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Exeter College Summer Programme: Subjects

Lecture Courses

ECSP 2023 will offer 12 lecture courses and the Individual Research Tutorial. There is no fixed academic path: you choose any two. ECSP 2023 courses will be confirmed soon.

The course listing below is for the 2022 programme. For a good guide to the style and content of our courses, you can access the syllabi by clicking on the titles below:

  1. Literatures of Modernism
  2. How to Read Paintings
  3. The Art of Ghosts (Nineteenth Century to the Present)
  4. History of International Slavery
  5. Introduction to International Relations
  6. Behavioural Economics
  7. Introduction to International Law
  8. Why Be Good? An Introduction to Ethics
  9. The Behavioural Ecology of Animals
  10. Forensic Linguistics
  11. An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics
  12. Cognitive Neuroscience
  13. Individual Research Tutorial Syllabus – click to download an IRT Research Proposal Form

We will endeavour to place you in your first-choice lecture courses but ask you to provide a reserve choice in your application, as your first choice may already be filled.  We limit numbers in each course to ensure you receive the small-class, discussion-based learning experience we offer.

While you are free to choose any two lecture courses, we recommend selecting one lecture course within, and one course outside, your major subject, and so take advantage of the opportunity to try something new and different. Some lecture course combinations may be restricted due to timetabling constraints.

Most courses do not have prerequisites and are therefore open to everyone. Please read the lecture course descriptions carefully and take time to choose wisely. You will have an opportunity to request to switch classes in Week 1, but this will be subject to availability and approval from the Academic Director.

Exeter reserves the right to alter or cancel any course in the event that a lecturer becomes unexpectedly unavailable, or in the unlikely event of a course being undersubscribed. In both cases we will use our best endeavours to find an alternative teacher and/or advise you of the best alternative course.


Course: Literatures of Modernism: the Modernist Novel in English, Lecturer: Dr Michael Mayo Dr Michael Mayo was a first-generation student at Harvard College, where he received an honours degree in English. After working as a teacher and principal at urban public schools, he received his M.A. in English from Middlebury College and an MSc in Literature and Modernity from the University of Edinburgh. For his DPhil (on James Joyce) he came to Oxford, where he was a lecturer at Exeter College; he is now the Junior Research Fellow in English at Worcester College, Oxford. He is currently writing a book based on his DPhil research on the formal relations between the texts of James Joyce and Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, the order of priests who taught Joyce at school. He uses psychoanalytic theory, particularly that of Melanie Klein, to trace the ways both Loyola and Joyce use frustration and satisfaction to drive their readers into a peculiar position, one both hermeneutic and existential, ironic and earnest, tragic and (potentially) hilarious. Still a lecturer teaching Exeter undergraduates, as a Fellow of Worcester College, he teaches Literature in English from 1830 to the present, with special focus on modernist narrative.

Course: How to Read Paintings, Lead Lecturer: Rachel Smith Rachel studied at the University of Cambridge, the Courtauld Institute of Art and the University of York. Her PhD thesis focused on abstract art made in London and St Ives during the 1930s and ’40s. She was curator at the Heong Gallery at Downing College, Cambridge, where she was a Bye-Fellow (2015–16), and then Assistant Curator at Tate Britain (2016–2019). She has taught at the University of Cambridge and the Courtauld Institute of Art and is currently researching for the catalogue raisonné of Ben Nicholson’s paintings and reliefs.

Course: The Art of Ghosts (19th Century to the Present), Lecturer: Professor María del Pilar Blanco María del Pilar Blanco is Associate Professor in Spanish American Literature and Fellow of Trinity College at the University of Oxford (UK). She is the author of Ghost-Watching American Modernity: Haunting, Landscape, and the Hemispheric Imagination (2012), co-editor, with Joanna Page, of Geopolitics, Culture, and the Scientific Imaginary in Latin America (2020) and, with Esther Peeren, of The Spectralities Reader: Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Critical Theory (2013) and Popular Ghosts: The Haunted Spaces of Everyday Culture (2010). She is completing Modernist Laboratories: Science and the Poetics of Progress in Spanish America (1870-1930), which will be published by Oxford University Press.

Course: The History of International Slavery, Lecturer: Dr Drexnell Peters Dr Peters is currently a Teaching Fellow at the University of Warwick and Supernumerary Fellow of Exeter College (Oxford) and was formerly the Bennett Boskey Fellow in Atlantic History at Exeter College, University of Oxford. Dr Peters has a PhD in Atlantic History from Johns Hopkins University. He is broadly interested in the history of the Greater Caribbean and the Atlantic World. Dr Peters’ current research project, through the main themes of geography and the environment, inter-imperial transitions, migration, the plantation economy, politics and religion, makes a case for the rise of a Greater Southern Caribbean region (inclusive of Venezuela and the Guianas) in the late eighteenth century, showing evidence for a very polyglot, cross-imperial and interconnected world. His first book, written in collaboration with historian Shane Pantin at the University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine, focused on the history of the campus’ Guild of Students in commemoration of the organization’s fiftieth anniversary and covered key issues of student movements, decolonization and post-independence in the former British Caribbean colony of Trinidad & Tobago.

Course: Introduction to International Relations, Lecturer: Dr Elisabetta Brighi Dr Elisabetta Brighi was the first Bennet Boskey Fellow in International Relations at Exeter College, the University of Oxford and is now a Lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Politics and IR, University of Westminster. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of International Security and International Political Theory. They include terrorism, urban security, affect and mimesis. She has published, most recently, the co-edited volume The Sacred and the Political (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016) and the journal article ‘The Globalisation of Resentment’, in Millennium: Journal of International Studies (2016).

Course: Behavioural Economics,Lecturer: Dr Donna Harris Dr Donna Harris is a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Department of Economics at Oxford University. Prior to this post, she was a Departmental Lecturer in Development Economics at the Department of International Development, University of Oxford and a Career Development Fellow (CDF) in Economics at Somerville College, University of Oxford. Prior to Oxford, she was an ESRC-MRC Interdisciplinary Post-Doctoral Fellow at Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge. She holds a PhD and MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge, MSc in Economic History from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA in Economics from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. She has been awarded research grants from the British Academy and a joint Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), UK. Her research areas are in Behavioural and Experimental Economics with applications to developing countries. Her research also uses methods in Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience using fMRI in order to understand individual and group decisions. Her current research project examines the roles of social identity, norms and narratives within social networks in the functioning of public organisations in developing countries (joint work with Prof. Paul Collier and Prof. Stefan Dercon, University of Oxford). Her other research explores the impacts of social interactions and communication on economic decisions including social preferences, financial decision-makings, and cooperation. Donna has taught Behavioural Development Economics course for the MSc in Economics for Development as well as undergraduate courses in Microeconomics, Game Theory and Development Economics.

Course: Introduction to International Law, Lecturer: Professor Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne Professor Hill-Cawthorne is an Associate Professor in Public International Law at the University of Reading, where he teaches on the LLB (Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Trusts Law and International Law) and the LLM (International Humanitarian Law and International Dispute Settlement). Prior to joining Reading in 2013, he was a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Public International Law at the University of Oxford, where he was also completing his doctorate. He was also previously a Stipendiary Lecturer in Law at Merton College, Oxford. Other previous positions include British Research Council Fellow at the John W Kluge Center, Library of Congress, Washington DC, Convenor of the Oxford Public International Law Discussion Group, and Treasurer & Member of the Executive Committee of Oxford Pro Bono Publico. Lawrence’s research interests cut across a number of topics within public international law, with his recent work focusing on international dispute settlement, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international criminal law. His monograph, Detention in Non-International Armed Conflict, which was published in 2016 by Oxford University Press, was awarded the American Society of International Law’s 2016 Francis Lieber Prize for best book in the field of international law and armed conflict as well as the 11th Paul Reuter Prize (administered by the International Committee of the Red Cross). His scholarship has been cited by, amongst others, the UK Court of Appeal and UK Supreme Court. Lawrence has acted as advisor to, inter alia, United Nations Special Rapporteurs, the International Bar Association, and the European Parliament, as well as to legal practitioners in cases appearing before UK courts.

Course: Why Be Good?
An Introduction to Ethic, Lecturer: Professor Michael Hannon Michael Hannon is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nottingham and Honorary Director of the Aristotelian Society—the oldest philosophical society in the UK. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, King’s College. Michael has published on topics such as the role of truth in politics, the value of knowledge, skepticism, and the importance of empathy.

Course: The Behavioural Ecology of Animals, Lecturer: Dr Ada Grabowska-Zhang Dr Grabowska-Zhang is a Stipendiary Lecturer in Biological Sciences at Brasenose College (Oxford), a Departmental lecturer in Environmental Sciences and also co-directs the Postgraduate Certificate in Ecological Survey Techniques. Ada received both her BA in Biological Sciences in 2008 and her DPhil in Zoology in 2012 from the University of Oxford. Ada has broad research interests ranging from evolutionary ecology to conservation and society. Her doctoral research focused on the behavioural ecology of the great tit (Parus major) and she has subsequently researched ethno-biological approaches to bird conservation, as well as studied bird diversity in urban and fragmented landscapes.

Course: Forensic Linguistics, Lecturer: Professor Luna Filipović Professor Filipović (PhD Cantab) is Professor of Language and Cognition at the University of East Anglia, UK. She received her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Cambridge, funded by a Leventis Foundation scholarship and Cambridge Overseas Trust grant. She held two postdoctoral fellowships, one in psycholinguistics at the Department of Psychology, University College London, sponsored by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and one in linguistics at the Department of Linguistics, Cambridge, supported by the Leverhulme Trust and Newton Trust. She has authored/co-authored and edited/co-edited 8 books and numerous journal articles and peer-reviewed book chapters. Her specialisation is in forensic linguistics, experimental psycholinguistics, and bilingualism. Her most recent monograph Bilingualism in Action: Theory and Practice (2019) was published by Cambridge University Press. Recent research examines language effects on memory and on the description and translation of witnessed events. Professor Filipović has conducted experiments showing how a specific language spoken by a witness or suspect can affect the quantity and quality of information given, and how, why and when this information can be distorted in translation, impacting witness memory and jury judgments. She has advised the UK Government on the integration of randomised control trials into policy-making in her role as a select member of the Cross-Whitehall Expert Advisory Panel. She has studied multilingual police interviews in both the UK and the US for 20 years and discovered important problems in police communication and police interpreting. She leads a multidisciplinary project TACIT – Translation and Communication in Training (, which feeds the latest research findings on bilingualism and communication into training materials for police officers, language professionals and university educators.

Course: An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics, Lecturer: Dr Tom Crawford Dr Crawford is a mathematician at St Edmund Hall at the University of Oxford and the face of the award-winning Tom Rocks Maths YouTube channel. When not talking all things maths on Numberphile or for the BBC, he can be found getting new maths-themed tattoos (12 and counting) or pretending he’s a rockstar.

Course: Cognitive Neuroscience to be confirmed.

Academic Resources

To support your studies, ECSP Faculty will provide course readers and post supplementary resources online. You will be advised of any pre-course reading prior to the start of the Programme.