skip to content

Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


The Department has three annual lectures, covering the themes of Europe, Britain and International Relations. All three are open to members of the public. 

The Antcliffe Lecture

New in 2015, the Antcliffe Lecture was established following a donation in the name of John Antcliffe, who studied History at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, before going on to become a respected public relations professional. 

The lecture series will focus on British Politics. You can read more about John Antcliffe, who passed away in March 2010, here.

The Alcuin Lecture

Named after Alcuin of York, a teacher, theologian, and poet who advised the Emperor Charlemagne, this annual lecture hosted by the Department of Politics and International Relations is given on a topic concerning the UK and Europe.

The series was established with a generous gift from Lord Brittan, former Vice-President of the European Commission, who himself gave the first lecture in 1999. Since then many UK European Commissioners have contributed to the series, which has also included Lord Hannay, the former UK Permanent Representative to the EU, Carl Bildt of Sweden, and Shirley Williams.

The Hinsley Lecture

This annual lecture takes place in memory of Sir Francis Harry Hinsley (1918–1998), the Founding Director of the Centre of International Studies (1975–1987) which is now part of the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS). He was a student and later Master of St John’s College (1979–1989) and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge (1981–1983). 

Harry Hinsley worked as a cryptanalyst at Bletchley Park during the Second World War and was a leading figure in the history of international relations. St John's College hosts the Hinsley Memorial Lecture on an international relations topic usually in Michaelmas Term each year.