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.’

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