Kent Summer School in Critical Theory

The KSSCT is intended for early career researchers and doctoral candidates who are engaged in critically inclined research and thinking in any discipline. In each year, specific scholars are chosen to conduct intensive two-week seminars, and these determine the primary scope and ‘content’ of the school in any one year.

In the past we have also admitted independent scholars and, exceptionally, students who are yet to commence doctoral studies, on the basis of the general strength of their application and the specific correspondence of their interests to one of the seminars.

No. What makes the KSSCT different from other summer schools is its intense and collaborative nature. Each participant will attend one single two-week seminar, designed by a leading scholar as a coherent project. We are committed to this format, because it enables a more significant and sustained exposure to the work of the teacher, as well as cultivating the personal and affective dimension that is potentially a part of all intellectual encounters.

Each year, there will also be several evening events, such as lectures by invited guests, designed to bring the separate seminars together.

In 2019, there will also be a Graduate Research Day, taking place separately from the two-week duration of the summer school. For more information, please see the dedicated tab on this website.

As you will read in the ‘Apply’ section of this webpage, you are required to explain which seminar you would like to attend and why. If your interests extend to more than one seminar, please let us know and you may be offered a place in either one. However, you can only attend one seminar in any one year.

We allow our invited seminar leaders complete freedom to design their seminar. They are given a basic template of two two-hour seminars a day, four days a week, which they can use to pursue a programme of study. This may involve lectures, discussion, close reading sessions, presentations by participants, field trips, or anything else.

You will see an indicative reading list in each seminar description (under ‘Seminars’ on this webpage). Successful applicants will be provided with a more detailed reading list, and any instructions, programme of classes, or other information about preparation required by the teacher.

In this event, please contact the academic directors, whose email addresses you will find in the ‘Welcome’ section of this webpage. Under exceptional circumstances we may be able to consider a late application.

No. The KSSCT is conceived as a space away from the formal administrative structures of the academy. However, participants have sometimes requested an official confirmation of their participation, which we are very happy to provide.

The KSSCT is founded on a strong commitment to shared intellectual engagement. What makes the KSSCT different from other summer schools is its intense and collaborative nature. Each participant is an active member of a single two-week seminar, designed by a leading scholar as a coherent project. Whilst attendance records are not kept and attendees are free to do as they wish, we strongly recommend that participants give themselves the chance to experience the full benefit of this format.

The KSSCT has a strong non-profit ethos. We do not receive corporate funding, and the fees payable are strictly to cover the running costs of the school. However, our budget does include provision for a small number of limited scholarships, available in the form of partial fee waivers.

If you would like to be considered for financial assistance, please also submit a one-page explanation of why this is required. Applicants are also encouraged to be creative in finding supporting funds from their home institution. Consider whether there might be professional development, research support, or ad-hoc funds available to you.

Yes, there are a limited number of places at the KSSCT Graduate Research Day open to applicants who aren’t able to apply to the KSSCT this year.

Since its inception in 2015, we have tried to make incremental improvements to the KSSCT after reflecting on the feedback of participants. We have learned that our core format of intensive two-week seminars is highly valued, because it often brings about the subjective transformation associated with significant developmental experiences. However, we have also learned that it would be valuable for graduate student participants to engage with each other’s research in a slightly more formalised way. The Graduate Research Day is a chance to discuss your research project with a new and highly engaged audience of peers, to share experiences of graduate study, and to discuss the risks, rigours and pleasures of interdisciplinary critical work, from methodological concerns to the political economy of the contemporary academy.

If you need general information regarding the summer school, application requirements or process, deadlines, fees, scholarships, venue and so on, please consider the tabbed sections of this webpage.

For all other general enquiries, please use the contact form in the final section.

For all academic enquiries, please contact one of the KSSCT directors whose email addresses can be found in the ‘Welcome’ section of this webpage.