Cumberland Lodge


'Turning Points in History'

Cumberland Lodge

Department of International History, LSE
Cumberland Lodge Weekend
27 – 29 October 2023

Every year, the International History Department holds an event at Cumberland Lodge, a country house and conference centre in Great Windsor Park. Students and faculty meet to socialise and to explore a theme of historical and contemporary interest in a relaxed, relatively informal atmosphere. This year’s theme is “Turning Points in History".

Certain terms – both new and old – are becoming common currency. As climate change takes hold, news reports are filled to the brim with references to tipping points, government officials and policymakers are now conceptualising the contemporary world as one of polycrisis, and we regularly hear that we are encountering another turning point. We are, in short, living through a period at which we are becoming increasingly aware of multiples breaks with the past. For many years, the historical profession wrote obsessively about such turning points. History has witnessed many of these moments as power has shifted, society has changed, politics have morphed, or the environment was transformed. Even if scholars use the term less frequently than they once did, our research projects often still pivot around times of profound change. As such, what can history tell us about turning points? What underpinned these breaks with the past? Were they experienced in this way as they took place, or is it only clear in retrospect? What can history tell us about how societies and institutions navigate, cope with, and respond to such change? At this year’s Cumberland Lodge, join members of the department to hear how their research can shed light on these and other questions. 

Alongside the sessions, there will be free time for further historical discussion and debate, whether on walks through the park or in the Lodge’s fine drawing rooms. There will also be time to socialise with fellow students and staff members at meals and in the bar in the evenings.

The cost of the weekend is £100 per person. This includes coach transport to and from Cumberland Lodge, accommodation and all meals.

View the programme here

Previous themes

Student reviews

"Overall it was a very well organised and perfect event."

Yener (2018-19)
PhD International History

"I had a great time meeting some lovely people from the department over the weekend and I was grateful for the opportunity to get some fresh air! The lodge itself had a great deal of charm, and the lectures were conducive to some very interesting conversations. The food was pretty good too!"

Harry (2018-19)
MSc Theory and History of International Relations  

"The Cumberland Lodge weekend has been one of the highlights of my time at LSE so far. The Lodge itself was like a palace, and, with its rich past and royal connections, was the perfect place to learn about the histories of freedom and subjugation. I really enjoyed the diversity of topics that were covered, from gulags in Siberia and human rights in Iran, to Communism in Poland and the four freedoms of post-World War II America. These all opened my eyes to completely different parts of history that I’d never considered before, and it was great to be introduced to some of the current research that members of staff are doing. The best part of the weekend, however, was getting to know other historians, whether that was through exploring the beautiful grounds and park together or just chilling in the bar of an evening. There was a real community atmosphere the entire weekend, and I’ve gained so many friends because of it. The weekend was such a brilliant experience – I learned a lot, met some great people, and loved it so much that I would thoroughly recommend everyone to take advantage of it."

Scott Gibson (2015-2016)
MSc Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation