Bader International Study Centre


at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.



at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.

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On Saturday 25th March, members of the BISC community participated in our inaugural Festival of Ideas.  This was an enhanced version of our traditional End of Term Conference, and provided a day-long showcase for students and faculty to share their research with fellow members of the castle community and members of the Friends of the castle, who joined us to the day.  There was a full programme of papers and panel presentations in the Conference Room and posters produced by students from the Biology and Chemistry were displayed in the Conference and Conference Ante Room for attendees to study during the breaks for refreshments. 

Photo: Angela Feng, Katelyn Holiday, Roger Melody, Katherine McCoy, Sabrina Mehmood, and Brandon Gulliver after their afternoon Panel Session.


The proceedings opened with a group presentation by Dr Barbara Holler and several students involved in the ‘i24’ and ‘Paris Box’ archival projects.  Aubrey McLeod introduced the audience to the film assembled from the day-long photographic exercise to record life here at the BISC, and discussions followed on the assembly of an archive of physical objects and the recording of memories from students who have spent the past year at the BISC.

BISC faculty were represented by Drs Rachael Johnstone, Shelley Katz, Christian Lloyd, and Peter Lowe, with papers on their current research in abortion law, audio technology, the work of Jimi Hendrix, and notions of British identity.

Student presentations came from Maysam Abu Khreibeh, who presented a paper on Israel-Palestinian relations and also teamed up with Beatrice Huh for a discussion of theories of Perceptual Expectancy; Angela Feng and Katelyn Holiday, whose paper explored the relative contributions of genotype and Environment on society’s understanding of homosexuality; Brandon Gulliver, Katherine McCoy, Sabrina Mehmood, and Roger Melody, whose work discussed aspects of Global Development theory in relation to issues of warfare and cultural dispute.


Photo: Aubrey McLeod introduces the film compilation of the ‘i24’ archive project.


Photo: Maysam Abu Khreibeh and Beatrice Huh invite the audience to think about perceptual expectancy.


The day concluded with Dr Graham Appleby of the Natural Environmental Research Council in conversation with Dr Shannon Smith of the BISC, shedding light on the work of the Space Geodesy Facility here and sharing his memories of the castle during its days as home to the Royal Greenwich Observatory. 

I would like to thank all of the students and faculty who expressed a willingness to take part in the Festival.  Thanks, too, are due to the members of the BISC Research Committee who helped organise the day, and to those faculty members who helped students develop their work into presentations.  Finally, thanks to all students, faculty, staff, and Friends who came to support the event. 

Dr Peter Lowe, BISC Research Director