Institute of Advanced Studies


Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)

" I see the Institute of Advanced Studies as providing a space for critical thinking and engaged enquiry within and across conventional disciplinary and departmental boundaries. The IAS aims to create an open and accessible research-based community, bridging traditional ‘artistic’ and ‘scientific’ practices and modes of thought, bringing UK and international scholars into conversation with one another, and identifying the urgent political, ethical and intellectual issues that face us in the world today. Professor Tamar Garb, IAS Director


PKU-UCL IAS Visiting Research Fellows Scheme Open

The Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS) at Peking University is delighted to announce that applications are now open for the inaugural year of its Visiting Research Fellowship scheme organised with the Institute of Advanced Studies for UCL academics to visit Beijing during the year 2018-19.

Rendering the Invisible Visible - Call for Papers

This interdisciplinary conference and object-led-learning workshop on 25 May 2018 will explore the interconnectedness of humans and nonhumans. These interconnections are explored through research and practice in academia and are engaged daily in our human lives. The impacts of these interconnections are being rendered increasingly visible via the effects of global economies, the growing impacts of climate change, and the predictions of possible futures following the sixth mass extinction.  Read more here and download the call for papers herePlease note that the deadline for the call for papers is 1 May 2018.

IAS Junior Research Fellowships 2018-19

The Institute of Advanced Studies is seeking to appoint four Junior Research Fellows (JRFs) on appointments of 24 months each.  Candidates should have recently completed (within five years) a PhD in one of the subject areas of either the Faculty of Arts & Humanities or the Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences, and should be able to contribute to one of the following research themes: Laughter or Turbulence.  More information about the themes can be found here and further information, a job description and the opportunity to apply can be found here.  The deadline for applications is 8 April 2018.

IAS JRF Shortlisted for Prestigious Prize

We are delighted to announce that IAS Junior Research Fellow Dr Peter Leary's book, Unapproved Routes: Histories of the Irish Border, 1922-1972, has been shortlisted for the 25th Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize, the objectives of which are to promote and encourage peace and reconciliation in Ireland, a greater understanding between the peoples of Britain and Ireland, or closer co-operation between the partners of the European Community.  The winner of the prize will be announced on 11 April 2018.  Read The Irish Times' review of the book here.

IAS Research Themes 2018-19

The Institute of Advanced Studies is pleased to be able to announce its research themes for 2018-2019: Laughter and Turbulence.  These themes have emerged after extensive consultation and discussion with colleagues across the joint faculties and are designed to be capacious and suggestive so that various research-led initiatives and events can be accommodated under their aegis.  We hope to appoint two Junior Research Fellows for two years for each theme. In addition we aim to fund a selection of innovative research-led discussions, conferences and practices related to these themes.  Calls will be widely advertised and will proceed through open competition. Advertisements for the JRFs will go live in March 2018.  Keep an eye on this website for further information.

Area Studies in Flux Conference - Call for Papers (Extended - April 27)

We are pleased to share this call for papers for an interdisciplinary conference called 'Area Studies in Flux' to be held at UCL from 27 to 28 September 2018.  The conference is convened by the IAS and SSEES in collaboration with PKU, Beijing, and is designed to go beyond Euro/US-centrism to explore ‘area’ from diverse vantage points and emplaced disciplinary traditions.  The deadline for submission of proposals is 27 April 2018.  Download the call for papers here.


Gender and Feminism Network: Feminism in the Age of Populism - A Roundtable Discussion

Join the Gender and Feminism Research Network at the Institute of Advanced Studies for this roundtable discussion.  What is the role of feminism in the era of Trump, Brexit, resurgent nationalism in Europe, and the global re-configuration of the right? In the second decade of the 21st century, feminism seems to be confronting new foes, but it is also producing a raft of new potential solutions in the form of #MeToo, pussy hats, and Pussy Riots.

Starts: Apr 25, 2018 5:00:00 PM

art + activism: queer & feminist visibilities

This event is organised by qUCL in collaboration with UCL Gender and Feminism Network. Supported by UCL's Institute of Advanced Studies.  There is a long tradition of employing images and performance as a mode of activism. Feminist and queer art practices aimed at reclaiming public space for bodies and discourses otherwise excluded from mainstream politics and culture have played a crucial role in defining art as a mode of activism. Building on events previously events supported by the Institute of Advanced Studies (notably a panel on Black/Feminist/Queer: Intersections in spring 2017), this conference will bring together scholars, curators, artists and activists to debate how visual activism has been deployed in queer and feminist politics past and present.

Starts: Apr 27, 2018 10:30:00 AM

Curating the Sea: Ecological Vulnerability and the Oceans in Contemporary Exhibitions

The IAS is delighted to host this symposium funded by the UCL IAS Octagon Small Grants Fund.  In recent years, exhibitions ranging from major group shows to small solo presentations have addressed the increasingly urgent issue of ocean ecology. This symposium explores the unique ways that contemporary exhibition making can contribute to the discourse surrounding the ecological devastation of the world’s oceans. At a time when the Natural History Museum, London, has launched a new paradigm of scientific display by installing ‘Hope’, a blue whale skeleton in its central hall, how does the display of contemporary art correspond and in what ways might it react differently to these issues?

Starts: Apr 28, 2018 2:00:00 PM

UCL IAS Lies: Post-Truth Politics and the Rise of “Bullshit”

As part of this year’s research theme on ‘Lies’, the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies is delighted to welcome Adrian Blau from King's College London for this talk.  To what extent are we experiencing what some people call “post-truth politics”? Several commentators have approached this question by using Harry Frankfurt’s notion of “bullshit” – a particular kind of nonsense, which Frankfurt characterises as phoniness, indifference to truth. G.A. Cohen has discussed a different kind of bullshit: unclarifiable unclarity, i.e. something which is not clear and cannot be made clear. In this talk, Blau will show that there are at least three further types of bullshit, and that each of the five types of bullshit violates core principles of rationality. He will then relate each type of bullshit to different aspects of post-truth politics.

Starts: Apr 30, 2018 6:00:00 PM

Public Lecture: Professor Sylvain Briens (Paris Sorbonne), 'Borealism: In Search for the North'

Since antiquity the North has fascinated historians, geographers, philosophers and Southern writers, who have projected various forms of discourse onto it, from scientific observations or social and political considerations to dreams, fears and fantasies. This projection can be referred to as “borealism”, by analogy with the term “Orientalism”, as defined by Edward Saïd. Borealism describes the North as a discursive space, produced by and for the South. Unlike orientalism, which is exclusively produced by Occidental discourse, borealism is also sometimes reproduced in Nordic expressions of self-identity. Professor Briens will present aspects of “French borealism” with the example of the reception of Nordic Theater in Paris at the end of the 18th Century.

Starts: May 3, 2018 5:00:00 PM

The IAS in the media

IAS Junior Research Fellow, Dr Peter Leary, writes in The Guardian on 1 March 2018 on the question of how Brexit might affect the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  Read his comment piece, 'There are three ways out of the Irish border impasse.  All are closed to Theresa May' here.

Peter's book, Unapproved Routes: Histories of the Irish Border, 1922-1972, has also been shortlisted for the 25th Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize, the objectives of which are to promote and encourage peace and reconciliation in Ireland, a greater understanding between the peoples of Britain and Ireland, or closer co-operation between the partners of the European Community.  Read The Irish Times' review of the book here.