Gregynog Hall

Gregynog Hall

15 November 2016

Bookings Now Open!!

Gregynog Ideas Lab VI Summer School
10-15 July 2017
Gregynog Hall, Newtown, Powys, Mid Wales, UK
Gregynog Ideas Lab blogspot.


Gregynog Ideas Lab is a unique opportunity for graduate students and academics engaged in work in international politics from a range of critical, postcolonial, feminist, post-structural and psychoanalytic traditions to re-examine their work and meet others engaged in similar areas. It is located within the broad realm of international politics, critical methods and various interdisciplinary approaches. You can have a look at last year's program to get a sense of the diversity of some of the programmes and subjects discussed here.

This year Gregynog Ideas Lab VI welcomes back the following guest professors from previous years: Andrew Davison, Jenny Edkins, Tom Lundborg, Himadeep Muppidi, Sam Okoth Opondo, Michael J Shapiro, Erzsebet Strausz, Rob (R.B.J.) Walker, Andreja Zevnik… and there are more to come!

The Gregynog Ideas Lab VI Summer School offers:
- a wide range of seminars, workshops, one-on-one activities and consultations offered by leading scholars and creative practitioners 
- new opportunities to present and discuss your work 
- constructive feedback on your research
- discussion sessions and other events focused on critical pedagogy 
- problem oriented panels and discussion groups (i.e. on publishing, fieldwork etc)
- a friendly and engaged “network” of students, academics, and artists

The Gregynog Ideas Lab is a residential summer school situated in the beautiful grounds of Gregynog Hall, Newtown, Powys, Mid Wales.  Please note that places are limited (30) and allocated on a first come first served basis. Thus we would advise you to consult our booking options (see our blogspot or booking form) and book fast. The registration fee covers your stay in Gregynog (5 days, full board), academic programmes and various other activities planned for the duration of the event. The only other expense you will have to cover is your travel to Gregynog.

If you have any questions about the summer school and the bookings, please get in touch with us (Andreja or Erzsebet) on Also feel free to email Muriel at if you would like to hear more about the participants’ experience. Muriel has been a participant to the past two editions and would be happy to share more of her experience. 

What is unique about Gregynog?
One of the strengths and mains sources of inspiration of the Ideas Lab is its international cohort of students and academics, providing a network of critical scholars who work on various facets of international politics. For students and junior faculty, sometimes being in the “critical” stream of your discipline means you might feel a bit alone at your institution. At Gregynog, you will meet other critically-minded people from across various institutions and geographic locations (such as the UK, USA, Sweden, Brazil, Switzerland, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary and many more). Every year the Ideas Lab brings together a group of people with whom you can establish lasting connections. You are likely to meet them again at workshops and conferences, making the ‘academic’ experience possibly less alienating and certainly more fun, which can help us re-engage with the purpose and potential of academic work and strengthen a sense of community.

Prospective PhD students would further benefit from developing a ‘taste’ of PhD life and research. You can ask participants or professors concrete questions about their institutions, the particularities of their PhD programs, research cultures and departmental atmospheres, and of course find out about funding and other opportunities.

For PhD students at all levels the Ideas Lab offers a platform to build a strong and lasting network that can accompany you on your PhD journey and open some doors later on in your career. The friendly and encouraging milieu of the summer school allows you to test your ideas, discover new research trajectories, resolve some of your PhD dilemmas, overcome writer’s block and what may appear to be the ‘irresolvable’ challenges of your research..

For PhD students who are close to finishing this could be a productive (yet relaxing and inspiring) time to fine-tune their dissertation work and get an insight into the field of academia, learn of any upcoming positions and receive one-to-one advice on job applications.

For early career academics Gregynog provides a stimulating environment where you can think, write, engage in discussions with like-minded peers and even start new collaborations. Our guest professors are happy to discuss matters relating to publishing and career development, and whatever might be important and relevant for you at your career stage.

What to expect at Gregynog?
The wide range of seminars, workshops, participant presentations and events are truly unique and intellectually stimulating. The various seminar streams offer the possibility for in-depth discussions of particular subject matters that change every year: last year, for example, seminar topics included feminist security studies, aesthetics and visuality in international politics, psychoanalysis and subjecthood, or critical pedagogy. In addition, Gregynog is committed to encouraging and showcasing alternative ways of engaging with international politics. For example, in the previous years the summer school hosted various performance pieces – such as a drag performance by Catherine Charrett (Queen Mary University London) on EU-Hamas relations, which was part of her PhD project, and a performed essay about academic debates on pornography by Lea Aigner, former MA student in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth. In the spirit of critical pedagogy, last year’s programme included the installation of an experimental learning space by Conor Heaney (Kent), Phil Gaydon (Warwick) and Erzsebet Strausz (Warwick), and at other occasions invited artists – such as Dolly Kershaw - joined us for special events. In this sense the Ideas Lab works as a ‘lab’ for participatory, innovative and transdisciplinary engagement with new and old ideas, and in this way, it seeks to open up different ways of approaching questions about international politics and its articulations. These special events tie in well with the workshop on storytelling and ongoing conversations about alternative ways of “writing”, which ask participants to consider how storytelling might be used in international politics, not only as source material, but also as a different way of doing, embodying and writing politics.

Want to know more about what participants say?

As Muriel writes,

‘For me, one of the key benefits of ‘Gregynog’ as a summer school is that it offers the opportunity for solid and constructive feedback. If you present during “participant presentation,” you will get a roomful of people who will give you thoughtful feedback and criticism, rather than the scant few questions that tend to come out of more traditional conference settings. In the words of one participant last year, the responses from the presentation was “feedback and a half.” Guest Professor surgeries also allow for in-depth discussion of projects, which I have been finding very helpful. They are akin to US office hours, where the GPs sit each at a table, and the participants can come to ask any sort of question. These questions can be extremely specific (‘How do I deal with the scenography of objects in an ethnographic museum?’) or relate to much broader topics (in fact, they don't even have to be formulated as questions!) Informal conversations outside of seminars and scheduled activities allow you to delve further into subjects brought up during sessions or surgeries. These might happen around a glass of wine late into the night, or on early morning walks around the estate.’

13 November 2016

Hold Tight! 2017 registration is about to open

Gregynog Ideas Lab VI (July 10 - 15, 2017) is about to get advertised.

Some of the Guest Professor for our VI iteration of the summer school include:

Andrew Davison
Jenny Edkins
Tom Lundborg
Himadeep Muppidi
Sam Okoth Opondo
Michael J Shapiro
Erzsebet Strausz
Rob Walker
Andreja Zevnik

… and many more to come.

Watch this space for more information very soon.

01 August 2016

Fantastic Ideas Lab!! Thanks to all participants...

Dear all
I hope you have all had time now to absorb the wonderful ideas and conversations that took place at Gregynog this year. It was a fantastic week, and made so thanks to an amazing bunch of participants (again!). This was the last year it will be run from Aberystwyth, so Yvonne and I would like to say a special thanks to you all--and thanks to Andreja and Erzsebet for taking on the running of the Ideas Lab from next year. They are in the process of booking 10-15 July 2017 with Gregynog and will I'm sure be posting more details shortly.
In the meantime do keep in touch. Yvonne has sent around everyone's contact details, and information about the Facebook group. You can also subscribe to this blog to get updates by email.
With very best wishes and many thanks for all your support and for making this such a wonderful venture!

28 June 2016

Looking forward to start of Ideas Lab!

Dear all
The Ideas Lab is now less than two weeks away, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming you all to Gregynog. There have been some minor changes to the timetable, and the new version has been posted. We have an exciting week in prospect!

Unfortunately, it turns out that Professor Mick Dillon will be unable to join us.  He has a newly scheduled hospital procedure and has had to withdraw. He is extremely sorry to disappoint those who had signed up to his seminars, but he has no option. We will miss him very much; we wish him well and hope he may be able to make it another time.

If you have any remaining queries, don't hesitate to contact us. We shall see you on July 11th!
Best wishes

31 May 2016

Guest professor seminars and workshop details

We are delighted to announce that full details of the guest professor seminars are now available through the link to the right. 

There is an exciting choice of topics. Each seminar comprises three one-and-a-half hour sessions. The seminars run in three steams and participants choose one seminar from each stream:

Stream A:
Specular Politics: Mystery, Manifestation, Resistance (Michael Dillon)

Deleuze and Politics  (Tom Lundborg)

Psychoanalysis and the Practice of Resistance (Andreja Zevnik)

Stream B:
On Violence, Security, and Outliving ‘Life’ (Asli Calkivik)

The New Politics of Enclosure (R. B. J. Walker)

(Un)making the Neoliberal Subject (Erzsebet Strausz)

Stream C:
Aesthetics and Politics (Jenny Edkins)

"The world, after the end of the world" (Andrew Davison)

Interpreting War: Critical Methods, Ethics & Politics (Annick T. R. Wibben)

In addition to the seminars, we have two plenary workshops. The first, led by Himadeep Muppidi, entitled ‘Worlding the postcolonial’, follows on from the wonderful storytelling workshop he led last year. The second is a completely new venture for this year—a workshop led by Phil Gaydon, Conor Heaney and Erzsebet Strausz. This workshop takes place over two plenary sessions in the Music Room on Wednesday afternoon/evening. Expect to find the room transformed and your ideas of learning spaces challenged.

Other activities include research surgeries with guest professors, sessions organised by participants, a twympath dawns on the first evening, a barbecue, and hopefully a yoga session to counterbalance all that thinking. There will be free time too, to enjoy walks and conversation in the beautiful surroundings at Gregynog.

Any queries, contact Yvonne Rinkart on
Looking forward to seeing you in July!

02 May 2016

July is fast approaching: Gregynog update

Dear all
July is getting closer and we are into the final phase of preparations for the Ideas Lab. We have a wonderful group of participants--and a few places are still available if you wish to join us. Use the booking tab on the right or if you have any queries email our Graduate Assistant, Yvonne Rinkart, on

We have a new guest professor to announce: Aslı Çalkıvik, from Istanbul Technical University has agreed to take part this year. Her work focuses on questions in international relations and political theory. She will be offering a seminar On Violence, Security, and Outliving ‘Life’, which examines questions to do with the relation between security and violence, and how political fear circulates in and produces the political field. The seminar asks whether we should or can dismantle security and what kinds of political imaginaries are available to think politics beyond a politics of security.   Aslı replaces Sam Opondo, who has family responsibilities that unfortunately prevent him participating this year.

We are also fortunate to be able to announce two exciting plenary sessions on Alternative Learning Spaces; we explore, with the help of visiting artists, creative spaces for learning that move beyond the seminar room or lecture theatre. More details of these will be available later.

Altogether a wonderful programme: the revised details have been posted on the right. We are very much looking forward to seeing you in July! 
Best wishes