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Intelligence Seminar

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Easter Term 2019


Welcome, or welcome back, to the Intelligence Seminar!

There is usually time in the latter part of each Seminar for participants, if they wish, to mention newly-declassified documents in the archives and other recent discoveries.



Professor Christopher Andrew (, Dr Dan Larsen (, Dr Thomas Maguire (, Dr John Ranelagh (, Sir Richard Dearlove, Professor Simon Heffer and Simon Brocklebank-Fowler. 

Except where otherwise indicated, all Cambridge meetings take place in Corpus Christi College McCrum Lecture Theatre (entry through ‘The Eagle’ archway, Benet Street) and commence promptly at 5.30 pm.
The Porters' Lodge at Corpus will provide further directions if required.


Friday 26 April

Professor Glyn Parry, ‘Magic and the Elizabethan Secret World’

At first glance the Elizabethan secret world resembles our own: double agents, disinformation and 'fake news', smear tactics, assassination plots, ciphers, sabotage, traitorous exiles and duplicitous allies. However, in several important ways Elizabethan spies operated in a very different world from our own, in which belief in magical forces interacted with Court politics that were determined less by the observance of law than the power of patronage. This presentation examines some of these broad issues through the career of a largely forgotten Elizabethan spy, double agent, Fellow of Trinity College and magician.

Signature of the first 007

Following Professor Parry’s presentation, there will a short discussion of more recent intelligence operations at Trinity College.


10-45 for 11-15 am, Friday 3 May


Trinity College, Cambridge, Winstanley Lecture Theatre (Please use the college entrance just opposite from the Great Gate; signs will point to the lecture theatre.)


‘Intelligence and Peace Symposium’

Jointly organized by the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar and the King’s College London Intelligence and Security Group

Registration for the Symposium costs £10 and includes lunch, and is at the following link:

Registration closes on Friday, 26 April

For queries, contact Dr Dan Larsen (



Coffee 10:45-11:15 am

Welcome 11:15-11:30 Prof. Christopher Andrew and Prof. Michael Goodman

Panel 1: 11:30-13:00 Intelligence Towards and After Peace: the First World War

Chair: Polly Corrigan (King’s College London)

Dan Larsen (Trinity College, Cambridge): Plotting Against Peace: British Intelligence and American Peace During the First World War

Jules Gaspard (King’s College London): The Perfidious Albion: The British Propaganda Campaign Against American Neutrality in the First World War

Julius Green (Birkbeck, University of London): From Mata Hari to Widow Twankey: Entertainers and Espionage during and after the First World War

Lunch 13:00-14:00

Panel 2: 14:00-15:30 Intelligence, Conflict & Conflict Resolution

Chair: Dr Daniela Richterova (Brunel University)

Keith Beavan (Former Director Counter-Terrorism, Foreign & Commonwealth Office): The Role of Intelligence in Conflict Resolution: A Three-Dimensional Analysis

Benny Morris and Dror Ze'evi (Ben Gurion University): Sir Mark Sykes and the Armenians during and after the First World War

Tony Craig (University of Staffordshire): ‘Defeating Terrorism’? Intelligence, Counter Terrorism and Northern Ireland Office's Multi Agency Strategy in the 1990s

Coffee 15:30-16:00

Panel 3: 16:00-17:30 Intelligence, Peace & Diplomacy

Chair: Dr Thomas Maguire (King’s College London and Darwin College, Cambridge)

Michael Goodman (King’s College London): Ending the Cold War: The CIA and the Art of Kremlinology in the 1980s

Gill Bennett (Former FCO Historian): Winning the War but Losing the Peace: Intelligence Agencies and the ‘Peace Dividend’

JD Work (Marine Corps University): Implanted Leverage: Towards a Preliminary Understanding of Cyber Espionage against Diplomatic Negotiations



Friday 10 May

Corpus Christi College McCrum Lecture Theatre

(entry through ‘The Eagle’ archway, Benet Street)

Alan Judd, ‘Intelligence: Fact and Fiction’

Alan Judd, to quote the New Statesman, ‘infuses his writing with insider knowledge' of intelligence. As The Spectator concludes, his latest, gripping novel, Accidental Agent, shows  that, at least from an intelligence perspective, even ‘Brexit can be surprisingly thrilling’


Friday 17 May:

11 am (coffee) for 11-15 am at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Whitehall (not far from the MOD)

[Please note change of time & Whitehall location]

Joint meeting (including lunch) with British Study Group on Intelligence (SGI)

11.15 Panel: ‘Michael Herman and Intelligence’

Paul Maddrell, University of Loughborough


‘Berlin and listening from The Devil’s Mountain’

Gp Capt Barry Smith, former C/O of No 51 Sqn

 ‘Nimrod R1’

Mark Phythian, University of Leicester

‘Michael Herman and Intelligence Ethics

Richard Aldrich, University of Warwick

‘GCHQ’s atomic ships programme’  

1.00            Sandwich Lunch

2.00            Michael Herman: responses and reflections

2.30            Dr Elisabeth Kendall, University of Oxford

Jihadist Propaganda & its Exploitation of the Arab Poetic Tradition

4.00            Meeting of the SGI Steering Committee

Please register at:

We will ask you to pay £10 on the day for lunch and coffee.

Easter Term 2019 programme - print version 


Archived Seminar programmes

Lent Term 2019 Programme

Easter Term 2018

Lent Term 2018

Michaelmas Term 2017 Programme

Easter Term 2017 Programme

Lent Term 2017 Programme

Michaelmas Term 2016 Programme

Easter Term 2016 Programme

Lent Term 2016 Programme

Michaelmas Term 2015 Programme

Easter Term 2015 Programme

Lent Term 2015 Programme

Michaelmas Term 2014 Programme

Easter Term 2014 Programme

Lent Term 2014 Programme

Michaelmas Term 2013 Programme

Easter Term 2013 Programme

Lent Term 2013 Programme

Michaelmas Term 2012 Programme

Easter Term 2012 Programme

Lent Term 2012 Programme

Michaelmas Term 2011 Programme

The History Faculty welcomes expressions of interest for BA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2019/20. The internal Faculty deadline is 5pm on 16 August 2019.

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Individual Fellowship competition is now open. The internal University deadline is 3pm, 10 September 2019. 

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Upcoming events

Thirteenth Century Conference

Sep 02, 2019

Selwyn College, Cambridge

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