Aspire in Arts, Humanities & Social Science Summer School

The Aspire in Arts, Humanities & Social Science Summer School aims to provide you with a full insight into life at Lancaster University, balancing skills development and experience of undergraduate level study with social and leisure activities. The Summer School is also an ideal way to get ahead in your preparation for university applications.  We ensure that groups are kept small and that we bring together like-minded students with subject leaders and current students. Summer Schools are an ideal way to step into learning beyond school.

History: The Lancaster witch trials of 1612-1613. Would you have convicted them?

With an introductory lecture  by Dr Stephen Pumfrey you will begin to examine witch hunts in early modern England. 

Working in small groups, you will be put in the position of the twelve Lancaster jurymen in the witch trials. The Summer School will conclude with your votes, and a discussion on whether justice was done when those found guilty were hanged on Lancaster's infamous Golgotha Hill. The session will cover many aspects of the witch hunt, notably those of religious, intellectual, social, legal and scientific history.

Preparation is not required, but you might read the short Wikipedia article "The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster".


English Literature and Creative Writing: A Century of Conflict? Literature and War 1914 – 2014

2014 is the centenary of the start of World War I; it is also the year in which British troops will finally withdraw from Afghanistan. As these two wars mark the beginning and the end of a century of conflict, the English Literature summer school will ask the following questions:

  • Why is the poetry of Wilfred Owen still seen as relevant today?
  • Do writers need to have fought in a war to write about it?
    • Does the changing nature of warfare prompt different kinds of writing, or does the ‘literature of war’ always return to similar issues?
    • What problems do writers face when narrating traumatic events?

To examine these questions, we will begin with the literature of World War I, both poetry and memoir, moving on to newer work such as Keith Douglas’s World War II poetry, Pat Barker’s novel Regeneration (1991), and Zoe Lambert’s recent short story collection, The War Tour (2010). We will also examine writings from those on the other side of these conflicts, such as Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front (1929) and writings by Iraqis and Afghans caught up in the recent wars.

If you are interested in these questions, come and work at the Summer School with experienced university tutors from the Department of English and Creative Writing. You will gain a sense of what studying English Literature at university is like by working with tutors in small groups, reading and discussing a range of 20th- and 21st- century writing that explores war and conflict. Your tutors will also introduce you to two important critical approaches to such writing: psychoanalysis, and trauma theory. Tutors will help you devise a presentation to give at the end of the course; this could take the form of anything from a piece of creative writing, a slideshow putting literary texts into dialogue with photographs and other visual images, or a short essay contrasting different kinds of war-related literary text.



More information about this subject will be available soon.


Law and Criminology: Breaking the Law

This course might make you think differently about crime and the law. The summer school will give you a taste of life in a law school as either a law or criminology student. You will work in small groups with experienced tutors to examine crime, punishment and the English legal system. We will discuss legal facts and myths and examine the causes and consequences of criminal behaviour.


Media and Cultural Studies

More information about this subject will be available soon.


Politics and International Relations: A world in crisis?

The world is changing rapidly, and growing ever more complex. Conflicts within and between distant states, and developments in the global economy, affect all of us to some extent. This session provides a brief guide to the problems facing the world today – in particular war, terrorism and the political dilemmas of the Middle East, but also the economic difficulties facing ‘advanced’ Western economies, the challenge by presented rapidly-developing countries like China, and the grotesque poverty experienced in countries whose citizens are denied the chance of prosperity for a variety of reasons. After the discussion, led by staff from the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, you will feel that the world makes much more sense; and even those who had not previously taken much interest in Politics will be much better equipped to follow future events. 


To apply for the Aspire in Arts, Humanities and Social Science Summer School, please complete the registration form.

Deadline for applications is Friday 25 April 2014.