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Open Lectures at the University of York

A lecture audience (c) John Houlihan

Every term, the University organises free open lectures on a wide variety of topics and aimed at a general audience.  Some require tickets (available on individual event pages) but most do not. Where tickets are needed, this is also indicated in the publicity.

We distribute information on upcoming lectures to interested members of the public at the start of each academic term (October, January and April). If you would like to receive a free copy of this leaflet either by email or by post, please join our mailing list.  Updated lecture details are also available here on our web pages. As they are updated frequently, they may publicise lectures which we were unable to include in the leaflet.

If you have an accessibility need, please contact us at open-lectures@york.ac.uk or 01904 324466, and we will make every effort to accommodate you.

The majority of lectures are held on the University campus. There is a regular bus service and the campus is easily accessible by bicycle. Car parking is available in the Pay & Display car parks, which are free after 6pm. Please note however space in the Field Lane car park on Campus East is limited. More information on reaching the University together with maps and additional parking information can be found on our Information for Visitors webpages.

Download our current leaflet.

See all of our current and previous lectures this term

Have a question about open lectures? See our FAQs, or email us. 

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Upcoming events

Tue
28
Feb

Going hungry: Researching food-bank usage in the UK

In this talk Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite will discuss the research undertaken for her critically acclaimed book ‘Hunger pains: life inside foodbank Britain’.

Tue
28
Feb

The F Word: Feminism on Campus

First-wave feminism achieved women’s suffrage, second-wave achieved reproductive rights and equality in the workplace. But what has the third-wave achieved?

Fri
3
Mar

The true impact of CSR activities

Part of the CSR Leadership Seminar Series

Mon
6
Mar

'Ditch the Witch': The past history of misogyny in politics

Why is there so much sexism in politics? Sarah Richardson traces the history of misogyny in British politics to uncover some answers.

Tue
7
Mar

Literary networks of the Vicars Choral and the Clerical Proletariat in late Medieval York

In Medieval York a range of literature sprang up from within the Minster, giving us a rare chance to look at the multilingual literary production within a normally invisible group

Wed
8
Mar

European populisms: Demand-side, supply-side and contextual explanations

Populist movements and parties have thrived in Southern Europe in recent years. Their success is often related to the influence of the financial crisis and its disastrous impact on the quality of life of ample sectors of the population throughout the region, that is, to demand-side variables emerging from an impoverished populations. This presentation reviews reaction to the crisis in Italy, Greece and Spain and examines why political outcomes have been markedly different in these three cases.

Wed
8
Mar

Beyond Frankenstein: The writings of Mary Shelley

Anna Mercer discusses the life and works of Mary Shelley, beyond her 'one-hit wonder', Frankenstein.

Thu
9
Mar

Lessons from the Tin Woodman: Disability and the Posthuman

This talk focuses on representations of body augmentation and enhancement in a number of modern and contemporary literary and film texts, reading them in the context of disability, engineering, design and the posthuman

Thu
9
Mar
Fri
10
Mar

How Alara Wholefoods became the most sustainable food manufacturer on earth

What role does the food industry play in making our economy more sustainable? Alex Smith talks about the best practices to lead the way in sustainability, including how he achieved his mission in making Alara the first zero-waste manufacturer in the world.

Fri
10
Mar

Defending the right to protest and to dignity in detention in Egypt

Doaa Mostafa is a lawyer and Criminal Justice Programme Director at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), an NGO that was established in 2013 and has quickly become one of the leading human rights organisations in the country. ECRF have led the campaign to Stop Enforced Disappearances in Egypt, a human rights violation that has increased dramatically over the past few years.

Wed
15
Mar

John Snow: from York to London and Beyond

The lecture will therefore provide an opportunity to celebrate John Snow’s achievements in the context of his Yorkshire origins and to discuss the lasting legacy of his work

Wed
15
Mar

Enhancing the city beautiful

York is one of the UK's great heritage cities, and the quality of its centre is one of its chief selling points - it attracts visitors (about 7 million a year), students and entrepreneurs. It is a great place to live. But the quality of the public realm is under threat. Ron will examine some of the issues, and what has recently been done about them, and what can be done. He will mainly refer to the work of the civic trust's City Enhancement Fund, and may well mention his new book: York: changing the face of the city.

Thu
16
Mar

Life is Astronomical

Dr Marek Kukula from the Royal Observatory talks about space and astronomy.

Fri
17
Mar

The value chain

How to ensure that sustainable supply chain management systems drive value and success for business as much as for society?

Tue
21
Mar

Cairo the city victorious

In this lecture, Marin will discuss the beautiful architecture and the highly crafted artworks produced in Cairo from its foundation in 968 to the end of the Ottoman rule in the 19th century

Thu
23
Mar

Language learning in your sleep

Professor Gareth Gaskell presents this year's Merchant Adventurers’ Science Discovery Lecture

Fri
23
Jun

Falling Walls Lab York

York's best and brightest compete to captivate audiences with their groundbreaking research.