iHumanities College Summer School of Literary Theory and Philosophy 2021

University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, in Collaboration with St Berchmans College
July 2021

The iHumanities College at UWTSD Lampeter is pleased to invite registrations for an Online Summer School on Philosophy and Literary Theory.

The Organising Unit – About the iHumanities College

The iHumanities College is based at the birthplace of higher education in Wales and the oldest degree-awarding institution, with lecturers that are not only specialists in their research area but experts in distance-learning provision. We’ve been delivering distance-learning programs and modules for about 30 years. Indeed, distance learning is not something we started since Covid but a long time before the pandemic, recognizing the advantages that distance learning brings in terms of flexibility and bringing together an international cohort of students.

Since UWTSD Lampeter opened its doors almost 200 years ago, we have been delivering excellent teaching in Humanities subjects as well as undertaking research in a wide range of overlapping disciplines. With such a wealth of experience behind us, we know what works. We have a firmly established reputation for delivering small group teaching; teaching which enables our lecturers to respond to the needs of every single one of students. Studying at such an established University, you can expect no less that a truly rewarding experience.

Here at Lampeter, we focus exclusively on Humanities subjects. This focus allows us to foster a multidisciplinary research environment in the Humanities, as well as offer a wide mix of online extra-curricular activities as part of our iHumanities Activities Academy. And with teaching expertise that is as established as the Lampeter Campus itself, our students are in expert hands, enjoying courses which have been written and developed by the lecturers themselves. We offer undergraduate programs and Masters programs in a wide range of Humanities disciplines, both online (from a distance) and on campus.

Further, in our teaching of mature students as distance-learners, we recognise that our students often have other commitments and, with the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to have such a massive impact on our students, we are running a summer school for postgraduate students. We pride ourselves on our constant enterprise in furthering the study and research opportunities for our students, and this summer school is just one of those opportunities.

Co-hosting Partners

Department of English, St Berchmans College, Changanassery, Kottayam, Kerala, India.


About the iHumanities Summer School of Philosophy and Literary Theory 2021

The School is intended to be a lecture-based, theory-oriented course seeking to advance debates and understandings on a wide array of critical enquiries about various domains ranging from Shakespeare Studies to Environmental Humanities and a range of research areas in Philosophy. To complete the Summer School, full attendance is required. Students are welcome to attend without full attendance, but this will not lead to a certification of completion.

There will be a reading list for the program and the participants are expected to find the time to read through the required texts and participate in the discussions. Our lecturer team for the School are all world-renowned, eminent scholars in their respective domains and form a transnational pool. The timetable of lectures will be flexible with lectures taking on days place throughout July, often on weekends.

Who can participate?

The target participants of the School are Researchers (Doctoral students), Academics and Postgraduate students (including MA students) who would like to engage with critically inclined research and thinking on Literary/Critical theories, English, and / or Philosophy.

Participants who wish to receive a Certificate of Participation upon successful completion of the School need to submit a student paper related to one of the themes of the programme. (This can be submitted to the organisers after the School has finished.) There is a possibility for these papers to be published as a postgraduate, edited book collection. However, submission of a paper is optional, and participants are more than welcome to attend the School without submitting a paper.

We expect to accommodate around 500 participants spread across these categories. Following the outstanding success of the Berchmans College Summer school in 2020 in which UWTSD were honoured to have collaborated, we expect a high number of participants. Participant registration will be accepted on a ‘first come first served’ basis.

Aims and Objectives of the Program

The program is designed to enable the participants to further their understandings on areas in critical theory and philosophy and how they overlap. Both critical theorists and philosophers believe in intellectual rigor and conceptual clarification, with critical theory itself being a philosophical movement that developed from the Frankfurt school. Although critical theory has sometime had an uneasy relationship with philosophy, there are good reasons why critical theorists and philosophers can work together to learn from what each has to offer the other, particularly in relation to issues of equality; marginalisation; environmental degradation; human-animal interactions / relations; and women, animals and social justice. As such, the Summer School will focus on presentations from literary theorists and philosophers who do research within the following fields of study: Disability Studies; Eco-criticism and Philosophy; Deconstruction; and Animal Studies.

Schedule of Talks

All presentations will be a 2-hour slot consisting of 1 hr presentation, 15 mins break, 45 mins Q & A.

3 PM (UK), 7.30 PM (India, Kerala)

Mr Nithin Varghese, Assistant Professor, Department of English, St Berchmans College, Kerala, India.

Title: “Rasa and Dhvani in Indian Poetics: Some Reflections”

Nithin Varghese

Nithin Varghese is an Assistant Professor of English at St Berchmans College, Changanacherry. His areas of interest are Middle English Literature, Literary Theory and Indian Aesthetics. He has to his credit many scholarly articles published in reputed national and international journals. He is a University Grants Commission – Inter-University Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences (UGC-IUC) Associate at Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India.

3 PM (UK), 8 AM (Boulder, CO), 7.30 PM (India, Kerala)

Dr Antje Richter, Associate Prof. of Chinese, Colorado University Boulder.

Title: “Imitation, Imagination, and the Limits of Language in Ancient Chinese Poetics”

Antje Richter

Antje studies the culture of early and medieval China, with research interests in literature, art history, religion, and medical thought. She is currently working on two book projects: Illness Narratives in Early Medieval China and Studies in Early Medieval Chinese Literary Imagination. Antje is the author of a monograph on notions of sleep in early Chinese literature (2001, in German) and of the book Letter Writing and Epistolary Culture in Early Medieval China (Seattle: Univ. of Washington Pr., 2013). She also edited a conference volume, A History of Chinese Letters and Epistolary Culture (Leiden: Brill, 2015), and is co-editor of three earlier conference volumes (in German). Antje has published articles on aspects of Chinese literature, medicine, and art in Monumenta Serica, Early Medieval China, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Asia Major, and T’oung Pao.


2.00 PM (UK)

6.30 PM (India)

Prof. Jonathan Wolff, Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy, University of Oxford, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford, UK.

Title: ‘Disability, Social Inequality, and Structural Injustice’

Jonathan Wolff

Jonathan Wolff is the Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy and Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College. He was formerly Blavatnik Chair in Public Policy at the School, and before that Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Arts and Humanities at UCL. He is currently developing a new research programme on revitalising democracy and civil society, in accordance with the aims of the Alfred Landecker Professorship. His other current work largely concerns equality, disadvantage, social justice and poverty, as well as applied topics such as public safety, disability, gambling, and the regulation of recreational drugs, which he has discussed in his books Ethics and Public Policy: A Philosophical Inquiry (Routledge 2011) and The Human Right to Health (Norton 2012). His most recent book is An Introduction to Moral Philosophy (Norton 2018).

Earlier works include Disadvantage (OUP 2007), with Avner de-Shalit; An Introduction to Political Philosophy (OUP, 1996, third edition 2016); Why Read Marx Today? (OUP 2002); and Robert Nozick (Polity 1991). He has had a long-standing interest in health and health promotion, including questions of justice in health care resource allocation, the social determinants of health, and incentives and health behaviour. He has been a member of the Nuffield Council of Bioethics, the Academy of Medical Science working party on Drug Futures, the Gambling Review Body, the Homicide Review Group, an external member of the Board of Science of the British Medical Association, and a Trustee of GambleAware. He writes a regular column on higher education for The Guardian.

5 AM (UK) on Friday 9th July.

9.30 AM (Kerala, India) on Friday 9th July. 

9 PM (Oregon, US) on Thursday 8th July

Scott Slovic, University Distinguished Professor of Environmental Humanities English Department, University of Idaho

Title of talk: “Contemplating Ecoprecarity during the Coronavirus Pandemic: The Convergence of the Medical Humanities and Ecocriticism.” 

Scott Slovic

Scott has published more than 300 articles, interviews, op-eds, and reviews and is the author, editor, or co-editor of 27 books, including “Going Away to Think: Engagement, Retreat, and Ecocritical Responsibility” (2008) and the textbook “Literature and the Environment” (1999/second edition 2013).

More recent books include “Ecocriticism of the Global South” 2015), “Currents of the Universal Being: Exploration in the Literature of Energy” (2015), “Numbers and Nerves: Information, Emotion, and Meaning in a World of Data” (2015), “Ecocriticism in Taiwan: Identity, Environmental, and the Arts” (2016), “Ecocritical Aesthetics: Language, Beauty, and the Environment” (2018), “The Routledge Handbook of Ecocriticism and Environmental Communication” (2019), and “An Island in the Stream: Ecocritical and Literary Responses to Cuban Environmental Culture” (2019). Forthcoming co-edited books include “Nature in Literary Studies,” “Reading Dogs and Cats: Companion Animals in World Literature,” and “A Handbook of Medical-Environmental Humanities: Exploring the Intersections between the Medical Humanities and Ecocriticism.” Much of his current research focuses on “data studies” (how information is collected, communicated, and processed cognitively) in the contexts of humanitarian and environmental crises. He serves as an advisor and contributor to the Arithmetic of Compassion website.

2 PM (UK), 6.30 PM (India), 9 AM (Tampa FL)

Professor Steven Tauber, Professor of Political Science, School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, University of South Florida.

Title: Critical International Relations Theory, Critical Animal Studies, and Sustainable Development

Stephpen Tauber


Articles include:

2017. “The Impact of the Threat of Terrorism on US District Court Decisions in Wartime,” Terrorism and Political Violence 29:793-829. 2017.

2014. “U.S. District Court Decision Making in USA PATRIOT Act Cases After September 11.” Justice System Journal 35:139-161. 2014.

2013. “State Legislators’ Roll-Call Votes on Farm Animal Protection Bills: The
Agricultural Connection.” Society and Animals: The Journal of Human-Animal Studies 21:501 – 522.

2010. “The Influence of Animal Advocacy Groups in State Courts of Last Resort.” Society and Animals: The Journal of Human-Animal Studies 18:58-74.

2008. “The Globalization of Disease: Implications of Human Capital Consolidation and Endogenous Sustainable Development.” Global Health Governance 1 (2):1-15.


2 PM (UK), 6.30 PM (India), 9 AM (NC, USA)

Prof Laura Wright, College of Arts and Science, English, Western Carolina University.

Title: Topic – Literature and Animal Studies

Laura Wright

Laura Wright is Professor of English at Western Carolina University, where she specialises in postcolonial literatures and theory, ecocriticism, and animal studies. Her monographs include Writing Out of All the Camps: J. M. Coetzee’s Narratives of Displacement (Routledge, 2006 and 2009) and Wilderness into Civilized Shapes: Reading the Postcolonial Environment (U of Georgia P, 2010). She is lead editor (with Jane Poyner and Elleke Boehmer) of Approaches to Teaching Coetzee’s Disgrace and Other Works (MLA, 2014). Her most recent monograph, The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals, and Gender in the Age of Terror, was published by the U of Georgia P in 2015. Her edited collection Through a Vegan Studies Lens: Textual Ethics and Lived Activism was published in February 2019 by the University of Nevada Press.

3 PM (UK), 7.30 PM (Kerala, India), 9 AM (Texas, USA)

Carol Adams, ‘Reflections on a feminist-vegan critical theory’

Carol Adams

Carol Adams is an author, speaker, and activist with a Masters in Divinity from Yale Divinity School. Her work focuses on social justice, including women’s rights and animal rights, as well as racism, domestic violence, and homelessness. Her books include The Sexual Politics of Meat, Neither Man Nor Beast: Feminism And The Defense Of Animals, and The Pornography Of Meat.

2 PM (UK), 6.30 PM (India, Kerala)

Dr Sophie Vlacos, Lecturer in English Literature Post 1900, University of Glasgow, School of Critical Studies


Interpretation of Poetic Language: Heidegger and Post-structural Hermeneutics

Sophie Viacos

Sophie has taught on a variety of (largely post-1900) courses within English Literature and supervises doctoral theses on a range of contemporary authors and theorists. In 2014 she published a monograph, Ricoeur, Literature and Imagination, with Bloomsbury, about Paul Ricoeur’s philosophy of language and the history of modern literary theory. Parts of this work have been translated into Polish and Italian.

Other publications include (2019) Symbiosis: a Journal of Anglo-American Literary Relations [Co-editor]. Symbiosis: A Journal of Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations;  (2019) From Poe to Post-Postmodernism: Symbiosis, 1997–2018. Symbiosis: A Journal of Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations, 22(2), pp. 125-145; (2018) Responsible individualism and mauvaise foi in middlemarch and freedom. Symbiosis: A Journal of Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations, 22(2), pp. 171-195.

Recent research activities include the ‘Theory Now’ conference, which she hosted in Glasgow March 2019 and an article for the American studies journal Symbiosis, entitled ‘Freedom and mauvais foi in Eliot and Franzen’ (Fall, 2018).

2 PM (UK), 6.30 PM (India, Kerala)

Prof. Chris Norris, Emeritus Professor, Cardiff University, UK.

Title: ‘Literary Theory and Musical Thinking’

Chris Norris

Christopher Norris is Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy at the University of Cardiff, Wales and has taught at many universities around the world. He has written more  than thirty books on aspects of philosophy and literary theory, among them The  Deconstructive Turn; The Truth About Postmodernism; Spinoza and the Origins of Modern Critical  Theory; Quantum Theory and the  Flight from Realism; Philosophy of Language and the Challenge to  Scientific Realism; On Truth and Meaning; Fiction, Philosophy and  Literary Theory; Badiou’s Being and Event: a reader’s guide and (most recently) Re-Thinking the Cogito: naturalism, rationalism and the  venture of thought.

His books and articles on Jacques Derrida have appeared at regular intervals over the past twenty-five years and have lately been concerned with the implications of Derrida’s work for epistemology and philosophy of logic and language. His latest book Derrida, Badiou and the Formal Imperative is due for publication later this year. He also writes about issues in aesthetics and philosophy of art, having published the monograph Platonism, Music and the Listener’s Share and edited the volumes Shostakovich: the man and his music and Music and the Politics of Culture.

Over the past thirty years he has lectured at many universities around the world and has been a visiting professor at Berkeley, Tulane University, City University of New York, Dartmouth College (School of Criticism and Theory), the University of Santiago de Compostela, and elsewhere.

His current main interest is on the relationship between philosophy and poetry, including the idea of verse as a way of addressing philosophical themes.


5pm, Melbourne, Australia
8am, UK
12.30, Kerala, India

Professor Raimond Gaita

Title of Talk: TBC. The talk will be on the theme of Gaita’s short essay for a book called Continent Aflame.

Professor Raimond Gaita

Raimond Gaita is a Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne Law School and The Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne and Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy at King’s College London. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Gaita’s books, which have been widely translated, include: Good and Evil: An Absolute Conception, the award-winning Romulus, My Father, which was nominated by the New Statesman as one of the best books of 1999, by the Australian Financial Review as one of the best book of the decade and was made into a feature film starring Eric Bana, Frank Potente and Kodi Smit-McPhee; A Common Humanity: Thinking About Love & Truth & Justice, which was nominated by The Economist’s as one of best books of 2000; The Philosopher’s Dog, short-listed for the New South Wales Premier’s Award and The Age Book of the Year, Breach of Trust: Truth, Morality and Politics and, as editor and contributor, Gaza: Morality Law and Politics; Muslims and Multiculturalism; and with Alex Miller and Alex Skovron, Singing for All he’s Worth: Essays in honour of J.G. Rosenberg.

Who’s Afraid of International Law (edited with Gerry Simpson) and On Dignity will be published in 2012.

Because he believes that it is generally a good thing for philosophers to address an educated and hard-thinking lay audience as well as their colleagues, Gaita has contributed extensively to public discussion about reconciliation, collective responsibility, the role of moral considerations in politics, the Holocaust, genocide, crimes against humanity, education (the nature of teaching as a vocation, the role of love in learning) and the plight of the universities.

How to apply

Applicants outside India can apply for the program by filling in this form.

Applicants in India, please apply using the following links: 

Masters and Doctoral students from India:


Post-Doctoral Scholars and Academicians/Professors from India:


Should you have any issues applying or for general enquiries, please contact Dr Rebekah Humphreys via email at r.humphreys@uwtsd.ac.uk.


Program Fees

After receiving a notification of acceptance, the selected candidates can proceed with the payment of a nominal registration fee. The fee will contribute towards the basic running expenses of the program, including IT costs, as well as any edited collections / other publications resulting from the program.

For Masters and Doctoral students  from India:
INR 300 / Pound Sterling 3 

For Post-Doctoral Scholars and Academicians/Professors from India:
INR 1000 / Pound Sterling 10

For all other student participants, UK and international:
Pound Sterling 20

For post-doctoral scholars and academics, UK and international:
Pound Sterling 25

Platform Requirements

The program is delivered online via Zoom. Please note that participants are required to install ZOOM on their mobile device/ computer to access the program.