Course overview



Our Department of Art and the British School at Rome are pleased to announce the 2019 Curatorial Summer School entitled 'Curating the Contemporary'

This Summer School is now in its third year and is  aimed at those who are interested in the professional field of curating. This will take place in July 2019 at the prestigious British School at Rome. We are looking 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 in the contemporary moment.

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

Please note that this is a two week course taking place from Monday 1 - 15 July 2019.



Booking information

Disability Support

We are committed to providing reasonable teaching adjustments for students with disabilities that may impact on their learning experience. Please be advised that in order to provide an assessment and plan appropriate support we require as much notice as possible and, in some circumstances, up to 3 months. If you are planning to book, or have already booked, onto a short course please contact Goldsmiths Disability Team disability ( at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your interest in the Curating the Contemporary course. 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 for places. Our selection process ensures the resulting group of participants are able to maximise the potential of the course.

In order to apply we ask that you send us a CV and a statement of interest (maximum of two A4 pages) outlining your relevant experience or practice and why you would like to join the course. 

Please send your CV and statement to shortcourses ( and we will be in touch with further details. If your application is succesful you will be provided with a password to secure your place on our booking system, Eventbrite. 

Course Fees

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.

Deadline for Applications

17th June 2019 (midnight). We will then review your application and if accepted you will need to pay a deposit of £1,000.00 within 3 days of acceptance to reserve your place on the course, and the balance of the course fee before 24th June 2019

Early Bird Offer - Now Closed

There is an Early Bird offer available on this course. This a £400 reduction on the above prices. Please note that in order to be eligible for the Early Bird discount you must submit your application before 14 February 2019. We will then review your applications and if accepted you will need to pay for the course in full before 1 March 2019


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

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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.

Research areas thus include the making of publics, the instituting of subjectivity and the politics of display, both in terms of critical writing, the conceptualisation and realisation of exhibition projects, and in the form of an ongoing formulation of histories of exhibition making and reception.

Recently he has engaged in making former the notion of ‘the West’, in how Capital can be read, re-read and represented, and in the artistic practices of archiving, circulation and dissemination that can be viewed as unauthorized, and running counter to sanctified cultural politics and forms.


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. 

2019 Schedule 

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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