Theme ’21


Since March most of us have become more fully present in our homes, editing out the non-places of modernity, work, commuting, retail therapy, holidays. Many of us have rationed our connections into tight bubbles, calculating who is essential to us. Walter Benjamin suggested we only experience history, when it stands still; in our homes, in our bubbles, we have all been experiencing history, and inevitably, thinking.

As we come back blinking into the light, we return to the many wars and conflicts, the multiple ends— of history, progress, society, capitalism, austerity, nature and the end of the world. The long slow collapse of future horizons – the ‘cancellation of the future’ – our shared sense of malaise, exhaustion and narrowed possibility and optimism also faces the looming shadow of Nietzschean eternal recurrences.

“After-thoughts”, is a reprise of the E+S PhD Summer School for our socially distant times. We return to the spirit of the castle, where time and space expand in front of us, and we ask leading academics to revisit their best ideas…..

Our format is a ruminative academy, using the pandemic restrictions as a spur to reflection, thinking differently, in hope of better days. Each speaker will present key ideas and paradigms, give their ‘after-thoughts’ on previously published work, and contemplate what’s coming ‘after’ the pandemic, in markets, work, organisations, welfare, politics, critique, media, migration and much more.

Theme 1: Ideas Lying Around.



For a sense of our culture and ethos, please see some of our recorded public interviews with leading academics / scholars through the embedded videos below.