Cambridge Rivers Project Summer Programmes

The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is proud to be co-hosting a series of international summer schools with the Cambridge Rivers Project in August 2015.

The Cambridge Rivers Project, established in 1983 within the Department of Social Anthropology and Kings College, Cambridge, is dedicated to innovation and communication in anthropology. Alongside academic research projects, it hosts cultural exchanges between Britain and Asia, in the fields of poetry, opera, literature, film and photography. Since 2013 CRP has been affiliated with the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology (MAA).

MAA has one of the most important collections of its kind in the UK, with artefacts and from every inhabited continent in the world and every period of human history and prehistory. Since its establishment in 1884 it has been a centre for teaching and research within the University. The Museum hosts several major international research projects and collaborates with international partners on many more. In addition to graduate and undergraduate teaching within the University, MAA also offers a range of educational programmes tailored to learners of all ages and backgrounds.


These experimental summer programmes present a unique blend of experiences and encounters that only the University and City of Cambridge can offer. Rather than focusing on one academic discipline, whether anthropology, history or the natural sciences, each programme focuses on collaborative learning about the inter-connected global world that we all inhabit. Led by senior academics and researchers from the University, encounters in museums, galleries and colleges will offer participants an inter-cultural experience like no other.

Executive Director of the Cambridge Rivers Project, Zilan Wang, explained the particular value of Cambridge as a venue for the programmes:

“We use the greatest university in the world, the University of Cambridge, as an extended educational experience in order to help students appreciate other cultures and begin to learn about world civilizations. The superb museums, Colleges, art galleries and other facilities in this most beautiful of all universities are built into the course. Students learn through talks and books, but also through walking, visiting buildings and encountering artefacts. This will enrich their experience into a multi-dimensional one.”


Launching the programme, Professor Alan Macfarlane FBA, original founder of the Cambridge Rivers Project, emphasized the historical significance of some of the people and relationships that have emerged from the University:

“Cambridge gave much of the world’s greatest literature, particularly poetry: Spenser, Donne, Milton, Wordsworth, Colerige and Tennyson of course, but also Xu Zhimo and many others. It also trained many of the lawyers and administrators who maintained the largest Empire in global history, and provided the template for educational systems around the world. The Ivy League universities in the USA, for example, were established by Cambridge Scholars.”

This year we are pleased to offer four tailored programmes:


  • Global Knowledge Family Programme – for children between the ages of 7 and 12, and their parents.


  • Global Knowledge Junior Programme – for school and college students between the ages of 12 and 17.


  • World Civilisations Youth Programme – for students between the ages of 18 and 25.


  • Leadership and Cultural Experience Programme – for business and financial professionals.


Confirmed speakers for the 2015 programmes include:

  • Professor Alan Macfarlane, FBA. Social Anthropologist and Historian, Fellow of Kings College Cambridge.
  • Dr Mark Elliott. Senior Curator in Anthropology, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
  • Dr James Lin. Senior Assistant Keeper in Applied Arts. Fitzwilliam Museum.
  • Richard Berengarten. Poet and Fellow, Downing College and Corpus Christi College.
  • Mr Peter Jones. Fellow Librarian, Kings College Library

For information on these courses and enquiries about next year’s programmes, please contact the Cambridge Rivers Project

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