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Exeter College Summer Programme: Subjects

Lecture Courses

ECSP offers 12 lecture courses and the Individual Research Tutorial. There is no fixed academic path: you choose any two.

The 2024 lecture courses are listed below (syllabi can be accessed by clicking on the titles):

  1. Literatures of Modernism TBC
  2. How to Read Paintings TBC 
  3. The Art of Ghosts (Nineteenth Century to the Present)
  4. Historians and the Problem of the Archive
  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. Quantum Computing – detailed course description will be available in early December .
  12. Cognitive Neuroscience TBC
  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: Historians and the Problem of the Archive, Lecturer: Giuseppe Marcocci is Professor of Early Modern Global History at the University of Oxford and Fellow in History at Exeter College, Oxford. His research focuses on histories of empire, knowledge, and religion, with special but not exclusive reference to the early modern Iberian world. He is the author of The Globe on Paper: Writing Histories of the World in Renaissance Europe and the Americas (2020), and co-editor of Space and Conversion in Global Perspective (2014) and Machiavelli, Islam and the East: Reorienting the Foundations of Modern Political Thought (2018). He is currently completing a book on visual dissent in Spanish and Portuguese colonial cities during the seventeenth century and co-editing, with Yonatan Glazer-Eytan (Princeton), a journal special issue on the intersection of the archival and material turns in early modern history.

Course: Introduction to International Relations, Lecturer: Dr Greg Aasen Dr Aasen is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the School of Social Sciences, University of Westminster. His research background is on representations of danger and discourses of identity emanating from (violent) non-state actors. He is also a specialist in South Asian security politics and his current research focus is on the Indian government’s representation of the Indo-Pacific.

Course: Behavioural Economics,
 Lecturer: Professor Michalis Drouvelis Professor Drouvelis is a Professor of Behavioural Economics at the University of Birmingham. His research interests lie in the area of behavioural and experimental economics. Recent work has focused on social preferences, on voluntary cooperation in the presence of free rider incentives, on expression of emotions and on coordination games. Professor Drouvelis’s research has been published in top academic peer-reviewed journals such as Games & Economic Behavior, Journal of Public Economics, European Economic Review, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Journal of Economic Psychology, Experimental Economics, Theory and Decision, Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics and Economics Letters. Professor Drouvelis is also the author of the highly successful book ‘Social Preferences: An Introduction to Behavioural Economics and Experimental Research’ and is affiliated with CESifo (Munich). He also serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization and European Economic Review and is Coordinating Editor for Theory and Decision.

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 Professor 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 at the University of Oxford. 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, Lecturers: Professor Luna Filipović and Professor Maria Gomez-Bedoya
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.

Maria Gomez-Bedoya is Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of East Anglia since 2015. She holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics, a degree in English Language, Communication and Marketing, and two Masters in Spanish Teaching and Hispanic Linguistics. She has completed several courses in Personnel Management and is currently a trainer in Forensic Linguistics for Spanish police forces. Maria has an international background and has worked in a number of countries as a teacher, teacher trainer, and team manager. Before joining UEA she worked for the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan and Brazil, as a Fulbright Scholar in USA, and as a presenter in NHK Japan national public broadcasting organization, among others. Professor Gomez-Bedoya is also the treasurer of the Association of Contemporary Iberian Studies (ACIS) and an active member of the Aurora Leadership Foundation.

Course: Quantum Computing

Course: Cognitive Neuroscience

Academic Resources

All ECSP students will have access to Exeter College’s Library, open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Students taking an Independent Research Tutorial will also have access to ‘the Bodleian’,  a collection of 28 libraries that serve the University of Oxford. To further support your studies, ECSP Faculty will provide course readers and supplementary resources. You will be advised of any pre-course reading prior to the start of the Programme.