Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Research theme 2020-22: Growth

This theme is open to the widest possible interpretation and is assumed to address the concerns of many disciplines and departments while providing a frame for thinking across or even bypassing entrenched or established modes of thinking. It could include the following concerns:

  • The action, process or manner of growing, in both material and immaterial senses
  • Biological growth processes (micro-organisms, plants, human bodies) and their links to social, ecological and environmental processes
  • Economic growth, expansion and development, theories of growth and their critiques, extravagance and excess, limits, predictions and omens, anti-growth, de-growth, negative growth, beyond growth: new, radical social/economic models, growth and shrinkage, expansion and retraction
  • Responses to growth, planning, development, post-development and dependency, utopias and dystopias of growth, migration and control
  • Green growth, ecological development, sustainable growth, agriculture and agribusiness, cultivation and curation
  • Aesthetics of growth, live art, decay and degeneration, poetics and portrayals, invasion and pests
  • Sickness and growth, tumescence, excrescence and pathology, malignancy and morbidity, health and healing, weakening and waning, restoration and renewal
  • Maturation and metamorphosis, development, growth targets, stunted/accelerated growth, stages and stagnation, life cycles and evolution
  • Value and ethics of growth, spiritual and psychological growth, improvement and achievement
  • Prowess and excitation, sexuality and swelling, images and icons, figurations and fantasies


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