Friday 3 February 2017

Call for Applications | ACU Commonwealth Summer School 2017: Creating Greener Narratives through the Environmental Arts and Humanities

ACU Commonwealth Summer School 2017: Creating Greener Narratives through the Environmental Arts and Humanities

Saturday 5 - Sunday 13 August 2017

Bath Spa University, UK

Call for Applications:
The ACU Commonwealth Summer School – now in its seventh year – is an opportunity for talented university students from around the Commonwealth to come together for an exciting week of expert lectures, group work, field trips, skills development and social events. 

The Environmental Humanities
The 2017 Summer School will explore interrelationships between humans and other living beings, and between cultural practices and environmental problems – and will look at how these can be examined through different academic disciplines and creative arts. Bath Spa University is a world leader in research and teaching in these areas, and is therefore ideally placed to lead this discussion.

The Theme
The Environmental Arts and Humanities is a dynamic field of the human sciences which offers important perspectives on the environmental challenges facing global society today. Climate change, biodiversity loss, systemic pollution and the environmental and social cost they pose in both the developed and developing world are timely and relevant concerns for students of the Commonwealth. These issues underline the importance of cross-border cooperation at a time of significant geopolitical tensions, which are pushing environmental issues further down government and media agendas. Summer School participants will draw on the diversity of their experiences to explore an interconnecting set of global challenges, and will learn more about how arts and humanities approaches in interdisciplinary combinations, make studying these grave socio-ecological problems both engaging and empowering. Throughout the Summer School students will be introduced to key ideas and approaches within the Environmental Humanities through a series of workshops, field trips, and keynote talks on subjects including: 'New narratives for environmental change' in relation to history and geography, philosophy and anthropology, literature and the visual and performing arts, heritage and tourism. The programme will include practical activities exploring these issues, supplemented by visits to sites such as Avebury, the Avalon Marshes, and the heritage cities of Bath and Oxford. Students will engage in arts and humanities group projects supported by an international team of research experts and representatives from local heritage organisations.

Speakers: Confirmed speakers include the following: 
Dr Martha Akawa-Shikufa – Deputy Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, University of Namibia | Professor Irma Eloff – Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, South Africa | Martin Palmer – Environmentalist and religious historian | Professor Kate Rigby – Research Centre for Environmental Humanities, Bath Spa University, UK | Professor Anita Taylor – Dean, Bath School of Art and Design, UK.

Who can attend?
The Summer School is open to participants who are current postgraduate (Masters and Doctoral) studying at any university in a Commonwealth country, plus students from ACU member institutions in Hong Kong and Zimbabwe. If you are an undergraduate student, you must have already started your final year of studies at the time of application. The Summer School is a small and friendly event, with delegate numbers capped at 45. It is an interdisciplinary event and students from all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. 

Costs, bursaries and visa information: Registration fees are: £350 (GBP) for participants from ACU member universities. A number of bursaries are available for students from ACU member universities.

How to Apply: Application guidance and the link to the application form is available here. Applications close at 12am (midnight, GMT) on Wednesday 15 February 2017. If you have a query which is not answered on this page, please email


  1. Is there going to be another summer school in the future?

  2. Is there going to be another summer school in the future?