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


IAS Welcomes Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty as Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow

The IAS is thrilled to announce that its second Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow will be Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty, who will be joining us for the month of March 2018.  During his visit, Professor Chakrabarty will be giving a Public Lecture on 6 March entitled 'Planetary Crises and the Difficulty of Being Modern' and two seminars on 'Humanities in the Age of Humans' in the following weeks.  Please keep an eye on the IAS Events page for further details.

Major AHRC Grant Awarded for Research into Perpetration and Complicity under Nazism

We are delighted to announce an AHRC award of £940k to Professor Mary Fulbrook, Dean of Social & Historical Sciences (SHS), Professor Stephanie Bird, Director of the School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS) and Dr Stefanie Rauch (IAS) for a major research project which will be housed in the IAS, 'Compromised Identities? Reflections on perpetration and complicity under Nazism'.

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.


Zugunruhe: A Wild Exploration of Migration

The IAS is delighted to host this work-in-progress theatre performance made by Tom Bailey, Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the Migration Research Unit, UCL.  The performance will be followed by a Q&A session.

Starts: Dec 12, 2017 5:00:00 PM

Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art Symposium: Twenty Years of Boredom

Twenty Years of Boredom takes as its starting point the exhibition On Boredom, a CD ROM published by Cambridge Darkroom Gallery and launched at the ICA, London, in 1997. The project was curated by Susan Morris, with essays by Andrew Benjamin and David Bate. On Boredom brought together artists who had only recently started working with ‘new technology’. Many of the works consisted of short, repetitive loops which used small, low resolution, image, sound or text files. The artists were working within the constraints placed on them by computers with extremely slow processing power and virtually no storage space. Yet the outlook at the time was optimistic with, for example, Sadie Plant, author of Zero and Ones: Digital Women and the New Technoculture (also published in 1997) proposing technology as an emancipatory force. On Boredom explored the impact of technology on the creative process, while also considering the critical stakes of an affect or state of mind that is conventionally characterised as unproductive.

Starts: Dec 16, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Bureaucracy in Medieval Scandinavia: Bookishness and Bureaucracy? Icelandic Bishops and the Introduction of New Genres and Literacy Techniques

The IAS is delighted to host the Bureaucracy in Medieval Scandinavia seminar series, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.  The third in the series, 'Bookishness and Bureaucracy? Icelandic Bishops and the Introduction of New Genres
and Literacy Techniques', will be given by Professor Lena Rohrbach (Universitäten Basel und Zürich).

Starts: Jan 16, 2018 6:00:00 PM

IAS Vulnerabilty Seminar: Stupid Shame

The IAS Vulnerability Seminar Series is delighted to welcome Professor Steven Connor from the University of Cambridge for this talk, which will consider the vulnerability of those assigned to a category which most human groups treat with angry revulsion: the stupid. Professor Connor will suggest that stupidity is more tightly than ever twinned with shame in our growing epistemocracy. But if the power to shame is toxically potent, the condition of shame, though the most exquisitely painful form of vulnerability, may also harbour surprising, and dangerous powers of insurgence.

Starts: Jan 17, 2018 5:00:00 PM

Vulnerability, Viability and the Life of AIDS: Elisabeth Lebovici in conversation with Oliver Davis

The IAS is pleased to announce a conversation with Elisabeth Lebovici to discuss her new book Ce que le sida m'a fait: art et activisme à la fin du XXe siècle (‘What AIDS has done to me. Art and Activism at the End of the 20th Century’, Zurich: JRP Ringier, 2017). Restoring the voices of friends in the fight against AIDS; articulating the "I" and the "we" of then and now; examining facts and affects little known to the French and European public; analyzing the epidemic of representation which followed the emergence of AIDS: such is the agenda of this book, conceived by Elisabeth Lebovici as a "discourse on method" in which the personal is always political, and public and private spheres are closely intertwined. Engaged alongside French and American AIDS activists, Elisabeth Lebovici was a privileged observer, as an art historian and journalist, of the debates of the 1980s and 1990s. In this book, Lebovici analyzes the relationships between art and activism at this pivotal moment, which she revisits from her memory as witness and survivor.

Starts: Jan 29, 2018 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.