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


The Orwell Prize Announces the Longlists for the Orwell Prizes 2017

Longlists for the Orwell Prize for Books 2017, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing, were announced today.  Following a year in which George Orwell’s name has returned to the heart of political discourse, the Orwell Prize judges choose the most compelling political writing of 2016, including books on the impact of the Hillsborough disaster and FGM in Britain longlisted alongside Hisham Matar’s The Return and New York Times CEO Mark Thompson’s Enough Said.

Creative Critical Writing Workshop - Call for Participants

The Institute of Advanced Studies is delighted to share a call for participants for this Creative Critical Writing Workshop for graduate students and early career researchers, which it has co-funded.  The workshop will take place from 28 to 30 June 2017, and the submission deadline for the call is 23 April 2017.

Planetary Futures Call for Papers: Imagining the Future - Financial capitalism and the social imagination

The IAS is delighted to share a call for papers for this conference to be held on 11 July 2017 which it is co-funding under this year's Planetary Futures research theme.   The convenors invite abstract submissions (up to 300 words) which explore the various ‘intersections’ between political, economic and social imaginaries of financial capitalism. They are especially interested in theoretically-driven approaches studying the role of different types of imagination in materially mediating currently experienced crises (economic, social, border, migration etc.), through producing and legitimating dominant visions and narratives of the future.


Researching the Islamic State: New Challenges and Opportunities

This workshop jointly hosted by the UCL Institute of Archaeology and the Institute of Advanced Studies and generously funded by the British Academy under its Rising Star Engagement Award scheme, brings together early career historians, archaeologists and art historians to present the latest research on the development of the earliest Islamic states, Christian-Muslim relations  and the emergence of new techniques, styles and architectural forms in the early middle ages and to reflect on current challenges and opportunities for scholars working on the early Islamic world. 

Starts: Mar 28, 2017 11:15:00 AM

Looms of Life Conference

The Institute of Advanced Studies is delighted to host this conference, which it has co-funded.  It is the first conference outside China to showcase images of the bamboo manuscripts and material culture of the Laoguanshan tomb finds, excavated in 2012-13, in the suburbs of Chengdu, Sichuan. The finds, which include 900 bamboo strips dedicated to remedy collections and new medical theories, a set of China's earliest looms, and a medical figurine, are set to revolutionise the history of science and medicine. Text and artefacts will be presented from the point of view of the wider cultural and geographic contexts within which innovations were occurring within the networks of knowledge that centred on south-west China of the 2nd century BCE.Areas of interest are the intersections between emerging technologies of the interior of the body, weaving and astronomy. Significant, also, are the ways in which palaeographical analysis is revealing the geographic provenance of the both text and manuscripts, leading to new understanding of the exact circumstances of the production of medical texts, and by extension of authoritative text itself. 

Starts: Mar 30, 2017 9:00:00 AM

#certainpain Twitter Chats

Hosted by a UK-based academic working on medieval and modern chronic pain, these Chats are a space for all those affected by chronic pain to share their experiences.  Each month's Chat will focus on a topic related to chronic living, based on the host's research findings.

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

Identifying, Narrating, Regulating, Covering, Healing the Jewish Body: (Eastern) Ashkenas in the Early Modern Period

Over the past decades, a variety of disciplines have approached the idea of the human body as the site of complex, entangled discourses of belonging and not-belonging, health and illness, familiar and alien, in need of regulation or absolution. In this workshop, scholars will present their research on the phenomenon of the human body as invested with meaning and as the object of practices, looking at the case of the Jewish body in Ashkenas, i.e. roughly the German territories and Eastern Europe, with contributions from the history of medicine and of knowledge; literary studies; cultural and gender studies.

Starts: Apr 25, 2017 9:00:00 AM

The IAS in the media

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.