Course overview



A Curatorial Summer School run by Goldsmiths Department of Art and the British School at Rome

“This course has been a very enriching experience. It has been very interesting to meet other professionals in the sector and reflect on curating on the international scene. Rome has been the best possible location to do the course because of its rich cultural context.”


Inez Florez, July 2019

A challenging and inspirational immersion course on key debates around what it means to curate and what it means to be contemporary. With the distinguished leadership of Dr Simon Sheikh and impresisve participation of International and Roman speakers, this course introduces historical and current concepts and theories in a relevant and engaging manner.

Dida Tait, July 2019

This Summer School is aimed at those interested in the professional field of curating and takes place at the prestigious British School at Rome. We look for entrants from a mix of backgrounds but particularly graduates and artists who are considering working in curating, as well as established curators who want to think and talk about the challenges and opportunities that face curators today.

The course will provide you with an opportunity to engage intensively contemporary art curation, which produces exhibitions and events in spaces such as commercial and public galleries, museums, and foundations, as well as public spaces and social contexts. It will investigate various modes of curating contemporary art, as well as the expanded sense of the philosophical idea of the curatorial as it is currently discussed in the field.

Please note: This is a two-week course. Future dates are yet to be announced, please contact shortcourses ( to register your interest.


£2,440 (accommodation packages available - see below).

Goldsmiths offers a 15% concession rate on short courses to Lewisham Local cardholders, Students and Goldsmiths Alumni.

Booking information

This course is designed for professionals and individuals who wish to take up the challenge of contemporary curating as an artistic, social and critical undertaking, and who wish to further develop their professional practice in this area.

We will be bringing together participants from an international forum. Whilst this is not an accredited course, there is an application process as we are normally oversubscribed. Our selection process ensures the resulting group of participants get as much as possible from the course.

Please contact shortcourses ( to register your interest.

Course Fees

Fees (no accommodation package)

Early Bird: £2,010

Standard:  £2,440 

Fees (accommodation package)

Early Bird: £2,700 - including shared, twin room accommodation

Early Bird: £3,130 - including single room accommodation

Standard: £3,130 - including shared, twin room accommodation

Standard: £3,610 - including single room accommodation

Disability Support

We are committed to providing reasonable teaching adjustments for students with disabilities that may impact on their learning experience. If you require adjustments, please complete the relevant section on the booking form and also contact us at so we can respond to your requests as soon as possible. 


If you have any questions about this course please contact shortcourses (

For information on our upcoming short courses please sign up to our mailing list.


The British School at Rome

Tutor information

Dr Simon Sheikh

Dr Sheikh is a Reader in Curating at Goldsmiths, and the programme director of our MFA in Curating. His  research deals with the modalities and potentialities of curating, within the relation between exhibition-making and political imaginaries. He is concerned with how exhibitions articulate through arrangement, narrative and spatialization, as well as how the very format of the exhibition can be expanded, negated or transformed.


Course structure

This is a 2-week intensive course intended to provide up to 22 participants with an overview of recent developments and theories within the field. We will explore such issues using Rome as its context and case study. You will stay at the magnificent Luytens designed British School at Rome, where the school will also be based. The British School of Rome offers a wonderful context in which to form an engaged community of inquiry and debate around the subject of curating. It has a research library, seminar rooms, a gallery and a lecture theatre and lovely gardens.

The course will be led by Dr Simon Sheikh, Director of the MFA in Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London, and will be based on its ethos of mixing theory and practice, while enabling participants to engage with our extensive professional networks in the field of contemporary curating. We will look at curating through the crucial phases of:

  • Conceptualisation
  • Realisation and mediation
  • Taking on board the role of the curator
  • The ethics of working with artists
  • The process of identifying current themes and methods in contemporary art
  • The principles and pragmatics of installation
  • The politics of exhibition making today

Through lectures, presentations, site visits, assignments and discussions, the group will work on formulating how they place and see themselves as curators, and what this means in terms of productivity and articulation, but also care-taking and collaborations.

We will make site visits to a number of spaces in Rome, taking in the full palette of possibilities, from museum and foundations to commercial galleries and alternative spaces. You will also be supplied with a specifically assembled reader in curating and contemporary art and will have lectures form a number of leading practitioners in the field.

Over the course of the 2 weeks, you will have the opportunity to meet and learn from many of the leading curators and theorists of contemporary art and to be introduced to important professional networks within the field of contemporary curating. 

Sample Schedule (2019)

Monday 1 July 

  • Arrival, check-in at British School of Rome
  • 3 pm - Welcome meeting - Introduction to the Summer School with Dr Simon Sheikh
  • 5 pm - Drinks Reception

Tuesday 2 July 

  • 10am - Simon Sheikh - Seminar on Modes of Address: on the modalities of Curating
  • 4.30pm - Site visit to Biblioteca Hertziana and talk with Maria Bremer

Wednesday 3 July

Thursday 4 July 

Friday 5 July 

  • 10 am - Close reading I
  • 3 pm - Richard Noble - Art, Curating and Contemporary Politics

Saturday 6 July 

  • 10 am - Iwona Blazwick - Ways of Curating
  • 2pm - Site visit - MAXXI (TBC)

Sunday 7 July 

  • Free - Groups work on assignments

Monday 8 July

  • 10 pm - Cesare Pietroiusti - Artist vs Curator
  • 3 pm - Groups work on assignments

Tuesday 9 July 

  • 10 am - Close Reading II
  • 6 pm -  Paolo Do - Atelier ESC

Wednesday 10 July 

  • 10 am - Aria Spinelli - Curation and Political Imagination
  • 2 pm - Guided tour with Aria Spinelli

Thursday 11 July

  • 10 am - Group work
  • 3 pm - Alfredo Cramerotti - Museum as Broadcasting

Friday 12 July 

  • 10 am - Close reading III
  • 3 pm - Carles Guerra - Creating and the Archive

Saturday 13 July

  • 10am - Beatrix Ruf (TBC)
  • 3 pm - Presentation of assignments and feedback

Sunday 14 July

  • Free

Monday 15 July

  • 10 am - Simon Sheikh - Curation and Futurity
  • Felice, Simon and group - Dynamic Conclusions


The British School at Rome

The British School at Rome is just north of Rome’s Centro Storico (historic centre) in the Valle Giulia which separates the Parioli district from the Borghese Gardens. This area, less than 10 minutes walk from Piazza del Popolo, is home to several foreign academies, embassies, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna and the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia.

The BSR’s history dates from 1901, when it was founded as a ‘school’ for research in archaeology and Italian studies.

'Every period of the language and literature, antiquities, art and history of Rome and Italy shall be considered as coming within the province of the British School in Rome.'

It occupies an elevated site in the Valle Giulia on the site of the 1911 British Pavilion. The Pavilion was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and then adapted by him to become the home of the British School at Rome. A major project of renovations and new buildings was completed in February 2004.

Financial support comes from:

  • the British government through the British academy
  • activity-specific sponsorship
  • ongoing private support from donors
  • Members


Participants will stay the British School at Rome in student-shared occupancy. Towels and bedding is provided and Wi-Fi is available across the site. 

There are three options to book on the course. There are two accommodation options you can choose from: The standard rooms are twin rooms (with an overall course cost of £2,950.00), however there are limited single rooms you can book with a single room supplement of £35.00 per night, with an overall course cost of £3,405.00. If you are located in Rome there is also an option to join the course without accommodation and meals included, which costs £2,300.00. You will be able to select one of these options when paying your deposit for your place on the course.

Student bedroom


When you choose the 'with accommodation' option, the price of the course includes daily breakfast and dinner meals, served in the School's Dining Room and Courtyard (weather dependant). 

The BSR operates a 'communal table': Dinner is where residents come together to share thoughts and experiences as well as pasta and coffee. Meals are table d’hote and are served at set times. We will try to cater for dietary preferences but these cannot always be accommodated. If you have particular dietary requirements please notify us before applying.

There is an option for those not staying at the BSR to pay to dine at the BSR on a day-by-day basis, bookable at the BSR reception.

Dining Room at the BSR

More information including images of the rooms and example menus can be found on the BSR website (

The British School at Rome
Via Gramsci 61
00197 Rome, Italy

View the British School at Rome on a Map

View directions to the British School at Rome

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