Tutors

 

All Debate Chamber courses are taught by expert tutors who share a passion for exploring and communicating ideas. Most of our tutors have completed, or are in the process of completing, postgraduate research and are therefore perfectly placed to challenge preconceptions, inspire original thinking, and bridge the educational gap between secondary school and university. Our courses focus on developing intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and the desire to explore academic material in a more sophisticated way than is often available at school.

Debate Chamber prides itself on creating an inclusive environment where students feel comfortable discussing and sharing ideas with their tutors and peers. We encourage our students to think independently, and to pursue their own interests and questions, in order to stimulate lively debate within the class. Working in small groups over several days means that you will really get to know your tutor, develop your ideas, and benefit from their specialist knowledge.

‘A really fantastic week, taught by some truly inspirational tutors whose passion really showed in their energetic and engaging sessions. The relaxed atmosphere worked incredibly well because it allowed the students and tutors to discuss in detail anything that we were curious about even if it wasn’t specifically on our timetable.’

Lucy, Colchester County High School for Girls

Tutor Profiles

Art History

 

Naomi Lebens

Naomi is a graduate of the University of Oxford in History (BA) and of The Courtauld Institute of Art in the History of Art (MA & PhD). Her doctoral research in the field of early modern print culture was the result of an AHRC-funded collaborative project undertaken with the Prints and Drawings Department of The British Museum. Specifically, her thesis asks why games were the site of such invention in early modern print. Naomi’s work updates The British Museum’s collection database and will inform an exhibition in the Prints and Drawings Gallery in Autumn/Winter 2016. Besides pursuing her own research, Naomi teaches as an Associate Lecturer at The Courtauld Institute of Art and as a Gallery Educator for The Courtauld Gallery. She is committed to the work of museums and galleries in communicating research to diverse audiences and in increasing the accessibility of their collections. She has recently developed an introductory art history course in collaboration with The Courtauld Institute of Art and The Brilliant Club educational charity, which will be taught at state schools across the UK.

Hannah Kroes

Hannah holds a Bachelors degree in Art History & Curatorial Studies from Brigham Young University and a Masters degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art. She has specialised in Russian modernism and has recently completed her dissertation on the relationship between Ukrainian embroidery and national identity in the early 20th century. She is also passionate about women’s studies and feminist art history, and has dedicated her research to understudied women artists. Hannah’s love for art is met by her interest in education, and she believes that art is a crucial lens through which students can understand cultures, religions, conflicts, and politics throughout history. Her own education and approach to art history has been enriched by her experiences living and teaching in both China and Lithuania. She is pursuing a career in art and museum education, and has most recently worked in the education departments of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the United States National Archives.

Dentistry

 

Kate Parker

Kate is a Specialty Registrar in Orthodontics at the Eastman Dental Hospital, London. She completed her undergraduate training at King’s College London and went on to work in general practice followed by Senior House Office positions in oral and maxillofacial surgery and paediatric dentistry. As part of her specialty training, Kate is currently undertaking a Masters in Clinical Dentistry and is carrying out a randomised controlled trial on the efficacy of a patient decision-making aid in orthodontics.

 

Lilia Wong

Lilia is a second year Specialty Registrar in Orthodontics at the Eastman Dental Institute, London. Having completed her undergraduate dental training at King’s College London, she spent three years in Oxford working in General Practice and as a Senior House Officer in oral and maxillofacial Surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital. She is currently completing a Masters in Clinical Dentistry which includes a research project as part of her specialty training.

 

Manveer Basati

After graduating from University College London (UCL) with a degree in Medicinal Chemistry and a Masters in Biochemical Engineering, Manveer joined the competitive fast track Dentistry course based at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth. Upon graduation, Manveer has held roles in general dentistry, maxillofacial surgery and paediatric dentistry at renowned UK hospitals. During his clinical roles he also completed a postgraduate certificate in Medical Education. Currently Manveer is a Speciality Registrar in Orthodontics at the UCL Eastman Dental Hospital and as a part of his clinical masters, is researching student attitudes towards different teaching methods.

Economics

 

Joel Semakula

Joel graduated as a Morehead-Cain Scholar with with Highest Distinction in Political Science and Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before spending two years as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley. Joel completed his second degree in Jurisprudence (Senior Status) at Mansfield College, University of Oxford, where he was awarded the D’Souza Prize for the best overall performance on the course. He has a keen interest in contract theory and wrote an extended essay on the jurisprudential basis for freedom of contract. Joel’s interests in economics include family economics, financial markets and economic development. Joel’s interests in economics include family economics, financial markets and economic development. Joel has recently completed the Bar Professional Training Course and intends to practice as a barrister at the Commercial Bar.

 

Roberto Valdo Cortese

Roberto holds a first class Honours degree in Economics and Philosophy from University College London. He was awarded the Faculty Scholarship of Undergraduate Excellence as “most outstanding student of UCL’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities”. His research interests include Economics of Networks, Economics of Education, Monetary Policy, Philosophy of Language, and Metalogic. He published a paper on the stabilising effect of complementary currencies with UCL whilst still a student. He couples his passion for Economics and Philosophy with a keen interest in theatre, and has founded a professional theatre company.

 

Jake Hurfurt

Jake studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St John’s College, University of Oxford, before completing a Master of Arts in Newspaper Journalism, at City, University of London. His academic interests centre on the role of identity in conflict, especially in the Balkans, which inspired him to write his final Masters’ project on the social and economic problems facing young people growing up in post-conflict Kosovo. The vulnerabilities of the global economy to major shocks, particularly the circumstances of the 2008 financial crash and the more recent impact of oil price slump on resource-rich states, form the base of his economic interests. Jake also takes a keen interest in the political and economic practicalities of government policy as well as meta-ethics and how non-objective views of morality affect attitudes towards human rights.

English Literature

 

Eleanor McCausland

Elly has a PhD from the University of York, where her research focused on representations of the Arthurian legends in children’s literature during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She currently works as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Aarhus University, researching depictions of trust, risk and adventure in children’s literature from the nineteenth century to the present day, and is working on publishing her first book. She also has a first class BA in English and a MSt in Medieval Literature from Merton College, University of Oxford. Her other research interests include ecocriticism, literature and finance, and representations of food in literature.

 

Lloyd Houston

Lloyd is currently completing a DPhil in Irish Literature in English at Hertford College, University of Oxford. His work explores the political and aesthetic roles venereal disease and discourses of sexual hygiene played in the emergence of Irish modernism. Other research interests include postcolonial literature and the law, and the institutional construction of literary obscenity. His recent publications include a history of the Bodleian’s restricted ‘Phi Collection’ and a reception study of James Joyce’s Ulysses in Britain’s copyright libraries.

 

Chris Foxon

Chris graduated from St Anne’s College, University of Oxford with a first class degree in English Language and Literature before completing a Masters Degree in Creative Producing on an AHRC Scholarship at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, for which he was awarded a Distinction. His work is situated in new writing in British theatre, specifically talent development and dramaturgy. Writers he has discovered, produced and published have won BAFTAs, Royal National Theatre Foundation, Critics’ Circle, Off West End and Alfred Fagon Theatre Awards and premiered worldwide. Chris is a supervisor for MA/MFA Writing for Stage and Screen students at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, and a visiting lecturer at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York. He is currently co-writing a book provisionally entitled ‘Being a Playwright: How to Build a Career in Three Acts’ for publication in Autumn 2018.

 

Merlin Gable

Merlin is reading for the MSt in World Literatures in English at Wadham College, University of Oxford, where he also completed his undergraduate degree. His research is on Welsh post-war resource writing, focussing on perceptions of risk in narratives of the Aberfan disaster in 1966; his other interests include phenomenological constructions of colonial space and postcolonial and poststructuralist theory. Currently working on a forthcoming edition of the unpublished and unavailable works of Welsh writer and cultural critic Raymond Williams, Merlin has written for The Oxford Student and Oxford Left Review.

History

 

Olivia Elder

Olivia holds a first class BA in Ancient and Modern History and an MSt with Distinction in Roman History from Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford. She is now in the third year of a PhD at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge. Olivia’s doctoral research looks at bilingualism across the Roman world, and considers how ideas about language relate to Roman cultural identity. Her sources include literature, graffiti from Pompeii, and the multilingual inscriptions from the city of Rome. Olivia also has an interest in ancient letter-writing, and on how this compares to practices in the modern world.

 

Owen Britten

Owen holds a degree in Classics from Loyola University, Chicago as well as a Masters with Distinction in British History from the University of Newcastle. He is currently in the third year of his PhD at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge. His dissertation focuses on masculinity beyond patriarchy in Britain during the reign of King William III. He has two scholarly articles coming out this year, one on military masculinity in the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies and another on the print portrayal of King William III’s masculinity in The Seventeenth Century.

 

Charlie Troup

Charlie studied History & Politics at the University of Oxford, and graduated in 2015 with a first class degree and the Blake Prize for History. He is currently an MPhil candidate in Modern British and European History at The Queen’s College, Oxford. His current research focuses on the conservative critics of neoliberalism in 1970s and 1980s Britain, although he is broadly interested in the history of ideas, politics and culture in post-war Europe.

 

Sarah Goodenough

Sarah is a Casberd scholar reading History at the University of Oxford, due to graduate this September and predicted first class. She was president of the University of Oxford History Society, during which time she hosted events specialising in global and connected histories. Her thesis focused upon the use of mutilation as a political tool in medieval Gaelic Ireland, but her interests range from medieval masculinities and heresy, global early modernity and empire, to 20th century Chinese feminism and political thought.

 

Kaamil Shah

Kaamil recently completed his degree in History at King’s College, Cambridge, where he studied a wide variety of topics, ranging from the Middle Ages on Film to the Global History of Empire in the nineteenth century. In his final year he specialised in the history of the Near East in the post-Roman era. His main interest is film and cinema, and he currently works in Script Development for a London-based Production company. He will attending Film School in 2017.

International Relations

 

Judith Jacob

Judith is a PhD student at the London School of Economics and her research focuses on modern jihadist movements in Indonesia. Prior to beginning her PhD, she worked as a global terrorism analyst at a political and security risk firm in London. Judith also holds a BSc in Government and History and MSc in Conflict Studies, with Distinction from the LSE. Her academic and professional work has centred on international politics and non-traditional conflict in the Middle East, as well as in East and Southeast Asia.

 

Alistair Brisbourne

Alistair was awarded his PhD in 2016 studying at Royal Holloway, University of London. His PhD research took an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the development of cultural relations between the EU and its Southern Neighbourhood by looking at EU foreign policy and cultural diplomacy, transnational networks and key regional organisations. Alistair has previously convened courses on International Relations, International Organisations, Political Sociology, Advanced Readings in Globalisation, and Introduction to Global Studies. His various research interests include IR, European politics, EU foreign policy, cultural diplomacy, global sociology, transnationalism and violence and cosmopolitanism.

 

Christopher Weihs

Chris holds an MPhil degree in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge, where his dissertation project analysed great power politics, international arbitration, and instances of power transition in the nineteenth century. Prior to his arrival at Cambridge, Chris completed his undergraduate studies at Williams College in Massachusetts. There he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Political Science and History and was awarded the Sentinels of the Republic Essay Prize in Government. Chris is currently completing a second Masters Degree in American diplomatic history at Cambridge, where he explores the competition for influence between the British Empire and the United States in Southeast Asia in the decades following the Second World War. As an American living in Britain, Chris is especially intrigued by Anglo-American relations and the historical and theoretical foundations of the “Special Relationship.”

 

Julia Slupska

Julia graduated from the London School of Economics with a first class degree in International Relations. While studying, she was the president of the Grimshaw International Relations Club, the oldest student society at the LSE. She is also working as a research assistant on a project about the political economy of regional integration. She is interested in international law and international efforts to combat cybercrime, and she is pursuing this interest in an MSc in the Social Science of the internet at the Oxford Internet Institute.

Law

 

Elizabeth Shorland

Elizabeth recently graduated from Lincoln College, University of Oxford with a degree in Jurisprudence Law. She specialised in Public International Law and Medical Law and Ethics, but also particularly enjoyed the Private Law modules that she studied. She was awarded ‘highly commended’ in the Lord Walker essay competition, writing on the subject of religious freedom. She will soon commence a Masters Degree in Business alongside the Legal Practice Course, before joining magic circle firm Allen & Overy as a trainee solicitor.

 

Naomi Webber

Naomi holds an undergraduate Law degree from Worcester College, University of Oxford and, and an LLM from University College London. She recently completed the Bar Professional Training Course and will commence her training to become a barrister next year. While studying for the BPTC, Naomi worked as an undergraduate teaching fellow at UCL. She is also a volunteer writer for the Human Rights awareness website, RightsInfo.org. Naomi has a wide range of legal interests, in particular human rights, public law, and discrimination law. Naomi’s specific interest lies in how the law deals with children and young people, particularly relevant to her work at Debate Chamber.

 

Polly Calver

Polly graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford with a first class degree in Law. She is currently studying the Legal Practice Course with a connected Masters degree in Law and Business. In September she will be starting as a trainee solicitor at Forsters LLP, a Mayfair firm specialising in property and private client law. Her main areas of interest at university were family law, contract law and property law but she has an open mind about which area to pursue as a career. She won the 42 Bedford Row Disability Prize for an essay on the rights of parents with disabilities.

 

Rowan Clapp

Rowan graduated top of his year in Philosophy & Theology at Durham University. After converting to law at BPP as a Lord Haldane scholar of Lincoln’s Inn, he attained a Distinction in his LLM at UCL. During this time, Rowan served as the Public Law and Human Rights Editor for online legal Journal Keep Calm Talk Law, worked in the Abuses in Counter Terrorism Team at Reprieve and undertook research at anti-trafficking charity Kalayaan. Rowan’s research interests are directed towards public and public international law, with a particular focus on recent reform to Judicial Review in the UK. Rowan is a future pupil at Cornerstone Barristers and will commence the Bar Professional Training Course as a Tancred scholar in September this year.

Mathematics

 

Cosmo Grant

Cosmo studied Mathematics and Philosophy at Merton College, University of Oxford. He is now in the PhD program in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT, having just finished his third year. He is interested in epistemology and language, especially in the application of mathematical and logical techniques in these fields. For example, he has recently been learning about the epistemic foundations of game theory, in which formal mathematical models of players’ beliefs and knowledge are used to explain certain patterns of behaviour in games, and about how game theory can shed light on linguistic phenomena, via signalling games and game-theoretic pragmatics. He is also interested in computability theory and in particular its consequences for the philosophy of mind.

 

Matthew Burke

Matthew graduated with a Mathematics degree from Christ’s College, University of Cambridge. After passing Part III Mathematics at Cambridge with merit, he then completed a PhD in pure mathematics at Macquarie University, Sydney. During his time in Sydney, Matthew has been increasingly involved in teaching mathematics as both a tutor for the Macquarie University Numeracy Centre and as a demonstrator for first and second year undergraduate mathematics courses. Matthew’s main interests involve alternative formulations of the calculus and differential geometry using mathematical logic and type theory. His current research focuses on applying techniques from algebraic geometry and mathematical logic to problems in Lie theory and theoretical physics.

 

Will Warner

Will graduated from Wadham College, University of Oxford with a degree in Mathematics, where he particularly enjoyed studying various branches of Pure Mathematics. He then went on to study a Masters in Philosophy at University College London, completing the course with distinction. Will currently works full time as a tutor, and has extensive experience in introducing students to the more advanced and complex techniques used by professional mathematicians.

Medicine

Sion Williams

Dr Sion Williams is a teaching fellow and registrar in infectious diseases at Imperial College London and Northwick Park Hospital. He completed his medical degree at the University of Bristol, and has undertaken postgraduate training in internal medicine at University College Hospital London. He has completed postgraduate diplomas in tropical medicine from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp and the Royal College of Physicians in London. He is particularly interested in healthcare delivery in low income countries.

 

Shiraz Jamshaid

Shiraz is moving into his final year of Medicine at Imperial College London. He has previously completed an intercalated degree in Management where he developed an interest in health reforms and restructure. He is currently undertaking projects in improving end-of-life care in the UK which he has presented at the Kings fund and the Royal Society of Medicine. He has a keen interest in medical research and academia, having published in medical education and multidisciplinary journals.

 

Lexi Wisentaner

Lexi is entering her final year of Medicine at Imperial College London, having passed her previous years with distinctions. Lexi is keen to pursue a career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and recently completed her intercalated degree in Reproductive and Developmental Sciences at Imperial, achieving first class honours. As well as clinical medicine, Lexi’s interests include medical research and academia; she recently attended the international conference of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in South Africa to present her research on recurrent miscarriage.

 

Samad Wahid

Samad is moving into his fifth year of Medicine at Imperial College London, having passed his pre-clinical years with distinction. He also recently completed an intercalated degree in Management at Imperial College Business School. Samad is particularly interested in Health Policy and will be presenting at the Houses of Parliament later this year.

 

Henrietta Helliwell

Hennie has just embarked on her final few months of medical school at King’s College London. During her time at university she has developed a real passion for medical education and research, and has been a student rep on the national JASME committee this year to develop this interest further. She has also completed an intercalated BSc in Psychology, and this lead to her project being picked for presentation at the international EULAR rheumatology conference last year.

 

Jatinder Stanley

Jatinder holds a first class Honours degree in BSc Medical Genetics from Queen Mary, University of London, where he published research in epigenetics. He is now moving into his third year studying MBBS Medicine at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Having completed a range of courses in surgical skills, he is now a part of the prestigious Potts Barbers’ Mentorship Scheme where he regularly observes and assists in operating theatres across London hospitals. He has represented medical students on a range of issues at national conferences run by the British Medical Association. He has also helped run events on the wellbeing of medical students as a member of the Student Section Council of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Sophie Legg

Sophie is about to enter her final year of Medicine at Imperial College London. She has intercalated with a Reproductive and Developmental Sciences degree which involved researching the characteristics, course and outcomes of early onset Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Within medicine, her particular interests are in global health, women’s health and paediatrics.

 

Farzana Begum

Farzana is currently completing her fourth year of Medicine at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, having passed her first and third years with Distinctions and second year with Merit. In between her third and fourth years of Medicine, Farzana intercalated at Imperial College London and gained a Bachelors of Science degree in Pharmacology with an Upper Second Class. Farzana is interested in a career in anaesthesia and recently presented her research at the Obstetric Anaesthesia Association congress in Brussels.

Philosophy

 

Sarah Bufkin

Sarah is currently pursuing a DPhil in Political Theory from Somerville College, University of Oxford, where she is a Rhodes scholar. Previously, she graduated with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she pursued a degree in Cultural Studies and History on the four-year Morehead-Cain scholarship. She then went on to complete her Masters in Moral, Legal and Political Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast. At Queen’s University Belfast, Sarah had a keen interest in racism and recognition theory and won awards for the best dissertation and best overall performance by a Master’s student in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy. Currently her work is situated at the nexus of critical race scholarship and normative political theory. Sarah is interested in the political and ethical dimensions of achieving voice in societies riven by structural disadvantage and systematic oppression.

 

Will Warner

Will graduated from Wadham College, University of Oxford with a degree in Mathematics, where he also made use of an interdisciplinary option to study a philosophy module in Metaphysics and Epistemology. Will then went on to study a Masters in Philosophy at University College London, completing the course with distinction. Will is particularly interested in the Philosophy of Mind as well as the Philosophy of Action, an area which was the subject of his dissertation.

 

Alexander Howells

Alec graduated from the London School of Economics with a first class degree in Philosophy and Politics. Whilst there, he specialised in philosophical logic and for his dissertation, in constructing an ontologically-pure semantics for Free Logic. He is now completing a Masters in Computer Science at University College London. Whilst there, he specialised in philosophical logic. In particular, for his dissertation, he constructed an ontologically-pure semantics for Free Logic. He also has an interest in aesthetics, philosophy in literature, and the use of computation in decision making.

Physics

 

Mia Hughes

Mia recently completed a PhD in Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London where her research was based on using the mathematics of different kinds of “imaginary numbers” to learn about String Theory (a theory of particle physics and gravity on microscopic scales). Prior to this she acquired a first class degree in Physics from Imperial College, where she was awarded the Tyndall Prize for best Masters thesis in Theoretical Physics. Mia currently works as a physics and maths tutor and is continuing her research into theoretical particle physics. She has published eight academic papers so far.

 

Dario Papavassiliou

Dario studied Physics with Theoretical Physics at Imperial College before completing a Masters Degree in Complexity Science, for which he was awarded a Distinction. He then completed a PhD in Physics and Complexity Science at the University of Warwick, focusing on hydrodynamic interactions and the collective behaviour of swimming microorganisms. Other research interests include quantitative linguistics, mathematical biology and musical acoustics. Dario has taught at a leading London secondary school and worked as a demonstrator for undergraduate physics at Warwick.

 

Tom Farshi

Tom Farshi graduated last year with a first class MSci degree in Physic from the University of Bristol. His interests are in the more abstract and theoretical areas of physics, specifically the foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum information theory, and the thermodynamics of quantum systems. His Masters project explored quantum heat engines and related ideas such as temperature. Later in the year, he will commence a PhD within these areas of interest.

Politics

 

Alistair Brisbourne

Alistair was awarded his PhD in 2016 studying at Royal Holloway, University of London. His PhD research took an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the development of cultural relations between the EU and its Southern Neighbourhood by looking at EU foreign policy and cultural diplomacy, transnational networks and key regional organisations. Alistair has previously convened courses on International Relations, International Organisations, Political Sociology, Advanced Readings in Globalisation, and Introduction to Global Studies. His various research interests include IR, European politics, EU foreign policy, cultural diplomacy, global sociology, transnationalism and violence and cosmopolitanism.

 

Charlie Troup

Charlie studied History & Politics at the University of Oxford, and graduating with a first class degree and the Blake Prize for History. He is currently an MPhil candidate in Modern British and European History at The Queen’s College, Oxford. His current research focuses on the conservative critics of neoliberalism in 1970s and 1980s Britain, although he is broadly interested in the history of ideas, politics and culture in post-war Europe.

 

Jake Hurfurt

Jake studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St John’s College, University of Oxford, before completing a Master of Arts in Newspaper Journalism, at City, University of London. His academic interests centre on the role of identity in conflict, especially in the Balkans, which inspired him to write his final Masters’ project on the social and economic problems facing young people growing up in post-conflict Kosovo. The vulnerabilities of the global economy to major shocks, particularly the circumstances of the 2008 financial crash and the more recent impact of oil price slump on resource-rich states, form the base of his economic interests. Jake also takes a keen interest in the political and economic practicalities of government policy as well as meta-ethics and how non-objective views of morality affect attitudes towards human rights.

 

Judith Jacob

Judith is a PhD student at the London School of Economics and her research focuses on modern jihadist movements in Indonesia. Prior to beginning her PhD, she worked as a global terrorism analyst at a political and security risk firm in London. Judith also holds a BSc in Government and History and MSc in Conflict Studies, with Distinction from the LSE. Her academic and professional work has centred on international politics and non-traditional conflict in the Middle East, as well as in East and Southeast Asia.

 

Julia Slupska

Julia graduated from the London School of Economics with a first class degree in International Relations. While studying, she was the president of the Grimshaw International Relations Club, the oldest student society at the LSE. She is also working as a research assistant on a project about the political economy of regional integration. She is interested in international law and international efforts to combat cybercrime, and she is pursuing this interest in an MSc in the Social Science of the internet at the Oxford Internet Institute.