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


Institute of Advanced Studies Collaboration with Mishcon Academy

The Institute of Advanced Studies has today announced a collaboration with the Mishcon Academy at Mishcon de Reya to deliver thought leadership events as part of the IAS's 'Lies' Programme. This is the first partnership of its kind for both Mishcon de Reya and the IAS. The partnership will establish a programme of events for the IAS 2017-18 research theme of ‘Lies’ and will specifically focus on the following issues:

New IAS Deputy Directors

The IAS is delighted to announce the appointment of two Deputy Directors, one for each of the Joint Faculties.  Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen will represent the Faculty of Arts & Humanities and Professor Megan Vaughan the Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences.  They will be spreading the word about the IAS and its activities in their respective faculties as well as taking on responsibilities for public-facing events, amongst other duties.

IAS Announces Collaboration with CSCA

The Institute of Advanced Studies is delighted to announce a year-long collaboration with History of Art’s Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art (CSCA). We hope that this will bring researchers across UCL with an interest in aesthetics, politics and the contemporary into conversation with one another. The CSCA has decided to focus its activities around a particular annual research theme developed in collaboration with a different research centre or department at UCL each year. The idea behind these temporary collaborations is to encourage greater interdisciplinarity and to forge dialogue across the University. 

IAS Announces First PKU Visiting Research Fellows

The Institute of Advanced Studies is delighted to announce that the first cohort of Peking University/UCL IAS Visiting Research Fellows will arrive at UCL in the Autumn Term.  Over the next year, we will welcome Professor Jianli Chen (School of Archaeology and Museology), Dr Yan Jia (School of Arts), Dr Ling Qin (School of Archaeology and Museology) and Professor Yidan Wang (Persian Section, School of Foreign Languages) from PKU.  They will be working with colleagues at the Institute of Archaeology and the Department of History on shared projects, and developing relationships which already exist between the two institutions as well as creating new ones.

Call for Event Proposals

The IAS welcomes proposals for idea/research-driven public events, panels or conferences to be hosted ideally in the Common Ground in South Wing.  The event must be led by a UCL academic but may include partners from other institutions, and should aim to attract people from a range of departments and disciplines.  We particularly welcome proposals related to our research themes for 2017/18, Lies and Vulnerability, although all ideas will be considered.  Should your proposal be related to Lies or Vulnerability, please mark this clearly in your application.  More about the research themes can be found here.

Centre for Critical Heritage Studies Small Grants Scheme

The Centre for Critical Heritage Studies (CCHS) invites applications from UCL academic staff or doctoral/postdoctoral students to its Small Grants Scheme, which funds projects that lead to or support collaborative research on critical heritage studies. Funding of up to £2000 per application is available per project. In very exceptional circumstances we may consider applications up to £4000. There is no minimum limit for awards.


Rosi Braidotti Workshop Series: Affect

We are pleased to announce our workshop series with Professor Rosi Braidotti, IAS Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow 2017, on the themes of COSMOS – AFFECT – POLIS. The series will consist of four sessions. Three will be small discussion /reading groups and the final session will take a public format and be open to all. The dates for the series are as follows - 

Starts: Oct 18, 2017 4:00:00 PM

“So many strange and surprising occurrences, so faithfully reported…”– Representing ‘Reality’ in European Travel Narratives of the Safavid Empire

The IAS is pleased to share details of this Early Modern Exchanges seminar.  Early modern European travelers to the Safavid Empire were very interested in documenting the exotic sites and customs that they encountered during their voyages, from cityscapes to geographical information, as well as foreign costumes, religious practices, material objects, flora and fauna, and antiquities. Visitors described and analyzed Zoroastrian rites and rituals, they gave detailed accounts of the Shia Muharram mysteries celebrated in cities such as Isfahan, Ardabil, and Shamakhi, and provided depictions of ancient sites such as Persepolis.

Starts: Oct 18, 2017 4:30:00 PM

Learning From Post-Truth: Professor Maurizio Ferraris

It is tempting to say that buffalo always existed, that lying is an indispensable part of politics and life, and that there is nothing new under the sun. Indeed, it is tempting to cut short by saying that the point is to watch what one reads as well what one eats and drinks. However, post-truth is a philosophically relevant concept and its emergence is an essential feature of the contemporary world: the alliance between the very modern power of the web and the oldest human desire - the wish to be right at all costs.

Starts: Oct 18, 2017 6:30:00 PM

The Silent Teacher

European première of The Silent Teacher 那個靜默的陽光午後 by Maso Chen 陳志漢 produced by Ging Lee 李孟津 (Taiwan, 2016) — a moving and intellectually provocative documentary on body donation for medical training and research from the perspective of one donor’s family.
Plus video Q&A with the director, and panel discussion with Professor Chris Berry (KCL Film Studies), Dr Vivienne Lo 羅維前 (UCL History) and Dr James Wilson (UCL Philosophy).

Starts: Oct 18, 2017 7:00:00 PM

Revolutionary Dostoevsky: Rethinking Radicalism

From Notes from Underground to The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky’s work confronts the consequences of the socialist and materialist ideologies that were taking hold in Russia and beyond, and seeks alternatives in forms of spiritual renewal and ethical action that – however reactionary some of his later publicistic writing – are in many ways equally radical. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolutions and celebrating the publication of a new translation of Crime and Punishment edited by Sarah Young, this conference will reassess Dostoevsky’s legendary status as ‘prophet’ of the revolution and its totalitarian aftermath. Bringing together humanities and social science scholars, it aims to build new understandings of the notion of ‘the radical’ in all senses in Dostoevsky’s writing, and foster interdisciplinary approaches to explore what his work has to contribute to a new era of social upheaval and political and religious extremism. 

Starts: Oct 20, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Joining The Dots: Lives in History

The Orwell Foundation, UCL History Department and the Institute for Advanced Studies invite you to a discussion of Orwell Fellow Juliet Gardiner's new memoir Joining up the dots.

Starts: Oct 23, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Beyond Borders: Sexuality and the Cold War

This panel event considers the globalisation of LGBT identities and politics in Central and Eastern Europe during the twilight years of the Cold War and marks the launch of Transnational Homosexuals in Communist Poland: Cross-Border Flows in Gay and Lesbian Magazines: a new book by Dr Lukasz Szulc, Marie Curie Research Fellow at LSE.

Starts: Oct 24, 2017 6:00:00 PM

The IAS in the media

IAS Junior Research Fellow, Dr Aline-Florence Manent, has been in heavy demand during the French presidential election, providing commentary on the BBC and France 24 and also writing op ed pieces for Open Democracy and The Spectator, as well as UCL's European Institute.

The 2016 Orwell Lecture, given by Private Eye editor Ian Hislop on 15 November to a sold-out audience and organised by The Orwell Prize which is now housed at the IAS, hit the front cover of the New Statesman on 1 December. Read 'The Age of Outrage' here and watch the lecture here.

IAS Visiting Research Fellow, Dr Martin Edwards, recently featured in a pair of BBC Radio 4 programmes called ‘Farewell Doctor Finlay’, a two-part history of General Practice in the UK.  Both are available to listen to on the BBC iPlayer.

The research carried out by former Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Professor Evthymios Papataxiarchis, during his recent visit at the IAS is mentioned in this article in The Times Higher Education Supplement about the very successful Engaging Refugee Narratives event, hosted at the IAS on 30 June.  Read about it here.  He also appeared on BBC Radio 4's The World Tonight on 13 October discussing the refugee crisis in his fieldwork site of Skala Sykamnias, Greece.  Listen from 34 minutes 30 seconds in here.

Research carried out by Dr Lois Lee, Co-Director of the IAS's centre for Secularity and Secularism Studies and IAS Visiting Research Fellow, Dr Stephen Bullivant, which shows that the number of people in England and Wales who identify themselves as having 'no religion' is larger than those who identify themselves as Christian, was covered extensively in the media, grabbing the front page of The Guardian and a column in the Evening Standard.