Erasmus Darwin: sex, science and serendipity
  • What was Hadrian's Wall for?
  • The Spanish Conquest of Mexico
  • The new Cold War
  • Thebes
  • The making of Domesday
  • The languages of Domesday
  • Fate, resistance, and the office job: Herman Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener
  • Interesting concept, but is it art?
  • Neuroscience


The University's Virtual Summer Festival of Learning reflects 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)