Skip to content

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. 

Follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook page. 

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive up-to-date information on upcoming open lectures and events.

 

 

Upcoming events

Wed
18
Jan

Listening to Einstein's universe: How we detected gravitational waves

Learn about the amazing technology behind the LIGO detectors, which can measure the signatures of space-time ripples less than a million millionth the width of a human hair, and explore the exciting future that lies ahead for gravitational-wave astronomy as we open an entirely new window on the Universe.

Mon
23
Jan

After great wrongs: From memory to the present

As the Holocaust recedes in time, the guardianship of its legacy is being passed on from its survivors and witnesses to the next generation. How should they, in turn, convey its knowledge to others? What are the effects of a traumatic past on its inheritors? And what are the second generation's responsibilities to its received memories? Eva Hoffman - a child of Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust, but whose entire families perished - explores through personal reflections, and considering historical, psychological, and moral implications of the second-generation experience.

Tue
24
Jan

Climate change, fishing, and coral reef ecosystem integrity

Environment Department and Stockholm Environment Institute Joint Research Seminar

Tue
24
Jan

Son of Saul - film screening

Join the University of York Jewish Society at a screening of Son of Saul, the 2015 Hungarian Oscar winner directed by Laszlo Nemes about a day-and-a-half in the life of Saul Auslander, a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando.

Wed
25
Jan

Resisting planetary gentrification: The cases of Istanbul, London and Rome

The process of gentrification has produced one of the largest literatures in urban studies, yet there have been few academic studies of resistance to gentrification; indeed detailed studies of anti-gentrification protests, struggles and activism seem to have been side-lined by attention to the causes and effects of gentrification

Thu
26
Jan

The problem of suffering: A Thomistic response

In this lecture, Professor Stump will present and defend the theodicy of Thomas Aquinas as a representative medieval account of the world and God's reasons for allowing suffering in it.

Thu
26
Jan

What on earth does the past of Eastern Africa tell us about future sustainability?

This lecture will look at the environmental changes in Eastern Africa - ecosystem services, agricultural resilience and climate adaptation

Thu
26
Jan

Brexit, what next for Britain and Europe?

The Politics Society in conjunction with the York Tories and EU Society are proud to host ‘Brexit, what next for Britain and the EU?’

Fri
27
Jan

Working as a journalist in the media and human rights hostile environment of Ethiopia

Getachew Simie is a well-known journalist in Ethiopia. He will speak about the difficulty of working with independent media and promoting freedom of expression in his home country.

Tue
31
Jan

On Henri Lefebvre's "revolutionary citizenship": Urban protest and the challenges of the post-political

Gareth Millington discusses the later work of French sociologist Henri Lefebvre

Tue
31
Jan

Wolves, ravens and troll-women: 1066 in old Norse history and literature

From prosaic historical accounts to tall tales of bloody portents, the Old Norse sagas demonstrate that the challenge of writing the great king’s defeat offered surprising opportunities for creativity and literary innovation

Tue
31
Jan

Dreams, dice and divination: Islamic art and the supernatural

The first of this term's events from the Islamic Art Circle

Wed
1
Feb

Vertical: The city from satellites to bunkers

What does it mean to be above or below in today’s rapidly urbanising world? As humans excavate deep into the earth, build ever-higher into the skies, and saturate airspaces and inner orbits with all sorts of machines, how might we understand the remarkable verticalities of our world?

Thu
2
Feb

£110bn, that’s a lot of money – Financial decision making in the Department of Health

The Finance Director for the Department of Health talks about decision-making with a budget of £110bn+

Wed
8
Feb

Watching the brain at work

Professor Leon Lagnado from the University of Sussex discusses the brain at work

Thu
9
Feb

Breaking out of the straight jacket: Mental health and the LGBT community

Matthew Todd, former editor of Attitude magazine, will talk about mental health and the LGBT community.

Fri
10
Feb

The human rights crisis in Burundi

Marc Niyonkuru is an independent journalist from Burundi who has reported on human rights violations since 2008. He has investigated and disclosed arms trafficking and human rights abuse during the electoral process

Wed
15
Feb

We believe (think, plan), but who are ‘we’?

Professor Margaret Archer talks about who 'we' are...

Thu
16
Feb

Going to Strasbourg: Oral history accounts of sexual orientation discrimination and the European Court of Human Rights

Understanding the role of the ECtHR in safeguarding LGBT rights is vital at a time when Conservative Party and other politicians advocate the UK weakening its ties with Strasbourg

Tue
21
Feb

What is fiction (good) for?

In this lecture, Rafe shows that while there is no essential link between fiction and personal or political growth, there are at least three ways in which stories make a moral difference.

Wed
22
Feb

Grasping the everyday rhythms and atmospheres of a fish market

This talk takes two fish markets as sites to explore urban social life

Wed
22
Feb

Concussion, convergence, computation and the clinic: What does a computer scientist know about getting hit in the head?

Professor Mark Daley will discuss how computer scientists are helping science understand traumatic brain injury

Thu
23
Feb

Symbolism and memory in Imperial Mughal tombs

The second of this term's events from the Islamic Art Circle

Fri
24
Feb

The rehabilitation of torture victims

Nodjigoto Charbonnel is the director of the Centre de Réhabilitation des Victimes de la Torture (AJPNV) in Chad. The AJPNV works primarily towards the rehabilitation of torture victims, the abolition of torture, and the education of citizens of Chad on human rights. It provides medical, psychosocial and legal support to victims of torture, IDPs, and female victims of sexual violence

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
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.

Thu
9
Mar
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.

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